The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Newcastle

Photo of Kelly Bradshaw
9 February 2017

Known for its varied range of culture, history, exceptional food and drink, Newcastle is home to some of the UK‘s most popular tourist attractions. Below is a list of the top ten things to do and see in the lively city of Newcastle.

Great North Museum: Hancock | © Andrew Curtis/WikiCommons

Great North Museum: Hancock

Built in Newcastle as a natural history museum to house the expanding collections of the Natural History Society of Northumbria, the Great North Museum: Hancock is a popular family destination offering a variety of exhibitions and expert talks, as well as courses and activities for children. With an exciting variety of features including The Living Planet and the world of the Ancient Egyptians, this magnificent museum is sure to provide an insightful and illuminating experience.

Price: admission is free

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 11am-4pm

Watch out for: the planetarium show, which takes visitors on a journey through time and space

Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, +44 191 208 6765

Laing Art Gallery

Founded in 1901, this ancient gallery displays outstanding historic and contemporary artwork as well as a learning space, shop, café, and an area exclusively for younger children, making it the perfect family day out. Hosting a generous variety of exhibitions, which trace the origins and legacy of art movements, as well as celebrating the work of local renowned artists, Laing Art Gallery is an essential place to visit for tourists hoping to experience an afternoon of exceptional culture.

Price: mid-range

Opening hours: Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 2pm-5pm

Watch out for: Café Laing – a cosy coffee shop offering a range of tasty bites

New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, +44 191 232 7734

Theatre Royal

Established as one of England’s leading theatres, Theatre Royal is an ancient and magnificent building which was built during the 1700s. Described by Sir Ian McKellen as one of his favourite theatres, Theatre Royal maintains an impressive reputation. With neo-classical interiors and a vast range of performances including family shows, drama, West End musicals, comedy and ballet, Theatre Royal provides something to suit all entertainment tastes.

Price: mid-range

Opening hours: box office Mon-Sat 9am-8pm

Watch out for: the theatre’s offering of afternoon tea which adds a touch of luxury to the experience

100 Grey Street, Newcastle, +44 115 989 5555

Eldon Garden Shopping Centre

Offering a tempting selection of premium lifestyle and fashion brands, boutique shopping and café bars, Eldon Garden Shopping Centre is a highly renowned and praised tourist attraction. Described as an inspirational retail destination offering visitors a unique environment, Eldon Garden Shopping Centre is beautifully decorated and provides a tasteful shopping experience. With a generous variety of facilities, the shopping centre caters to a range of styles and preferences.

Price: mid-range to luxury

Opening hours: Mon-Wed 9am-6pm, Thurs 9am-8pm, Fri-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm

Watch out for: the Espresso Lounge which creates a relaxing environment for visitors during shopping

Percy Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, +44 191 261 0117

Newcastle Castle

With a history dating back to almost 2,000 years, this ancient building has much to communicate to tourists who are hoping to delve into the city’s back-story. Offering a fantastic learning program which is equipped with modern facilities, Newcastle Castle provides a truly insightful and educational visit. Aimed towards informing the public on the city’s heritage and medieval history, Newcastle Castle is the perfect place to visit for a day of interactive learning.

Price: budget

Opening hours: 10am-5pm

Watch out for: exciting upcoming events which include murder mysteries

Black Gate & Castle Keep, Castle Garth, Newcastle upon Tyne, +44 191 230 6300

St Nicholas Cathedral

Built during the 1000s, this ancient building offers an array of rich history. Aimed towards supporting the bishop’s mission and teaching and pastoral ministry, St. Nicholas Cathedral is a magnificent building which offers spectacular views of the city. Warmly welcoming visitors from all backgrounds, tourists are invited to use the cathedral as a means of worship, for exploring the cathedral’s treasures of monuments, and as a retreat from the lively city life.

Price: admission is free

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7.30am-6.30pm, Sat 8am-4pm, Sun 7.30am-6.30pm

Watch out for: The Lantern Café, which offers a range of light bites, homemade cakes and coffee

St. Nicholas Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, +44 191 232 1939

Jesmond Dene

A narrow wooded valley acquired during the 1850s, this beautiful tourist attraction offers visitors a different side to Newcastle. Boasting a generous variety of wildlife such as rabbits, parrots and ducks, Jesmond Dene provides a perfect relaxing day out for the family. Offering a vast range of greenery and flowers as well as a series of waterfalls, Jesmond Dene creates a tranquil and memorable experience for those who appreciate what nature has to offer.

Price: admission if free

Opening hours: open at all hours

Watch out for: a pair of mute swans which are often found swimming by the nature reserve

Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, +44 191 440 57 20

Blackfriars Restaurant

Restaurant, British, $$$
Map View
Blackfriars, Newcastle, Newcastle
Blackfriars, Newcastle, Newcastle | Courtesy of Blackfriars

Known for its distinctive variety of exceptionally tasting food, Newcastle has much to offer hungry tourists. In particular, the highly praised Blackfriars Restaurant offers a fine selection of traditional British food, and has been described as one of the city’s most recognised restaurants due to its receiving of several awards, such as the Taste of England. Offering succulent dishes, such as braised beef, cured duck ham and mini crab cakes with sweet chilli sauce, Blackfriars Restaurant produces a touch of sophistication and elegance. Price: mid-range Opening hours: Mon-Sat 12pm-2.30pm, 5.30pm-12am, Sun 12pm-4pm Watch out for: saffron, brie and almond tarts Friars Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

St James' Park

Map View
The home of Newcastle United football club, this magnificent stadium is one of the city’s leading landmarks. With an incredible capacity of over 52,000 visitors, as well as hosting major football matches, St. James’ Park has also been used as a rugby venue and charity football events, and has even been used as a set for film and reality television, making it an incredibly popular tourist attraction.

Price: mid-range

Opening hours: dependent on events

Watch out for: the stadium also hosts a variety of rock concerts during the year

Madame Koo

With extravagant décor and a vast range of fruity cocktails, Madame Koo is one of the most popular bars and nightclubs in Newcastle. From traditional well-known cocktails such as mojitos, piña coladas and daiquiris, to frozen drinks and champagne cocktails, visitors of Madame Koo are sure to be spoilt for choice. Visitors who sign up to the club are also entitled to £100 worth of food and drinks, making Madame Koo the perfect place to visit for an affordable night out.

Price: mid-range

Opening hours: Wed 9.30pm-3am, Fri-Sat 5pm-3am, Sun 9.30pm-3am

Watch out for: frozen raspberry and strawberry margaritas

36 Collingwood Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, +44 191 261 82 71

By Kelly Bradshaw