Things to do in Hull

Polly Checkland Harding

Few places in the UK have undergone such a marked seachange in reputation as Hull – the port city in East Yorkshire, built where the River Humber meets the Humber estuary. Otherwise known as Kingston-upon-Hull, the ancient harbour was granted the royal charter (King’s Town) by King Charles I in 1299, and became a principal trading port for wool, wine, whaling and fishing on England’s east coast in the late 17th century. Sadly, post-industrial decline and World War II hit Hull hard; the second most bombed city in the country, huge swathes of the city centre were decimated. Famously derided even by one of its best-known residents, the poet Philip Larkin, it took Hull’s designation as the UK City of Culture 2017 to properly revitalise this proud Yorkshire city – its legacy a change in perception that has been gaining momentum ever since.

This boost to the local economy generated £300 million for Hull’s tourism industry across the year, both showcasing the city’s surviving historic gems and helping to facilitate proper regeneration. With organisations like Absolutely Cultured committed to placing arts at the heart of the city, the formerly derelict fruit merchants’ warehouses on the city’s marina have been converted into the Fruit Market cultural quarter, newly filled with independent shops, eateries and contemporary visual art space Humber Street Gallery. Today, visitors to Hull are rewarded with the nationally important collection at the Ferens Art Gallery, live music at the legendary New Adelphi Club, prestigious performances at the Hull Truck Theatre, artisanal food and independent shopping in a beautifully renovated Victorian arcade, and an astonishing aquarium that was busier in its first year than London Zoo. Additionally, the Freedom Festival – launched in 2007 to commemorate anti-slavery pioneer William Wilberforce – delivers an impressive line-up of theatre, dance, debate, exhibitions and community events to the city every year.

Explore our top places to visit, eat, drink and stay in Hull – and discover a place where an extraordinary maritime history meets modern hospitality.

Our top picks

Hull Minster

Hull Minster, South Church Side, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1 1RR - Visit now

The UK’s largest medieval ‘town church’, Hull Minster was awarded £3.9 million by Highways England in 2019 for restoration and the addition of a heritage centre to better showcase the Minster’s history and place in the community.

Courtesy of Hull Minster

Ferens Art Gallery

Ferens Art Gallery, Queen Victoria Square, Carr Lane, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1 3RA - Visit now

Opened in 1927, Ferens Art Gallery houses a superb collection, including masterpieces by Stanley Spencer, David Hockney, Helen Chadwick and Gillian Wearing.

Courtesy of Ferens Art Gallery

Fruit Market Hull

Fruit Market Hull, Queen Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1 1UU - Visit now

Fruit Market Hull is the name of Hull’s vibrant cultural quarter and the revitalisation of a historic area next to the city’s Humber Dock Marina – featuring places to visit, shop, eat and live, it’s a must visit.

Courtesy of Fruit Market Hull

Hull Maritime Museum

Hull Maritime Museum, Queen Victoria Square, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1 3DX - Visit now

Housed in one of the city’s finest buildings, Hull Maritime Museum has been showcasing 800 years of maritime history since 1975 – including a 113-year-old 40ft whale skeleton and the largest collection of scrimshaw this side of the Atlantic.

Hull Maritime Museum
Courtesy of Hull Maritime Museum

Hull Truck Theatre

Hull Truck Theatre, 50 Ferensway, Hull, Yorkshire, HU2 8LB - Visit now

Celebrating its 50th birthday in 2021, the Hull Truck Theatre is dedicated to putting on high-quality productions of both intimate and epic scales.

Hull Truck Theatre

Hull New Theatre

Hull New Theatre, Kingston Square,, Hull, Yorkshire, HU1 3HF - Visit now

With an inspiring history, welcoming acclaimed productions and legendary performers, the Grade II-listed Hull New Theatre reopened in 2017 after a £16 million refurbishment, creating more seats, a new café-restaurant, two new bars and an extra space.

Hull New Theatre
Hull New Theatre

Humber Street Gallery

Humber Street Gallery, Humber Street Gallery 64 Humber Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1 1TU - Visit now

Home to year-round events, performances and activities, Humber Street Gallery is a contemporary art space in the heart of Hull’s Fruit Market cultural quarter, open to everyone to experience free world-class exhibitions and events.

Humber Street Gallery, Hull
© Chris Pepper

Wilberforce House

Wilberforce House, 23-25 High Street, Hull, Yorkshire, HU1 1NQ - Visit now

The birthplace of William Wilberforce, the British politician, abolitionist and social reformer, Wilberforce House tells the story of the transatlantic slave trade and its abolition, as well as dealing with contemporary slavery.

Wilberforce House
Wilberforce House Museum

The New Adelphi Club

The New Adelphi Club, 89 De Grey St, Hull, Yorkshire, HU5 2RU - Visit now

One of the most unusual small music venues going, The New Adelphi Club was originally a three-bedroom terraced house with a garden, but now has legendary status, not least for being among the first places to host Pulp.

The New Adelphi Club

The Deep

The Deep, Tower St, Hull, Yorkshire, HU1 4DP - Visit now

One of the UK’s biggest aquariums, with over 5,000 different species across 50 different displays in a dramatic building overlooking the Humber estuary, The Deep is a multi-award-winning venue and an international player in marine conservation.

The Deep

Hull and East Riding Museum

Hull and East Riding Museum, 36 High Street, Hull, Yorkshire, HU1 1NQ - Visit now

The Hull and East Riding Museum of archeology offers a detailed, immersive introduction to history, reconstructing ancient civilisations for visitors to explore – you can walk through an Iron Age village or enter a Roman bath house and look at the stunning mosaics.

Wooly mammoth Hull and East Riding Museum
Hull and East Riding Museum.

