Best things to do in Newcastle Upon Tyne

Newcastle Upon Tyne is a charming city in the north of England. It’s extra special for us as we went to university and met there, so we are writing this post together. With only 300,000 inhabitants it’s an easy city to get around, you can do a lot on foot and there is also a great metro system. It has medieval walls and castles, Victorian markets and Postmodern architecture, and simply walking around the streets is a unique experience. It’s surrounded by stunning coastline and countryside so if you want to combine this with your city trip then this is a great place for you. Here are the best things to do in and around Newcastle.

Castle-Keep-Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Best things to do in Newcastle Upon Tyne
The castle © Copyright Steve M

Walk along the Quayside at night

Walking along the river Tyne in Newcastle is a wonderful way to spend an hour, day or night. There are many beautiful buildings and bridges, both historic and modern. The two most famous bridges are the Tyne Bridge (which you might recognise as a smaller twin of the Harbour Bridge in Sydney), and the Millennium Bridge, sometimes called the “Winking Eye”. The Millennium Bridge is the largest “Tilt Bridge” in the world, which means the 800 ton bridge can tilt 40° to let ships pass, which is an amazing sight. The bridge opens every day, you can see times here. If you visit at night, you will find many of the bridges and buildings lit up, and the view across the river is breathtaking.

Visit the Baltic

Just across the Millennium bridge from Newcastle is the Baltic contemporary art museum. It houses interesting and often surreal exhibitions which change every few months. Entry is free and there are 7 floors in total, 3 of which are used for exhibitions. On the 4th floor there is an outdoor viewing platform with panoramic views of the city and on the 5th floor there is also an indoor viewing box. The top floor has a restaurant which is supposed to be delicious but also pricey.

Castle-Keep-Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Best things to do in Newcastle Upon Tyne
View from The Baltic indoor viewing box. © Copyright Jimmy Guano

Visit the Victoria Tunnels

Newcastle’s history has been shaped by its important role as one of the centres of the industrial revolution, and there are relics of this time throughout the city. Originally used to transport coal from 1842, and then converted into an air raid shelter in World War 2, these tunnels are soaked with history. The only way to visit is by a guided tour, in which you find out all about its construction, what life was like there during WW2 and much more. You must book tickets in advance which you can do here for only £7.

Relax at Quilliam Brothers’ Teahouse

This lovely little teahouse that opened in 2013 serves 60 types of tea. So if you are a tea lover, this is definitely somewhere you have to go. And don’t worry if you’re not, they also serve coffee, hot chocolate and delicious desserts. Situated right next to the university, it is a very popular spot so you may have to wait for a table, but trust me it’s worth it for the comfy chairs, friendly staff and the unusual teas. They also have some board games to keep you entertained and a small cinema area where they sometimes show films.

Castle-Keep-Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Best things to do in Newcastle Upon Tyne
Us at Janine’s graduation, Newcastle University

See a comedy show at The Stand

There are lots of cool venues in Newcastle and this is definitely one of them. Nestled down a side street in the city centre, this comedy club is a great place to watch some amateur or well established comedians. Every Wednesday at 8.30pm they have a night called Red Raw, specifically for amateur comedians. You can see what’s on here

Have a night out on the Toon

The Toon is what Geordies (people from Newcastle) call Newcastle city centre. The Rough Guide to Britain placed Newcastle’s nightlife as Great Britain’s no. 1 tourist attraction, so your time in Newcastle is not complete until you experience its nightlife, whether that be in a club, a cocktail bar or a more traditional pub. There are lots of nice cocktail bars, Jalou and the Botanist being my favourites and there are pubs everywhere, I’d recommend Raffertys or the Hancock (only £2 for a pint!). There are endless clubs, but if you’re like us and prefer a more indie scene, check out Digital or The Cut.

Visit Tynemouth

Jump on the metro and in only 20 minutes you can get to Tynemouth, a picturesque seaside town. Every Sunday there is a market held at the metro station where you can find everything from antiques to delicious cakes. Once you are there, take a walk along the seafront and the beach, and take in the cool sea breeze. There are two beaches, the smaller one is pictured here. At the British seaside, you have to try some traditional fish and chips, and the best place to get them is Marshalls on Front Street. If you fancy spending a few hours there you can visit the aquarium or play some mini golf. Tynemouth also has a very nice castle.

Castle-Keep-Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Best things to do in Newcastle Upon Tyne
Tynemouth beach on a (rare) sunny day

Walk through Jesmond Dene

This park in the east of the city is a beautiful place to walk through, especially on a sunny day. A small river, the Ouseburn passes through it and it’s an ideal setting for a picnic. There is a free-entry petting zoo inside the park, known as Pets’ Corner. It’s also home to Newcastle’s oldest religious building, St Mary’s Chapel which is now in ruins and dates back to the 12th century.

Eat vegetarian/vegan food at the Bohemian

This vegetarian and vegan restaurant opened in 2015 and in these 2 years has become very well established. They have recently been awarded the UK’s best Vegan restaurant and this is definitely well deserved. The food is to die for and the staff are very friendly. I would recommend this place to anyone, meat-eaters included. If you don’t believe us check out these amazing reviews here.  

Have you ever been to Newcastle or would you like to go? Let us know in the comments!

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Castle-Keep-Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Best things to do in Newcastle Upon Tyne

Castle-Keep-Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Best things to do in Newcastle Upon Tyne

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