where to stay in leeds

Where to Stay in Leeds 2022: Best Areas & Hotels

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So, you’re venturing ‘up North’ in the UK to visit glorious Yorkshire, and you’re wondering where to stay in Leeds?

The multi-cultural city of Leeds is known for its outstanding shopping, varied cultural attractions, free museums, and world-class universities. Just 2 hours by train from London, Leeds is also on the doorstep of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

In this post, you’ll get an authentic Yorkshire local’s perspective on where to stay in Leeds to help you plan your trip to this vibrant city. You can also check out some FAQs and recommended activities around the city.

The UK’s 5th largest city, Leeds, is a vibrant and exciting foodies paradise steeped in history. There are several areas of Leeds that I would recommend staying in during your time in the city.

Where to Stay in Leeds: Best Areas & Hotels

I’ve lived and worked in and around Leeds for almost a decade and helped colleagues find accommodation in the city for events or meetings, so I know the city pretty well. I’ve hand-picked this list of the best places to stay in Leeds to help you plan your trip.

Whether you’re looking for where to stay in Leeds, places to stay in Leeds with hot tub rooms, or you want to find the best hotels in Leeds for access to the city’s historical attractions, you don’t need to look any further when planning your trip.

Here are my top recommendations for where to stay in Leeds.

1. Leeds City Centre – Where To Stay In Leeds For First-Time Visitors (Sightseeing)

When you’re new to the city, the buzzing and the compact city centre is the best area to stay in Leeds. Moments from the central train station, this neighbourhood is within walking distance of many of the city’s best attractions, shopping places, restaurants and bars.

Best Things To Do In Leeds City Centre

✔️ Explore Leeds’ magnificent Victorian buildings, including the impressive Town Hall and Leeds Cathedral. Don’t miss a peek at the Drury Dames statues that scandalised Leeds’ society when unveiled!

✔️ Shop ’til you drop – Leeds is blessed with incredible Victorian Shopping arcades bursting with boutique designer stores, a swanky John Lewis store, and a sprawling historic indoor market housing the original Marks & Spencer stall.

✔️ Taste the best Yorkshire food – Join a food tour to get an authentic flavour of Leeds’ cosmopolitan food scene, visiting the best independent pubs and restaurants and tasting food from the best street food stalls in the city.

These tours sell out fast, so you’ll want to book in advance to guarantee your place. ➡️ Click here to book Leeds’ best-rated local food tour.

Where To Stay In Leeds City Centre

If you’re unsure about where to stay in the centre of Leeds, consider the following options:

📍 Dakota Deluxe (Affordable Luxury)

A luxury boutique hotel just five minutes from Leeds train station with well-appointed guest rooms. You’ll love the luxurious monsoon showers, complimentary toiletries and supersoft, high thread-count sheets. Dakota Deluxe is one of the best places to stay in Leeds with hot tub rooms available on request.

Top Tip: Dine in the excellent restaurant and sip a cocktail in the stylish cocktail bar or check out the vibrant bars and restaurants of Greek Street, moments away from the hotel.

➡️ Click here to book your stay at one of the best 5 star hotels in Leeds.

📍 Novotel Leeds Centre (Great Value)

This mid-budget 4-star hotel in Leeds is just a three-minute walk from the train station. With a great gym, sauna and steam room, this bright hotel offers a great retreat after a day of sightseeing or shopping.

The funky Soap Factory Cocktail Lounge and Kitchen is a surprisingly good place to eat, with tasty desserts starting from only £5 and a very well-stocked gin bar.

➡️ Save money and book your room at the Novotel here

📍 Discovery Inn – Leeds (Cheap/Budget Friendly)

Moments from Leeds station, this no-frills hotel offers large rooms with good blackout blinds, extra comfy beds and superb showers. A real favorite with business travellers and weekenders keen to be close to Leeds’ excellent bars and restaurants.

➡️ Check prices for your dates at Discovery Inn – Leeds by clicking here.

2. Headingley – Where To Stay In Leeds for Nightlife, Rugby and Cricket

Headingley is the main student area in Leeds, with a warm and youthful vibe that’s perfect for visitors on a tight budget. There are trendy bars and places to eat, a buzzing nightlife, and excellent connections to the city centre by bus and train.

This Leeds neighbourhood is also the home of Headingley stadium, the summer home of Yorkshire cricket, while in the winter months, it’s the home ground for the Leeds Rhinos rugby league team.

Best Things To Do In Headingley

✔️ Watch a movie in the atmospheric hundred-year-old Hyde Park Picture House – known as “the cosiest cinema in Leeds”.

✔️ Get tickets for rugby or cricket at Headingley Stadium, which has been used since the 1890s.

✔️ Walk the gentle 7-mile Meanwood Valley Trail – known as “the green artery of Leeds” to pretty Golden Acre Park. Pop into the Original Oak on your way back for a pint or a bite to eat.

Meanwood Valley Trail where to stay in Leeds
Meanwood Valley Trail in Headingley, Leeds

✔️ Visit the Bowery visual arts centre to enjoy the exhibitions or participate in a creative workshop.

✔️ Take your pick from the world cuisines in Headingley’s restaurants. Will you choose Chinese, Mexican, Greek, Indian, Turkish, or Italian?

Where To Stay In Headingley

Headingley has a selection of quality hotels, plus numerous short-stay apartments and private houses.

