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Leeds City Guide

One of the North's industrial powerhouses, Leeds came of age during the boom and bustle of the Industrial Revolution. From its humble origins as a Roman settlement and a medieval trading post, Leeds grew to a metropolis, flush with cash and eager to impress its status on the rest of Britain and the world. Today, Leeds boasts amazing Victorian architecture, the legacy of that brash civic pride, as well as world-class museums, shopping and other attractions.

Attractions

Victorian Architecture

Leeds is famed for its 19th-century architecture, most of which is in the pedestrianised city centre. The Town Hall, built between 1853 and 1858, has been called an example of “Northern civic bombast,” an expression of the city's Victorian prosperity and power.

The Town Hall plays host to concerts, performances and special exhibitions throughout the year. Also unmissable is St Anne's Catholic Cathedral, a beautiful expression of the 19th-century Arts and Crafts style. Another Victorian landmark is the Corn Exchange, the elliptical glass-domed shopping centre that stands at the heart of the quirky, vibrant Exchange quarter.

Museums

Leeds's most famous museum is the Royal Armouries Museum, located at Clarence Dock. This massive collection includes over 8,000 weapons and pieces of armour, from swords and maces to rifles and machine guns. The highlight of the collection is the stunning elephant armour, an intricate system of chain mail and metal plates that would have turned the animal into a monstrous medieval tank.

In the heart of the city, Leeds City Museum features free exhibits on world and local history, with exhibits ranging from Egyptian mummies to representations of Leeds's modern, diverse culture. The Art Gallery and Henry Moore Institute bring the best of art from around the world into the centre of Leeds – the Moore Institute focuses on sculpture in particular.

Dining and nightlife

You don't have to spend a lot to eat well in Leeds. You can if you want to, of course – Michelin-starred Anthonys in the city centre is among the city's best restaurants, and also one of the most popular. Be sure to book ahead. At the lower end of the price range, though, Leeds offers a bewildering diversity of different styles, from American pizza and burgers at the Belgrave Music Hall to North African delicacies at Cafe Moor in Kirkgate Market. A local favourite is the Greedy Pig, which adds sophisticated modern touches to the traditional fry-up. Don't let the presence of Spam baps on the menu fool you; this is a serious approach to the familiar bacon roll.

Leeds has a large and diverse night life, driven by the student population of its two universities, but thankfully not every bar is a deafening student hangout. The areas around Call Lane in the Exchange quarter are home to stylish bars, while the region around Briggate is a bustling centre of bars and clubs. One bar in this area, North Bar, was named the best place to drink in Britain by The Observer.

Events

Summer is when Leeds comes fully to life, with annual festivals such as the Waterfront Festival, which sees boats swarm the water around Armouries Square. A hotly-contested Dragon Boat race is the highlight of the festival. Late May and early June are also the time for the annual food festival, which attracts gourmets from all across the country. Perhaps the most famous of the city's festivals is the International Concert Season, which runs throughout the summer, with over 200 events in venues all around the city.

History lovers will enjoy the special events hosted at the Royal Armouries, where trained experts recreate medieval life and warfare, including jousting, hawking, the proper use of plate armour and hand-to-hand combat.

Where to stay

Leeds hotels range from the luxurious but pricey to the more affordable. The stunning Portland stone art deco facade of the Queens Hotel is a major city landmark. Other notable hotels in Leeds include 42 The Calls, a boutique hotel located near the Exchange Quarter.

Not every hotel in Leeds is a historic luxury building. There are good budget ones as well. For instance, the Express by Holiday Inn Armouries provides budget accommodation at Clarence Dock, moments from the Royal Armouries Museum and a short walk from the city centre. This area, once neglected, has undergone major renovation, with new buildings springing up along the banks of the canals that once brought coal to fuel the city's industrial heart.

When to visit

A visit to Leeds in autumn or winter is a good idea, as long as you don't mind some rain and cold weather. A better time to visit is from late spring to late summer. Summers in Leeds are mild and typically dry, with highs averaging around 21 C (about 70 F) during the hottest months of the year. May and September are also good times to visit.

Getting there

Leeds Bradford International Airport is mainly a destination for local flights, with few long hauls. However, it's relatively easy to get there from around the world by changing at Amsterdam.

Additionally, Leeds is easy to reach by train – around two to three hours from London's King's Cross station – or by car.
 

