Whether you want to eat, drink, enrich your mind or just shop yourself stupid - there's a host of possible delights for you to enjoy

NB: Details were checked at the time of going to press, but prices and availability are liable to change.

1 Malmaison Hotel

Through either good luck or good planning, the Malmaison has the perfect location, at the Newcastle end of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, offering fabulous views of the skyline opposite. The original building was once owned by the Co-op, but it has been stylishly refurbished to give it an art nouveau feel. The hotel has all the amenities that regulars have come to expect at the Malmaison, including a lively bar and excellent restaurant, as well as the Café Mal, an eat-in or take-out coffee shop with an entrance on to the riverside. You can also book a treatment in the hotel's spa should you wish to detox.

Where: Quayside, Newcastle (0191 245 5000; www.malmaison.com)

How much: Rooms start at £109

2 Secco Ristorante Salentino

This wonderful Italian restaurant, which concentrates on the cuisine of the Salentino, a region to the far south of Italy, is one of the highlights of the NewcastleGateshead culinary scene. The menu is magnificent, not only for the quality of the ingredients that are used, but for the unusual nature of some of the dishes; this is Italian cooking that is far from standard, having more in common with Spanish cuisine, in many respects, than it does with the rest of Italy. The staff are friendly and helpful, and go out of their way to make every meal a success.

Where: 86 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle (0191 230 0444)

When: Noon-2.30pm and 6-10.30pm Mon-Fri, until 11pm Sat

How much: Antipasti from £4.95, mains from £11.95, wine from £15 a bottle

3 Grainger Town

Newcastle's pedestrianised city centre, focused around the beautiful 19th century buildings of Grainger Town and its Central Arcade, has plenty to offer the keen shopper. The area around the Monument is a magnet for shoe enthusiasts, with Dune, Geiger, Office and Moda in Pelle all close enough that you can wander between them to compare prices. There are a number of favourite clothes stores here, too, including Hobbs and Jigsaw, as well as a branch of Lush, the store selling the powerfully fragranced bath products. There is also a large Waterstones close to the Monument.

Where: Around Grainger and Grey Streets, Newcastle

4 Gateshead Millennium Bridge

The city's impressive new bridge more than holds its own against the six that were already spanning the River Tyne long before 2002, when this latest one was opened. Designed for pedestrians and cyclists, it has brought the two sides of the river closer together, and has acted as a catalyst for further development of Newcastle Quayside and Gateshead Quays. The design was inspired by the blink of a human eye, and when ships come up the river, the two arches of the bridge tilt to let them through. Timetables for the tilting are displayed at either end of the bridge.

Where: Gateshead Quays and Newcastle Quayside; www.gateshead.gov.uk/bridge

5 The Sage Gateshead


Now that it is finally open, Norman Foster's dramatic building not only dominates the skyline, but also NewcastleGateshead's cultural life. The Sage Gatehead is worth a visit in its own right, and there are tours explaining its background. It provides performance space for Northern Sinfonia and folk performers too, all enhanced by the latest state-of-the-art acoustics.

Where: St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays (0870 703 4555; www.thesagegateshead.org)

When: The box office opens 10am-8pm Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm Sun. Tours usually take place at 12.30pm and 5pm at weekend, and sometimes during the week

How much: Tickets for all concerts start at £6. Tours £6.

6 Grey Street Hotel

This converted bank right in the centre of Newcastle is the city's first boutique hotel. It has 49 bedrooms, all elegantly decorated in dark brown and mauve, with suede curtains and dark wood furniture. Bathrooms are well-appointed, and the rooms ooze comfort. Don't expect a mini-bar, but downstairs is a 24-hour Cellar Bar, with comfy sofas and a flat-screen TV. There is no restaurant either, but next door is the Living Room where breakfast is served.

Where: 2 Grey Street, Newcastle (0870 412 5100; www.nichehotels.com)

How much: Rooms from £129 including continental breakfast

7 Café 21

Diners here rave about the excellent quality of the cooking, unsurprising given Café 21's reputation as one of the city's best restaurants. Its owner is Terry Laybourne, who has an interest in several other reliable eateries in the area. The staff are pleasant and welcoming, and the atmosphere is very relaxed. More importantly, the menu offers plenty of choice, with regular dishes supplemented by daily specials, combining British cuisine with continental influences. The quality of the freshly caught fish, in particular, is unbeatable.

