Newcastle upon Tyne: The Complete Guide

Tyne Bridge
CC BY-SA 2.0 / herdiephoto

Newcastle upon Tyne, often shortened to simply Newcastle, is the most populous city and metropolitan borough in North East England. It forms the core of the Tyneside conurbation, the eighth most populous urban area in the United Kingdom. It is situated on the northern bank of the River Tyne.

The city developed around the Roman settlement Pons Aelius around a fort was built on a site close to the present Tyne Bridge. The city was named after the castle built in 1080 by William the Conqueror’s eldest son Robert Curthose. In the 14th century, the city grew as an important center for the wool trade and later became a major coal mining area. The port developed in the 16th century and, along with the shipyards lower down the River Tyne, was among the world’s largest ship-building and ship-repairing centers.

Newcastle is renowned throughout Britain for its vibrant nightlife, and its large 42,000-strong student population. Geordies, the people of Newcastle are proud of their city and many are fanatically loyal supporters of the local football team and the local ale.

Visiting Newcastle upon Tyne for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Newcastle upon Tyne on the first visit. To help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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28 Best places to See in Newcastle upon Tyne

This complete guide to Newcastle upon Tyne not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Newcastle upon Tyne and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Great North Museum: Hancock

Hancock TRex
CC BY-SA 1.0 / Chemical Engineer
The Great North Museum: Hancock is a museum established in 1884 of natural history and ancient civilisations in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The collection is a little varied, and ranges from the natural history of the Newcastle area to 2 mummies from Ancient Egypt and other artefacts from around the ancient world. The  Hadrian’s Wall gallery […]
Location: Great North Museum: Hancock Barras Bridge Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4PT United Kingdom | Hours: 10am-5pm Mon-Fri, to 4pm Sat, 11am-4pm Sun | Price: general admission free, planetarium adult/child £3/2 | Website | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting Great North Museum: Hancock

Click here to read our blog about Hadrians Wall - Day 6 - Heddon-on-the-Wall to Wallsend

Grey's Monument

Grey’s Monument, Newcastle Upon Tyne
CC BY-SA 2.0 / James Cridland
Grey’s Monument is a monument to Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey built in 1838 in the center of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The 2nd Earl Grey was the UK Prime Minister from 1830-1834, and the statue was erected to acclaim Earl Grey for the passing of the Great Reform Act of 1832. The monument is […]
Location: Grey's Monument 150 Grainger St Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5AF United Kingdom | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Tickets are £5 fee per person | Website | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting Grey's Monument

Click here to read our blog about Hadrians Wall - Day 5 - Chollerford to Heddon-on-the-Wall

Laing Art Gallery

Laing Art Gallery
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Mark Smiles
The Laing Art Gallery is a gallery with 18th-20th century British oil paintings and watercolors on display in vaulted-ceilinged galleries and located in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It was opened in 1904 and is housed in a Grade II listed building, designed in the Baroque style with Art Nouveau elements by architects Cackett & Burns […]
Location: Laing Art Gallery, New Bridge Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK | Hours: 10am-5pm Tue-Sat, 2-5pm Sun | Price: Entry is free to the gallery, shop and café but an admission charge applies to some exhibitions. | Website | Distance: 0.70km
Visiting Laing Art Gallery

Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Theatre Royal, Newcastle
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Christopher Down
The Theatre Royal is a historic theater in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The Theatre Royal is one of only 9 Grade I listed theater halls in England. It first opened its doors in February 1837 on Newcastle’s Grey Street. It underwent a large renovation after a fire following a showing of Macbeth in 1899. The […]
Location: 100 Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 6BR | Website | Distance: 0.70km
Visiting Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Grainger Market

Grainger Market, Newcastle
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Christopher Down
Grainger Market covered 19th-century vegetable market, located in Newcastle, England. The Grade I listed market was constructed as part of the redevelopment of the city to replace markets on the site of Grey Street. Originally had a meat market in one half and a vegetable market in the other. It was designed by architect John […]
Location: Grainger Market, Grainger Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK | Hours: Mon - Sat 09:00 - 17:30 | Price: N/A | Website | Distance: 0.70km
Visiting Grainger Market

Edwardian Central Arcade

Shops In Central Arcade, Newcastle Upon Tyne
CC BY-SA 2.0 / James Cridland
The Central Arcade is a Grade II listed Edwardian shopping arcade built in 1906 located in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is an elegant place with its glass barrel-vaulted roof and stunning tile work. It is located in a triangular building, originally called the Central Exchange, which was designed by Oswald and Son and built […]
Visiting Edwardian Central Arcade