Recently booked Leeds hotels

Hotel Last booked Stars Price from
The Queens 5 hours ago 4 stars £62.50
Jurys Inn Leeds 23 hours ago 3 stars £36.00
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Leeds City Centre 1 day ago 3 stars £63.20
Britannia Leeds Hotel 1 day ago 3 stars £33.34
Hilton Leeds City 2 days ago 4 stars £52.93
Leeds Marriott Hotel 2 days ago 4 stars £53.33
Discovery Inn 3 days ago 3 stars £35.41
Park Plaza Leeds 3 days ago 4 stars £50.00
Holiday Inn Express LEEDS - CITY CENTRE 4 days ago 3 stars £37.50
Radisson Blu Hotel, Leeds 4 days ago 4 stars £52.67

Recently Rated Leeds Hotels

Hotel Reviews Stars Price from
Britannia Leeds Hotel
2.0 / 5
3 reviews
3 stars £33.34
Holiday Inn LEEDS - GARFORTH
3.5 / 5
2 reviews
3 stars £36.67
Travelodge Leeds Colton
3.0 / 5
1 reviews
2 stars £39.00
The Queens
4.0 / 5
1 reviews
4 stars £62.50
Jurys Inn Leeds
4.2 / 5
21 reviews
3 stars £36.00
Travelodge Leeds Central
3.1 / 5
12 reviews
2 stars £37.00
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Leeds City Centre
4.4 / 5
11 reviews
3 stars £55.20
Radisson Blu Hotel, Leeds
4.7 / 5
6 reviews
4 stars £52.67
High Bank Hotel
4.0 / 5
1 reviews
4 stars £31.67
Leeds Marriott Hotel
4.5 / 5
10 reviews
4 stars £53.33

Leeds

Featured Leeds Hotels

Hotel only £36.00

1 Jurys Inn Leeds

3 stars
4.2 / 5 21 reviews

Brewery Place

Advance Purchase Rates

Jurys Inn Leeds is ideally located in Brewery Wharf, on the banks of the River Aire and just moments from the center of Leeds and its fashionable shopping quarter. Opposite, across Centenary...

excellent value
We arrived early and thought we woud just drop our bags and go straight out, the Receptionist was very welcoming and said oh your room is ready , - it was only eleven oclock so great service, our...
6 May 2014
Really Close to Town Centre
Stayed at this hotel as we were attending a birthday party. It was located really close to the town centre, we could walk to the trinity shopping centre. The hotel was nice we were on floor 10, we...
6 May 2014
Hotel only £52.67

2 Radisson Blu Hotel, Leeds

4 stars
4.7 / 5 6 reviews

No. 1 The Light, The Headrow

Save 10% on your stay

Grade II listed building in the city centre. 147 luxurious guest rooms in 3 styles (High Tech, Art Deco, Italian). Lounge and bar offering genuine hospitality and upscale food and beverage. Hotel...

wonderful hotel
we booked this hotel in advance and got a good price for room only. We decided upon this particular hotel on its price and location as we needed it to be central for our needs, it was perfect in...
6 May 2014
Great Leeds Hotel
Good experience. Very happy with the location, staff and amenities.
7 Jan 2014
Hotel only £53.33

3 Leeds Marriott Hotel

4 stars
4.5 / 5 10 reviews

4 Trevelyan Square, Boar Lane

Rate includes breakfast

Modern hotel with business and recreation facilities in the heart of Leeds Leeds Marriott Hotel welcomes sophisticated travellers with warm and friendly service and stylish accommodations...

Marriott Hotel, Leeds
Fabulous Hotel in probably the best location you can get for Leeds City Centre. Room was great, hotel was great and at a surprising £72 for a one nights stay... its the best value i have ever...
15 Jul 2013
Warning - car parking is expensive!!!!
Hotel advertises Valet Parking but it does not mention that car parking is at a nearby carpark and it charges £17.50 per night or £10.50 for up to 3 hours!! (although you get a 10% discount for...
1 Jul 2013
Hotel only £55.20

4 DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Leeds City Centre

3 stars
4.4 / 5 11 reviews

Granary Wharf, 2 Wharf Approach

Save 30% on your stay

Award-winning hotel located in Leeds City centerFeaturing contemporary accommodations and top-notch facilities, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Leeds City Centre makes for an ideal base for business...

very enjoyable
Ideally situation ,close to main rail station. And city center.We did not go to the sky dome as it was to busy so must be popular! So instead went to ground floor bar very comfortable.A selection...
22 Oct 2013
Hotel only £37.50

5 Holiday Inn Express LEEDS - CITY CENTRE

3 stars
4.0 / 5 4 reviews

CAVENDISH STREET,(OFF KIRKSTALL ROAD)

Enjoy high quality accommodation with our budget-friendly Holiday Inn Express hotel in Leeds City Centre. Youll only have a 10-minute stroll to reach the lively street of Leeds city centre. You can...

