Newcastle upon Tyne is a vibrant city full of history, culture and fun for all ages. There is so much to do, see, eat and drink that you will not know where to start! We have put together a guide to help you get the most out of your time in the city. No matter what your age or interests, there is something for everyone in Newcastle.
The city is well known as a top music destination, with some of the world’s biggest artists performing here regularly. There are also plenty of museums and art galleries to explore and many events taking place throughout the year.
Renowned for its nightlife and bars, Newcastle is a great place to visit if you want to party. For those with kids in tow, there are plenty of family-friendly activities too. If you are planning your first visit, here is the ultimate guide to Newcastle:
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How to get to Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne is located in the north of the United Kingdom, close to the border with Scotland. It is easy to get here by plane, train or car.
Newcastle is served by Newcastle International Airport, which is located 7 miles from the city centre and has flights to several destinations.
Newcastle Central Train Station is a well-connected line that will help you to get around the country to and from Newcastle.
If you decide to hire a car, Newcastle is situated near one of the main roads, the A1, which is a great connection between the North and the Midlands.
The best time to visit Newcastle
Newcastle is an all year round destination. The summer months are generally mild with highs of 19 degrees Celsius.
The United Kingdom is renowned for its rain, so make sure you always pack warm clothes and waterproofs for unexpected weather changes.
The temperatures can get very cold in the winter months with temperatures going down to 1 degree Celsius. So pack warm clothes if you wish to go out of season.
What to expect in Newcastle
Newcastle is a city with a lot of history and culture, which makes it an ideal place to visit. You will find plenty of shopping opportunities and great food here.
The currency in Newcastle is the Great British Pound and most establishments take cash or card. Tipping is not necessary but is common and expected in restaurants. English is spoken in Newcastle and you will find the people of Newcastle often being referred to as ‘Geordies’.
They have a very strong accent that is not typical of the traditional English accent. Do not forget your passport or ID when going out.
Some places especially nightclubs and bars will not let you in without one and you will have trouble getting around if you do not have any way of proving who you are.
How to get around Newcastle
Newcastle has a very efficient public transportation system and it is easy to use. The city is connected by bus and rail, with buses going everywhere including the airport.
You can buy a ticket on the bus or at a machine in the station. Walking is highly recommended if you are looking for an enjoyable way to see the city. Newcastle has many beautiful parks and scenic areas within its centre, so take your time exploring these places while enjoying some fresh air!
The city is relatively small so walking is doable for most places and attractions. Travelling by car will get you around quickly but it will also require parking fees if parked in certain areas such as shopping malls or main streets during peak times.
Therefore this can be very expensive, taxis are also a large part of Newcastle travel.
Things to do in Newcastle
The city’s cultural scene is rich, with a variety of museums and galleries to visit including the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and the Theatre Royal. The city is rich in architecture and has many bridges dotted along its river.
The entertainment in Newcastle is famous, especially for its nightlife and offers plenty of entertainment options.
It has a vibrant local music scene with many venues hosting live acts from around the world. Some of the best places to visit in Newcastle UK are included in the below roundup.
To start your sightseeing journey around Newcastle, check out the Millennium Bridge. Newcastle is split in two by the River Tyne so you will find there to be many stunning bridges that keep the city connected.
The Millennium Bridge is a curved contemporary structure that is located next to the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.
Take a walk along the bridge and marvel at its architecture and beauty. Great for a photo opportunity! The bridge was completed in 2000 and it has become a popular tourist attraction since then.
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art is another must-visit attraction. It is a stunning building with a modernist design and runs exhibits all year long.
There is always something new happening here and it is the perfect place to go on a rainy day. You will also find a gift shop that sells art and other items. The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art is located on the Waterfront, so it is easy to get to by foot or by car.
It has plenty of parking available too. The Baltic Centre is free to enter and offers all the amenities you could need during your time there.
Further along the river from the Millennium Bridge you will find the Tyne Bridge. This is another distinctive landmark on the Newcastle skyline.
The Tyne Bridge is one of seven road bridges that cross the River Tyne, and it was officially opened by King George V in 1928.
The bridge has become a defining symbol of the North East. It is one of the most iconic bridges in Britain, and it offers some great views of the city.
The Theatre Royal is a 19th-century theatre with luxurious, refurbished interiors that hosts an eclectic programme of performances.
The highly respected performing arts centre is located on Grey Street in the city centre of Newcastle upon Tyne. First opening its grand show doors in 1837, the Theatre Royal is one of just nine Grade I listed theatres in England and it is often referred to as the finest theatre building in the UK.
The Theatre Royal hosts more than 300 shows each year, which are enjoyed by over 300,000 visitors. The theatre accommodates the biggest names in dance, drama and music—allowing them to showcase their talents before large audiences.
This stone fortress is one of the city’s most iconic buildings and is located on a hill overlooking the River Tyne.
Formerly a prison, the castle was built in the 12th century and is still open to visitors today. You can book a self-guided tour around Newcastle Castle for less than £10 per person or enjoy one of the many events that are held all year round.
These include film showings, musical performances and even medieval theatre. If you are feeling brave, you can even take a ghost tour once the castle falls dark.
This venue is one of Newcastle’s most famous. The Sage is known for its incredible acoustics, which are designed to enhance any performance.
The award-winning glass-fronted music venue is set against the stunning backdrop of the River Tyne and Gateshead Quayside. Sage Gateshead is one of the largest conference and exhibition venues in the North East with the main auditorium capable of holding up to 1,640 delegates.
The venue also has a range of smaller, more intimate spaces that are ideal for smaller meetings. The Sage hosts many different types of events, including conferences, awards ceremonies and concerts.
