10 Reasons Everyone Should Visit Leeds At Least Once

Leeds | © Mike Kniec/ Flickr
Emma Lavelle

Nestled in the north of England in West Yorkshire, Leeds is one of the most vibrant and interesting cities in the UK. Whether you’re looking for delicious food, interesting shops, eclectic nightlife or bountiful outdoor spaces, it has it all. Not convinced? Read on for our list of ten reasons why you should make Leeds your next city break.

The City is Filled With Beautiful Parks and Gardens

From Roundhay Park to Temple Newsam, Leeds and its surrounding area is full of scenic gardens and green parks to walk around. If you like to combine your city breaks with a little fresh air, there are many opportunities to get outdoors within easy reach of the city centre with attractions such as Kirkstall Abbey offering the perfect place for walking the dog or picnicking.

There’s an Array of Art Right on Your Doorstep

From free public art along Leeds Welcome Art Trail to iconic galleries such as the Henry Moore Institute and a scattering of exciting independent galleries all across the city, Leeds is definitely on the map of the art world. Sculpture lovers should set their sights a little further and explore the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle – the Hepworth Gallery and Yorkshire Sculpture Park are only a short drive away.

It’s the Gateway to Yorkshire

Known as the ‘gateway to Yorkshire’, Leeds is perfectly positioned for exploring the rest of this diverse county. Within an hour’s drive you can find yourself admiring the peaks of the Yorkshire Dales, wandering among the heather on Ilkley Moor or exploring the historical streets of the city of York.

The Music Scene is Vibrant

Showcasing everything from metal to jazz, Leeds’s music scene is eclectic and ever-present. Venues such as The Brudenell and Belgrave Music Hall champion up-and-coming and local bands as well as playing host to darlings of the indie scene, bringing visitors to the city seeking invigorating musical performances.


It’s Filled with Excellent Eateries

If you like to eat out, Leeds is a smorgasbord of everything from Indian street food to elegant tapas restaurants. Street food is everywhere with pop-up food stalls, farmers markets and the popular monthly feast at Belgrave Music Hall proving consistently popular. You could eat our every night of the week for a month and still have a vast variety of restaurants waiting for you to try.

You Don’t Have to Spend Money to Enjoy the City

Small budget? No problem. Leeds is a great city to enjoy without spending a penny, boasting a variety of attractions and activities that you can enjoy for free. Wander around the beautiful arcades and the Minster in the city centre to admire the striking architecture, view free exhibitions at The Tetley, or even catch a cult film for free at the weekly Cinema Club at Crowd of Favours.

You Can Enjoy a Great Pint of Craft Ale

Leeds loves good beer, its many microbreweries supplying the local pubs and bars with an impressive array of delicious craft ale. If you’re into your beer, this is one of the best cities to explore, crawling from pub to pub enjoying the local brews. Seek out the best beer gardens in the city when the sun shines and don’t forget to pay a visit to The Tetley, now an art gallery and bar on the site of the former famous brewery.

It’s Home to One of England’s Most Iconic Festivals

If you’re at all interested in music, chances are you’ve at least lusted after the line-up at Leeds festival once in your life. Championing the best in indie, rock and metal music, Bramham Park is taken over every August bank holiday weekend with music fans from all across the country.

There’s a Real Sense of History

From the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey to the perfectly preserved Temple Newsam stately home, Leeds is filled with reminders of the history of England. History buffs will enjoy wandering around the city and its outskirts seeking out the most important structures, but anyone with a passing interest in architecture can admire the beautiful buildings around the city centre.

You can shop in Victorian arcades

Leeds is great for shopping with a variety of designer, high street and independent stores scattered across the city centre. What makes shopping in Leeds more special than your usual high street are its beautiful Victorian arcades, filled with beautifully preserved mosaics, tiles and stained glass windows. You can easily find yourself distracted from the shops by the architecture.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Edit article