Visiting Newcastle but only have a day to spend here? Twenty four hours isn’t nearly enough time to see all the best of what the this great city has to offer. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do and see a lot.
With only a single day in Newcastle, you can still make it a trip to remember. It’ll probably just leave you wanting to visit again for a longer duration text time.
So what is the best way to spend 24 hours in Newcastle upon Tyne? It’s a question that we often get asked by people planning to visit the city. Most have never been here before. But sometimes the question gets asked from people who have a bit of knowledge of the area but want to ensure they make the best of the short amount of time available to them.
Of course a lot will depend on what you like to do during a short city break. We all have different preferences. Some may like to cram in as many sights and activities into an action packed itinerary. Other people prefer a much more laid back approach, taking time to visit some ‘must-see’ areas, but at a leisurely pace. So our aim with the suggestions below is to find a happy medium which would likely appeal to the majority of people making plans for a one day visit.
The good thing about this itinerary is that it can be easily done by foot. That’s one of many great things about Newcastle – it’s a compact city with plenty of things to see and do within a relatively small area.
So without further ado, here is our guide to spending 24 hours in Newcastle…
Breakfast at Quay Ingredient
Newcastle, like any great city, has a superb range of places to consider for breakfast. Among the best of them is Quay Ingredient. It’s also ideally located for what comes next in our suggested one day itinerary.
The food is excellent quality and amazing value too. The menu features dishes such as their signature breakfast wrap. Eggs Benedict is also a very popular option here and there are several different options to choose from as well as plenty of vegetarian/vegan items on the menu as a whole.
Take a walk along Newcastle’s iconic Quayside
After fuelling up at Quay Ingredient, you will be perfectly placed for the next part of your one day itinerary. Taking a walk along the Quayside is a must for anyone visiting the city. This is especially true during the summer months when the weather is likely to be better.
While taking a stroll along the River Tyne, you will get the chance to see some iconic North East landmarks. These include:
The Tyne Bridge – When people think of Newcastle landmarks, the Tyne Bridge is usually the first thing to come to mind. A visit to the city wouldn’t be complete without a photo of it, or perhaps a selfie with this iconic structure in the background.
Millennium Bridge – The Millennium Bridge is considered as one of the most important pieces of contemporary architecture in Britain. It is a tilting bridge that takes around four minutes to ‘open’ and if you are lucky, you might be along the Quayside at a time to witness it opening and closing.
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art – One the Gateshead side of the River Tyne (just next to the The Millennium Bridge) stands the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. This converted flour mill has operated as an art centre since 2002 and has welcomed several millions of visitors since it first opened.
Sage Gateshead – Another iconic landmark that sits on the Gateshead side of the river is the Sage. This world renowned music centre first opened its doors to the public in 2004. Its spectacular design is hard to miss when taking a walk along the Quayside but if you’d like to get closer look of this famous landmark and even go inside, it’s free to enter.
If you happen to be visiting Newcastle on a Sunday, then you will have yet another reason to take a trip down to this area – the Quayside Market. Every Sunday you will find dozens of stalls lining the banks of the River Tyne, with plenty of street food options and souvenirs for sale.
Wander through the old city chares
‘Chares’ are narrow medieval alleyways – but it’s a term that you may not be familiar with unless you are from the north east.
The city of Newcastle has plenty of them, with many being located in the Quayside area. They were originally built to provide access to houses and businesses along the river bank, but today they provide a fun and unique way to explore the city.
After your stroll along the Quayside, keep an eye out for a narrow stairway with the sign ‘Castle Stairs’, just after you pass the Swing Bridge on the Newcastle side of the river.
A walk up these steps will give you the chance to encounter one of the city’s old chares and will lead you conveniently to the next stop on our one day itinerary.
Visit Newcastle’s Castle
A trip to Newcastle wouldn’t be complete without visiting the place which gave the city its name.
Many visitors will be happy to enjoy just a fleeting visit to the castle to take a photo – but those looking to learn more about this historic building (and of the city’s past in general) can buy a ticket to explore inside.
Have a spot of lunch
At this point of your one day trip to Newcastle you will be ideally placed to go for a spot of lunch at one of the many great eateries to be found in the city centre.
Whether you are looking for a proper sit down meal or a quick bite to take on the go as you continue you tour of the city – there are endless options to choose from. In this part of town you will find quite a few places offering great value bottomless brunch deals – which might sound tempting, but it’s probably not the best option if you have only 24 hours in the city!