The Sage has one of the best views in Newcastle – overlooking the River Tyne and Gateshead Quayside.
Angel of the North
The Angel of the North is a 20-meter tall sculpture by Antony Gormley, located in Gateshead near Newcastle upon Tyne.
Rising high from the ground on a panoramic hilltop, this gigantic statue dominates over all those who come to see it. Thanks to its striking design and location, the Angel of the North has become arguably one of the best-known works in all of England.
Finished in 1998 it is the most prominent landmark in the area and it can be seen for miles around. The Angel of the North is made from steel and its wingspan measures 54 meters across. Make sure to take a snap when you visit!
What to eat in Newcastle
You are in for a treat. Newcastle may be famous for its nightlife but you should also take advantage of the city’s wealth of dining options.
The vast majority of restaurants in Newcastle serve traditional English cuisine, so there are plenty of options if you are feeling peckish at any time of day.
From fish and chips to Cumberland sausages and Yorkshire puddings, there is something here to suit every taste and budget. If you want something more upmarket, try a steakhouse or one of the many Indian restaurants dotted around town.
A popular dish to try when in the north of the UK is a Parmo. It consists of flattened breaded chicken or pork topped with a white béchamel sauce and cheddar cheese. Found in many takeaways around the area, it is a delicious and hearty meal.
If it is possible to eat dessert after dessert, then that is what we recommend doing when visiting Newcastle!
The city has an excellent selection of bakeries selling cookies and cakes fresh from their ovens each morning. You will be spoiled for choice by all the delicious treats on offer here!
Where to stay in Newcastle
Newcastle has a lot of hotels and other accommodations. You can find something on any budget, from five-star hotels to a backpacker’s hostel.
If you are looking for an authentic experience, then staying at an Airbnb is a great option but if you are just looking for somewhere cheap and clean, there are plenty of options in Newcastle that will not break your bank account.
A strong recommendation is the Sandman Signature Hotel Newcastle. This highly-rated swish hotel is ideally located for exploring the city but still offers affordable prices.
The building used to be offices for the Scottish and Newcastle brewery trade but since then has been converted into a luxurious and contemporary hotel.
The rooms are modern and spacious with everything you need to make your stay comfortable, including free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and a flat-screen TV. Other affordable recommendations include Motel One, Hotel Indigo and the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead.
Tours to do in Newcastle
In Newcastle, there are many different kinds of tours to do. You can go on a Newcastle Ghost Tour or a simple walking tour around the city.
There are also plenty of food tours and nightlife bar crawls to get involved with too. Here are a few examples to get you going during your stay in Newcastle.
The Ultimate Cheese & Wine Food Tour
For lovers of fine wine and cheese, a tour that visits local food markets and includes stops at Newcastle Castle is the perfect introduction to Newcastle upon Tyne.
The Cheese & Wine Food Tour offers a wide selection of cheeses and wines at each stop, as well as the opportunity to sample local food specialities.
Not only do you get to taste lots of delicious cheese and wine, but the tour also takes you on a mini walking tour where you will get to see some of the most historic parts of Newcastle.
The tour is run by local experts who love sharing their passion for food and drink with others, so you are sure to have a great time.
Newcastle Gory Tour
Scare yourself silly as you discover the dark secrets of Newcastle on this spine-chilling walking tour.
Hear tales of its ghosts, criminals, and gangsters and see some sights like Earl Grey’s Monument and Castle Keep, as you walk along Dean Street and High Bridge Street.
This scary walking tour is great if you enjoy history and creepy stories, or are looking for something different to do in Newcastle.
This is an excellent way to spend an evening in Newcastle if you are looking for something fun and different.
Day trips from Newcastle
Newcastle is based in the North of England, there are many things to do in the city but also lots of nearby attractions that can be explored out of the city too.
Take advantage of your time in this area of the UK and take some day trips to the surrounding areas.
If you are looking for a day trip from Newcastle then you should consider visiting the city of Durham.
This is one of the best places to visit in the North East, and you can get there by train or bus. The journey only takes about 15 – 30 minutes so it is perfect if you just want to spend a few hours exploring somewhere new.
Private excursion to Newcastle Port, Alnwick & Durham
This day trip covers Northumberland, Alnwick and Durham. As well as its beauty, Northumberland’s cultural heritage owes much to the ancient castles dotted around its landscape – each one offering something special for visitors like yourself.
On this Northumberland Day Trip, you will get to visit Alnwick Castle, which is the second largest inhabited castle in England and has a long history of noble inhabitants. You will get to explore Durham too.
For centuries, pilgrims have travelled to this city to experience its unique character—with cobblestone streets and charming cafes that are home to independent shops.
We will visit the majestic Durham Cathedral (a Unesco World Heritage site) as well as the Castle—which is another treasure trove of history!
If you are looking for a visit to the North East of England, then Newcastle Upon Tyne is the perfect option.
With plenty to see and do during the day and several partying locations at night, this city will give you the British experience.
If you are looking for a visit that combines culture and history with modernity, then Newcastle Upon Tyne is a great choice. Diverse and multicultural, Newcastle is a city that will provide you with a memorable experience.
Recommended tours in Newcastle
- Guided City Walking Tour of Newcastle
- Skip the Line: Newcastle Castle Admission Ticket
- A Taste Of Newcastle Food Tour
- Farne Islands Longstone Lighthouse 2-Hour Trip from Seahouses
- Hadrians Wall tour full day
- Newcastle True Crime Walking Tour
- Newcastle Quayside walking tour – One Hour Tour