Where: 19-21 Queen Street, Newcastle (0191 222 0755)

When: Noon-2pm, 6-10pm, Mon-Sat

How much: Starters from £5.50, mains from £14

8 Eldon Garden

This shopping mall represents the classier end of high street shopping, and is more upmarket in what it has to offer than Eldon Square, with which it is connected. Stores include Swarovski, one of several jewellers in the mall, and Daniel Footwear for designer shoes. There is also a large Lakeland shop, a branch of Pier and various other interiors stores. The whole place is pleasantly designed, with a high glass roof, which gives it a light, airy feel. Outlets are still moving in here, so there are always new places opening up.

Where: Off Percy Street, Newcastle

When: 9am-5.30pm Mon to Sat; Thu until 8pm, Sat until 6pm; 11am-5pm Sun

9 BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

4 September crossword

BALTIC is one of the most popular attractions in the city, and has a constantly changing range of temporary exhibitions rather than a permanent collection. One of the ideas behind the gallery is to let visitors experience art in the making, as happened with Antony Gormley's Domain Field, where volunteers were cast in plaster before sculptures were made of their shapes. British Art Show 6 will open here on 24 September and continues until 8 January. The exhibition will show recent work by contemporary British artists.

Where: South Shore Road, Gateshead, (0191 478 1810; www.balticmill.com)

When: 10am-6pm daily, until 8pm Thu

How much: Free

10 Live Theatre

Live Theatre is a small organisation that has had a huge influence on the development of new writing in this country. Alan Plater and Lee Hall have had works performed here; Billy Elliot began here, as a reading called Dancers. The auditorium can seat around 170 people, cabaret-style at tables, and there is a bar for refreshments during the performances. Live Theatre will soon extend next door, which will give more rehearsal space, and so the output will grow. The theatre's bistro, Café Live, is worth a visit in its own right for its excellent food and reasonable prices.

Where: 27 Broad Chare, Newcastle (0191 232 1232; www.live.org.uk)

How much: Ticket prices are usually between £5 and £14

11 Jesmond Dene House

NewcastleGateshead's newest hotel is only 10 minutes from the city centre, but it could be in the depths of the country, surrounded as it is by the leafy woodland of Jesmond Dene. Converted from a 19th century mansion, it is more like a country house than a commercial enterprise. Many of the original features, including wood panelling and high ceilings, have been retained but there are plenty of contemporary touches and modern amenities. Great emphasis is placed on the quality of the food, and its restaurant is likely to become popular with local diners as well as residents.

Where: Jesmond Dene Road, Newcastle (0191 212 3000; www.jesmonddenehouse.co.uk)

How much: Double from £145, singles from £115

12 Barn @The Biscuit

Despite its location slightly off the beaten track - at least until the regeneration of the Ouseburn is completed - Barn @The Biscuit has become astonishingly popular. The menu is varied, with oriental influences much in evidence; the chef is Australian, so he is used to using Pacific Rim touches in his cooking. Don't be surprised to find plenty of tempura, wok-fried dishes, or soba noodles. But European ingredients are in evidence, too, in starters like mozzarella, fig and beetroot salad.

Where: 16 Stoddart Street, Newcastle (0191 230 3338; www.thebiscuitfactory.com)

When: Daily noon-3pm, Mon-Sat 7-10pm

How much: Starters from £5, mains from £13, house wine £13

13 Princess Square

An unlikely area for stylish shopping, the run-down surroundings of Princess Square house a couple of the city's most elegant shops. Cruise, which occupies two separate buildings in the square, has a wonderful selection of clothes for men and women, including suits, separates and accessories by many of the major designers. To complement anything you might already have in your wardrobe, Jewellers Guild sells handmade and second-hand jewellery, and can restyle any old pieces you may want to update.

Where: Between Northumberland and John Dobson Streets, Newcastle

When: Cruise opens 10am-5.30pm Mon to Fri, until 7.30pm Thu, from 9.30am Sat, 11.30am-4.30pm Sun

14 Angel of the North

Antony Gormley's giant steel sculpture has probably done more than anything else to put NewcastleGateshead on the map. The angel with the massive wingspan towers over the traffic heading in and out of NewcastleGateshead, and is visible to passengers on the East Coast railway and anyone driving along the A1; at a height of 65ft, and wings that stretch for 175ft, it is hard to miss. The sculpture was erected on the site of a former coalmine, and Gormley intended it to be a focus of hope for the future. He said that he had chosen to sculpt an angel "because no one has ever seen one" .

