Shambles
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Shambles (or The Shambles as it is often referred to) is a street in the city centre of York with a long and interesting past. Dating back to Medieval times it was once the street of the butcher shops. Today the Shambles is Europe's most visited street, attracting tourists, shoppers and business clients.
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  • Emma G
    Northampton, United Kingdom60 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mini shop and market worth a visit
    Very busy but love the old fashion street with mini shop unlike now. Cobbles street so can be hard for some disability wheelchair etc however there is a market at the bottom of the street with less cobble or on the side. As state it can be busy and get stuck. All mini shop can be crowded however the shop assistant can block it and form into a queue outside. Reminded and also sell Harry potter stuff too like potion and toys. There is a popular shop ghost York which mean nothing to me however it is limited item and won't show price until you go into the shop. But twice I visit and this place seem to always have big queue so get there early to avoided standing longer. There are plenty of food shop around especially cake yum yum 😋 Christmas shop open all year round, jewellery and butcher. Worth a visit
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 2, 2023
  • JOANNE M
    59 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good
    Not sure what I was expecting the. Heard how lovely it is. And always wanted to go. Market was okay, nothing stood out to us. And Shambles Street, thought it would be longer and more shops. Like I say, it's what I thought it would be like. It hasn't put us off coming again, but we would look at other things to do while up for a day visit. Christmas shop was magical, friendly staff and wishing you a Happy Christmas when we walked in, brought from this shop, definitely pop in.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 8, 2023
  • M S
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A wealth of small streets and curious shops!
    It's world renowned and for a very good reason. You can't visit York and not spend time meandering through the twists and turns of the Shambles. Something new and delightful around every corner...oh, and don't forget to look up! Meow!
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 9, 2023
  • Pablo
    Raunds, United Kingdom102 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Busy
    Very busy place was difficult to get around but i did go at the busiest time. But it’s definitely worth a look even if your not into Harry Potter. The place has lots of history the buildings with the original wooden beams are still going strong.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 12, 2023
  • Vickie B
    Birmingham, United Kingdom9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great experience!
    Amazing place to visit, lots to see and do. Plenty of places to eat and drink, restaurants and food on the go. Weekend was lovely, but became lively on the Saturday and very busy Sunday in the daytime. Great shops and boutiques to visit.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 14, 2023
  • Beccaowl
    Preston, United Kingdom100 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Shambles harry potter
    Amazing shops which we loved pursuing. The Harry Potter shops, amd Christmas store our favourites but other shops showcased lots of membobrila. Only negative was queuing people for potions. We also enjoyed shambles market and food outlets. Fudge shop good to watch how it was made. Go early or late to avoid queues.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 16, 2023
  • roy v
    Traralgon, Australia5,875 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Once a row of butcher shops
    While in York we spent time in the Shambles , I think most people who visit York do as it is always busy. Hard to imagine this was once a row of butcher shops, must have been a bit smelly in those days. This street is an architectural wonder of years gone by , such lovely Tudor style places housing so many interesting businesses. One could spend hours there just browsing and admiring the buildings. Like going back in time to another era, never get tired of visiting.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 5, 2023
  • Jebediah_Solomon
    Hong Kong, China363 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Charming at night
    The medieval streets and buildings are especially charming at night. Lovely little street. A bit crowded during the day while shops sell the usual curios, harry potter wands and what not but still very much worth a visit.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 9, 2023
  • Kay
    9 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must visit
    The Shambles has such a great atmosphere with its Harry Potter connections and shops. The historic buildings are amazing: so close together but also the small prayer room which was used when it was illegal to have catholic prayer rooms and the owner St. Margaret Clitherow was killed for her beliefs. It was the one place to find a quiet moment on a very busy and now commercialized street. The contrast was very leveling. Love the mix of shops here but for photos I would suggest getting there very early before 8am or late, after 8pm. Something for everyone here, from the young to the older age groups.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 1, 2023
  • James H
    Arnold, Maryland963 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must Not Be Missed!
    What a great place to visit and gawk in all the shop windows. It is a magical place well worth exploring. Some of the Harry Potter themed shops had lines waiting to get in but most shops were very approachable if not a bit crowded.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 6, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles16,157 reviews
Excellent
9,885
Very good
4,741
Average
1,277
Poor
177
Terrible
77

Chris Anthoney
Mansfield, UK11 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Returned to the Shambles, having visited a few years ago. I remembered it as being a quaint, cobblestoned street, full of history and a place you could spend a few hours discovering “different” shops. I was so disappointed! It was full of tacky, Harry Potter inspired gift shops plus the inevitable over-priced, underwhelming, expensive eateries. I think it took us half an hour to walk the full length, not stopping to look at anything, as I could have been in any city, with cheap-looking, tacky giftware at one end of the spectrum to high priced, designer shops that can be found in any large city. Will not rush to return.
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The Chef's Wife.
Norfolk, UK874 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
I visited here with my husband mid-week.
I have been several times before but he has never been.

There is no dedicated parking but it is right next to York Minster and in the centre so easy to find.

The Shambles is an amazing example of architecture from that time and the buildings all look very well preserved.