Hotel only £34.41

6 Novotel Leeds Centre

4 stars
4.3 / 5 3 reviews

4 Whitehall quay

Rate includes breakfast

Book into Novotel Leeds Centre hotel, located in central Leeds. Walking distance to the train station, and close to businesses, shopping and nightlife of central Leeds. Each of the 196 bedrooms...

Lovely stay
This is the 2nd time we ve stayed at Novotel when visiting Leeds close to all shops and bars etc only thing was this time we didnt have breakfast which was another £13.95 each which we think was...
23 Dec 2013
Great Stay
Stayed for a special occasion in Leeds and it was a perfect location for our needs. Hotel is very comfortable and convenient to the City Centre I would stay here again.
25 Oct 2013
Hotel only £30.67

7 Holiday Inn Express LEEDS CITY CENTRE - ARMOURIES

3 stars
4.0 / 5 2 reviews

ARMOURIES DRIVE,CLARENCE DOCK

Make the Holiday Inn Express Leeds City Centre-Armouries hotel your base for events in the Royal Armouries centre. Our modern 5-storey hotel is in a peaceful location overlooking a canal, right...

Family Get together
I chose this hotel because it was close to my son's apartment in Leeds & also within walking distance to the city centre. Popular with hen/stag parties a lovely hotel but busy at weekends so would...
21 May 2013
Business Trip
Good basic hotel, as with all Holiday Express hotels you know what you are getting and this hotel delivers.
13 Dec 2012
Hotel only £50.00

8 Park Plaza Leeds

4 stars
3.8 / 5 8 reviews

Boar Lane City Square

Save 10% on your stay

- Conveniently located in the heart of Leeds City Centre, opposite the Railway Station and within shopping area including - Shopping district, including Harvey Nichols, and new Trinity Leeds...

Night in Leeds
Hotel location is fantastic. A short walk from Train station and to new city centre mall and restaurants.
21 Jul 2013
Okay, but expected more
In truth, I'd probably have better things to say about the Park Plaza Leeds if I hadn’t spent 4 days the previous week with a superior competitor. I got an excellent deal on a room for one night...
10 Jul 2013
Hotel only £35.41

9 Discovery Inn

3 stars
Not yet reviewed

Bishopsgate street

Perfect for both the leisure visitor and the business guest, the Discovery Inn Leeds is perfectly located right in the center of Leeds. Not only is the Discovery Inn Leeds close to the main railway...

Hotel only £52.93

10 Hilton Leeds City

4 stars
2.8 / 5 5 reviews

Neville Street

Save 30% on your stay

Set in the vibrant heart of the city, Hilton Leeds City Hotel is steps from Leeds Central railway station, minutes from the M62 and less than 25 minutes from Leeds Bradford International Airport...

11 42 The Calls Hotel

4 stars
Not yet reviewed

42 The Calls

42 The Calls Hotel is located on the edge of the River Aire, in a vibrant area of the city of Leeds. The Calls is fast becoming one of the most stylish and trendy parts of the city. The hotel was...

Hotel only £144.79

12 Gateway Apartmements

4 stars
Not yet reviewed

Marsh Lane

Gateway Apartments are half a mile from Leeds city centre, Gateway offers 4-star luxury apartments with private parking.

13 The Merrion Hotel

3 stars
3.5 / 5 2 reviews

The Merrion Centre

Located in the heart of the city this modern hotel offers quality dining, comfortable accommodation, free WIFI in public areas and secure on-site parking at a fee. Conveniently located minutes from...

Hotel only £37.30

14 Bewleys Hotel Leeds

3 stars
2.7 / 5 3 reviews

City Walk

Pay and Save - Rates from 48 Pounds!

Bewley's Hotel Leeds is just minutes from the city centre and easily accessible to the M1/M62, Leeds Airport and Railway Station. The hotel provides a great base for visiting the areas popular...

Wouldn't stay there again
This hotel is very tired. Rooms aren't good at all. Staff smile but don't know their rooms had booked a double bed and got two singles put together with two single quilts then when asked for a room...
30 Aug 2013
Slightly better than Premier or Travel Lodge
Good service - dealt with complaint promptly - no hair shampoo unless you upgrade. No soap in basin dispenser - supplied a small bottle, dificult to pour out of. Forgot a comb none to buy at hotel
10 Dec 2012
Hotel only £40.00

15 Crowne Plaza LEEDS

5 stars
3.7 / 5 6 reviews

WELLINGTON ST

Choose the sophisticated Crowne Plaza Leeds hotel for tailored service and spa treatments in the centre of bustling Leeds. Our Front Desk staff welcome you to the open-plan Lobby of the Crowne...