Where: Eighton Banks, between the A1 and the A167. The Angel is well-signposted from all directions (0191 433 8000; www.gateshead.gov.uk/angel)

15 Theatre Royal

This vast, ornate theatre was built at the same time as the rest of Grey Street, and is a monument to 19th century style. Even to step inside the magnificent foyer is to experience a sense of occasion. The Theatre Royal offers a varied theatrical experience, from Shakespeare - the Royal Shakespeare Company does a regular autumn season - to pantomime. There are up to 30 visiting productions here every year, many before they transfer to London's West End.

Where: 100 Grey Street, Newcastle (0870 905 5060; www.theatreroyal.co.uk)

When: Autumn season from 2 September

How much: Seats from around £15

16 Hilton Hotel NewcastleGateshead

The 254-room Hilton is a welcome addition to the hotel choices in the city, and is in an excellent location on Gateshead Quays, close to BALTIC and the Sage Gateshead. It has been designed to make the most of its panoramic situation, and the café, bar and Windows on the Tyne restaurant wrap around the building on the ground floor. Facilities at the hotel include a LivingWell health club, which has a gym, swimming pool, spa and sauna and is open to members and hotel guests.

Where: Bottlebank, Gateshead (0191 490 9700; www.hilton.co.uk/newcastlegateshead)

How much: Double rooms start at £140 for bed and breakfast

17 Vujon

This is an elegant Indian restaurant which has been established in the city for 14 years, and it deserves its reputation for excellent cooking. This is not a place to come just because you fancy a curry: this is Indian cooking at its best. The dishes come from all over India, concentrating on the best cuisine of the country as a whole, rather than a particular region. Local produce is used wherever possible, and there is plenty of choice of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes.

Where: 29 Queen Street, Newcastle (0191 221 0601)

When: Noon-2.30pm Mon to Sat, 6-11.30pm daily

How much: Starters from £3.90, mains from £8.90, 10-course banquet dinner £55 for two

18 Biscuit Factory

Geordies are reckoned to be the greatest art-lovers in the country, which might explain the success of the Biscuit Factory. It is a privately run enterprise selling paintings, photographs, sculpture, ceramics and jewellery by national and international artists. It is located in an old converted Victorian biscuit factory. Everything on display is for sale, with prices ranging between £20 and £20,000 or more. If the price is too much to find all at once, there is an interest-free credit scheme to make everything more affordable.

Where: 16 Stoddart Street, Newcastle (0191 261 1103; www.thebiscuitfactory.com)

When: 10am-8pm Tue-Sat, 11am-5pm Sun and Mon

19 Saltwell Park

The newly restored Saltwell Park is a magnificent addition to the attractions of NewcastleGateshead. First opened to the public in 1876 and known as the People's Park, it covers 55 acres and is designed to give the impression that it goes on forever. In its centre is Saltwell Towers, which contains a café. Elsewhere the park has a boating lake, children's play area and some lovely walks through the woodland.

Where: Between East Park Road, Saltwell Road South and West Park Road, Gateshead (0191 478 4222; www.gateshead.gov.uk)

When: Daily from dawn until dusk

How much: Free

20 Apartment

Although it has only been open a couple of years, Apartment is now so well-established and so popular that others are now trying to emulate it - although no one has managed to do anything better. Describing itself as a luxebar - part restaurant, part bar, part club - it is an excellent place to head for, either early in the evening or late at night. Essentially, Apartment is music-based, with live music six days a week and a DJ on Sunday.

Where: 28-32 Collingwood Street, Newcastle (0191 230 4114; www.apartment-luxebar.com)

When: Noon-2am Mon to Sat, noon-12.30am Sun

How much: Cocktails from £5.45

21 University Gallery

This newly refurbished space began life as a teaching gallery, where the staff of Northumbria University's art department could exhibit their works. It is independent within the university, and although it does have a collection of its own, it funds itself through the sale of the works on display in a series of changing exhibitions. Works chosen are by artists who have some connection with the region, although they are not necessarily British; the gallery has strong links with the art scene in Norway.

