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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
Mercure Leeds Parkway Hotel 1 hour ago 3 stars £44.91
Bewleys Hotel Leeds 3 hours ago 3 stars £44.16
Britannia Hotel Leeds Bradford Airport 12 hours ago 3 stars £37.50
The Queens 13 hours ago 4 stars £59.16
Leeds Marriott Hotel 15 hours ago 4 stars £53.33
Radisson Blu Hotel, Leeds 16 hours ago 4 stars £66.00
Travelodge Leeds Central 17 hours ago 2 stars £41.00
Park Plaza Leeds 23 hours ago 4 stars £50.01
Britannia Leeds Hotel 1 day ago 3 stars £32.50
Travelodge Leeds Central Vicar Lane 2 days ago 2 stars £38.00

Recently Rated Leeds Hotels

Hotel Reviews Stars Price from
Travelodge Leeds Central Vicar Lane
3.1 / 5
9 reviews
2 stars £38.00
Bewleys Hotel Leeds
2.8 / 5
4 reviews
3 stars £44.16
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Leeds City Centre
4.4 / 5
9 reviews
3 stars £57.51
Britannia Leeds Hotel
2.0 / 5
3 reviews
3 stars £32.50
Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa - Part of the Shire Hotels Group
5.0 / 5
4 stars £80.00
Holiday Inn Express LEEDS CITY CENTRE - ARMOURIES
4.0 / 5
3 reviews
3 stars £38.33
Holiday Inn LEEDS - GARFORTH
3.3 / 5
4 reviews
3 stars £35.83
Jurys Inn Leeds
4.2 / 5
23 reviews
3 stars £40.51
The Queens
4.0 / 5
2 reviews
4 stars £59.16
Leeds Marriott Hotel
4.6 / 5
9 reviews
4 stars £53.33

Leeds

Featured Leeds Hotels

Hotel only £53.33

1 Leeds Marriott Hotel

4 stars
4.6 / 5 9 reviews

4 Trevelyan Square, Boar Lane

Rate includes breakfast

Luxury four-star city centre hotel with indoor swimming poolThis four-star hotel more than holds its own amid strong competition. The Leeds Marriott is decorated to an exceptionally high standard...

Nice hotel, just steps away from Leeds station.
Spent one night here on business. I was traveling by train and the location couldn't be more convenient. It is only a 3 to 5 minute walk. Directly arrows the street is loads of loads of retail...
23 Oct 2014
Last minute getaway
The Marriott Hotel is in a class of its own. From the central location, the spacious rooms and friendly staff, the hotel is always my first choice when staying in Leeds. Cannot praise it enough.
27 Aug 2014
Hotel only £50.01

2 Park Plaza Leeds

4 stars
3.8 / 5 8 reviews

Boar Lane City Square

Save 10% on your stay

Modish four-star hotel perfect for exploring LeedsPark Plaza Leeds is a stylish four-star hotel occupying one of the best locations in Leeds. On top of the town centre, despite the many amenities...

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 £40.51

3 Jurys Inn Leeds

3 stars
4.2 / 5 23 reviews

Brewery Place

Advance Purchase Rates

Cosy hotel set in Brewery Wharf LeedsExplore several attractions in the bustling Leeds City and retreat to the cozy spaces at Jurys Inn Leeds. This value-for-money hotel is ideally set in the heart...

nice clean hotel
The welcome at reception was very good. Really friendly, helpful staff who were happy to help with directions and good places to visit. She smiled all the time she was speaking to me and, even...
29 Aug 2014
Hen Do weekend
Great stay at the hotel, very convenient location for the bars and the transport links home. Only criticism would be that the on site restaurant is too expensive so we went elsewhere on the morning...
26 Aug 2014
Hotel only £57.51

4 DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Leeds City Centre

3 stars
4.4 / 5 9 reviews

Granary Wharf, 2 Wharf Approach

Signature chocolate chip cookie at check-in

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 £66.00

5 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...

