Things to do in Leeds

Creative Tourist

There’s so much 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 created and arts organisations promote social change. No wonder then, that this climate produces countless celebrations of the city’s culture, cuisine, and history. And with LEEDS 2023 — an explosive, bold and imaginative Year of Culture — comes event more celebrations of creativity, from Leeds International Festival of Ideas to Leeds International African Arts Festival.

Leeds Grand Theatre houses resident companies Opera North and Northern Ballet, both admired for their innovative and risk-taking approach, and their ability to reach diverse audiences through bold performance and fully inclusive participation projects. The city is also home to Phoenix Dance, one of the UK’s leading contemporary dance companies, as well as radical touring theatre company Red Ladder and the influential Leeds Playhouse, which is now well into its fifth decade.

Part of the prestigious Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle, head to Leeds Art Gallery to discover one of the best collections of 20th century art before hopping to the Henry Moore Institute next door. Leeds Dock is home to the Royal Armouries Museum and its six themed galleries holding the national collection of arms and armour.

If you look past the shiny facade of the Trinity and Victoria Gate shopping centres, you’ll find plenty of independent shops and eateries, coffee roasters and pop-up food places across Kirkgate Market, the Corn Exchange and the Victorian arcades. And the nightlife has an unmistakably northern vibe; whether you choose to have a chilled one in a boutique bar owned by a local brewery, or dance till the AM at one of the DIY club nights showcasing the city’s vibrant live music scene.

And live music is a big part of Leeds’ nightlife. The city is home to some excellent venues, from the nationally adored Brudenell Social Club to a bunch of slicker, younger places like Belgrave and Headrow House. The latest venue to land in the city is Project House, a joint venture from some of the best-loved names in the worlds of music, culture, food and drink in Leeds. The collaborative nature of this venue really sums up the spirit of Leeds’ arts and cultural scene, which is interconnected and fuelled by very obvious passion.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy what is shaping up to be a massive cultural summer for Leeds. You’ll find some of our top picks below.

What's on in Leeds

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ExhibitionsLeeds
Colours Uncovered at Harewood House

Explore colour through an amazing range of artefacts at ‘Colours Uncovered’, a new exhibition at Harewood House, from colour theory and pigment to classical painting and contemporary textiles. from £12.00

Leeds Comedy Pick N Mix – April
ComedyLeeds
Leeds Comedy Pick N Mix

Improv at its most most unexpected. Join The Discount Comedy Checkout for their Leeds Comedy Pick and Mix.

from £8.00

Where to go in Leeds

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Event venue
The Old Woollen

A 500-capacity venue in Farsley, presenting the finest music, comedy and performance. Run by Trouble at Mill Events and Sunny Bank Mills, twinned with Farsley Constitutional.

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White Cloth Hall

White Cloth Hall is a new food and drink project, based in a Grade II listed venue in Leeds city centre.

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Event venue
The Bookish Type

An independent bookshop specialising in literature across the LGBTIQA+ spectrum.

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Event venue
Leeds Print Workshop

The workshop is a co-operative, membership-based printmaking studio, open to all those with an interest in print.

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Restaurant
Blue Pavilion & K-Cube

Oriental dining, live music and private karaoke, the upmarket Chinese restaurant Blue Pavilion is bringing the party to Leeds.

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Aire Place Studios

Aire Place Studios is a creative studio in Leeds which prides itself on an upholding of equality, solidarity and safe-space values.

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Basement Arts Project

Come and visit Leeds’ most unique gallery space. Taking the notion of ‘underground’ artists literally, the Basement Arts Project is situated in the basement of a terraced property in Beeston.

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Event venue
Freedom Mills

Freedom Mills is a multi-platform events space which runs a regular night programme alongside a range of events, including rave nights.

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SCREW Gallery

SCREW Gallery is a not-for-profit, artist-led exhibition space that showcases bold and revitalising art by local and international artists.

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Tada, Leeds

The authentic Japanese cuisine of Tada brings delicious sushi, ramen, yakitori and bespoke cocktails to the heart of Leeds, in the form of their ‘casual yet elegant’ establishment.

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Six by Nico, Leeds

In another successful expansion, Six by Nico is delighting Leeds with their newest tasting menu launch: ‘The Chippie Experience’.

Leeds Visitor Guides

Marriot Leeds
Business Hotels in Leeds

Here are the best business hotels in Leeds, geared towards high-quality rooms at a bargain price - each boasting more than a few meeting room tables for you to bang your fist on.

Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds
Museums in Leeds

Discover the treasures waiting to be discovered as you work your way through our hand-picked selection of museums in Leeds.

Music Venues in Leeds

Boasting a strong musical heritage, Leeds has a wealth of music venues to match: from suburban social clubs and former textile mills to co-operatively run DIY spaces.

Walks in Leeds
Walks in Leeds

A round-up of the best walks in Liverpool, including the city centre, its many parks, and over the water by Creative Tourist.

Knave's Kitchen
Vegan Food in Leeds

Looking for the best vegan food in Leeds? Look no further. We have rounded up some of our top picks for cruelty-free eating in the city.

Theatres in Leeds
Theatres in Leeds

From family-friendly fun to unique productions, there's something for everyone in Leeds. Check out our guide to the best theatres in Leeds.

Luxury Hotels in Leeds

Got a few quid and not afraid to spend it? Live the life you deserve at one of Leeds’s best luxury hotels - here’s our expert guide to the best.

Whitelock’s Ale House Leeds
Pubs in Leeds

More than most, this Yorkshire city has a wide and varied selection of pubs, with authentic roaring fires and hearty pub grub. Here are the best in Leeds

Stationary shop Colours May Vary.
Independent Shops in Leeds

Looking for some non-corporate gifts and presents? Fight the system and choose one of Leeds’ many independent shops - here’s our special selection of the best out there

Park Plaza Leeds
Family Hotels in Leeds

Ah, kids. Can’t live with them, can’t get rid of them without getting into serious trouble with the law. Ease the pain by taking them on holiday in Leeds, and stay at one of our carefully-chosen family-friendly hotels

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Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Take a look at our top recommendations for restaurants and bars to check out this spring.

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