United Kingdom

Is the York Pass Worth the Money? | York, UK

I’m all for a good bargain, who isn’t? If you can do the same activity, book the same flight or hotel for cheaper than pretty much everyone I know would jump at the chance! After a recent trip to York and using the York Pass I will tell you whether it’s worth buying for your trip to York.

Here can you read whether all about what the York Pass is, how much it costs, whether it is right for you and your trip? And ultimately whether it will save you money or not?

I’ve also included suggested itineraries for a 1, 2 or 3-day visit to York to see how you could use the pass save money.

York Pass – All you need to know

York - Day 2 DSC_0814

What is the York Pass?

The York Pass is a card that you can purchase either before or during your York trip to save you money on attractions, tours, restaurants and shops on your visit to York city in the UK.

There are three options a 1-day option, valid for one calendar day, a 2-day pass, valid for two calendar days or a three-day pass, valid for six consecutive days.

How Much Does the York Pass Cost?

The York Pass has individual costs for adults and children. There are no lower rates for senior citizens or students. Keep reading to see how you can save!

  • 1-Day – From £40 adults/£26 children
  • 2-Day – From £55 adults/£30 children
  • 3-Day – From £65 adults/£35 children

Interestingly, if you purchase the York Pass via the official website at www.yorkpass.com the prices are slightly more expensive for both adults and children (up to £2-£5 depending on adult/child tickets and which day pass you buy). However, if you like saving even more money and this could make a difference for a family then I would recommend purchasing your tickets via Get Your Guide.

You can check here for the latest prices for buying your York Pass here.

What is Included in the York Pass?

  • The York Pass includes free entry to York’s many attractions and tours in the city.
  • Activities away from York are also free with the Pass – including attractions in the Howardian Hills and North York Moors National Park.
  • A mini guidebook, complete with map, how to use your ‘York Pass’ information, details of all the free and discounted attractions.
  • Discounts on additional tours, activities, restaurants and shops.

What is NOT Included in the York Pass?

York Tower
Half way up to the York Tower

  • The York Pass is not a Fast Track Pass
  • Public bus and train transport is not included
  • Going up to the top of the Central Tower in York Minster is not included
  • Free meals, food or drinks (discounts only available)

York Pass – Is it Worth the Money?

Like any city pass you buy, whether it’s the Berlin WelcomeCard or the Budapest City Card, the amount you use it increases it’s worth to you! The costs are transparent for the museums and York attractions so if you make the most of your trip to York then you’ll save money.

If you spend the entire time visiting restaurants and bars, you’ll probably not spend the value of the York Pass. There are also limits on the York Pass but you’d have to fit a lot in around the city to exceed these on your trip. For example, the adult limit on the one-day pass is £75 and for children, it’s £50 (All examples below do not exceed the limits).

Here are my suggested itineraries for the must-see things to do and see on your York trip, including costs for all activities and tours. Plus the saving you would make so you can see for yourself if you are going to save before you buy!

York Pass – 1-Day option

York Chocolate Story
York Chocolate Story – tour and shop

For one day in York with the pass, the calculations are simple, spend more than the cost of your York Pass in the day and you’ll make your money back (and save!)

  • Adults – from £40
  • Children – from £26

Of course, you don’t want to be running around the entire city of York to make the most of the pass. Plus there are also a variety of Free things you can do in York as well. Each of these attractions/tours will take between 1-hour to 1.5-hours, depending on your preferences.

For one day in York, these would be my must-see attractions:

  1. JORVIK Viking Centre – (Cost adults £11, children £8)
  2. York Minster – (Cost adults £10, children £0)
  3. York Dungeon – (Cost adults from £16.95, children £14.95)
  4. York’s City Sightseeing bus tour – (Cost adults £14, children £7)
  5. York’s Chocolate Story – (Cost adults £12.50, children £10)

Total adult cost (paying individually) = £64.45

Total saving with the York Pass up to £24.45

Total child cost (paying individually) = £39.95

Total saving with the York Pass up to £13.95

1-day Examples

2 x adults would save up to £48.90

2 x adults and 2 x children would save up to £76.80

York Pass – 2-Day option

York - York Castle Museum
Inside York Castle Museum

If you opt for the two days York Pass, then your costs can be calculated as follows:

  • Adults – from £55
  • Children – from £30

Meaning that to recoup your costs and save money each day you need to visit attractions to the value from £28 for adults and £15 for children per day.

These activities and tours take between 1-hour to 1.5-hours.

For two days in York, these would be my must-see attractions (in addition to the must-see attractions from day one above):

  1. York Castle Museum – (Cost adults £10, children £0)
  2. Clifford’s Tower – (Cost adults £5.40, children £3.60)
  3. York City Cruises – (Cost adults £9.75, children £5.50)
  4. York Brewery Tour – (Cost adults £8, children £4.50)
  5. Mansion House – (Cost adults £6.50, children £3.50)

Total adult cost (paying individually) – Day 1 £64.45 + Day 2 £39.65 = £104.10

Total saving with the York Pass up to £49.10

Total child cost (paying individually) – Day 1 £39.95 + Day 2 £17.10 = £57.05

Total saving with the York Pass up to £27.05

2-day Examples

2 x adults would save up to £98.20

2 x adults and 2 x children would save up to £152.30

York Pass – 3-Day option

NYM - North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Day trip from York on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway

So you’ve spent 2 days exploring the beautiful city of York, getting great discounts and seeing all the free things with your York Pass. But now it’s time to experience what it’s like away from the city. There are many different places away from York that you can visit.

