24 Hours in Norwich

19 April 2024

24 hours in Norwich

If you’ve landed on visiting Norwich for your next trip, you’ve made a very good choice. This beautiful city is filled to the brim with stunning places to explore, activities to enjoy for any age, and food and drink to take your senses on an adventure like you’ve never experienced. 

But with just 24 hours on the clock, it’s no easy feat deciding what to do, what to see, and where to go first. Luckily for you, we’ve done the legwork and put together the perfect itinerary for a day in the City of Stories. Now all that’s left is to enjoy. Read on for our suggestions to make your trip to Norwich stick out from the rest.


You won’t get far without a good breakfast, and here in the City of Stories, we’ve got something for everyone to start their day off on the right foot. 

If you like a variety of options when it comes to your breakfast, look no further than Yalm in the Royal Arcade. Inside this gorgeous food hall, a range of kitchens await, sending out everything from warming coffee and traditional English breakfasts, to soft, crispy pastries and loudmouth, New York diner-inspired breakfasts. Simply head in, pull up a seat, scan the QR code, and get ordering from your table. And since you’ll be putting the order in, you’re not bound to just one kitchen, so you can order whatever takes your fancy, wherever it comes from. We’d recommend the fry-up from On The Bone, or a corn beef hash from The Bodega: The Diner. But rest assured that regardless of what you order, it’s bound to be good.  

A food hall filled with people sitting, eating, and talking.

There’s so many amazing kitchens at Yalm! What will you order?

Walk & Explore 

Now you’re ready for the day, what better time to go for a wander around the city? Norwich is perfectly compact, meaning you can take in the whole city, while still getting your steps in. Whether you’re following riverside walks, or the paths led by cobbles along Norwich’s most historic street, Elm Hill, you can discover centuries of history without walking for an age yourself. Wherever you wander, remember to look up and admire the architecture, you might just find some of this city’s best-kept secrets. And if you need a bit of help, you can find our map of Norwich here to guide yourself around the City of Stories. 

And, if you want to learn the history of this fine city that even some of the locals don’t know, book yourself onto a walking tour – they’re fantastic ways to orientate yourself and learn about Norwich. We highly recommend Paul Dickson Walking Tours and his range of topics, or Cheryl Cade Tours if you want to enjoy some cheese, wine, beer, and more on your travels. 

A group of four walk out of cathedral gates.

There’s no better way to learn about Norwich than with a guided tour!

Pop to the Shops 

Norwich is a top shopping location – there are hundreds of independents rubbing shoulders with regional flagship stores like John Lewis, M&S, Primark, and more in the City of Stories. So, you’re sure to find whatever you’re looking for, as well as those surprise extras that are just too good to miss.  

Start your shopping at Jarrolds, Norwich’s longest-running family-owned business. Inside this department store, you’ll find absolutely everything you could need, from furniture and clothing, to toys, books, fragrances, makeup, and much more. Jarrolds is home to five restaurants too, all selling different delicious cuisine! 

And if you’re looking for something unique, look no further than the independents of this fine city. After you’ve finished shopping in Jarrolds, continue to meander down to the Norwich Lanes, home to hundreds of small businesses and artisan makers who will individually draw your attention with their beautiful shops and items.  

On your travels, stop to check out Atwin on Bridewell Alley for eco-conscious and sustainable products from homeware to womenswear, there’s some truly gorgeous pieces here. Or take a detour to the Castle and Marketplace district to visit Sonkai in the Royal Arcade – where you’ll find a range of jewellery all made in-store by their master jeweller. You can even order a bespoke piece to make it that much more special! 

Then, head towards Chapelfield and spend a few hours browsing in Chantry Place – Norwich’s biggest shopping centre and home to brands such as H&M, Apple, Frasers, Urban Outfitters, Oliver Bonas, and much, much more. You could spend your entire day shopping in Norwich alone! 

A homeware store painted mostly cream.

With sustainable homeware, womenswear, and more, Atwin is perfect for independent shopping!

Time for Lunch? 

All that shopping is bound to have made you hungry, so it’s time to reflect on the day so far with one of Norwich’s many fantastic choices for lunch. If you’re feeling indecisive, we’d recommend popping to Norwich Market. Founded in the 11th century, Norwich Market is award-winning and packed full of amazing food stalls. There’s something for every kind of lunch – find Bread Source for filling sweet and savoury pastries, Lucy’s for delicious traditional fish and chips, Churros For The People for tasty Spanish dishes, and many, many more! 

