This cavernous medieval cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece. Focal points include the 16th-century stained glass Rose Window, which was painstakingly pieced back together following a fire in 1984, and the soaring central tower, the top of which offers panoramic views of York.
Explore independently or join a free tour that covers the 800-year history of the cathedral and its stained glass art. General admission tickets include entry to the cathedral, the Undercroft Museum, and a tour. Alternatively, opt for a Minster and Tower combo pass, which allows you to climb the central tower for unrivalled city views; tower trips depart every 45 minutes throughout the day and can only be booked on the day.
Behind-the-scenes tours that offer access to off-limits areas such as the Chapter House and Mason’s Loft are also available for an additional fee. For a wider introduction to York’s history, visit the cathedral as part of a ghost or sightseeing tour—itineraries typically cover other major York and Yorkshire sights such as Clifford’s Tower, the Shambles, and Rievaulx Abbey. Plus, some York passes include free entry to the cathedral.
Things to Know Before You Go
- York Minster is celebrated for the grandeur of its Gothic architecture, making it a must for history buffs, art lovers, and architecture fans.
- The climb up the central tower is via a narrow, spiral, and uneven staircase; its only suitable for fit, healthy travelers from age 8 and upward.
- The climb is not suitable for travelers with a fear of heights or claustrophobia.
How to Get There
York Minster is set within the medieval walls of York’s historic town center, and is easily reached on foot from other popular attractions such as Barley Hall or the Shambles. Walking from York train station takes less than 15 minutes.
When to Get There
York Minster is busiest on weekends and most peaceful on midweek mornings. Tours run hourly between 10am-3pm Monday-Saturday, while the stained-glass tour runs at 1.30pm on weekdays; both are included with general admission.
Attend a Service at York Minster
If you want to spend time in prayer or contemplation, and experience the cathedral as a worshiper, you can attend a service here. Services are held daily, and evensong—normally performed by the York Minster Choir and occasionally by visiting choirs— is especially atmospheric. Service times are listed in advance on the cathedral website.