If you opt for the three day York Pass, then your costs can be calculated as follows:

  • Adults – from £65
  • Children – from £35

Buy your York Pass here, ready for your trip. Save time + money!

Meaning that to recoup your costs and save money each day you need to visit attractions to the value from £22 for adults and £12 for children per day.

My recommendations for each itinerary are based on driving to the locations as the public transport options will result in longer travelling times and you may not be able to fit everything in. The York Pass also offers a free upgrade of the car if you hire through Europcar.

Here are my three suggestions for day trips from York:

You can read all about my Day Trips from York here. Includes options below + more!

NYM - North Yorkshire Moors Railway
North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Option 1

North Yorkshire Moors Railway to Whitby – (Cost adults £31, children £15.50)

This is based on a full day on the Railway, the steams trains run from Pickering (the closest station to York) all the way to the seaside town of Whitby. The full journey takes up to 1 hour, 55 minutes (depending on which train you catch). But you can hop on and off throughout the day.

Total adult cost (paying individually) – Day 1 £64.45 + Day 2 £39.65 + Day 3 £31 = £135.10

Total saving with the York Pass up to £70.10

Total child cost (paying individually) – Day 1 £39.95 + Day 2 £17.10 + Day 3 £15.50 = £72.55

Total saving with the York Pass up to £37.55

3-day Examples

2 x adults would save up to £140.20

2 x adults and 2 x children would save up to £215.30

Option 2

Visit Castle Howard House and Gardens – (Cost adults £18.95, children £9.95) Located in the Howardian Hills, it’s a 30-minute drive from York to the House and Gardens. Open from 10 am.

Free parking

(Drive time from Castle Howard to Pickering approximately 30 minutes, 16 miles. Allow time for parking too!)

North Yorkshire Moors Railway to Grosmont – (Cost adults £26, children £13)

This is based on a shorter day on the Railway, the steams trains run from Pickering (the closest station to York) all the way to the seaside town of Whitby. The full journey takes up to 1 hour, 5 minutes (depending on which train you catch). But you can hop on and off the train.

Spend the afternoon (14.00, 15.00, 16.00 trains from Pickering).

Parking is £5 all day

Total adult cost (paying individually) – Day 1 £64.45 + Day 2 £39.65 + Day 3 £44.95 = £180.05

Total saving with the York Pass up to £115.05

Total child cost (paying individually) – Day 1 £39.95 + Day 2 £17.10 + Day 3 £22.95 = £95.50

Total saving with the York Pass up to £60.50

3-day Examples

2 x adults would save up to £230.10

2 x adults and 2 x children would save up to £351.10

Option 3

NYM - National Bird of Prey Centre
Yellow-billed Kite at National Centre for Birds of Prey

Visit Helmsley for the day, a small Yorkshire Village with lots to do!

Go to the National Bird of Prey Centre – (Cost adults £9.00, children £6.50)

Visit Helmsley Castle* – (Cost adults £6.80, children £4.10)

Helmsley Walled Garden – (Cost adults £7.50, children £0)

Visit Rievaulx Abbey* – (Cost adults £8.90, children £5.30)

*Please note if you are National Trust member Helmsley Castle and Rievalux Abbey are already free for members.

Total adult cost (paying individually) – Day 1 £64.45 + Day 2 £39.65 + Day 3 £32.20 = £136.30

Total saving with the York Pass up to £71.30

Total child cost (paying individually) – Day 1 £39.95 + Day 2 £17.10 + Day 3 £15.90 = £72.95

Total saving with the York Pass up to £37.95

3-day Examples

2 x adults would save up to £142.60

2 x adults and 2 x children would save up to £218.50

More Ways to Save Money with the York Pass

The York Pass includes discounts for various attractions, tours, restaurants and shops so be sure to check out the guidebook for full details and how to save!

York by Night

Go on a Ghost Tour – there are several companies that offer tours – The Bloody Tour of York, Ghost Bus Tours, Ghost Trail, Original Ghost Walk or The York Terror Trail. Each tour offers a discount of £1-£2 with the York Pass.

Go on an Evening Boat Cruise – Two options, either an early evening cruise – £2 discount or the Floodlit Cruise – £4 discount

Other York Tours

Try one of the Escape RoomsCan You Escape or GR8escape. Both offer 10% discount with the Pass (Use the code when you book). A perfect activity to do one evening, tours can be booked between 10.30 to 20.30.

Brewtown Tours – go on a beer tasting experience. 15% discount with the York Pass.

Would I Recommend the York Pass?

NYM - Rievaulx Abbey
Having fn exploring the beautiful Rievaulx Abbey

Yes, I would recommend the York Pass!

It is a great thing to buy before you visit York. Use it wisely… as I’ve mentioned above and you can save loads of money, which means more money on delicious food, drink and shopping whilst you’re in York.

Before your York trip, think about what you like doing when you visit a city. Just because you are in York for 2 days doesn’t mean that you need to select the 2-day York Pass option. Maybe the 1-day pass will work perfectly for you. Visit all the York Pass attractions on day 1, then on day 2, you can do all the Free things in York!

I hope you’ve found this useful in deciding whether or not to buy a York Pass. Please note I only recommend things I have used and would buy again! Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below.

Start planning your trip now and buy your York Pass here.


*All prices are correct at the time of writing and all sums to the best of my ability with a calculator are correct. Apologies in advance for any mistakes 🙂

*The York Pass was provided to me by Visit York, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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