Things to do in Leeds

Creative Tourist

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 meaning that the city centre has a constant buzz of activity. Priding itself on its rich cultural diversity and history, Leeds plays host to the decades-old West Indian carnival every August.

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, radical touring theatre company, Red Ladder and the influential Leeds Playhouse, which has recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

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 across 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 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

Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre: Season of Dance
Dance Until 23 December 2021, from £5

Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre: Season of Dance

The spectacular season of dance includes DeNada Dance Theatre, Northern Ballet, Ballet Cymru and Humanoove, alongside free performances happening as part of Light Night Leeds 2021.

sounds of our city online exhibition
Exhibitions Until 31 December 2021,

Sounds of Our City Online Exhibition

The Sounds of Our City Online Exhibition gives you a chance to visit the current exhibition at Abbey House Museum virtually. Find out how the different musical styles and venues of Leeds interact.

Literature Until 11 December 2021, FREE

Leeds Record & Book Fair at Kirkgate Market

Every second Saturday of the month, Leeds Record & Book Fair is indoors at Kirkgate Market, one of Europe’s largest indoor markets. Next dates are 14 August, 11 September, 9 October, 13 November and 11 December.

Lauren Gault: Cithra at The Tetley, Leeds
Exhibitions Until 3 January 2022,

Lauren Gault: Cithra at The Tetley, Leeds

Artist Lauren Gault’s sensory exhibition, Cithra, invites us to consider our relationship with the natural world in an entirely new way.

Music 6 December 2021 1:00 am, from £10.00

Lunchtime piano recital: Ariel Lanyi at The Wesley Centre

International pianist Ariel Lanyi performs a programme of Mozart and Beethoven in a lunchtime concert at The Wesley Centre in Harrogate.

Activity 12 December 2021–2 January 2022, FREE

Board Games at Book Club

The perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Get together with friends or make some new ones with some screen free board games time.