- The northernmost city of England, with a population of about 268,000.
- Officially known as Newcastle Upon Tyne, the city blossomed in the 16th century as a major hub for shipbuilding.
- The city is known in England for its eclectic culture, art, sports, and nightlife.
- Nickname: Locally known as “The Toon.” Locals are called Geordies.
- Currency: British Pound (GBP).
- Spoken languages: English.
- Best time to visit: from May to August (when weather is mildest and driest).
- Arriving from the airport (Newcastle International Airport): the Metro system can take you directly from the airport into the city centre for 3.60 GBP. A taxi ride costs around 15 GBP.
WHERE TO STAY
The majority of the more upscale hotels are centered around Central Station or Grainger Town, while budget options can be found throughout the city.
- Walking is perhaps the best option of them all, as Newcastle is a compact city – unless you want to visit an out-of-town attraction, you can walk pretty much everywhere.
- The Metro is one of the favorite options of getting around Newcastle. Quick and convenient. A day pass costs around 4.20 GBP.
- Distinctive yellow buses run from the city centre to the quayside to save you from the hilly walk (a ride is 80p).
- Drinking age is 18, and last call is 4 AM.
- The Bigg Market has a large selection of clubs – if you’re looking for cheap drink over culture this is the place to head to.
- An area known as the ‘diamond strip’ near Newcastle’s Central Station is where the upmarket hotspots are.
- If you’re seeking a more alternative night out, try some of the bars in Ouseburn. Jesmond is home to many trendy bars.
UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT
- The ruins of the Castle Keep built in 1067 are an interesting visit – it is the keep that gave the city its name! The oldest structure in the city, it is not to be missed.
- The Angel of the North is a signature monument by artist Anthony Gormley. Standing 20 meters tall, it is a distinctive structure (located in Gateshead, 3 miles south of Newcastle).
- Newcastle has an abundance of free museums, including the Laing and Baltic Art Museums, the Discovery Science Museum, and the Hancock Museum.
- Day trip idea: visit Hadrian’s Wall, built by the infamous Roman emperor. There are also remains of Roman forts to visit at Segedunum (in Wallsend) and Arbeia (in South Shields).
- The quayside makes for a fantastic walk. Walk along the River Tyne, and inspect the city’s famous bridges, the Sage music center, the Baltic Art Museum, and many quayside cafes and restaurants.
- Make sure you go for a walk at night – the city’s charm comes out as the bridges are lit up.
- The locals in Newcastle are very friendly, and may shatter the stereotype of all Brits being reserved!
- Newcastle has a subtle rivalry between its home football team and that of Sunderland – be careful not to confuse a Geordie (from Newcastle) with a Mackem (from Sunderland).
- Nearby Whitley Bay and Tynemouth have sandy beaches on offer. If you’re feeling adventurous, this could be a place to try out surfing.
- Where to find good cheap food: good food can be found all over the city. There are many different ethnic cuisines to choose from – look around for small restaurants and cafes.
- Dangerous areas: Newcastle is a safe city. Use common sense, and try to stay in well-lit areas at night.
The Best Newcastle Guide Books:
- The Rough Guide to England (Travel Guide)
- Fodor’s Essential Great Britain: with the Best of England, Scotland & Wales
Recommended trip duration: 1-2 days