Have a great time in York

York city centre has been attracting visitors since Roman times. As a city, we are proud of how safe and welcoming our city is to those who live, work, study and visit here, in the day as well as in the evening and night-time.

In fact, we’re one of the safest cities in the UK. Visitors from the wider city and further afield recognise this, and return year after year to enjoy the range of activities on offer. That might be to celebrate a forthcoming marriage, re-connect with loved ones, or simply take a short break from the day-to-day in safe and welcoming York.

The safety and breadth of activities and venues on offer in York has been recognised by the Purple Flag award. This international accreditation recognises cities and towns for the high quality after dark.

How we can support you

We know that the behaviour of a small minority of groups can be intimidating and, on occasions, inappropriate. We know too that the vast majority of larger groups - which in York are mainly female - respect the city and the people who live here.

So to support you, most York licensees welcome smaller groups - especially those booking in advance and eating - and they display a code of conduct expected of customers. Some city hotels prefer to welcome a limited number of groups at a time

Our partners - including the BID Street Rangers, Street Angels, our neighbourhood enforcement and police officers - offer support in the city centre and encourage anyone acting inappropriately to reconsider their behaviour.

Good city centre lighting and CCTV keeps us all safe and visible, as do our CCTV operators and police services who talk to each other, while businesses and door staff are linked by a city-wide radio network.

We’re proud that so many visitors recognise this safe and considerate welcome, and return frequently.

Let’s be safe

York has been voted one of the UK’s friendliest cities and data shows that it is one of the UK's safest cities.

People feel safe and they are safe. The independent assessors of the Purple Flag recognise that this is supported by our:

  • Lower crime and anti-social behaviour
  • High quality CCTV
  • Safe and thriving locations at night for all users
  • Well-lit and clean streets
  • Well-supervised and clean train station
  • Helpful map information boards at numerous locations to help you find your way, or use our online maps.

Let’s be considerate

Here’s some insider information on how the city comes together and stays safe:

  • Check your preferred hotel accepts groups. Some prefer to welcome a limited number, so check with the hotel itself well ahead - especially if you’re planning to book through a booking website.
  • Check your favourite bar will let in your size of group and will let you book ahead. Check its dress code in advance - they are often published on the establishment's web page – to help ensure you’re let in.
  • Remember that bars and pubs in the city sit alongside family attractions and people’s homes.
  • Use your venue’s loos but check where the public toilets are and their opening times at www.york.gov.uk/PublicToilets. City of York Council prosecutes people who urinate in public.
  • Police and council CCTV operators talk to each other about what’s happening on the streets, and a radio network connects door staff, businesses and partners. Our streets are clean, well-lit and many premises have private CCTV.
  • York has a network of safe locations including McDonald’s on Blake Street which is open 24/7 and provides a warm safe location to wait for missing friends. In the evening, door staff can be approached for help if needed and will contact each other via their radio network if you do become separated.
  • Book your local taxis well in advance and check where the ranks are at www.york.gov.uk/TaxiRanks. The ones with the better supply of taxis tend to be at the station, Duncombe Place and St Saviourgate.
  • Remember your fellow passengers’ safety and comfort. On the train, if you see it, say it, sort it and text 61106.

Let’s be welcoming

Our city caters for everyone, and our bars and pubs sit alongside family attractions and people’s homes.

We’re also a City of Sanctuary, a Human Rights City and hope to be the first anti-racist city in the north.

    • Visit York’s Visitor Information Centre at 21 Parliament Street, open Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday and Bank Holidays: 10am-4pm
    • Huge range of activities, events and venues to pick from.
    • Superb choice of places to stay.
    • Great trains, buses and Park&Ride services to get you in and out of the city.
    • Reliable, licenced local taxi firms. They have to pass safeguarding exams to keep you safe, as well as being trained about equalities and disabilities.
    • Helpful York BID Street Rangers in the city centre
    • We’re a friendly lot, so ask for directions or check out our wayfinding maps dotted about the city.

    Have a great time in York – we hope to see you again soon.

    With just a bit of pre-planning, you’ll have a great time in York and will leave with happy memories to treasure forever.

    Share your top tips for keeping the city safe and welcoming and let us know what you liked best (#LoveYork)

    We hope to see you again soon!