Where: University of Northumbria, Sandyford Road, Newcastle (0191 227 4424; online.northumbria.ac.uk/gallery)

When: 10am-5pm Mon-Thu, 10am-4pm Fri-Sat

How much: Free

22 Comfort Food Company

This small establishment boasts that it serves real food simply cooked. What this actually means is that everything is local, from suppliers who are named on the menu: fish is from Ridley's in Corbridge, beef comes from Well Hung and Tender, a farm in Berwick. Local here really does mean somewhere close by, and homemade means that the chef himself put the ingredients together. The menu may have a limited choice, but most diners see that as a strength rather than a weakness.

Where: 24 Pudding Chare, Newcastle (0191 261 1525)

When: Noon to 2.30pm Tue to Fri, 6-9.30pm Wed to Sat

How much: One-course lunch £9.95; dinner main courses £11.95

23 High Bridge

Given the amount of city space devoted to shopping malls, it is refreshing to find a street with such an eclectic mix of independent shops. High Bridge must class as the coolest shopping street in the city, and has plenty to appeal to the student population as well as anyone wanting something a little more bohemian or unusual. There are plenty of clothing rails to search through at End, Attica, Mint, Skirt or Union, and if it is retro chic you are looking for, try Period Clothing. Music-lovers will want to visit Spin or RPM for their collections of vinyl as well as CDs.

Where: Between Grey Street and Bigg Market, Newcastle

24 Life Science Centre

The Centre is attached to the Institute of Human Genetics, and is a well-thought-out attraction designed to explain the meaning and importance of DNA to children and adults. Hands-on exhibits explain our cellular origins, showing how cells change into different forms of life. The latest attraction is the Life on Mars exhibition, which runs until December. It explores the Red Planet, and gives visitors an opportunity to see what life in outer space might be like.

Where: Times Square, Newcastle (0191 243 8210; www.lifesciencecentre.co.uk)

When: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Closing times may change according to other events

How much: £6.95, children £4.50

25 The Hyena Café

The Hyena is the city's foremost comedy club and many of its performers are from the region. Recent signings have included up-and-coming comics such as Dan Nightingale and Edinburgh Festival successes like Markus Birdman. Comedy is the centrepiece of an evening here; there is also a bar, food platters, and the biggest TV screen in town. Downstairs is the Sanctuary Bar, which has a live DJ and dancing when the comedy has finished; this continues until 2am.

Where: Leazes Lane, Newcastle (0191 232 6030; www.thehyena.com)

When: Thu-Sat 7pm-2am

How much: £8 in advance, £9 on the door on Thu; £9 in advance, £10 on the door on Fri and Sat

26 Seaham Hall and Spa

Only 20 minutes from NewcastleGateshead, yet out in the depths of the country, Seaham Hall is an award-winning hotel, renowned for the excellence of its facilities. The hotel contains some striking artworks, including a water feature by William Pye, and works by Nicolaus Widerburg and Dale Atkinson. Most guests allow time to visit the Serenity Spa, whose facilities include a 20-metre thermal pool, hammam, and a flotation pool, the ultimate in relaxation.

Where: Lord Byron's Walk, Seaham, County Durham (0191 516 1400; www.seaham-hall.com)

How much: Double rooms from £195 Monday-Thursday and £245 Friday to Sunday, including breakfast. Massages from £35 for half and hour.

27 Black Door

The Black Door is one of the newest restaurants to open up in NewcastleGateshead, and already it has become popular with those who appreciate good food. The food is locally sourced, and many of the dishes are traditional, such as dressed crab salad or local halibut, although it comes sometimes with a modern twist: look out for summer salad with tomato jelly. The menu is limited to six choices for each course, but even that is often too many to choose from.

Where: 32 Clayton Street West, Newcastle (0191 261 6295)

When: Noon-2pm and 7-10pm Tue-Sat

How much: Two courses £35, three courses £37.50

28 Northumberland Street

Newcastle's main shopping street is often thought of as the Oxford Street of the north, for its concentration of household names such as Next, Bhs and Zara. But unlike London's Oxford Street, this is pedestrianised, with benches for tired shoppers. Fenwicks, the department store which originated in north-east England, is here too, as well as a large branch of Marks & Spencer. Between them, these link to the Eldon Square centre, an indoor shopping area crammed with more high street favourites.

Where: Between Haymarket and Market Street, Newcastle

When: Main Eldon Square shops open 9am-6pm Mon-Sat, Thur to 8pm, 11am-5pm Sun

29 Castle Keep

The keep is part of the medieval castle that replaced the original Norman structure. The defences of the town were strengthened by the Black Gate, which still stands nearby and was added in the 13th century, but the castle was isolated when the town walls were built, and was no longer so vital in the defence of the city. As a result, it remained in good condition, and after a 19th century restoration it became a museum. Fragments of the city walls can still be seen around the city.

