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 created and arts organisations promote social change. No wonder then, that this climate produces countless celebrations of the city’s cuisine, culture and history. Leeds has a packed calendar of events means that the city centre has a constant buzz of activity. Home to Opera North, Northern Ballet and the Leeds Playhouse. 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

Emii Alrai: The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds
Exhibitions Until 10 May 2020, FREE

Emii Alrai: The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds

Combining demon lures and invented artefacts, ancient mythology and family lore, The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds is the latest new work by upcoming artist Emii Alrai.

Festivals 30 April–19 May 2020, from £00.00

Leeds International Festival 2020

Leeds International Festival, the UK’s leading metropolitan festival of new ideas and innovation, is back for its third year.

Holly Hendry / Taus Makhacheva at The Tetley, Liverpool Biennial 2019 touring programme
Exhibitions Until 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.

Leeds Street Food Tour
Activity Until 19 December 2020, from £55

Leeds Street Food Tour

Eat your way through some of the best street food Leeds has to offer, with insights into the people and stories behind each bite. Try something new with the Leeds Street Food tour.

Wobbly Town
Activity 24 April 2020 10:00 am, from £60

Wobbly Town – Wet Felted Panel Workshop

Join artist and expert felter Charlotte Bain as she hosts a day of wet felting wobbly town making in the picturesque town of Saltaire.

Taus Makhacheva: Hold Your Horses at The Tetley in Leeds
Exhibitions Until 10 May 2020, FREE

Taus Makhacheva: Hold Your Horses at The Tetley in Leeds

Taus Makhacheva’s new solo exhibition at The Tetley in Leeds explores the traditions of history-making and its encounters with experiences of everyday life.

Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.

Here’s our guide to supporting organisations in Manchester and the North.

Please note – many of the venues on our site will be closed and events either postponed or cancelled. Please check the venue website for details.