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The Expert's Guide to Discovering Newcastle Upon Tyne

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Newcastle Upon Tyne is one of England's liveliest city destinations. All over town, you'll discover history, heritage, and edgy art and design. There's a vibrant nightlife, entertainment, and cultural scene, and a plentiful supply of places to eat and drink. When you want to escape from city life, there's countryside and seaside nearby.

Best time to travel

 

Newcastle Upon Tyne buzzes all year round. Almost all attractions, hotels, and restaurants stay open throughout the year. Fixtures on the events calendar include Newcastle Arts Festival, every August, and Press Play Film Festival, in September. The South Tyneside Festival serves up free live entertainment, parades, and music all summer. For most vacationers, summer - June through August - is the best time to visit. Winter weather can often be chilly, windy, and wet. That doesn't deter locals from celebrating New Year's in clubs and city streets, with firework displays over the Tyne.

Not to miss

 

A vacation in Newcastle Upon Tyne can take in recent and ancient history, medieval, Victorian, and modern architecture, seaside, and countryside. Exploring the region's Roman heritage is a must. Make time for visits to Newcastle Castle, Great North Museum, and Discovery Museum. Take a river cruise for a view of the city's 7 famous bridges from below. A day trip to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne is another essential.

 

Getting around

 

Newcastle International Airport (NCL) is a 25-minute train ride from Newcastle Central Station. There are flights from Newark and Orlando in the US, and from many European cities. Trains connect Newcastle with London(in around 2 hours 40 minutes), Edinburgh (around 90 minutes), and other British cities including Manchester, Leeds, and Glasgow. There are also overnight international ferry connections to Amsterdam. Metro light rail service and an extensive bus network will take you to most places in and around town. The Shields Ferry crosses the River Tyne between the suburbs of North and South Shields, east of the center.

 

Cuisine

 

Newcastle Upon Tyne's high-calorie signature dish is the "chip buttie," a bun stuffed with French fries. It's a deliciously guilty pleasure. Stottie cakes are huge soft rolls; for an authentic treat, they should be filled with pease pudding and ham, and washed down with a glass of Newcastle Brown Ale. Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi restaurants abound, as do Thai and Vietnamese eateries. Italian pizza and pasta spots are also plentiful. The Bigg Market neighborhood is packed with eating-places, and you'll find plenty more along Quayside and across the river in Gateshead.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

Newcastle Upon Tyne has no customs that visitors may find peculiar, and ordinary everyday politeness will serve you well. However, the bars and clubs around the Bigg Market area are notorious for raucous nightlife. Despite northeast England's climate, there's a lot of bare skin on display here on Friday and Saturday nights, and you may encounter a certain amount of cheerfully lewd behaviour. Tipping is not expected in most pubs, bars, and cafés, but is welcomed in restaurants.

 

Fast facts

 

  • Population: 280000
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  • Spoken languages: English
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  • Electrical: 220-240 volts, 50 Hz, plug type G
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  • Phone calling code: +44 191
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  • Emergency number: 999