If you are looking for the best places to stay in York, then this comprehensive guide to York accommodation is for you!
York is a small, historic city meaning space inside the city walls is limited.
Despite this, the city offers fantastic accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes ranging from highly rated hostels to five star hotels.
What to consider when looking for the best places to stay in York
It is essential that visitors to York consider location as well as accommodation facilities and value for money.
Staying in York city centre means all the major attractions are on your doorstep giving you the opportunity to explore York at quieter times which is ideal if you are visiting York in peak season.
Plus, you will reduce traveling time and associated costs.
And, as York city centre is packed with Georgian and Victorian era buildings, you are more likely to stay somewhere with character.
However, accommodation inside the historic city walls is limited and free parking on site is non existent. In addition to this, many streets are resident parking only and city centre car parks are expensive.
Staying outside the city centre is usually cheaper and your accommodation may have more outdoor space but you will spend time and money travelling into York.
If you do choose to stay further away from the city centre, try to stay on or near a bus route to avoid driving into the city centre.
Alternatively, use one of York’s four Park and Rides located at each compass point of the city – Poppleton Bar (west), Rawcliffe (north), Monks Cross (north east) and Askham Bar (south).
Parking is free at Park and Rides (you only pay for the direct bus) and buses run every ten minutes during the day.
You can check York bus routes and timetables here.
York is a lively city year round so if you like a quiet night, choose accommodation away from the city’s pubs and bars.
Plus, street cleaning and deliveries start early in the city centre as lorries and vans are banned from city streets after 10.30am. You may get an unexpected, and unwelcome, early wake up call!
If staying outside York city centre, check your proximity to York’s East Coast rail line, the city’s ring road (A1237) and thoroughfares to Leeds and Harrogate (A64 and A59 respectively).
Family hotels in York
Holiday Inn York
There are two very reasonably priced Holiday Inns in York.
Both allow children under 17 to stay for free when sharing their parents room and children under 12 stay and eat for free. This can be a big saving when visiting York with kids.
The Holiday Inn York City Centre (IHG) on Piccadilly is near St George’s Fields car park and is a five minute walk from the heart of the city.
Holiday Inn York is slightly cheaper (and quieter) as it is a 20 minute walk from York city centre. You can catch a bus to the city centre from outside the hotel.
However, this hotel has to be in the best places to stay in York list as it is one of the rare hotels with parking in York – and it is free!
The hotel is adjacent to York Racecourse and The Knavesmire, a large green space popular with joggers and dog walkers.
Check latest prices and availability here.
Tip – If you stay at Holiday Inn York, visit the National Trust owned Goddard’s House a few doors away. It is one of York’s hidden gems!
Staycity Aparthotels York
This four star aparthotel is ideal for families aiming to keep trip costs low.
Family rooms contain kitchenettes with a fridge and microwave plus there is complimentary WiFi and cots provided.
Staycity York is a one minute walk to Walmgate Bar and a ten minute walk to York city centre.
The Hilton York is good value for money with an unbeatable city centre location directly opposite Clifford’s Tower and York Castle Museum.
There is a gym and restaurant with children’s menus on site and cots are available on request. This is another hotel with parking in York but you will pay for parking at the Hilton.
Check latest prices here – I guarantee you will be surprised!
This highly rated, family friendly hotel is just outside the city walls, a ten minute walk along the River Foss from York city centre.
Novotel York Centre has a heated indoor pool for York’s rainy days and a hot breakfast can be included in their very competitive room rates.
I think for the location and facilities, this is one of the best places to stay in York with kids. Check it out here.
The Churchill Hotel
The Churchill Hotel is a gorgeous Georgian mansion a short ten minute walk from Bootham Bar and York Minster.
This highly rated hotel offers a variety of family rooms (with beds for everyone, no sofa beds here!) and an on site restaurant.
There is a large beer garden with a wood fired pizza oven on site and large leafy grounds.
Fee paying parking is available on site.
The Bar Convent
For a unique and unusual place to stay in York, why not stay in England’s oldest convent?
The Bar Convent stands directly opposite Micklegate Bar and offers en-suite family rooms for three people. Competitive prices include the Convent’s award winning breakfast.
The convent is just five minutes walk from York Rail station and ten minutes walk to York city centre. There is no parking on site but there is long stay parking a two minute walk away.
Tip – If you stay here, I highly recommend taking a tour of the 17th century convent and try the best cake in York at the Convent’s excellent cafe.
Dean Court Hotel
This hotel, part of the Best Western Premier collection, has made my best places to stay in York list as it has one of the most enviable locations in York.
Dean’s Court Hotel is right in the heart of the city centre directly opposite York Minster. Everything you want to see, or could need, is on your doorstep, including Dean’s Park for a good runaround. Listening to the Minster bells from your hotel room is something special.
The hotel offers beautifully decorated, en-suite family rooms for four as well as one family room for five – a rarity in any location!
Valet parking is available for £20 per day.
Discover prices and availability at the Dean Court hotel here.
For our comprehensive guide on things to do in York with kids, click here.
Self Catering York accommodation
Again, location is key. If the self catering listing does not include information on location, noise, transport links or parking, ask!