There’s plenty of options around the city for wherever you end up. Check out Cluck’d on Westlegate for their grilled chicken lunches, where you choose how you want it served (and how spicy!). Or for a real local classic, visit The Waffle House on St Giles Street, who offer a host of sweet and savoury waffles to satisfy any craving. Some items have been on the menu since they opened in 1978!  

An high vantage view of a market and city hall.

Norwich Market is a must-see for great food, clothes, plants, and more!

Try Something New! 

Norwich is a city that likes to do things different – our history is full of rebels and mavericks! So, whilst you’re here, why not have a go at something unique and unlike anything you might have done before? Start off at Castle Quarter, who house incredibly fun activities like axe-throwing at Boom Battle Bar, VR escape rooms at Vector VR, unlimited vintage arcade gaming at Retro Replay, and more. Or see one of Norwich’s hidden, underground streets with The Shoebox Experiences! Buried underneath what we now know as Castle Meadow, you’ll find this street that was once in its place – the history is fascinating! 

An underground street with brickwork surrounding.

The Hidden Street Tour by The Shoebox Experiences is a fantastically unique way to spend an afternoon!

Time for a Drink? 

Trying something new is thirsty work, so how about enjoying a nice cold drink to reward yourself before dinner? Head to St George’s Street, where you’ll find the Norwich Theatre Playhouse Bar. Grab a pint, soft drink, or wine of your choice, then head outside to their riverside terrace, adorned with colourful benches and rainbow lights, then enjoy a late afternoon or early evening drink. 

For that classic pub atmosphere, you could also visit The Ribs of Beef on Wensum Street. It’s a favourite haunt for the locals, and for good reason! With rotating guest ales, as well as some favourites on tap, you’ll find the drink for you. Plus, it shows sports, serves freshly made pizzas every day of the week, and has a riverside jetty to enjoy your drinks next to our iconic river Wensum!

A couple sit outdoors enjoying some drinks

The Norwich Playhouse Bar is a firm favourite for locals, and is ideal for an al fresco drink!

Settle Down for Dinner 

What better way to finish your exploration of the City of Stories than with a superb dinner? Benedicts, featured in the Michelin Guide, offers a sophisticated menu for real foodies looking for their next culinary adventure – it’s the perfect way of treating yourself to something special. Enjoy their ever-changing tasting menus, with the option of a curated wine flight to pair! You’ll be back time and time again. 

You can also enjoy luxury dining at Brix and Bones, a ‘Good Food Guide’ featured restaurant found on the first floor of Gonzo’s Tea Room. Using the best sustainable and organic ingredients from businesses across the UK and Norfolk, Brix and Bones take food back to when it was an art, cooking over an open fire. The result? A truly exceptional dining experience, especially when paired with their curated wine selection! Note, Brix and Bones is a 32-seat venue, so booking ahead is strongly recommended!

A chef delicately plates a dish with three others completed.

Benedicts is Norwich’s must-try tasting menu experience!

Stay the Night 

After all that adventuring, you’re going to need somewhere comfortable to relax! There are plenty of city stays that are just a short stroll away from all the delights of Norwich. The Maids Head offer fantastic rooms ranging from double rooms to suites (also perfect for if you’ve just dined at their restaurant!), while Grade-I Listed Assembly House offers gorgeous, individually decorated rooms in Georgian luxury. Or for a charming stay, take a look at Gothic House, a B&B where you’ll be the only guests inside this beautiful building!

A Georgian building stands behind a water fountain.

The Assembly House offers a luxury stay in their beautiful Georgian building!

Address Book: 

Breakfast: Yalm
Royal Arcade, NR2 1NQ 

Lunch: Norwich Market
1 Market Pl, NR2 1ND 

1 Westlegate, NR1 3LT 

The Waffle House
39 St Giles St, NR2 1JN 

Dinner: Benedicts
9 St Benedicts St, NR2 4PE 

20 Tombland, NR3 1LB 

Stay: The Maids Head
20 Tombland, NR3 1LB 

The Assembly House
Theatre St, NR2 1RQ