Newcastle is a small(ish) city with a big heart, with enough to keep you busy without coming across as overwhelming if you're unfamiliar with the place. It's also lovely to live in; the Quayside has recently been voted as the best place to live in the north and north east. When visiting a new city, though, it's all too easy to fall into the trap of only hitting up its 'big' landmarks. FFD won't let you fall into those traps! Our city guide to Newcastle is here to talk you through some of the Toon's most stylish places to shop, drink, hang out and more.
Grainger Market, as one of the few 19th Century covered markets that are still open (and thriving), is well worth a mooch around if you have a lazy afternoon to spare – from old-school weighhouses to clothing stalls to a wealth of eateries.
Our pick? Scandi homeware, fashion and lifestyle concept store KOTA, which is one of the market's latest additions.
As well as having the sprawling Metro Centre (the largest shopping centre in the UK) on its doorstep, which stocks all the high street goodness you'll ever need, Newcastle has some lovely independent boutiques if you're on the hunt for something more high-end. The service at Jules B is second-to-none, for example, and the very swishy Cruise is adored by Newcastle's fashion elite for a reason. Visiting the award-winning Have to Love is a must, too, if you're a fan of sequins, pink, or fluffy things.
Coffee & Tea##
Pumphrey's Coffee Centre and Brewing Emporium is something of a Newcastle institution, having won a slew of awards for its coffee (including Best Espresso and Best Cappuccino, in case you're wondering what to order), giving you just another excuse to hit up Grainger Market.
Friends fans will delight in Heaton Perk, located in the student-centric area Heaton, whose decor takes inspiration from Central Perk. Pink Lane Coffee, which has its own roastery, is also well worth the trip for its vast, award-winning coffee offering, tasty lunch bites and sweet treats.
If you're not a coffee person, check out Quilliam Brothers' Tea House, which offers (arguably) more teas than you could ever need, alongside an in-house cinema and mini gallery.
Arts & Culture##
OK, it's technically in Gateshead, but we can't not put The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art on this list. Sitting near The Sage (another cultural gem!) on the south bank of the Tyne, the Baltic boasts some of the best contemporary art exhibits in the region, as well as an ever-revolving calendar of special talks and other events. Entry is free, too, and the gift shop is great.
The Biscuit Factory is the UK's largest art, craft and design-specific gallery; even looking at it from the outside it's impressive, as it's housed within a former Victorian-era warehouse. The Biscuit Factory's exhibit space is huge, but this is also a great place to come to buy art as well as to see it. Elsewhere, if you're new to the city and hoping to make new friends, you could do worse than heading to Kommunity, which, as the name suggests, is a large community space that plays host to dance classes, wellbeing-focused events, film and DJ nights and raves... including the odd daytime rave.
Drinking & Dancing##
Although its exterior is a bit of an eyesore (are any clubs ever that pretty, though?), World Headquarters welcomes everyone and promotes diversity, serving as a breath of fresh air from the plasticky world of the 'Diamond Strip', a.k.a the glossy but very sames-y street in central Newcastle popularised in Geordie Shore and frequented by, well, the kind of people who watch Geordie Shore non-ironically.
If you're not into clubbing, one of the loveliest bars to head to is The Botanist which, yes, is part of a chain, but is totally worth the trip for its delicious cocktails, dreamy decor and epic view of the city from above the Monument.