So what did you know about Leeds before coming here? – asked the journalist and I looked a bit puzzled. The truth is that I didn’t know much about the city, I have never been there before and had zero expectations. So, when VisitLeeds reached out to me asking if I would like to visit their beloved city in Yorkshire, I immediately said yes, as there is nothing more exciting to me than discovering a place I have never been or thought of before.
For those of you who haven’t heard about Leeds before, Leeds is a city located in Northern England in Yorkshire county, known for its university and football club. I have spent 4 days in Leeds and have experienced it from multiple angles – architecture, food, wellness. Here is a list of my favorite Leeds attractions that you really can’t miss during your stay.
Leeds attractions: Architecture
Victoria gate is hands down the most beautiful modern shopping center I have seen. Since its opening in 2016, it has already scored “Best Shopping Centre 2017” award. The design was inspired by Leed’s history and tradition as a textile manufacturing city and became a jewel in Leeds architecture. Victoria gate is also home to the biggest John Lewis store outside London.
City’s historic arcades have been home to some of the finest, iconic brands for more than 100 years. Entering this elaborated passage makes your head spin from the beauty of the cast iron arches and church-like lancet windows on upper stories.
The Ivy Leeds
Leeds is full of architectural gems and The Ivy Leeds is one of them. This newly refurbished restaurant and bar offer beautiful interior, specially crafted cocktails, and mouth-watering food.
Leeds Town Hall is the cultural heart of the city. Concerts, weddings, and private events take place in this great XIX century building.
I really enjoy seeing “the ugly” parts of architecture such as railway arches being repurposed. I was beyond happy to see how Leeds turned dark (and grey) railway arches into a colorful integral part of the city’s social landscape, thanks to multiple colorful lights.
Leeds attractions: Food
Are you more into food than anything else? I got you covered! During my stay in Leeds, I have experienced some of the best gastronomic spaces. Be sure to visit them!
It is no secret that Japanese cuisine is my favorite. I could eat sushi every day multiple times a day. And as a Japanese food lover, I can’t recommend you enough Issho. Not only you could try multiple delicious Japanese dishes but have a look at this Geisha cocktail! A true masterpiece!
As I have been living in Barcelona for quite a while already, I know a thing or two about Spanish cuisine. I was really skeptic to try Spanish food outside Spain, but it seems that my worries were completely unnecessary. Iberica has an amazing Spanish chef and will leave you tastebuds impressed.
Leeds Kirkgate Market
If you are a real foodie, how about a food tour? Head to Leeds Kirkgate Market, the birthplace of Marks & Spencer and largest covered market in Europe. First stop is delicious vegetarian Indian food by Manjit’s Kitchen accompanied by crafted beers. Next up oysters, crab sandwiches and other excellent seafood from-. The owners were so nice that they even packed crab sandwiches for takeaway for our return trip to London. During the food tour, we also sample Moroccan dishes and stopped at the Vietnamese stand. Everything was so good, I am drooling while writing this post!
Northstar roastery coffee (+ water taxi)
Freshly roasted and brewed coffee is a must for a good start of the week. Northstar roastery is supplying delicious coffee from famous coffee locations such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, etc. Order a “split shot” to try the differences between coffee blends.
You can easily reach this coffee place with a water taxi, which let’s agree is an attraction on its own.
If Leeds was famous for one thing, that probably would be amazing nightlife.
Beautiful weather in England? You need to celebrate than by spending an evening in the fresh air! Headrow House has an amazing rooftop terrace where you can enjoy a night out with friends.
Something for lovers of speakeasy bars! The Maven is located on Call Lane and offers creative and eye-pleasing cocktails for the chosen ones that found the entrance.
Northern Monk Brewery
This local brewery should be well-known all over the World for its cool collaboration concept. At Northern Monk Brewery, the owners reach out to famous breweries and wineries around the World to create a unique taste combination of excellent crafted beers, like beer with champagne!
Leeds attractions: Wellness
If you jumped straight to this part of the blog post, we could definitely be friends 😉 Leeds has recently started a beauty concierge service in Victoria Gates. During my stay in Leeds, I had a pleasure to experience Elemis SkinLab Consultation during which I learned how to take care of my skin. After that, I head to Bobby Brown stand and got natural smokey eye makeup that highlighted my natural beauty!
Where to stay
Radisson Blue Leeds
During my weekend in Leeds, I stayed at Radisson Blue Leeds, conveniently located in the heart of the city, just next to Town Hall. The rooms were modern, elegant and offered comfortable beds. All you need, after a long day of experiencing Leeds best attractions!