Where: Castle Garth, Newcastle (0191 232 7938; www.castlekeep-newcastle.org.uk)

When: 9.30am-5.30pm daily, until 4.30pm in winter

How much: £1.50

30 Head of Steam @ The Cluny

This is an excellent live music venue, with the best selection of draft and bottled beer in the city; if there is something you want that they don't have, you can order it for next time. The bar serves food all day, and there is a separate area, with its own bar, where there is live music every night, with the emphasis on newish, youngish guitar bands. There is a small gallery space for works by local artists, which change on a monthly basis.

Where: 36 Lime Street, Newcastle (0191 230 4474; www.theheadofsteam.co.uk)

When: Noon until 11pm Mon-Weds, until midnight Thurs, until 1am Fri-Sat, until 10.30pm Sunday

How much: Beer from £2.50 a bottle

31 Copthorne Hotel

It may look functional from the outside, but there is no lack of comfort in this riverside hotel. It was one of the earliest developments on the river front and is conveniently located for the city centre as well as the central railway station and transport to other parts of the city. Facilities include the Le Club fitness centre, whose swimming pool is in a lovely position looking out on to the Tyne. The bar and café are also on the riverside, and there is also a more formal restaurant.

Where: The Close, Quayside, Newcastle (0191 222 0333; www.millenniumhotels.com)

How much: Rooms from £135 including breakfast at weekends; £125 room only on weekdays.

32 Fisherman's Lodge

The Fisherman's Lodge is a short journey out of the city centre, tucked away in Jesmond Dene, but it is worth the journey through the woods for a special night out. As the name suggests, the restaurant specialises in fish, much of which comes daily from the quayside at North Shields. There are also some delicious meat-based dishes on the menu, and the meat comes from local suppliers.

Where: Jesmond Dene, Newcastle (0191 281 3281; www.tomscompanies.com)

When: Noon-2pm and 7-10.30pm Mon-Sat

How much: Two-course dinner £40, three-course lunch £22.50

33 Grainger Market

This covered city-centre market is being refurbished but will retain its old-world charm, including the original Marks & Spencer's Penny Bazaar. This was a market stall, run by the original Mr Marks, who urged customers not to ask the price, since "everything's a penny". There are several other markets in the city, including the Farmers' Market, which is held on the first Friday morning of every month at Grey's Monument; and Paddy's Market, selling everything from food to bric-a-brac, which has been an institution on the Quayside for decades. It takes place between the Swing Bridge and Wesley Square every Sunday morning.

Where: Off Grainger Street, Newcastle

When: 9am-5pm Mon-Wed; 9am-5.30pm Thu-Sat

34 Side Gallery

The Side is a long-established photographic gallery, an offshoot of Amber, a film and photographic collective, first established in 1968. There are changing exhibitions in the small gallery, usually consisting of works by the members of the co-operative, although other work is commissioned to be put on display. The main work of the Side is as a photographic archive, documenting life in the North-east. Also at the Side, but running semi-independently of the gallery, is the Side Cinema, which has programmes of arthouse movies.

Where: 9 The Side, Newcastle (0191 232 2208; www.amber-online.com)

When: 11am-5pm Tues-Sun

How much: Free

35 Carling Academy

This former Gala Bingo Hall is opening in October as the city's newest live music venue. Its new owners are the group behind the Brixton Academy in London, so it is reasonable to expect that they will be able to deliver a good selection of top names. The main room will be able to accommodate up to 2,000 people, with a smaller room for around 400. Tickets are already on sale for a number of performances, including Nine Black Alps and the recently reformed Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

Where: Westgate Road, Newcastle (0870 771 2000; www.newcastle-academy.co.uk)

When: The box office opens noon-4pm Mon-Fri

How much: Tickets are likely to be available from £7.50

36 BALTIC Rooftop Restaurant

Following recent problems with service, the Rooftop Restaurant now has a new manager and things have picked up again. The food is of a very high standard, with lots of different flavours in evidence, and the ingredients are all of a high quality. The food is very much the focus of attention here, although the surroundings, perched above the Tyne with great views in every direction, run it a close second.

