To a local or visitor Leeds has a lot to offer, from it’s music venues to it’s shopping centres Leeds has plenty of amenities from people of all ages, genders and personalities. From it’s industrial history to it’s contemporary cultural status, Leeds has changed quite significantly in the last few decades and with it has come a broad variety of attractions.
So I have compiled my twelve places to visit in Leeds. Of course this list is subjective and a lot of wonderful and unique places might not have made the cut but this list has been made to appeal to a range of people with different interests and with the idea of showing some must visit places and some under appreciated options. So in no particular order;
Visit the Royal Armouries Museum
From War memorabilia to oriental weaponry, the Royal Armouries has it all. A fantastic day out which doesn’t even have to cost you a penny. The beautifully constructed exhibits are great to look at for the passive visitor and the well presented information will leave you feeling satisfied with what you have learnt from your visit at the armouries museum. They also offer a range of limited time exhibitions such as movie props that alone are a great reason to come and visit Leeds.
Shop and Eat at Leeds Trinity
Leeds Trinity is Leeds flagship shopping centre housing all of your favourite stores and offering a wide range of food and drink options. There are often events taking place in Trinity raging from book signings to large animatronic dinosaurs. If you happen to drop by Leeds Trinity the Trinity Kitchen on the top floor is certainly worth checking out offering a wide range of pop up street food vendors in a market style atmosphere inside the shopping centre.
Enjoy a day at Roundhay Park
One of Europe's biggest parks, Roundhay Park is visited by nearly a million people per year. It features an area that holds up to 100,000 people and has hosted talent such as Michael Jackson, Ed Sheeran, The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen. The park also four gardens and a climate controlled domes called Tropical World, which replicates weather, plants and animals from different areas such as jungles and deserts.
Experience the Henry Moore Institute
The Henry Moore Institute is one of the biggest sculpture galleries with 3 large spaces for exhibitions. The Institute set up by Henry Moore in 1977 is designed to encourage and spark discussion for young sculptors and with a fairly regular shake up of exhibitions every visit is a completely fresh and unique experience. Free to the public it is certainly worth a visit and for aspiring artists this could be that creative spark you are looking for.
Party on Call Lane
If you are looking to live it large in Leeds city centre then Call Lane is the place to go, with a large range of clubs and bars Call Lane is known as the party area in Leeds. The street offers many different places and themed bars that appeal to a wide range of people, from the fun and interesting cocktails in Tiki Hideaway to the non stop party atmosphere in Wire. This is definitely more of a late night option on the list but if you are wanting to dance your heart out in Leeds then Call Lane is the place to be.
Escape from An Escape Room
If you’re looking for something a little more playful from your day out in Leeds then look no further than Leed’s range of escape rooms. Designed for groups of 3 to 6 people escape rooms are a great day out for a family or group of friends and offer a very different day out experience. The idea is that you have an hour to escape from a room by completing puzzles and finding clues. Leeds has multiple local escape room companies looking to create unique themes and ideas so the choice is yours.
Get Educated at Leeds City Museum
While in Leeds why not experience the entire story of Leeds in Leeds City Museum. With the museum holding the entire history of Leeds from prehistoric to modern day. The museum also hosts a natural history exhibit which includes the famous Leeds Tiger, which once was a tiger print rug restored back into the form of a tiger causing it to have a unique look, loved by the locals who saved from being scrapped by the museum. The museum also holds occasional limited time exhibitions most recently from the works of author Micheal Monpurgo.
Ride Leeds Water Taxi at Leeds Docks
These dutch water taxis take visitors from Leeds Docks to Granary Wharf, which hosts many places to grab lunch or a drink. At £1 per person or free for children the river taxis are a great experience and although the journey may be brief it is a fantastic way to appreciate Leeds in a unique way. The river taxis run every 15 minutes between 7am and 7pm, meaning they are readily available and the experience is like no other, just make sure to check the forecast beforehand.
Browse Kirkgate Market
The largest covered market in Europe with over 800 stalls Leeds Kirkgate market sits right in the city centre and is a huge attraction for visitors and locals alike. The market is famous for being the founding location of Marks and Spencers 135 years ago and even has a little stall within the market to this day. This location is well worth a visit in the Leeds area even if its just to sample the foods in the food court. The market also has a fairly new event space which will showcase many things such as fashion, food, drinks and live music, so be on the watchout for special events in Kirkgate Market.
Celebrate Football at Elland Road
Elland Road is home to Leeds United Football Club, Historically one of England's biggest football teams. If you are a football fan who can’t stop for a match then the stadium tour is well worth doing the stadium tour, costing just £15 for adults and £10 for juniors, making the stadium tour a worthwhile family day out. Go discover some of the great stories of Leeds United and their European conquests and see the famous stadium with your own eyes.
Check Out Leeds Corn-Exchange
Leeds Corn-Exchange is a grade 1 Victorian listed building built in 1863. It has since been renovated into a retail facility tailoring towards independent retail stores, housing a variety of craft stores and local businesses. One of the stores MKI Miyuki Zoku is an international fashion brand that houses its flagship store and originates from within Leeds Corn-Exchange. The centre of the Corn-Exchange showcases things such as local art exhibitions from time to time and tries to integrate a sense of community.
Shop in Style at Victoria Gate
Victoria Gate shopping centre opened in 2016 and offers visitors some higher end shopping experiences. With John Lewis opening their flagship northern store, others soon followed such as Rolex, Calvin Klein, COS and Nespresso. Victoria Gate also offers some great dining experiences such as Pret a Manger, Issho Rooftop Restaurant and East 59th, all of which bring their own unique tastes and experiences to customers. Also Victoria Gate is home to a high class casino, Victoria Gate Casino, complete with poker, bingo and its own champagne bar and restaurant. Sitting in the city centre with over 800 parking spaces Victoria Gate is easily accessed and is worth a visit on your way into Leeds.
There are plenty of options in Leeds and if you look around you will find something right for you. From river taxis to clubbing you could easily fill a full weekend of activities into a visit to Leeds and the cities new bids for city of culture give plenty of excuses to try some new things, whether you are a tourist or a local.
Basically there’s a little something for everyone in Leeds and if you look around you will find more interesting and unique experiences. The city is ever expanding and improving on what they have available to the locals and tourists. If there’s anything you want to do the likelihood is Leeds has it.