The problem with visiting Leeds is, just like most students who come to study here, once you've had a little taste of this city, you won't want to leave.
Fortunately for us, it's where our HQ is so we get to enjoy the delights of Leeds every single day of the week.
But if you're not that fortunate and you only have one weekend, here's the perfect way to spend it...
Where to sleep
The Bells Leeds
Tucked away on Church Row, The Bells Leeds is one of the city's best-kept secrets. These five-star serviced apartments have got luxury on lockdown. Their penthouse apartment, aptly named Big Ben, is the star of the show but the smaller apartments are still full of little luxuries and surprises, including Lutine with its unobstructed views of Leeds Minster.
Whilst Leeds has some incredible hotels on offer, a stay at The Bells will give you the perfect base to explore everything that Leeds has to offer.
Where to Dine
You could eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day for a year and still not even scratch the surface with the vast array of restaurants on offer. From the quirky coffee shops to the fine dining restaurants, you could eat your way around the world, one bite at a time, without stepping foot outside of the city.
Like most major cities, visitors tend to obsess about what’s on offer in the centre. However, expand your horizons and you’ll quickly see that Leeds has something to shout about in every single suburb.
Starting with the most important meal of the day. Breakfast
When it comes to breakfast, The Leeds Deli knows what’s up. With their ever-changing specials menu, you’ll be spoiled by choice. Founded by husband and wife, Nick and Tory, their combined love of food and hospitality means that this little deli packs a serious punch.
This dynamic duo have a real penchant for travel and those inspirations make their way into the food that they offer. From their summers spent in France, weekends in Italy and hours spent eating their way around the UK, their deli offers worldly foods bursting with flavour that will feed your soul. Only got time for breakfast though? The mushrooms and manchego cheese, with truffle oil, will set you up for the day.
An all you can eat Japanese sushi and Asian style grill, Blue Sakura is the ultimate lunch spot. If we had you at all you can eat, you’ll love this place. When you arrive, you’ll be given an ipad where you can scroll through the dishes and take advantage of up to 20 dishes per person, yes you read that right, for your lunch. The tapas style dishes are generous and there’s literally hundreds to choose from so there’s no chance of leaving there hungry.
We weren't lying when we said you can travel the world through your palette in Leeds. It's time to disembark for dinner in Syria. Bab Tooma is the first Syrian restaurant in West Yorkshire and they really have kicked things off in style. From the Arabian decor to the aromas oozing out from the second you walk through the door, dinner here will transport you to the heart of Damascus and give you a true authentic experience. From the hot mezze to their grills, there’s no such thing as a wrong order at Bab Tooma.
Like most major cities, Leeds has nightclubs aplenty, so we won’t bore you by pointing out the obvious. What is less obvious though, is that Leeds is one of the most cultural and diverse cities in England. If you were to slice Leeds open, you’d see culture pouring out of every single street and community. From our annual West Indian Carnival to museums, country houses and well kept parks and gardens, there is something for everyone.
Leeds Heritage Theatres
Leeds can see your Everyman Cinema and raise it, with Leeds Grand Theatre, City Varieties Music Hall and Hyde Park Picture house which make up the collective that is Leeds Heritage Theatres.
Leeds Grand Theatre, built in 1878, is fondly known as the ‘Grand Old Lady of Leeds’ because she really is the leading lady of the city. Famed for its sumptuous interior, a night out here is guaranteed to be one to remember. Depending when you visit, you'll be spoiled with shows and performances from ballet to opera, with resident companies Northern Ballet and opera North, you’ll be able to enjoy a show stopping performance.
City Varieties Music Hall proves that variety really is the spice of life. What started out as a room above a pub for the working class in 1865, has become one of the nation's longest running music hall and they have a Guiness World Record to prove it. Some of the worlds biggest stars have graced the iconic stage here so whenever you’re in Leeds for the weekend, you’ll be able to flock and see some of the biggest names in music, comedy and pantomime.
Hyde Park Picture house is the equivalent of a time machine because the second you step through their door, you’ll be transported back in time. The home of independent cinema, if you want a real slice of Leeds’ history, then look no further.
To walk off all of the food you’ve devoured, a visit to Roundhay Park will help shed those extra calories. One of the largest city parks in Europe, the park covers over 700 acres of rolling parkland, with lakes, woodlands, cafes, formal gardens and the well known visitor attraction, Tropical World.
Get there early to witness awe inspiring views across the lake during sunrise. Just three miles from the city, you’ll feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle.
The list of things to do in a weekend in Leeds would be endless, but this is our breakdown of the perfect way to enjoy the city when you’re short on time.
Where will you be visiting during your next visit? Use #CocoTravels across social media and we will share our favourite adventures across Leeds.