Where: Top floor, BALTIC, South Shore Road, Newcastle (0191 440 4949)

When: Noon-1.45pm daily, 7-9.45pm Mon-Thu, until 10pm Fri & Sat

How much: Two-course set lunch £16.95, à la carte £30, house wine £15.75 a bottle

37 Shipley Art Gallery

The basis of the collection that formed the Shipley Gallery was 504 paintings bequeathed to Gateshead by Joseph Shipley, a local solicitor who lived for a time in Saltwell Tower, in the nearby park. It contains Dutch and Flemish paintings from the 17th century, and British works from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries. Since the gallery opened in 1917 it has received other donations, and the permanent works are displayed in rotation. The gallery also has temporary exhibitions, including one later this year showing British and American quilts.

Where: Prince Consort Road, Gateshead (0191 477 1495; www.twmuseums.org.uk)

When: 10am-5pm Mon to Sat, 2-5pm Sun

How much: Free

38 Vermont Hotel

The Vermont is an independently run four-star hotel, perched above the Tyne close to the castle keep. It is built down the side of the hill, with entrances at 6th-floor level, and right down below on the ground floor. Although it has 100 rooms, it is more like a boutique hotel in style and atmosphere than its size might suggest. There is a fitness centre for the exclusive use of hotel guests, and there are also two restaurants as well as the Redwood Lounge, a comfortable area to relax in or have a cup of coffee.

Where: Castle Garth, Newcastle (0191 233 1010; www.vermont-hotel.com)

How much: Double rooms cost from £120, breakfast £14.50

39 Blackfriars Café Bar

This claims to be the oldest restaurant in the country, on the grounds that it is housed in the same room that was once the refectory serving the Black Friars, and hospitality has been dispensed here ever since. All food is locally sourced and the menu changes regularly. Prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is extremely relaxed. Although the ingredients are local, cooking influences come from all over the world.

Where: Friars Street, Newcastle (0191 261 5945; www.blackfriarscafebar.co.uk)

When: Noon-2.30pm, 6pm-late Tue-Sat, noon-3pm Sun

How much: Two-course lunch or dinner £9.90, three courses £12.90

40 Acorn Road

The suburb of Jesmond is a popular area for shopping, and Acorn Road offers plenty of choice. A number of shops are clustered in a small area and include staples like a delicatessen and fishmonger, with luxury shops like the Conservatory, which has a carefully selected range of chic clothes; and Jules B, a boutique with a good choice of chic and trendy items. Around the corner, many of the genteel houses have been turned into hotels and bars, and this is a lively area at night. Not far away are the antique shops clustered around Fern Avenue and Gowan Terrace.

Where: Jesmond, between Osborne Road and St Georges Terrace, Newcastle

41 Seven Stories

The Centre for Children's Books was set up to preserve the original manuscripts and artwork of children's books. Seven Stories has recently opened in a converted mill, and aims to introduce children to the world of books and art, although there is plenty on offer for adults, too. The exhibitions will change regularly, and the first, on Incredible Journeys, includes a handwritten page from the first Harry Potter novel.

Where: 30 Lime Street, Newcastle (0845 271 0777; www.sevenstories.org.uk)

When: 10am-5pm Mon-Sat, until 6pm Thu, 11am-5pm Sun

How much: Adults £5, children £4, family ticket £15

42 The Gate

Grandly described as an urban entertainment centre, The Gate is an ideal meeting place with something to suit everyone. It boasts a 12-screen cinema complex on the first floor, with performances starting at around 11.30am. Elsewhere, the choice of bars, cafés and restaurants is constantly increasing. The choice includes ASK, the pizza and pasta restaurant; TGI Friday's, and Tiger, Tiger, which is one of the most popular. Aspers Casino Bar is opening this autumn on the first floor.

Where: Newgate Street, Newcastle ( www.thegatenewcastle.com)

When: 10am-1am Sun-Thu, 10am-3am Fri & Sat

43 El Coto

Housed in a building that is typical of an old English pub, this is a Spanish tapas bar that oozes authenticity. The menu has a good selection of tapas, which are ideal for a light lunch or can be ordered for sharing with friends. They include typical Spanish dishes like meatballs in tomato sauce, broad beans with ham, and deep-fried potatoes, as well as plates of fresh anchovies and olives. Upstairs is a more formal grill room, serving more substantial portions.

