Things to do in Leeds

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

There’s plenty of things to do in Leeds, a hub of northern creativity, the metropolis of Yorkshire and one of the greenest cities in the UK. With a population of over 750,000 and ambitious regeneration plans, the city is one of the largest and most rapidly developing in the country. Tech companies are formed, record labels are created and arts organisations promote social change. No wonder then, that this climate produces countless celebrations of the city’s cuisine, culture and history. There’s lots of things to do in Leeds too with a packed calendar of events means that the city centre has a constant buzz of activity. Home to Opera North and the West Yorkshire Playhouse (and the mighty Leeds United!) you can be sure to find plenty to do. Leeds prides itself on its rich cultural diversity and history, playing host to the decades-old West Indian carnival. The nightlife has an unmistakably northern vibe; whether you choose to have a chilled one in a boutique bar owned by the local brewery, or dance till the AM at one of the DIY club nights showcasing the city’s vibrant live music scene.

Discover our top picks

Senga Nengudi – The Henry Moore Institute
Exhibitions 21 September 2018–17 February 2019, FREE

Senga Nengudi at the Henry Moore Institute

The Henry Moore Institute in Leeds presents a major exhibition dedicated to the work of African-American sculptor Senga Nengudi – the pioneering figure who first introduced contemporary art to nylon stockings.

Northern Ballet: Victoria at Leeds Grand Theatre
Dance 9–16 March 2019, from £12.00

Northern Ballet: Victoria at Leeds Grand Theatre

Choreographed by Cathy Marston, Northern Ballet’s new biopic brings the sensational story of Queen Victoria to life in dance.

Music 20 March 2019, from £30

Ólafur Arnalds at Leeds Town Hall

Currently touring his acclaimed album ‘re:member’, BAFTA-winning artist Ólafur Arnalds will perform at Leeds Town Hall on the 20 March.

Music 1 March 2019, from £25.80

Jon Hopkins at O2 Academy Leeds

In support of his incredible album ‘Singularity’, Jon Hopkins will make his much-anticipated return to Leeds on the 1 March.

Childrens 2–12 May 2019, from £00.00

Leeds International Festival 2019

Leeds International Festival, the UK’s leading metropolitan festival of new ideas and innovation, is back for its second year, this time featuring more than 50 events and 40 speakers over 15 days.

Simeon Barclay: Bus2move at The Tetley
Exhibitions 27 October 2018–3 February 2019, FREE

Simeon Barclay: Bus2move at The Tetley

‘Bus2move’ at The Tetley in Leeds marks Simeon Barclay’s first institutional solo exhibition in the North of England. The artist will present a new body of work informed by research into dance.

Holly Hendry / Taus Makhacheva at The Tetley, Liverpool Biennial 2019 touring programme
Exhibitions 22 June 2019–3 May 2020, FREE

Holly Hendry / Taus Makhacheva at The Tetley

As part of the Liverpool Biennial touring programme, The Tetley is hosting works by artists Holly Hendry and Taus Makhacheva.

Music 16 February 2019, from £12.50

Dark Arts with The Orielles at Belgrave Music Hall

A year to the day since the release of their debut album, ‘Silver Dollar Moment’, The Orielles headline an all day party at Belgrave Music Hall.

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