The best museums in York in December 2023

These are the top 20 best museums in York, England, ranked by their rating and popularity in 2023. Click a museum for more information about the museum, including visitor information, exhibitions and reviews.

For a complete overview of museums in York, their exhibitions and discount cards & passes, see our overview page with all museums in York.

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Looking for the best museums in York? These are the best ones:

  1. National Railway Museum1

    National Railway Museum

    The National Railway Museum (NRM) is devoted to telling the story of rail transport in Britain and its impact on society. The museum holds the national collection of historically significant railway vehicles and collections of other artefacts and written and pictorial records, of social, technical,
  2. York Castle Museum2

    York Castle Museum

    The York Castle Museum is located on the site of York Castle, housed in prison buildings, built in the 18th century. The castle itself was originally built by William the Conqueror in 1068. In the York Castle Museum interactive galleries hold thousands of historic objects that bring the past to life
  3. Castle Howard3

    Castle Howard

    Built in 1699, Castle Howard is one of the country's finest historic houses and is still the private residence of the Howard family. Castle Howard features exhibits related to Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Social History and Architecture. Key themes, people and exhibits in the museum include
  4. Treasurer's House, York4

    Treasurer's House, York

    The Treasurer's House in York was bought by the grandson of a wealthy industrialist, Frank Green, in 1897 who made it a lavish show home out of it. He built a large collection of fine antiques, art and furniture. The house along with the complete collection and the garden is now owned and managed by
  5. JORVIK Viking Centre5

    JORVIK Viking Centre

    The Jorvik Viking Centre is a museum and visitor attraction with lifelike mannequins and life-size dioramas depicting Viking life in York. The name of the museum is derived from the Old Norse name for the city of York. The remains of 1,000 year old houses that stood on the same grounds are revealed
  6. Clifford's Tower6

    Clifford's Tower

    Clifford's Tower played a crucial role in the control of northern England. The tower has a turbulent history, surviving 1,000 years of flood, fire and siege. Its origins were violent: William the Conqueror built the castle for his northern campaign of terror in 1069. At various points in its history
  7. Fairfax House7

    Fairfax House

    The Fairfax House was originally the winter home of Viscount Fairfax and his daughter. The Fairfax House features richly decorated interiors and magnificent stucco ceilings, making it a good example of of Georgian design and architecture. The collection of furniture brings the Fairfax House alive an
  8. York Cold War Bunker8

    York Cold War Bunker

    The York Cold War Bunker uncovers the secret history of Britain’s Cold War. Enter the blast-proof doors and investigate the more unusual side of York’s heritage. In active service from the 1960s–1990s the bunker was designed as a nerve-centre to monitor fall-out in the event of a nuclear attack.
  9. Nunnington Hall9

    Nunnington Hall

    Nunnington Hall is a museum in York. The museum features exhibits related to: fine art, decorative and applied art, costume and textiles and architecture. Key themes, people and exhibits in the museum include: the carlisle collection, photographic exhibitons, bonnie prince charlie, myles birkett fos
  10. Merchant Adventurers' Hall10

    Merchant Adventurers' Hall

    The Merchant Adventurers' Hall is a timber framed building that used to be a seat of a guild of merchants. The hall is now open to public, where visitors can explore the Great Hall, the Undercroft and the Chapel. The Merchant Adventurers’ Hall hold diverse collections, including silver, furniture an
  11. Yorkshire Museum and Gardens11

    Yorkshire Museum and Gardens

    The Yorkshire Museum and Gardens is a museum in York that holds permanent collections of national importance covering biology, geology, archaeology and numismatics . One of the highlights of the museum is a well-preserved Viking sword. The York Museum Gardens are botanic gardens, with various specie
  12. Goddards12


    Discover the cherished family home of Noel Goddard Terry, owner of the famous chocolate-making firm Terry’s of York. The house was designed by architect Walter Brierley in the Arts and Crafts style and is complemented by four acres of gardens, designed by George Dillistone. The house has selected ro
  13. DIG13


    DIG is a museum in York. The museum features exhibits related to: social history and archaeology.
  14. Barley Hall14

    Barley Hall

    Barley Hall is a medieval town house that was once home to the Priors of Nostell and a Lord Mayor of York. The oldest parts of Barley Hall date from about 1360 an in the 15th century the hall was extended. After that the Barley Hall went into a slow decline and until the 1980s the building was hidde
  15. York Art Gallery15

    York Art Gallery

    The York Art Gallery is an art gallery that was originally created to provide a permanent building for the second Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition of 1879. The gallery houses various collection including a collection of more than 1,000 paintings from 14th-century to contemporary, a colle
  16. The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre16

    The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre

    The Bar Convent is England's oldest living convent, founded in 1686 as a school for girls. In the Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre visitors can learn more about the Convent's tree hundred years of history and the remarkable people who have shaped it.
  17. Yorkshire Museum of Farming17

    Yorkshire Museum of Farming

    The Yorkshire Museum of Farming is a museum on the outskirts of York devoted to farming. The main exhibition takes the visitor through a year on the farm and depicts the changing work of farmers through the seasons, also exploring the shift from human effort to mechanisation. Objects date from the e
  18. Richard III Experience at Monk Bar18

    Richard III Experience at Monk Bar

    This The Richard III Experience is housed in the Monk Bar, the tallest of the four gatehouses of the historical city of York. The museum experience is devoted to the last Plantagenet King of England who ruled for two years from 1483 to 1485: Richard III. Visitors can explore his early life, and the
  19. York Mansion House19

    York Mansion House

    Situated in the heart of the city in beautiful St Helen's Square, the York Mansion House is an architectural masterpiece which plays host to an extensive collection of civic regalia and artefacts. The impressive collection of silver, paintings and furniture is unequalled by any other provincial city
  20. 20

    York Army Museum

    York Army Museum was completely refurbished in 2015 thanks to a Heritage Lottery Grant. The museum tells the story of two regiments: the Royal Dragoon Guards and the Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire. One cavalry, one infantry. It is home to important regimental collections spanning over 3

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