Blackfriars Restaurant

Blackfriars Restaurant
Public Domain / Dposte46
Blackfriars Restaurant is located in a 13th century former medieval friary located in Newcastle, England. It serves an award-winning seasonal and local menu with some of the best Sunday lunches, Afternoon Teas and fine-dining menus in the city. The building has Dominican origins dating back to 1239, and a long and turbulent history that included […]
Location: Friars Street Newcastle upon Tyne Tyne and Wear NE1 5XD United Kingdom | Hours: Mon - Thus : 12:00 - 14:30, 17:30 - 21:30 Friday 12:00 - 14:30, 14.45 – 17.00 (afternoon tea), 17:00 - 21.30 (dinner) Saturday 12:00 - 14:30, 14.45 – 17.00 (afternoon tea), 17:00 - 21.30 (dinner) Sunday 12:00 - 16:00 | Website | Distance: 0.80km
Visiting Blackfriars Restaurant

Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne

Literary And Philosophical Society Of Newcastle
CC BY-SA 1.0 / Michael D Beckwith
The Literary and Philosophical Society is a historical library in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is popularly known as the Lit & Phil. Founded in 1793 as a “conversation club” by the Reverend William Turner and others – more than fifty years before the London Library. Its members debated a wide range of issues, although […]
Location: Bolbec Hall, 23 Westgate Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SE, UK | Hours: Monday 9.30am* - 7.00pm Tuesday 9.30am - 8.00pm Wednesday 9.30am - 7.00pm Thursday 9.30am - 7.00pm Friday 9.30am - 5.00pm Saturday 9.30am - 1.00pm | Website | Distance: 1.00km
Visiting Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne

St Nicholas Cathedral

Newcastle Cathedral And Black Gate
CC BY-SA 2.0 / michael kooiman
The Cathedral Church of St Nicholas is a 14th-century cathedral located in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The cathedral was founded in 1091 but the Norman structure was destroyed by fire in 1216; its replacement was completed in 1350. The lantern spire was added in 1448, and aided navigation of ships along the Tyne. It became […]
Location: The Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas St. Nicholas Sq Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1PF United Kingdom | Hours: 7.30am-6pm Sun-Fri, 8am-4pm Sat | Price: Free - donation requested | Website | Distance: 1.00km
Visiting St Nicholas Cathedral

Discovery Museum

Turbina At Discovery Museum
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Martin McG
The Discovery Museum is a local history and science museum located in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. You can discover the area’s renowned maritime history and world-changing science and technology right through to fashion through the eras and military history. Exhibitions spread across three floors of the former Co-operative Wholesale Society building. The entrance to the […]
Location: Discovery Museum Blandford Square Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 4JA | Hours: 10am-4pm | Price: Free | Website | Distance: 1.10km
Visiting Discovery Museum

Pons Aelius

Pons Aelius was a Roman auxiliary castrum or fortified camp and also Roman settlement at the original eastern end of Hadrian’s Wall, close to the center of present-day Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It was the second link in the fortress chain of Hadrian’s Wall  and was occupied between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD. It was part […]
Visiting Pons Aelius

Newcastle Castle

Castle Newcastle Upon Tyne
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Chabe01
Newcastle Castle is a medieval fortification in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is thought that an Iron Age fort existed here and later a first century Roman Fort. However, the first confirmed fortification was an unusually small Roman fort built around AD 120 to protect and defend their bridge over the River Tyne. The settlement […]
Location: Castle Garth, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1RQ, UK | Hours: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm | Price: £7 per adult and £4 per child | Website | Distance: 1.20km
Visiting Newcastle Castle

Bessie Surtees House

Bessie Surtees House, Newcastle Upon Tyne
CC BY-SA 2.0 / David
Bessie Surtees House is the name of two 16th and 17th century, two five-storey merchants’ house, located in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The Tyne’s northern bank was the hub of commercial Newcastle in the 16th century and on Sandhill a row of leaning merchant houses has survived from that era. The buildings are a fine […]
Location: Historic England Bessie Surtees House 41-44 Sandhill Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3JF United Kingdom | Hours: 10am-4pm Mon-Fri | Price: Free | Website | Distance: 1.20km
Visiting Bessie Surtees House

