The York Pass is an excellent way of saving money on things to do in York and I am here to tell you how to get the most out of it. The York Pass changes fairly regularly and I am reviewing the most current offering (check the date at the top of this article).
You can buy the The York Pass online here. You will be sent an email confirmation with your tickets attached. These can be printed or you can simply show the ticket on your phone – they have a unique number and QR code.
At the moment many attractions need booking, so make sure the ones you really want to do have space for you.
How Much is the York Pass?
You can choose either a one day, two, three or six day pass. The one day pass costs £55 for an adult and £32 for a child, the two day pass costs £70 for an adult and £40 for a child, the three day pass costs £85 for an adult and £50 for a child and the three day pass costs £126 for an adult and £63 for a child.
The three and six day passes are indubitably better value and give you more time to make the most of it, while not feeling too pressured or rushed.
I have put together a table outlining which attractions are included, how much the regular price is and roughly how long you will be at an attraction (based on both Google estimates and my own experience.) You can sort the table based on price or amount of time needed.
Castle Howard, Beningbrough Hall and the Yorkshire Air Museum are the only attractions not in the city centre. Definitely consider a multi day York Pass if you are wanting to visit them, then concentrate your city centre attractions all on the same day for maximum benefit.
Attractions Included in The York Pass
|Attraction||Normal Price||Average Time Spent There (in Hours)|
|City Sightseeing Bus||£16||2|
|Van Gogh Experience||£13||1|
|Jorvik Viking Centre||£13.50||1|
|York Mansion House||£6.50||2|
|Merchant Adventurer's Hall||£6.50||1.50|
|York Army Museum||£5||1|
|Roman Bath Museum||£3.50||1|
|National Railway Museum Road Train||£3.50||0.5|
|Golden Tours Bus||£16||2|
|York Cocoa Works||£9.50||1|
|Yorkshire Air Museum||£12||3|
|York Cold War Bunker||£9.90||1|
|The City Walls Experience||£3.50|
|Captain Cook Museum Whitby||£7.50||2|
|Helmsley Walled Garden||£8||2|
|National Centre for Birds of Prey||£12||3.5|
|Scampston Hall and Walled Garden||£9||2.5|
|The Yorkshire Arboretum||£8||1.5|
Buy The York Pass here.
We have recently reviewed The Cocoa Works Manufactory Journey which is included on the York Pass.
Unless you are not keen on open top buses then I would start by planning to use the City Sightseeing Bus. York is pretty small and everywhere in the town centre is accessible on foot, but you do get a different viewpoint being high on the bus, and more importantly you get a guided commentary to the city (in nine languages).
It’s also quite nice to sit down for a bit if you have been walking a lot! There are 21 stops on route including the Clifford’s Tower stop, which is close to the Jorvik Viking Museum, York Dungeon, the Van Gogh Experience and Fairfax House.
The open top bus also stops at the Museum Gardens which would be where you would need to get off for City Cruises – again another great way to see York from a different angle and to hear about the city’s history. The Museum Gardens stop is also one of the closest to The Minster.
All of the attractions are worth seeing, but the ones I would recommend most to really get your money’s worth from the York Pass are the bigger ticket items like the Jorvik Viking Centre, York Dungeon (better suited to older kids I would say if you are travelling as a family), York Minster, The Hilt, the Van Gogh Experience and then the City Sightseeing Bus and City Cruises. This will definitely make for a busy couple of days, but if you have the energy you could also squeeze in some of the smaller attractions too.
You might be wondering why Ask Italian is on my list of included attractions. Well, you get a free pasta or pizza with your York Pass, so all you need to pay for during a quick lunch is your drinks. You won’t be disappointed in the location – the restaurant is set in the 300 year old Grand Assembly Rooms – a truly stunning building inside (think the ballroom from Beauty and the Beast!). If Italian isn’t your thing, also have a look at our guide to the best restaurants in York.
Don’t miss the ‘extra value’ offers on the York Pass website. They might not sway you to buy a pass but they are worth knowing about if you do buy!
While you are here, have a look at our list of the best things to do in York.