Baggergate House (on Sykes Cottages), is a gorgeous, three storey, period property a 10 minute walk from York rail station and just 5 minutes into the city centre.
The house has lots of communal space and can sleep up to six people whilst the property’s hot tub will be very welcome after a long day sightseeing in York.
Bishopthorpe Road (Bishy road to locals) is nearby, which is a short high street with independent shops and cafes that was voted the Best High Street in Britain in 2015.
Check our prices and availability at Baggergate House here.
In contrast, Fewster Way is modern terraced property offering invaluable off street parking. It is a short walk to Walmgate Bar and 15 minutes walking to the city centre.
Or, if you are looking for something more rural with outdoor space, check out Apple Tree Cottage.
This beautifully furnished cottage is on a non working farm 5 miles from York with the nearest Park and Ride 2 miles away.
Check out other York and Yorkshire properties from Sykes Cottages here.
Also, check out the high quality, self catering family accommodation provided by YorGuest.
YorGuest is owned by experienced property managers who are also York residents so you know that your accommodation has been vetted and is checked regularly.
Best places to stay in York on a budget
The York branch of the Youth Hostel Association is a grand manor house situated in Clifton Green on the outskirts of the city centre.
It is a 15 minute walk into York via a car free riverside path or you can catch a bus from Clifton Green to the city centre.
The hostel offers family rooms with a double bed, bunk beds and a private en-suite bathroom. There is a kitchen, dining room, 24 hour cafe and games room on site.
YHA York is ideal for families as it has large grounds but it is also a two minute walk to a playground in Homestead Park.
In my opinion, the budget price, the location, space and quality facilities make York YHA one of the best places to stay in York. Check latest prices here.
*Due to Covid restrictions, only private rooms at YHA York are currently available and some communal facilities are closed. Please check website for up to date details.*
This is not your average hostel and if you are looking for the best place to stay in York with character, this may be the place for you.
This large, new hostel is housed in a grand Georgian house on cobbled Micklegate, a ten minute walk from York rail station and just five minutes into York city centre.
Safestay York has private, en-suite family rooms with a tv and tea/coffee making facilities. The hostel does not have a kitchen but cheap food is available at the onsite cafe/bar plus the hostel arranges events night such as £2 pizza night.
Nearby Micklegate has excellent restaurants and several pubs so request a quiet room when booking.
Check prices and availability at this centrally located hostel here.
Astor York is a highly rated hostel (part of the Astor Hostel chain) in a Grade 2 listed Victorian building in Holgate. It is a 15 minute walk from the centre of York and York rail station is 10 minutes on foot.
The hostel has en-suite family rooms with bunk beds and free WiFi and there is a well equipped kitchen, dining room and bar on site. A light breakfast is available for just £1 with all proceeds going to local charities.
There are several Travelodges in and around York.
York Central Micklegate is an ideal choice if you are visiting York by train as it is a ten minute walk from York rail station whilst the newer York Central on Piccadilly is a five minute walk to the city centre.
Unfortunately, there are car parking fees at both locations.
Premier Inn York
The budget chain has two city centre sites and several on the outskirts of York.
Blossom Street is the most central site as it is five minutes walk from York rail station and a ten minute walk to York city centre. As Blossom Street is a busy thoroughfare you many want to ask for a room away from the road.
There is a restaurant on site as well as a small supermarket and several pubs nearby though parking here costs £13 for 24 hours.
For ideas for days out from York in the Yorkshire Dales or the Yorkshire Coast, check out my list of 100 things to do with kids in Yorkshire.
Caravan Parks in York
If you are visiting York with a caravan, the closest caravan park to York city centre is the leafy York Rowntree Caravan club site.
The site is next to the River Ouse, adjacent to Rowntree’s Park playgrounds and a short ten minute walk alongside the River Ouse to the city centre.
A hard standing pitch with awning costing £41.90 per night for two adults and children are an extra £4.20 per child per night.
Campsites in York
York does not have a city centre campground so camping families will need to stay on the fringes of York.
Nurseries Caravan Park at Askham Bryan is a pretty, woodland site 5 miles from the city centre. To avoid York city centre parking fees,use Poppleton Bar Park and Ride 4 miles away.
Alternatively, check out Naburn Lock Caravan Park in Naburn or Ashfield Touring Park in Dunnington which are on, or near, a direct bus route into York.
Glamping/camping pods in York
There are no glamping sites in the city centre or within the York ring road but you don’t have to travel too far to find unique and scenic glamping spots that allow children.
Jollydays Glamping is 9 miles east of York city centre and is set in 200 acres of woodland. It offers spacious, luxurious Woodland Tents (like no tent I have ever slept in!) as well as wooden Woodland Huts.
Children are encouraged to do creative play, build dens and explore the site and Jollydays reserves some dates for family bookings only.
Use the Monks Cross Park and Ride scheme to avoid driving into the city.
This is a unique site – and one of the best places to stay in York for families. Check it out here.
Visitors to York are spoilt for choice in accommodation options and there is something to suit all tastes and budgets.
If you think the best place to stay in York is not on this list, please get in touch!
Disclaimer – I have not stayed at all of the above accommodations. I based my choice on local knowledge, location, value for money, facilities and cross checked reviews from families.
Please read all reviews carefully before booking to choose the best place to stay in York for your family.