Top Tip: If you’re planning a trip at the same time as a large sporting fixture at Headingley stadium or in late September/early October when parents drop students off at university, you’ll need to book your room fast!

Here are some of the best places to stay in Headingley:

📍 Haley’s Hotel (Great Value)

Haley’s is a real treasure! A privately owned country house hotel with just 26 comfortable bedrooms and modern facilities. The lovely public areas lend a friendly country house atmosphere, and the food is excellent!

➡️ Check availability at Haley’s Hotel here for your travel dates.

📍 Headingley Lodge (Great Value)

With some guest rooms overlooking the Headingley stadium, this comfortable 4-star hotel in Leeds is a firm favourite with cricket and rugby fans.

➡️ Click here to book your stay at Headingley Lodge, as rooms get booked up rapidly when sporting fixtures are announced.

📍 The Boundary Hotel – B&B (Cheap/Budget Friendly)

Conveniently located close to Headingley train station and next to Headingley stadium, this charming pet-friendly B&B offers comfortable rooms (some have shared bathrooms), free Wi-Fi, free parking and a very good cooked breakfast.

➡️ If you’re looking for a cosy, no-frills stay in Headingley, click here to book your stay at the Boundary Hotel – B&B.

3. Leeds Dock – Where To Stay In Leeds for Culture and History

Leeds Dock and Leeds Armouries
Leeds Dock. Photo by Gary Butterfield on Unsplash

The Leeds Dock area, where rejuvenated Victorian warehouses and contemporary buildings mingle along the banks of the River Aire, is a 20-minute walk from Leeds train station.

This Leeds neighbourhood is the perfect base for exploring the history and culture of this great city. At Leeds Dock, you’ll find a good selection of bars and places to eat, with connections to the city centre by bus and water taxi.

Best Things To Do In Leeds Dock

Royal Armouries Museum at Leeds Dock
Royal Armouries, Leeds

✔️ Visit the Royal Armouries Museum – the British national collection of arms and armoury originally kept in the Tower of London. This spectacular museum is free to visit, with live demonstrations of activities such as jousting and sword fighting.

✔️ Ride one of the jolly yellow Dutch Water Taxis that run between Leeds Dock and Leeds train station.

✔️ Discover tropical plants, meerkats and terrapins in the greenhouses at Roundhay Park’s Tropical World. Explore the Butterfly House or stroll around the lake and rolling 700 acres of parkland in one of the largest urban parks in the world.

✔️ Take an immersive Leeds Heritage Pub and Brewery Tour of five traditional Leeds pubs, try some of the best beers from the area and learn about the heritage of brewing in the region from your local guide.

These tours are hugely popular with locals and visitors, so you’ll need to book in advance to guarantee your place. ➡️ Click here to book Leeds’ highest-rated heritage pub and brewery tour.

Where To Stay In Leeds Dock

This area of Leeds has a selection of quality hotels and short-stay apartments. Here are some of the best places to stay in Leeds Dock:

📍 Holiday Inn Express Leeds City Centre – Armouries (Great Value)

Ideally located next to the Royal Armouries, the Holiday Inn Express Leeds – Armouries is only a 15-minute walk from Leeds city centre. All of the 130 guest rooms have free WiFi and hot drinks, a choice of pillows and comfortable beds.

➡️ Check availability here for your visit dates at the Holiday Inn Express Leeds City Centre – Armouries

📍 ibis budget Leeds Centre Crown Point Road (Cheap/Budget Friendly)

A very popular budget hotel in a fantastic location close to the historic Leeds Minster and Leeds central bus station. The rooms are well-appointed, with some great family-friendly options. There’s a bright breakfast area with microwave ovens available for guests to use too.

➡️ Click here to book your stay at ibis budget Leeds Centre, as the cheapest rooms book up very quickly!

If you prefer the privacy and convenience of an apartment for your stay in the Leeds Dock area, you will love the luxurious Cartier House at the Leeds Dock or the superb facilities at Clarence Dock.

Visiting Leeds, Yorkshire, UK: FAQs

I hope I’ve answered your questions about where to stay in the exciting city of Leeds. In case there’s something I’ve missed, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this city.

What is Leeds most famous for?

Leeds is where carbonated water was invented in the 18th century. Today, it’s an established finance and business services centre with leading universities and the headquarters of Channel 4 TV.

Is Leeds good for a weekend away?

Leeds is brilliant for a weekend away. Whether you love shopping, history or lively nightlife, there will be plenty to keep you busy in Leeds for a weekend.

Which towns are close to Leeds?

Leeds is well located – just 2 hours by train from London, an hour from Manchester and around 30 minutes from the historic city of York. It’s also close to many of the most beautiful towns in Yorkshire, including Harrogate, Knaresborough and Haworth (the Bronte Sisters’ village).

Related Post: 12 Perfect Day Trips From Leeds

Wrap Up – Where To Stay In Leeds 2022

So there it is. Whether you’re visiting Leeds for the shopping, the history, the nightlife or a romantic trip with your partner, Leeds will deliver more than you expect.

After living near Leeds for almost ten years, I believe that Leeds is one of the best cities to visit in the United Kingdom. The compact city centre makes Leeds easy to navigate and explore. It’s the perfect short break destination, and there are good options for all budgets for where to stay in Leeds.