Life Science Centre

Centre For Life, Newcastle Upon Tyne
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Samuel Mann
Life Science Centre is an educational visitor attraction in the center of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It houses science exhibitions, live shows and the biggest planetarium in the North of England. Pn of the highlights of a visit is the Motion Ride, a simulator that lets you ‘experience’ bungee jumping and the like (the 4D […]
Location: Life Science Centre, Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4EP | Hours: 1st June - 2nd December Monday to Saturday 10:00 - 18:00 Sunday 11.00 - 18:00 Ice Skating available from 11th November - 18th February | Price: Adults: £15.00 Kids (5-17): £8.00 Under-4s: Free | Website | Distance: 1.30km
Visiting Life Science Centre

Historic Quayside

Millenium Bridge Newcastle Upon Tyne
The Quayside is an area along the banks of the River Tyne, in Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead in the, North East England, United Kingdom. In the past, the Quayside played a central part of Newcastle’s industrial history and heritage, serving as a commercial dockside. Coal was also ferried down to the Quayside via the 2.5-mile-long […]
Location: The Quayside 35-37 Close Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3RN United Kingdom | Distance: 1.30km
Visiting Historic Quayside

Biscuit Factory

The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle
thebiscuitfactory / thebiscuitfactory
The Biscuit Factory is a Contemporary art gallery opened in 2002 in Newcastle upon Tyne. It is the largest commercial art, craft & design gallery in the UK, where you can purchase works by more than 200 artists each season in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, glassware and furniture, many with a northeast […]
Location: The Biscuit Factory 16 Stoddart St Shieldfield Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 1AN United Kingdom | Hours: 10am-5pm Mon-Fri, to 6pm Sat, 11am-5pm Sun | Price: Free | Website | Distance: 1.30km
Visiting Biscuit Factory

The Tyne Bridges

Newcastle Skyline
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Matthew Wragg
When you think Newcastle, an iconic image that comes to mind is the Tyne Bridge. There are seven bridges span the River Tyne in and around Newcastle – 2 rail bridges, 3 road bridges, 1 which does both, and a footbridge. You get among the best views of the other 6 from the newest bridge, […]
Location: Tyne Bridge A167 Newcastle upon Tyne NE8 2BH United Kingdom | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free | Website | Distance: 1.40km
Visiting The Tyne Bridges

Sage Gateshead

Sage Gateshead
Sage Gateshead is a concert venue and an international home for music and musical discovery, located in Gateshead on the south bank of the River Tyne, England. The venue which opened in 2004 is built of curved glass and stainless steel. It has two main stages of acoustic excellence, a 26-room music education centre, a […]
Location: Sage Gateshead Sage St Mary's Square Gateshead NE8 2JR United Kingdom | Distance: 1.50km
Visiting Sage Gateshead

BALTIC – Centre for Contemporary Art

The River Tyne & Baltic Flour Mills
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Jimmy McIntyre
The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art is a center for contemporary art located on the south bank of the River Tyne, England. It opened in 2002 in a converted flour mill, a landmark industrial building, and hosts changing programme of exhibitions and events, with no permanent exhibition. BALTIC is now a huge mustard-coloured art gallery […]
Location: Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, South Shore Road, Gateshead, UK | Hours: 10am-6pm Wed-Mon, 10.30am-6pm Tue | Website | Distance: 1.60km
Visiting BALTIC – Centre for Contemporary Art

Victoria Tunnel

Victoria Tunnel
ouseburntrust / ouseburntrust
The Victoria Tunnel is a underground tunnel under Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It runs for 2.5 miles from the Town Moor down to the River Tyne. It was built between 1839 and 1842 to transport coal from Leazes Main Colliery in Spital Tongues to riverside ready for loading onto boats for export. Loaded wagons descended […]
Location: Victoria Tunnel Tour Meeting Point, 55 Lime St, Valley, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2PQ | Hours: Our eight regular two-hour tours areMondays at 1.30pm Wednesdays at 1.30pm Thursdays at 6.30 pm; Fridays at 10.30 am and 1.30 pm; Saturdays at 10 am and 1 pm; Sundays at 1 pmShorter one-hour tours at weekendsSaturday at 4pm Sunday at 11am and 4pm | Distance: 1.70km
Visiting Victoria Tunnel

