Whether you’re here for the weekend or have lived in Leeds your whole life, there are a few things you absolutely have to do…
Leeds is a city that’s full of surprises, but not everyone finds them. So to make sure you don’t miss out, we’ve put together a list of 10 things you simply have to do. From seeing the view from the top of Leeds Town Hall to taking a free ride on the Water Taxi – how many of them haven’t you done yet?
1. Tuck into the festivities
Whether it’s Leeds Food Festival in May, Leeds International Beer Festival in September or the German Market in December, Leeds is a foodie heaven with big events that cater to even the fussiest of tastes.
2. Get into the groove
One of the biggest metropolitan music festivals in the country, Live at Leeds brings the whole place together in celebration of the best talent from Leeds, the UK and beyond, confirming the city’s quality musical reputation.
3. See a different side
Yeah, it looks decent from the outside, but have you ever explored within? Whether you’re delving into the Victorian cells below, or getting an eagle-eye view from the roof, Leeds Town Hall is an absolute must-visit.
4. Sink a drink or two
The craft beer revolution may have travelled far and wide but Leeds is home to one of the original bars spreading the good word of quality beers and ales. Open since 1997, North Bar is a Leeds institution that no one in the city should miss out on.
5. Take in some retail therapy
While the new shopping centres get all the headlines, Leeds has plenty of historic retail areas to be proud of. Few are better than the classic arcades with Victoria Quarter at the heart of it all, while Leeds Kirkgate Market still proves to be one of the best.
6. Peer at the meerkats
Who doesn’t love a meerkat? Blame the perils of advertising all you like, but meerkats are unavoidable as soon as you log into Facebook or Twitter. However, take a trip to Tropical World and you can see them, and a whole host of nature’s best, up close and personal for less than a fiver.
7. Get cultured
From Leeds Grand Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse and The Carriageworks to The Tetley, the Henry Moore, and Leeds Art Gallery, grabbing a slice of the cultural pie in Leeds shouldn’t be too hard, but will be massively rewarding.
8. Spot an owl or 25
Truly synonymous with this great city, the Leeds Owl Trail is a chance to uncover parts of the city you might never get to see, while also hunting for twenty five of Leeds’ wise guardians.
9. Ride the Taxi for Loiners
Now that it’s here to stay for good, why haven’t you had a ride on the Leeds Water Taxi yet? Transporting folk between Granary Wharf and the city centre, it costs nothing, brightens up Leeds Dock a little and makes Leeds the Venice of the North… or something like that, anyway.
10. Delve into the past
Leeds’ history is as interesting as its present, so having a wander around Temple Newsam, learn a little at Leeds Industrial Museum or discover Kirkstall Abbey – you won’t regret it.
Kirkstall Abbey image copyright Ollievision.