You’ll find plenty of things to do in Norwich, as the city offers a wealth of historical buildings and streets that still trace their medieval roots. Britain’s most easterly city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with annual festivals and some notable modern architecture – it's been recognized as a UNESCO City of Literature.

    Must-sees include the majestic Norwich Cathedral and the imposing Norman castle, as well as over 30 medieval churches. Many have been converted into excellent music, arts, and performance venues. Visit the city in May to take part in the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, which showcases classical and contemporary music, visual arts, and free outdoor programs.

    What are the best things to do in Norwich?


    Norwich Riverside Walk

    Start the day exploring medieval structures along the River Wensum

    • Photo
    • Budget

    Norwich Riverside Walk is a circular route around the city centre of Norwich. Spanning 2 miles along the bank of the River Wensum, the well-signed path takes you to several medieval structures, including the Cow Tower (a 14th-century artillery tower), Bishop Bridge (the oldest in Norwich), and Pull’s Ferry (a 15th-century arched watergate).

    Norwich Riverside Walk mostly covers both sides of the river, though you can take a short detour and visit the 11th-century Norwich Cathedral. As you stroll the riverside path, you’ll also get a great view of merchants’ houses on Elm Hill.

    Location: Riverside, Norwich, UK


    Norwich Castle

    An 11th-century site displaying archaeological treasures

    • History
    • Photo

    Norwich Castle is a royal fortification built by the Normans in 1067. First used as a palace, and then as a prison, it now serves as a museum and art gallery. You can see archaeological displays, the world’s largest collection of ceramic teapots, and artworks by Gainsborough and Hogarth.

    Children will love exploring the dungeons, though the gardens are well worth a stroll too. There are excellent natural-history dioramas and regularly changing exhibitions. A 62-step stairway takes you to the battlements, where you can take in panoramic views of Norwich.

    Location: 24 Castle Meadow, Norwich NR1 3JU, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1603 493625


    Norwich Guildhall

    A Grade I listed building on Gaol Hill

    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    The Norwich Guildhall dates back to the early 15th century, serving as the seat of the civic government and administration of justice until 1938. The east end of the municipal building has a very beautiful chequer-like exterior, featuring alternate squares of faced flint and ashlar stone.

    The Council Chamber is also a must-see, with its Victorian Gothic windows, oak panelling, renaissance decorative woodwork, and 16-bay roof. On Monday afternoons, you can join a guided tour of the administrative chambers, which are located on the upper floor of the Norwich Guildhall.

    Location: Guildhall Hill, Norwich NR2 1JS, UK


    The Forum

    Check out rotating exhibitions for free

    • Budget

    The Forum is a modern venue in central Norwich, located just opposite the St Peter Mancroft Church. Built to commemorate the Millennium, the building has a heritage centre, tourist information, exhibitions, a gift shop, a café, and an excellent pizzeria. It’s also home to the huge Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, one of the busiest public libraries in Britain.

    There’s always something going on at The Forum and everything is free. The entrance steps form an amphitheatre for watching impromptu street performances, art exhibitions, and processions.

    Location: Millennium Plain, Norwich NR2 1TF, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from 7 am to midnight, Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1603 727950


    photo by John Fielding (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Norwich Cathedral

    Join a free guided tour of the Romanesque church

    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Norwich Cathedral dates back to 1096, though it was only consecrated in 1287. The pale-limestone structure is one of the Norwich 12 heritage sites and the most complete Norman cathedral in England.

    Enter this Romanesque masterpiece to see lofty monastic cloisters, over 1,000 carvings, and a vaulted ceiling. The cathedral close, which you can enter through 2 gateways, is England's largest. Norwich Cathedral often hosts events and exhibitions, free guided tours, and evensong performances. There’s also a café serving light lunch, cakes and coffee.

    Location: 65 The Close, Norwich NR1 4DH, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm, Sunday from 1 pm to 3 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1603 218300


    Plantation Garden

    Also known as the Secret Garden of Norwich

    • Families
    • Photo

    The Plantation Garden is a restored green space in Norwich, just next to the Cathedral of St John The Baptist. This Grade II English Heritage listed garden has medieval-style walls, ruins and follies, as well as flowerbeds and mature trees lining its woodland walkways.

    Must-sees include the Victorian-style greenhouse, Italianate terrace and the 30-ft-tall Gothic fountain, which date back to the 19th century. The Plantation Garden often organises guided tours and talks covering its history.

    Location: 4 Earlham Rd, Norwich NR2 3DB, UK

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)7504 545810


    Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

    An award-winning museum in the University of East Anglia

    • History

    The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is an award-winning and eco-friendly landmark on the University of East Anglia campus. An excellent place to start an art tour in Norwich, it features decorative works spanning 5,000 years of world art, with specialised Art Nouveau, ceramics, and abstract art collections.

    You’ll find over 1,200 works by the likes of Picasso, Degas, and Bacon displayed alongside sculptures by Henry Moore and pieces from ancient Egypt. The Sculpture Park covers 350 acres of parkland, where you can see important works by Elisabeth Frink, Lynn Chadwick, Antony Gormley, and Liliane Lijn.

    Location: University of East Anglia, Norfolk Road, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Friday from 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1603 593199


    photo by Ian Beales (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Norwich Lanes

    The city’s vibrant shopping and nightlife quarter

    • Shoppers
    • Nightlife

    The Norwich Lanes is a buzzing shopping quarter that has independent stores and boutiques, along with several large department stores in its centre.

    The picturesque quarter is a network of narrow streets. Most – like the delightfully named Lobster Lane and Lower Goat Lane – are pedestrianised, with some featuring colourful buildings, such as Timberhill. Norwich Lanes has plenty of specialist stores, vintage shops, fashion retailers, and gift merchandisers. You can also find a vibrant nightlife scene, thanks to quaint pubs, cocktail bars and international restaurants livening up the streets after sunsets.

    Location: 8A Guildhall Hill, Norwich NR2 1SN, UK


    photo by Peter Trimming (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Norwich Theatre Royal

    Catch a wide range of performances at this 18th-century landmark

    • Nightlife
    • Couples
    • History

    The Norwich Theatre Royal is a historic performance venue on Theatre Street, opposite The Forum. While it opened its doors in 1758, it has undergone many reincarnations, now offering an eclectic mix of modern and art deco features.

    The Norwich Theatre Royal can seat up to 1,300 people at a time. You can also find 2 function rooms, 2 bars and a restaurant as well. Every year, it puts on around 400 performances, including opera, ballet, family-friendly shows, musicals, and modern dance.

    Location: Theatre St, Norwich NR2 1RL, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1603 630000


    photo by John Fielding (CC BY 2.0) modified



    End the day barhopping in the heart of Norwich

    • Nightlife

    Tombland is where you’ll find most of Norwich’s night-time activities. The area comes to life after dark, offering a mix of chain pubs, little drinking dens, and upscale restaurants set among pale-grey buildings and quaint streets. Many of these venues have outdoor seating, excellent for people-watching on a summer evening.

    Notable places to go at night in Tombland include All Bar One, Mr Postles' Apothecary, and Gonzo's Tea Room. If you like clubbing, Mantra Club & Lounge plays a mix of tunes, with an outdoor area and quieter upstairs bar.

    Location: Tombland, Norwich, UK


    photo by Elliott Brown (CC BY 2.0) modified

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