When it comes to tourist attractions, Newcastle upon Tyne is a beautiful tourist destination, full of incredible sights, exciting experiences, and remarkable landmarks. Here, you can visit medieval castles, explore art galleries, and enjoy the beautiful vistas. Discover the top 15 attractions in Newcastle to make the most of your trip.
What is it? A massive medieval castle located in the city center and one of the best tourist attractions in Newcastle.
Why should you go? Among the Newcastle City attractions, Newcastle Castle holds a special place: this landmark gave the city its name. This ancient Norman castle occupies the same space as the old Roman fort Pons Aelius; its imposing Black Gate and the Castle Keep are the oldest surviving elements of the building. Visitors can walk through the grim Black Gate, explore the dungeons of the Castle Keep, and enjoy the spectacular view of the city from the castle’s rooftop. It’s a great place to learn more about the history of Newcastle.
Specialization History & Architecture
Perfect for Families, kids, and history enthusiasts
The Tyne Bridge
What is it? This bridge across the River Tyne is the most iconic in Newcastle, and it’s one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city.
Why should you go? The Tyne Bridge is one of the most memorable symbols of Newcastle; it’s one of the seven bridges across the Tyne. While not as old as the High Level Bridge or the Swing Bridge, the Tyne Bridge is a noteworthy architectural landmark. The bridge was the longest arched bridge in the world when it opened in 1928. Even though it’s no longer the case, the Tyne Bridge is now an integral part of the Newcastle skyline; during the 2012 London Olympics, the largest Olympic rings in the UK were attached to the bridge.
Perfect for Families and couples
What is it? A 19th-century waggonway tunnel that runs underneath Newcastle from the Town Moor to the River Tyne.
Why should you go? Victoria Tunnel is an underground tunnel built between 1839 and 1842. Its primary goal was to transport coal from Spital Tongues (Leazes Main) Colliery to the Tyne. In 1939, the tunnel was converted into an air-raid shelter to protect the people of Newcastle during WWII. Currently, Ouseburn Trust hosts guided tours of the Victoria Tunnel, allowing visitors to learn and experience different periods from the tunnel’s past, including the later half of the 19th century and WWII. This tunnel also has a history of paranormal events, such as ghost sightings by some visitors. Specialization Architecture & History
Perfect for families and history enthusiasts
What is it? A serene and beautiful park in the eastern part of Newcastle, located between Jesmond Vale and South Gosforth.
Why should you go? Jesmond Dene gives you a perfect opportunity to rest from the hectic chaos of city life. Here, you can enjoy a relaxing walk in the serene valley on the bank of the Ouseburn river. Among various points of interest in Jesmond Dene are the Old Mill, St. Mary’s Chapel ruins, and the Pets’ Corner petting zoo. This park is a fantastic place for couples and families who need a break from busy city life. The park regularly hosts arts and crafts fairs on Sundays and open-air theatre performances in summer.
Specialization Entertainment & Recreation
Perfect for Families, kids, and couples
What is it? The Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas, located at the heart of Newcastle.
Why should you go? The Norman church at the current location of the cathedral is from the same period as the magnificent Newcastle Castle. However, it was destroyed by fire in 1216, so the building of Newcastle Cathedral is slightly younger, completed in the 14th century. This cathedral is an excellent example of the Perpendicular Gothic style from the late Middle Ages. Alternatively, you can scale the Lantern Tower to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city center. Newcastle Cathedral regularly hosts services, art exhibitions, history tours, book launches, and other events.
Specialization Architecture, History, and Religion
Perfect for Families and history enthusiasts
What is it? An area on both banks of the River Tyne in Newcastle and Gateshead, a must-see destination for any visitor.
Why should you go? Once home to a bustling industrial area and busy docks, nowadays, Quayside is a lively district full of restaurants, bars, beautiful vistas, and charming venues. Among the things you can do here are: walk on the riverbank, cross the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, shop at the Quayside Market, eat at one of the fine restaurants, spend a fun night at the local bar, and so on. Notable built attractions in the area include Sage Gateshead, Victoria Tunnel, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.
What is it? One of the most prominent theatres in the United Kingdom, with an impressive repertoire of performances.
Why should you go? Theatre Royal has been one of the major cultural hotspots in Newcastle since the 19th century. Here, you can enjoy a dazzling array of plays, musicals, opera performances, and other events like stand-up comedy and concerts. Among current events at the Theatre Royal are Unexpected Twist, Demon Dentist, Opera North: Tosca, Titanic, Treasure Island, and Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty. This theatre has something for any viewer, be it a hardcore theatre buff, a casual viewer, or a child.
Perfect for Theater enthusiasts, families, kids, and couples
What is it? A concert venue on Tyne’s riverbank that regularly hosts musical events of different genres.