Parking
Make sure on arrival you find the multi story parking called The Light, it's less than 2 min walk to hotel
5 Aug 2014
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
Hotel only £38.33

6 Holiday Inn Express LEEDS CITY CENTRE - ARMOURIES

3 stars
4.0 / 5 3 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...

busines trip
while it is not the Hilton, it is a very comfortable place to stay. Very generous hot breakfast, quiet (despite rumors there would likely be revelers at all hours...and maybe there will be on a...
5 Oct 2014
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
Hotel only £49.16

7 Novotel Leeds Centre

4 stars
4.3 / 5 3 reviews

4 Whitehall quay

Rate includes breakfast

Inviting hotel with up-to-date facilities and central locationTravellers visiting the city of Leeds find convenient base at the centrally located accommodations of Novotel Leeds Centre. This cozy...

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 £52.50

8 Holiday Inn Express LEEDS - CITY CENTRE

3 stars
4.0 / 5 2 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 £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 £44.16

10 Bewleys Hotel Leeds

3 stars
2.8 / 5 4 reviews

City Walk

Perfectly located hotel for your business or leisure break in LeedsWith easy access to the motorways, train station and airport, Bewley’s Hotel Leeds is located close to Leeds city centre. For...

Overnight Stay
Not too shabby but they end room service at 10pm. Inconvenient as we arrived around 12:30am.
12 Oct 2014
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

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 £123.96

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

Explore Leeds with ease from this hotel set in the heart of the cityWith contemporary units and convenient amenities ideally positioned in the heart of Leeds, The Merrion Hotel makes for a...

Hotel only £53.33

14 Hilton Leeds City

4 stars
2.5 / 5 4 reviews

Neville Street

Rate includes 20% off

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...

Hotel only £56.67

15 Crowne Plaza LEEDS

5 stars
3.8 / 5 5 reviews

Wellington St

Well established four-star hotel in Leeds City Centre This smart four-star hotel has long been a feature of Leeds' cityscape. A popular choice because of its location slap-bang in the middle of the...

Girlie night out
Stayed 3 in the room, great staff, nice facilities
15 Jul 2013
Hotel only £32.50

16 Britannia Leeds Hotel

3 stars
2.0 / 5 3 reviews

Millgreen View Ring Road

Retreat to Leeds and relax in modern, yet traditional luxuryHidden in the beautiful landscape of West Yorkshire, the Britannia Leeds Hotel offers the perfect blend of homely and welcoming...

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
Hotel only £37.50

17 Britannia Hotel Leeds Bradford Airport

3 stars
2.7 / 5 6 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...

Laid back Leeds
Used this hotel previously maybe 3 or 4 times and all has been well. This past weekends visit was not so good. The room although of good size, as usual, and view across the countryside, was less...
26 Aug 2014
in need of updating
Cheap overnight hotel, but needs a complete refurbishment.
23 Feb 2014

18 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...

19 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 £47.01

20 Old Vicarage Leeds

3 stars
Not yet reviewed

Bruntcliffe

Situated just 15 minutes from Leeds city center, this family run Victorian built hotel offers free Wi-Fi, free parking, authentic decor and antique furnishings. Positioned near Elland Road, the...

Hotel only £33.34

21 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,...

Friday night stay
Myself and my wife were highly impressed by all aspects of our stay. The hotels proximity to the A1 and comfort make a stay here perfect for a break in a lengthy car journey however the hotel is...
23 Oct 2014
Hotel only £44.91

22 Mercure Leeds Parkway Hotel

3 stars
3.5 / 5 2 reviews

Otley Road

Save up to 40% on your stay, Includes Breakfast

Choose the 3-star Mercure Leeds Parkway Hotel, set in a tranquil spot near the Yorkshire Dales. This Leeds hotel is just a short hop to the city centre, next to Golden Acre Park wildlife reserve....

Hotel only £35.83

23 Holiday Inn LEEDS - GARFORTH

3 stars
3.3 / 5 4 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...

Great staff - booking process not quite right
When checking in was advised the room was smoking. I thought i'd booked a Non-smoking room. Staff at hotel did their best but as the hotel was full were unable to move us. I have double checked the...
23 Sep 2014
Needs re-furbishment
We saw a notice informing guests that the hotel would soon be re-furbished. This will be a much needed update - our accommodation, particularly the bathroom, badly needed a make-over.
9 Sep 2014
Hotel only £80.00

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

4 stars
5.0 / 5

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...

25 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,...