Seven Stories – The Centre for Children's Books

Centre For Childrens Books, Lime Street
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Andrew Curtis / Centre for Children's Books, Lime Street
Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books is a museum and visitor centre dedicated to children’s literature, located in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The museum opened its doors in 2005 and is located across the seven floors of an old Victorian mill. Its name comes from a saying that there are only seven stories […]
Location: 30 Lime Street Ouseburn Valley Newcastle Upon Tyne England NE1 2PQ | Hours: 10am-5pm Tue-Sat, to 4pm Sun | Price: adult/child £7.70/6.60 | Website | Distance: 1.70km
Visiting Seven Stories – The Centre for Children's Books

Jesmond Dene Park

Jesmond Dene Waterfall
Flickr / Mick C
Jesmond Dene is a wonderful, historic park in east end of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It occupies the narrow steep-sided wooded valley of a small river known as the Ouseburn, flowing south to join the River Tyne. The Land was given to Lord Armstrong as a wedding present in 1835. Lord Armstrong and his wife, […]
Location: Jesmond Dene Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DZ United Kingdom | Website | Distance: 2.10km
Visiting Jesmond Dene Park

Benwell Roman Temple

Roman Temple Of Antenociticus
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Mike Quinn
Benwell Roman Temple is the remains of a Roman Temple located a few miles from the center of Newcastle. The small temple was dedicated to the a local deity Antenociticus, in the civilian settlement which stood outside Condercum fort. The temple was built about AD 178–80. There are three altars found within the ruins of […]
Location: Benwell Roman Temple - Hadrian's Wall Broomridge Ave Newcastle upon Tyne NE15 6QP United Kingdom | Hours: Daylight Hours | Price: Free | Website | Distance: 2.90km
Visiting Benwell Roman Temple

Condercum Fort

The Vallum Crossing At Benwell Fort
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Mike Quinn
Condercum fort was the third fort on Hadrian’s Wall, after (Wallsend) and Pons Aelius (Newcastle). It was situated on a hilltop 2 miles (3 km) to the west of the Newcastle and its name Condercum, meant ‘place with a fine view’. Today, nothing can be seen of the fort or its adjoining wall, as the site is […]
| Hours: Daylight Hours | Price: Free | Website | Distance: 2.90km
Visiting Condercum Fort

Segedunum

Roman Statue At Segedunum Fort, Wallsend
CC BY-SA 4.0 / RandomPsychic
Segedunum was a Roman fort at the eastern end of Hadrian’s Wall in modern-day Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, England, UK. It is the most thoroughly excavated fort along Hadrian’s Wall, and is operated as Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum. Built in AD127, it was in use as a garrison for approximately 300 years, up […]
Location: Segedunum Roman Fort & Museum Buddle St Wallsend Newcastle upon Tyne NE28 6HR | Hours: 10am-5pm Jun–mid-Sep, to 4pm Easter-May & mid-Sep–early Nov, to 2.30pm Mon-Fri early Nov-Easter | Price: adult/child £6/free | Website | Distance: 5.60km
Visiting Segedunum

Gibside

Gibside
Gibside is an estate in the Derwent Valley with a 18th-century designed landscapes located in North East England. Gibside was created by one of the richest men in Georgian England, George Bowes. It is now a National Trust property and this 243-hectare (600-acre) estate once a pleasure ground for the Georgian elite, can now be […]
| Price: Adult £12.00, Child £6.00, Family £30.00 | Website | Distance: 9.70km
Visiting Gibside

Washington Old Hall

Eagles At Washington Old Hall
Public Domain / ProhibitOnions
Washington Old Hall is a manor house located in Washington Village, Tyne and Wear, England, United Kingdom. It was the ancestral home of George Washington, the first President of the United States. Washington Old Hall is now operated by the National Trust. Visitors can explore the inside of the manor’s old Hall with its wood-panelled […]
Location: The Avenue, Washington, England, NE38 7LE, United Kingdom | Hours: 10:00 - 17:00 | Website | Distance: 10.60km
Visiting Washington Old Hall

Beamish

Beamish Museum Street Scene
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Mjobling
Beamish Museum is an open-air museum located at Beamish, England. The museum’s, which is spread over 120 hectares, intends to preserve an example of everyday life in urban and rural North East England at the height of industrialization in the early 20th century.You can travel from the Georgian period of the 1820s to the pre-World […]
Location: Beamish, the Living Museum of the North Regional Resource Centre Beamish DH9 0RG United Kingdom | Hours: 10am-5pm Easter-Oct, 10am-4pm Nov-Easter, closed Mon & Fri Jan–mid-Feb, last admission 3pm | Price: Adult/Child £19/11 | Website | Distance: 11.00km
Visiting Beamish