Anyway, below are a couple of suggestions to consider that are located in between castle and the next point of interest featured in our one day itinerary – Grey’s Monument.
Sushi Me Rollin’ – Enjoy delicious, handcrafted sushi at this hugely popular spot.
Pizza Punks – Quality pizza with a hugely diverse menu and very reasonable prices
Blakes – Local coffee shop with breakfast served until 2pm along with a fantastic selection of freshly made sandwiches, cakes and pastries.
Grey Street and Grey’s Monument
Grey Street is widely considered to be one of the most architecturally impressive streets in the whole of the country. In fact it was even named as ‘Britain’s Best Street’ in a BBC Radio 4 poll.
Enjoy a stroll up this beautiful street located in the heart of the city and take in the stunning Georgian architecture. As one of the most ‘Instagrammed’ streets in the UK, you’ll probably want to take a few pictures of your own.
At the top of the street you will be greeted by Grey’s Monument – another of the city’s famous landmarks.
St James’ Park
You may or may not be a fan of football, but the sport plays a big part in the lives of many Newcastle locals. St James’ Park is the home of Newcastle United and is one of few Premier League stadiums located right in the centre of a city. Being so centrally located, it’s easy for visitors to take a quick walk past this impressive 52,000+ seater stadium while heading to their next point of interest.
Those who are more keen to learn about Newcastle United can visit the club shop and take more time to walk around the ground, where they will also see impressive statues of NUFC legends such as Alan Shearer, Sir Bobby Robson and Jackie Milburn.
Visit The Great North Museum
The Great North Museum (also known as The Hancock Museum) is a place where you could easily spend several hours – which may not be feasible if you only have 24 hours in Newcastle. That being said, it still remains as a great option for a day trip – even if you can only enjoy a fleeting visit to the museum.
The Great North Museum: Hancock is open everyday with no need to book in advance and it’s free to enter – although donations are of course very much welcome. The museum hosts exhibits with a focus on natural history, geology, archaeology and world cultures. Alongside permanent exhibitions, you will find details of upcoming special events on the ‘What’s On’ section of their website.
Evening meal and sampling Newcastle’s famous nightlife
As the evening approaches and you reach the final part of your 24 hours in Newcastle, it’ll be time to have a nice meal and sample some of the city’s world famous nightlife. It goes without saying that you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding great places to eat and drink here. Newcastle is known for being a fairly compact city and easy to navigate by foot, with loads of quality restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs located close to each other.
We recommend re-visiting the Quayside or Grey Street area once again during the evening, as here you will find many fantastic pubs, bars and dining options. But there are plenty of great places to consider all over the city and in nearby areas such as Jesmond and Gosforth.
Here are a couple of unique places around the Quayside area that you might want to check out:
Crown Posada – One of the oldest pubs in the whole of the city, the Crown Posada offers visitors the chance to enjoy a drink in a truly traditional pub. Along with offering an impressive selection of ales, the Crown Posada is, according to many online reviews, the place to go if you are looking for the best pint of Guinness in Newcastle. But for many, the main reason to visit this pub during a trip to the city is to take in a bit of local history whilst enjoying a drink. A great option to begin your night out in Newcastle, that’s for sure.
The Bridge Tavern – Situated underneath the Tyne Bridge (on the Newcastle side), The Bridge Tavern is a popular brewpub and eatery which features an impressive outdoor terrace area alongside ample seating inside. Sunday lunches here are highly recommended and the pub has a huge selection of drinks on offer – including a top tier lineup of craft beers and ales.
21 – Formerly known as Cafe 21, this fantastic restaurant has a reputation for being one of the best in the city. If you are looking for a great steak – this place comes to mind immediately. But you will also find a full range of delicious vegan and vegetarian options to choose from as well along with an extensive wine list.
House of Tides – The House of Tides is situated right on the Quayside with fantastic views of the River Tyne. Set in a beautiful Grade 1 listed building, this restaurant is always winning prestigious awards and remains as the only one in the whole city to have been awarded One Michelin Star by the Michelin Guide.
24 hours in Newcastle – is it enough time?
24 hours doesn’t seem like a long time when visiting a city like Newcastle. There are so many things to see and do just within the city centre itself and plenty more in the surrounding areas. That being said, a whole day is still enough time to have a great experience and sample a lot of what the city has to offer.
We hope our suggested one day in Newcastle itinerary will provide some inspiration when creating your own plans to take a trip here.