How to Spend 48 Hours in Norwich

19 May 2023

How to Spend 48 Hours in Norwich

It’s tough when you’ve only got two days in a popular city to do the rounds of the best tourist attractions. What to see? What to do? Where to eat? To make sure you get the most out of your visit to the City of Stories, we’ve created this 48-hours-in-Norwich itinerary. It’s designed especially with you, the weekend tourist, in mind. Read on to get some inspiration on how to experience the best Norwich has to offer, in just 48 hours! 

Looking for somewhere to stay during your city break? Find Norwich accommodation here. 

In short, your two-day trip can look something like this:

Day One

Starting the Day on Norwich Market – 9am

Assuming you’re arriving in Norwich nice and early to make the most of your two-day venture, a bit of breakfast (or a pick-me-up) is always necessary! And for that, there is no better place than the famous Norwich Market.  

There’s plenty of choices on the Market. Here, you can make the difficult decision between Bread Source’s gorgeous pastries and baked treats, pick up a fresh coffee from Little Red Roaster, or settle down with a proper cooked breakfast from Reggie’s Tea Stall, Big Deal’s Bodega (the talk of the town), or Deb’s. 

While you’re there, it’s always worth milling around and having a peek at everything else the Market has to offer. Everything here is unique and it’s a true community feeling to be part of. After your food, check out stalls like Planted for their huge range of houseplants and terrariums, or browse the vintage clothing on offer! 

Get to Know the City with Paul Dickson Tours (tickets from £8) – Varying times

There’s few in Norwich who know more about the city than Paul Dickson. And there’s a lot to know. It is called the City of Stories for a reason! If you’re looking for the perfect way to not only see the city, but to feel connected to its history, be sure to book your space on a Paul Dickson Tour. 

There’s plenty of tours to choose from, including ‘Norwich, an Introduction’, ‘Norwich Riverside Walk’, ‘Norwich on the Dark Side’, and so much more! The choice is truly yours. Plus, it means you can go home and look extremely knowledgeable about Norwich! Find out more about each tour on offer here. 

Refuel at Yalm – 1pm

After plenty of walking about, you’ll probably be eyeing up the best places to stop for lunch. Norwich has a wealth of amazing food, and you can find some spots on our website here 

For plenty of great options in one place, we highly recommend a stop at Yalm in the Royal Arcade. This food hall (6 local kitchens and 3 bars) in the Arcade serves a massive range of delicious cuisines, all ordered from your phone and delivered right to your table! And the building is beautiful! 

Choose from authentic Italian pizza, North African inspired dishes, tasty steakhouse food, and so much more. If you’re with friends or family, everyone is sure to find something they want here. There’s no need to book either. Just turn up, find a table, and get ordering! 

Linger at The Lanes – 3pm

Retail therapy is fun. Especially at the vintage spots dotted around the town, and there’s no better place for it than in the Norwich Lanes! Browse around the Lanes to find lovely, little independent shops, all offering something special. 

From award-winning family-run department store Jarrold, which has been serving the people of Norwich since 1823, and Dipples Jewellers (again, a family business for centuries), to independents like Elm and Lisa Angel selling gifts, plants, and homeware, Norwich Lanes will have something that’s right up your street. 

Offering stylish vintage clothing, bold unique pieces and beautifully reworked pieces, Slayyy Vintage is the ultimate stop for any lover of all things retro. From jeans-turned-tote bags to clothing transformed into something new entirely, you’ll be wanting to refresh your wardrobe! And with a clear conscience too. 

Don’t miss The South Asia Collection and Country & Eastern shop. This free museum houses furniture, paintings, jewellery and more from the region, with plenty of exciting unique gifts and lifestyle products to buy too. Think gorgeous hand block printed tablecloths from India (prices start £15.95), pretty kimonos, kaftans and cotton shirts, oriental rugs, lamps and object d’art. This museum is worth a couple of hours, which includes a good browse. This is one of Norwich’s best hidden gems as its home is a vast Victorian skating rink and easy to miss if you are not in the know! 

End your busy day over a glass of local wine, beer or spirits at St Giles Pantry located on pretty Upper St Giles Street. Treat yourself to a charcuterie or cheese board and sit back and relax. Top tip – keep an eye on their events if you are good at planning, as they have regular evening bus trips out to Flint vineyard, which includes live bands and local street food vendors with the choice of amazing wine and beers. Bus tickets from Norwich £15. 

Day Two 

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts – 10:30am

After a much-needed lie in (you are on holiday, after all), be sure to visit the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, accessible by a short drive, longer walk or the 25, 26, and 26a bus lines. There is so much to do here. Firstly, settle in and enjoy a coffee in one of the two delightful cafés, with plenty of options to choose from. In good weather there is a lovely terrace with seating. 

Then, for the museum lovers, browse the incredible and expansive permanent collection, including works by Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, and more. Even better, with their new ‘Pay If and What You Can’ scheme, you can see these works at a price that suits your budget. 

If you’re lucky, you might just spot a temporary exhibition. Right now, there’s two on! Running until September, these exhibitions really take your visit to the next level. Find out more here. 

Whilst there don’t miss a walk around the Sainsbury Centre’s Sculpture Park. This 350-acre parkland features some beautiful works by notable artists such as Henry Moore, Elisabeth Frink, Lynn Chadwick, Liliane Lijn and Antony Gormley. Follow your own path and see where it takes you, be sure to try and spot all of the magnificent sculptures! Map here. 

Enjoy a Late Lunch at Benedicts – 1pm

If you’re coming on a Friday or a Saturday, you absolutely must visit Benedicts for a late lunch (12pm-2pm). Found on St Benedicts street, this restaurant is a true fine dining experience. Run by popular chef, Richard Bainbridge (a regular on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen), and his wife, Katja, you’ll find nothing else like this in Norwich.  

With 5-course menus from £59 and dishes such as Rainbow River Trout with broad beans, smoked butter sauce and Aged Norfolk Lamb Loin Scrumpet, yoghurt and black garlic, your taste buds will thank you. A lot. The menus change every 4-5 weeks so you’ve good reason to return to Norwich fairly swiftly! 

End the day with a picturesque walk around the grounds and Close of Norwich Cathedral. Described locally as the ‘Village within a city’, spread over 44 acres, discover the largest monastic cloisters in England, a riverside setting, monuments and beautiful cottages and Georgian buildings. This is this very unique and historic area of central Norwich. 

Get Creative at Gyre & Gimble Bar – 7pm

What better way to spend your last night in Norwich than with a few fun cocktails? At the Gyre & Gimble Bar on Charing Cross, you can find this spacious bar serving up some delightful drinks. Well, we say some, but there’s more here than you’ll find anywhere else.  

Across their huge menu, Gyre & Gimble sell it all, like tasty and well thought cocktails, spirits including their very own gin and vodka, and craft beers. There is absolutely no waste in any of their drinks too, everything is used to leave zero waste. We’ll drink to that!