Girlie night out
Stayed 3 in the room, great staff, nice facilities
15 Jul 2013
Great Family Stay
We were most impressed with the hotel and facilities. The staff were most helpful and courteous and we will not hesitate to reccomend the hotel. It is ideally situated for the city centre and...
4 Oct 2012
Hotel only £33.34

16 Britannia Leeds Hotel

3 stars
2.0 / 5 3 reviews

Millgreen View Ring Road

Pet-friendly Leeds retreat with Wi-Fi access in public areas and free parking Seamlessly blending old world charm and modern comforts, Britannia Leeds Hotel creates a comfortable base for...

Why I left a day early.
Booked in for two nights. Only stayed the first. Kept awake all night by doors slamming, drunks in rooms either side of mine. Twice my door was banged on by an idiot who thought my room was his and...
15 Jul 2014
Get Less than you pay for
Disappointing.Check in took a long time because only one person was on the desk with a long queue of people and a PC that crashed. The key card did not work at first but when I finally got into the...
16 Jan 2014

17 Cliff lawn Hotel

4 stars
Not yet reviewed

Cliff road

'The Cliff Lawn' provides superior guest accommodation as a bed and breakfast establishment in Leeds combined with a friendly personalized service. Originally the Victorian home of a local mill...

18 Oak Villa

3 stars
Not yet reviewed

57 cardigan road

Oak Villa is a converted Victorian house set in wooded surroundings just 5 minutes' drive from Leeds city cent-re. It offers both free parking and free Wi-Fi. All rooms at Oak Villa offer TVs,...

Hotel only £31.67

19 High Bank Hotel

4 stars
4.0 / 5 1 reviews

83 Harehills Lane

Advance Purchase - SAVE 15%

High Bank Hotel is a four star guest accommodation located in the well-known city of Leeds. This property has been fully refurbished to a good modern standard. Each room is individually decorated...

Basic but fine
Friendly place in a quiet area, did the job for me and would stay again.
4 May 2014
Hotel only £75.84

20 Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa - Part of the Shire Hotels Group

4 stars
Not yet reviewed

1150 Century Way

Book in advance and SAVE 10 GBP

Leeds is one of the North's most cosmopolitan cities. Thorpe Park is just a stone's throw from the best it has to offer - great shopping, vibrant nightlife and nearby, Harrogate, York and The Dales...

21 Weetwood Hall Hotel

4 stars
Not yet reviewed

Otley road

Built around a 17th Century Manor House, Weetwood Hall Hotel in Leeds is set amidst a 9-acre parkland estate. The hotel combines the original features of the 17th century Manor House with modern,...

Hotel only £37.50

22 BEST WESTERN PLUS Milford Hotel

3 stars
Not yet reviewed

Great North Road, Peckfield

Located on the outskirts of Leeds, just off J42 of the A1 (M), BEST WESTERN PLUS Milford Hotel has excellent links to both the M1 and the M62 motorways. The shops and attractions of York,...

Hotel only £37.50

23 Britannia Hotel Leeds Bradford Airport

3 stars
2.8 / 5 5 reviews

Leeds Road, Bramhope, Leeds

Book in advance and SAVE

The attractively furnished 160 en-suite bedrooms have Trouser Press, Hairdryer, TV, Telephone and Tea & Coffee making facilities. The dedicated Business Centre offers modern function and...

in need of updating
Cheap overnight hotel, but needs a complete refurbishment.
23 Feb 2014
Family Stay
Basic hotel - clean rooms. The pool/gym that is advertised is run separately, and therefore not included in the facilities available. Breakfast ok - staff generally very helpful.
21 Feb 2014
Hotel only £36.67

24 Holiday Inn LEEDS - GARFORTH

3 stars
3.5 / 5 2 reviews

WAKEFIELD ROAD, GARFORTH

Choose the inviting Holiday Inn Leeds-Garforth hotel, set in a rural location just minutes from the M1 and Leeds city centre. Colourful blooms in our landscaped gardens brighten your arrival at...

Comfy bed after a long day
Great hotel, good location, comfy bed, clean, thin walls between rooms so a bit noisy at night, small but nice and quiet pool
15 Jul 2014
Overnight stay
Music in reception was so loud that neither the receptionist or I could hear each other speak. Bathroom very tired- loo handle coming off, toilet stained and bath plughole stained. Bed very firm...
25 Sep 2012
Hotel only £62.50

25 The Queens

4 stars
4.0 / 5 1 reviews

City Square

As the most famous landmark hotel in Leeds, The Queens really does set the standard. Proudly positioned in the heart of City Square adjacent to the rail station and a host of other amenities, The...

Great Location and staff
It was great. The staff was really helpful and friendly
1 Jun 2013