Unfortunately, what used to be a street of quirky and interesting shops that locals and tourists alike could use has now just become a Harry Potter themed street and shops full of overpriced junk for tourists.

It's a very busy street so you often will have to queue to enter shops and you will ALWAYS be in someone's way if you try to take photographs, look up at the buildings from a stood still position or want to look in shops.
But my late afternoon / early evening, it's dead and you can wander around easily.

The Shambles Market is worth a browse as this has become a bit of a 'hipster' paradise with Instagrammable (but often tasty) food outlets that aren't too expensive and some decent stalls.

If you visit York, you MUST go to The Shambles because the chance to see a street like this should not be missed. But the shops themselves are forgettable and it's such a shame the shops have lost the charm and variety of previous years.
Written October 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PhilthetravellerXI
Avoca Beach, Australia842 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
This iconic area of York is well worth a visit. It dates back to the 14th century and was apparently the area used by the butchers of that era. Nowadays it is a collection of narrow, winding lanes – Shambles and Little Shambles – full of tourist, souvenir and sweet shops, with some Harry Potter outlets, and heaps of tourists. The latter can be an issue especially at weekend and holiday times, making shopping almost impossible. The ancient building and shops with their Tudor appearances, uneven walls and roofs are however a delight and a photographer’s dream. Allow around 30-45 minutes to explore, then try and find somewhere to have refreshments. Street theatre artists abound and provide some entertainment. A must place to visit when in York.
Written January 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lucy Halliday
Washington, UK53 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
It is a very picturesque street with a great historical vibe. The street itself is covered with cobbles and is very uneven so may not be suited to those in a wheelchair. It is also very very busy during the day. I visited both during the day and night and although none of the shops are open during the night, if you want to take your time and not be stressed by the crowds I would recommend visiting during the night. However, the crowds during the day are to be expected but this does not make them any less annoying. Despite this, it’s a must do while in York. Especially if you are a Harry Potter fan. I recommend visiting but if you are visiting during the day you need a lot of patience because of the crowds.
Written January 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DB5MiiOwl
essex176 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Friends
We visited this and there are a lot of shops and just like being on a Harry Potter film set. There is a shop that sells “a york egg” and reasonable handmade pies, sausage rolls and brownies.

The Yorkshire roast does an amazing pudding wrap………….i had pork with carrots, roasties, apple sauce, GRAVEY and vegetables.

There was one shop that amazed me………. The York Ghost Merchants!! People were queueing over 3 hours to buy a one off clay painted ghost at £15 in a box
Written January 30, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sophie2327
Darlington, UK103 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Solo
Always visit here on a trip to York. It's full of character and so many lovely shops. Highly recommend Little Saffrons, the potions cauldron, the shop that must not be named, the York ghost merchants and flax and twine
Written September 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jackinbox99
Coventry265 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
The Shambles is one of the things everyone says you need to check out whilst in York. Its a very old street full of pokey old shops and very picturesque to look at. Tourists will be flocking here taking lots of pictures so it can get busy. There isnt really many shops down the very small road and the vast majority seem to be trying to capitalise on the similarity to shops in the Harry Potter films with lots of Harry Potter merchandise available for sale. Whilst in the Shambles, its worth cutting through one of the small link passageways into the Shambles Market behind it, where there are more stalls, pokey shops and places to grab food etc.

Also, whilst you are here, pick up the leaflet outside of the glass cat shop for the "cat trail", which starts in the shambles and is a great way to explore the city centre whilst having fun.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alicja1
Blackpool, UK430 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
The architecture of the buildings around is stunning. Make sure you look up not to miss any detail. The street is full of quirky little shops and full of surprises . The theme of Harry Potter made it even more magical and really good spot for kids to see. We parked in Piccadilly parking(£15 for 6 hours) at walk down though the city Center. Due to the present circumstances the way one system is in place although it’s amazing how many people can’t read the signs or just being awkward . The street is quite tight so it’s better to visit out of a peak time . Make sure you don’t miss a Ghost Maker shop at the top of the street
Written July 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Worldtravel1992
United Kingdom871 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Friends
Very quirky little street which is very Harry Potter orientated thus providing some very interesting shops. We only went in the Christmas shop which was in itself very busy. My review for this area would have been 5 stars if it were not for how busy it was - I wore a face covering whilst walking around the whole area because it was packed and there were very long queues to get in to most places. I’m sure if you visit in the week it would be more comfortable - I would avoid doing what we did and visiting on a weekend!
Written October 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andy-S60
London, UK1,906 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
..in as much as you can imagine how this narrow, cramped street managed to maintain itself hundreds of years ago, with slops being thrown into the road from the rooms above. No wonder everyone wore a hat. Now full of tourist shops with a few specialist shops, who clearly rely on tourists. I did like the atmosphere, but it’s almost like an open air museum: and there must be a terrible illness prevalent here, because every third person sported a blue facial mask, presumably to protect themselves from us always illy Brits. The whole thing was a bit like it was out of a sci-fi movie. Note to self to phone home.
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Shambles - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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