Paragon Arcade

Paragon Arcade, Paragon St, Hull, Yorkshire, HU1 3PQ - Visit now

This beautiful Victorian shopping arcade dating back to 1896 is now home to a raft of innovative local retailers, each with their own specialism to offer Hull’s residents and visitors alike.

Paragon Arcade

Hepworth Arcade

Hepworth Arcade, Silver Street, Hull, Yorkshire, HU1 1JU - Visit now

Located in the Old Town, this beautiful Grade II-listed Victorian arcade is home to some of Hull’s best-loved and best-known retailers and, with vintage buys and legendary establishments, it’s as good for window shopping as it is for actual shopping.

Hepworths Arcade

Form Shop & Studio

Form Shop & Studio, 62 Humber St, Hull, Yorkshire, HU1 1TU - Visit now

Part of Hull’s vibrant Fruit Market cultural quarter, Form Shop & Studio is an independent shop selling affordable art prints, cards and stationery.


Hideout Apartment Hotel

Hideout Apartment Hotel, 9 North Church Side,, Hull, Yorkshire, HU1 1RP - Visit now

Independent and run by a small family team, Hideout Apartment Hotel offers 15 contemporary and stylish self-contained self-catering apartments in the heart of Hull Old Town.

Hideout Apartment Hotel

Hull Trinity Backpackers

Hull Trinity Backpackers, 51/52 Market Place, Hull, Yorkshire, HU1 1RU - Visit now

If you’re looking for affordable accommodation right in the heart of Hull Old Town, the highly rated, independent hostel Hull Trinity Backpackers is hard to beat.

Hull Trinity Backpackers

Kingston Theatre Hotel

Kingston Theatre Hotel, 1-2 Kingston Square, Hull, Yorkshire, HU2 8DA - Visit now

Overlooking the quiet seclusion of Kingston Square Gardens and opposite the Hull New Theatre, Kingston Theatre Hotel is a small family-run four-star Victorian hotel in the heart of Hull Old Town.

Kingston Theatre Hotel

Ye Olde White Harte

Ye Olde White Harte, 25 Silver Street, Hull, Yorkshire, HU1 1JG - Visit now

A pub with two well-stocked bars and a large beer garden, Ye Olde White Harte is an incredible historic gem, constructed in 1550, and Grade II*-listed.

Ye Olde White Hart
Ye Olde White Hart. Image courtesy of Visit Hull.

The Old House

The Old House, 5 Scale Lane, Hull, Yorkshire, HU1 1LA - Visit now

The Old House by name, old house by nature – this award-winning gastropub in Hull Old Town is at 5 Scale Lane, the city’s oldest domestic building, dating from the 15th century.

The Old House
The Old House

Thieving Harry’s

Thieving Harry’s, 73 Humber Street, HULL, Yorkshire, HU1 1TU - Visit now

Thieving Harry’s is a community café serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, booze and coffee in a converted warehouse with a down-to-earth vibe, overlooking the marina.

Thieving Harry's

Humber Street Distillery Co.

Humber Street Distillery Co., 18 Humber St,, Hull, Yorkshire, HU1 1TH - Visit now

With over 100 different varieties of gin, including its own brand, this gin-obsessed cocktail bar in the heart of Hull’s Fruit Market area is the only bar in Yorkshire with a distillery on site.

Humber Street Distillery Co.
Humber Street Distillery Co.

Hitchcock’s Vegetarian Restaurant

Hitchcock’s Vegetarian Restaurant, 1 Bishop Lane, High Street, Hull, Yorkshire, HU1 1PA - Visit now

Strange, but highly rated, Hull’s very first vegetarian restaurant, Hitchcock’s, has been an unconventional spot for over 25 years, with a warren of rooms full of curios, the menu chosen by the first person to book and food served as an eat-as-much-as-you-like buffet.

Hitchcock's Vegetarian Restaurant

Butler Whites

Butler Whites, 2-3 Humber Street, Hull, Yorkshire, HU1 1TG - Visit now

This casual bistro restaurant occupies the carefully transformed warehouse of local fruit merchants Butler & Whites, the functional interior given a sophisticated update.

Butler Whites

Gusto da Gianni

Gusto da Gianni, 26 Newland Ave, Hull, Yorkshire, HU5 3AF - Visit now

Multi-award-winning authentic Italian restaurant Gusto da Gianni showcases the freshest ingredients and finest produce and cooking techniques from across Italy, creating some extremely appetising dishes.


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Bar or Pub
The Welly

Legendary nightclub in Hull, The Welly hosts regular events, musicians and club nights – all affordable and all incredibly entertaining.

Mill Bridge Gallery

Fine art, photography and sculpture – all by talented local artists – are exhibited in the Mill Bridge Gallery located in a canal-side building.


Sotano, in York, is a divine Mediterranean tapas bar and restaurant, also serving charcuterie boards of the finest ingredients.

Bar or Pub
Evil Eye

Evil Eye in York is a cocktail bar focused on embracing the spiritual, and engaging with the community.


Valhalla is ‘a venue that paid homage to York’s Viking heritage and somewhere with purely Rock ‘n Metal music in its soul’.

Bar or Pub
Fossgate Social

Coffee shop by day, bar by night – Fossgate Social is a small but vibrant independent venue serving speciality coffee, craft beer and cocktails.

Restaurant stock image

Tasting menus and full course dining experiences are on offer, bridging relaxed and fine dining to suit every taste with Japanese cuisine.


Legacy, in York’s iconic ‘The Grand’, offers a modern British and Yorkshire-inspired tasting menus paired with an exceptional wine list.

York Fine Arts

For over 40 years, this family run art gallery has gained a reputation for sourcing some of the finest contemporary arts for viewing and sale.

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