Why should you go? Located within the Quayside district, Sage Gateshead is worth checking out based on its appearance alone: it looks like a giant shiny slug but is beautiful. Like Theatre Royal, Sage Gateshead is another hub of entertainment in Newcastle. Still, it features many more musical events of a different caliber. From classical to contemporary, all musical genres are covered within this fabulous venue. Additionally, Sage Gateshead regularly hosts music-themed classes and workshops for visitors of all ages.
Perfect for Music enthusiasts, couples, and families
Laing Art Gallery
What is it? An amazing art gallery with an impressive collection of art and an abundance of temporary events.
Why should you go? Opened in 1901, the Laing Art Gallery is one of the Newcastle city center attractions that displays local and international artworks within its halls. There are several permanent exhibitions like Northern Spirit dedicated to the art from the North East of England, 100 Years of Collecting, and Newcastle in Watercolours. Temporary events available at the time of writing include Visions of Ancient Egypt, The Untold Stories and the Tides of Change to Come, and more. Entry to the gallery is free for all visitors.
Specialization Art & Culture
Perfect for Art lovers
The Great North Museum: Hancock
What is it? A museum dedicated to natural history and ancient civilizations with a wide array of exhibitions and events.
Why should you go? The Great North Museum: Hancock is an exciting place with captivating and fun exhibitions on many topics. The Living Planet exhibition showcases different species found in different environments, like deserts, tropical forests, and tundra. Hadrian’s Wall gallery provides visitors with much information about this World Heritage Site with maps, models, and artifacts. For families with children under 5, there is a dedicated zone called the Mouse House.
Specialization Natural History & Science
Perfect for Families and kids
The Discovery Museum
What is it? A treasure trove of knowledge on the local history and culture, full of fun and memorable experiences.
Why should you go? The Discovery Museum is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the history and culture of Newcastle upon Tyne. Here, you will come face-to-face with Turbinia, the world’s first steam turbine-powered ship, fly around in the Red Arrows flight simulator, and tinker with some exhibits in the Science Maze. Destination Tyneside, Newcastle Story, and Working Lives give visitors more insight into how life in Newcastle has changed over the years. The museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions, master classes, and other events.
Specialization History, Arts & Crafts
Perfect for Family and kids
St. James Park
What is it? One of the largest football stadiums in the United Kingdom and home to the Newcastle United football club.
Why should you go? St. James Park is one of the most notable landmarks in the Newcastle skyline. It’s a must-visit destination for any football fan. Apart from the football matches and various other events hosted by the stadium, you can also book a guided tour of the entire stadium. Areas visited during the tour include the stands, dressing rooms, and the tunnel. You will learn the history of St. James Park, its day-to-day routine, and the preparations before each match. Overall, it’s one of the best places to visit if you’re a football fan.
Specialization Sports & History
Perfect for Football fans and kids
What is it? A shopping and entertainment area in downtown Newcastle that includes a shopping mall of the same name.
Why should you go? There are many landmarks and museums around Newcastle that you can visit. But what about shopping? The Eldon Square shopping mall is a one-stop shopping destination that offers a vast array of goods and services from over 100 stores. If you want to take a break from shopping, there are a bunch of restaurants and cafes that you can drop in for a quick bite. Eldon Square also hosts various fun events for children and adults alike. Near the Eldon Square shopping mall are two other shopping malls, Eldon Garden and the Central Arcade, in case one giant shopping mall isn’t enough for you.
Specialization Shopping & Recreation
Perfect for Shopping enthusiasts, families, and kids
The Biscuit Factory
What is it? The largest independent contemporary art gallery in the United Kingdom.
Why should you go? Contrary to its name, the Biscuit Factory is an art gallery, not a factory producing delicious cookies. Nonetheless, it’s worth a visit since it’s a wonderful place to survey the local contemporary art scene. Apart from the impressive permanent art collection, the Biscuit Factory regularly hosts many temporary exhibitions featuring talented artists like Stuart Buchanan, Olga Prinku, Samson Tudor, Mark Sofilas, and Valerie Wartelle. Additionally, you can sign up for a workshop, or two, if you’re feeling creative.
Specialization Art & Culture
Perfect for Art enthusiasts
Life Science Centre
What is it? A science center with the mission to develop an interest in life sciences among its visitors.
Why should you go? The Life Science Centre is one of the best attractions for families in Newcastle. It’s a great place to spend a fun and educational day out, especially if you’re exploring Newcastle with kids. This science center lets you increase your knowledge of life sciences and the world around you. Among the exciting interactive experiences available at the Life Science Centre are Wow Zone, Hello World, Brain Zone, LEGO Creations, Space Zone, the Sphere, and the largest planetarium in the north of England. This place is fun and worth a visit for grownups and children alike.
Specialization Science, Education, Entertainment
Perfect for Fans of science, families, and kids
What is Newcastle most famous for?
What are the best outdoor activities in Newcastle?
St. James Park
Gateshead Millennium Bridge
What are the best indoor activities in Newcastle?
Laing Art Gallery
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in Newcastle?