Where: 21 Leazes Park Road, Newcastle (0191 261 0555)

When: Noon-11pm daily

How much: Cold tapas from £1.95, hot from £2.95, wine from £3.80 a glass

44 Laing Art Gallery


The Laing is a typical Victorian picture gallery, famous for the 18th and 19th century paintings in its permanent collection, and, most famously, its pre-Raphaelite paintings. Children are encouraged, with a room aimed at introducing art to the under-5s. Outside is the Blue Carpet, an example of the public art that is so widespread in the city, a covering for the square outside the Laing, made of crushed sherry bottles, mixed with resin and spread across concrete.

Where: New Bridge Street, Newcastle (0191 232 7734; www.twmuseums.org.uk)

When: 10am-5pm Mon-Sat, 2-5pm Sun

How much: Free

45 City Hall

The City Hall is a city-centre venue for performances of all kinds, and there are few people in the city who have not been there for a night out at some time or another. Don't expect anything too cutting edge here, but the venue attracts plenty of big names. Jools Holland, Blondie, The Bootleg Beatles, Joan Rivers and Tony Christie are all booked to appear at the City Hall in the next few months and touring comedy, like Little Britain and The League Of Gentlemen.

Where: Northumberland Road, Newcastle (0191 261 2606; www.newcastle.gov.uk/cityhall)

When: The Box Office opens 10.30am-5.15pm Mon-Fri, until 7pm Thu, until 4.30pm Sat

46 Numjai II

Open in Newcastle nearly three years, after opening its first restaurant in Durham, Numjai has already become extremely popular. Anyone who has ever spent time in Thailand will recognise the authenticity of the cooking. Like Chinese cuisine, Thai food is ideal for sharing and the menu boasts a large variety of delicately spiced dishes to choose from. Particularly popular are the green curries and the fried noodles. The ambience welcoming and guests are served by attentive staff dressed in traditional Thai costumes.

Where: Nexus House, 33 St James Boulevard , Newcastle (0191 261 9080; www.numjai.co.uk)

When: Noon-2.30pm and 6-11pm daily

How much: Two-course earlybird meal £9.95

47 Hatton Gallery

The University's Hatton Gallery is part of the new cultural quarter that is developing in the Haymarket. It has a large permanent collection, although only parts of this are on display at any one time; anyone wanting to see a particular item is welcome to get in touch in advance so that it can be brought into the gallery. The highlight is the Merzbarn collage by Kurt Schwitters, regarded by many as a key work of the 20th century. Temporary exhibitions change frequently, and are chosen to complement works in the permanent collection.

Where: The Quadrangle, off King's Walk, Newcastle (0191 222 6059; www.ncl.ac.uk/hatton)

When: 10am-5pm Mon-Sat

How much: Free

48 La Riviera

This is the liveliest restaurant on the Gateshead side of the Tyne, a bustling Italian place which is usually full, whatever the night of the week. The menu is full of standard, Italian favourites, which are served by friendly staff in scenic surroundings: the restaurant is tucked beneath the High Level Bridge. There is always a cheerful buzz about La Riviera, which explains why it remains so popular with people from all over the city.

Where: Pipewell House, Pipewellgate, Gateshead Quays (0191 477 7070; www.lariviera.co.uk)

When: Noon-2pm Mon-Fri, 6-10.30pm Mon-Sat

How much: Starters from £4.95, mains from £12.25, pizzas from £7.25

49 Gateshead MetroCentre

Since the completion of the Red Mall and the opening of a new three-level Debenhams store, the MetroCentre has once again regained its title as the largest indoor shopping centre in Europe. It is a vast retail complex which has been constantly updated since its opening, with new outlets opening all the time. There are also more than 50 cafés and restaurants, a multi-screen cinema, and the MetroLand indoor theme park to entertain anyone bored with shopping. There are shuttle buses to the Centre from Gateshead and Monument metros and the Central Station.

Where: South of Newcastle on the A1; 0191 493 0219; www.metrocentre.co.uk

When: 10am-9pm Mon-Fri, 9am-7pm Sat, 11am-5pm Sun

50 Waygood Gallery

Waygood is a small, city centre gallery with big ambitions. Established 10 years ago by artist Helen Smith, it currently consists of two rooms which can be used to display artworks, video or other installations. Renovations are under way which will provide space for artists' studios, a café and a live music venue. At the moment, the artists connected with the gallery work elsewhere in the city; their works are displayed in the gallery, along with that of others who have submitted work for selection.

Where: 37 High Bridge, Newcastle (0191 221 1712; www.waygood.org)

When: 11am-5pm Wed-Sat

How much: Free