Traveling as a student can be difficult. You are on a shoe-string budget, which often means skipping out on the greatest sights and landmarks because you can’t afford the entry fee, or nursing a cheeseburger at an ill-lit McDonalds because the nearest pub was too pricey. However, being a student on a budget can have its perks. Many sights and activities in York are at a reduced rate, or even free, with a student ID. Here are some of the best ways to stretch your dollars (or pounds!) while traveling in York.
Forget about the double decker red tour buses you’ll see going round and round the city center – they are over-priced, and only show landmarks within the city that you can see for free on your own. The nice thing about York is that everything worth seeing is accessible by foot, no matter where you start from. Skip the two-level bus and go on foot. You’ll see more that way. Here are a few ways to visit some of the best attractions in York without spending more than £5.
What strikes most people when they visit the city of York is the medieval wall that surrounds the city, guarded by rusted gates and towers. What some people don’t know is that you are able to walk around the entire city on top of these walls. There are staircases to enter the walls at various points around the city. To walk the walls is completely free, and offers a nice chance to get acclimated to the city.
Probably York’s most famous landmark is the York Minster, an amazingly beautiful centuries-old Gothic cathedral. Sitting right in the center of the city, the Minster is one of those sights that you cannot miss when visiting the city. There are beautiful landscaped grounds surrounding the cathedral, which of course are free. They do offer guided tours, but these can become expensive. Entry into the Minster itself is £8 for a student, and for entry into the tower as well is £4.50, £12.50 (about $20.00) all together. However, if you are willing to skip the guided tour and the tower, you can see the inside of the Minster for free.
Above all else, the Minster is a place of worship. There are Masses multiple times of day, every day. When visiting York Minster, plan on sitting in on Mass. You will be allowed to enter for free, and you will be allowed to wander the main lobby while waiting for Mass to begin. You will also avoid crushing throngs of tourists, as most of the people who attend the Mass at the Minster are locals.
THE ROMAN BATH
York is one of the most ancient cities in the United Kingdom. At one point it was occupied by the Romans, and as such, there are ancient Roman ruins in various places across the city. One of the most well-preserved of the Roman ruins is the Roman Bath, conveniently situated underneath a charming pub by the same name. If you are a student, a self-guided tour will cost you only £2 and will take you through the excavated caldarium, steam bath, and a plunge pool, plus other excavated artifacts. The pub above the museum is worth a visit as well – the food is delicious and very reasonably priced.