Leicester A City Guide written by a student who lives and studies here


Leicester is a thriving, multi-cultural city located right in the very heart of England.

With plenty to see and do, and more shops, pubs and restaurants than you can shake a stick at, it’s no wonder that the city has become such a popular place to study for domestic and international students.

There are numerous opportunities to indulge your hobbies and passions too, so if you plan on studying in Leicester then no two days need to be the same....

Things to Do

Students in Leicester are spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do – both in the city and slightly further afield.

If you are a fan of sports then you’ll take great delight in noting that the city is home to some of the finest action around; whether football (Leicester City), rugby (Leicester Tigers), Basketball (Leicester Riders) or cricket (Leicestershire CCC) are your thing.

The National Space Centre is a big hit with those of an inquisitive mind, and the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery is well-loved by culture vultures in the city.

Abbey Park is just a stone’s throw from the city centre and offers a relaxing, tranquil environment in which to study or catch some rays, and slightly further afield Bradgate Park, just a short bus or car journey away, is home to stunning views and beautiful wildlife.

Take in a show at the Curve Theatre, watch your favourite bands at De Montfort Hall or catch the latest releases at the Phoenix independent cinema.

And, of course, remember to stock up on fruit and veg at England’s largest outdoor market.

Things to Eat

As you might expect from a former winner of ‘Curry Capital of Britain’, Leicester’s Golden Mile is the stuff of legend if you enjoy authentic Indian dishes.

But there’s plenty more on offer too, with cuisine from across the globe represented within the city.

The Highcross shopping centre is home to the kind of chain restaurants you see in any major town or city, and of course there are the world-famous fast food outlets if you are dining on a tight budget.

Most of the pubs situated within walking distance of the city’s two university campuses offer heavily discounted, hearty grub for students as well.

Things to Drink

As you may have guessed from a city containing two universities and their associate colleges, there are numerous pubs, bars and clubs to enjoy.

There are the student-friendly pubs and bars which offers discounts, offers and promotions aimed specifically at those who are studying, and then of course there are the students’ union buildings too.

If you want to head off campus, Leicester city has a vibrant nightlife that caters for all tastes and interests. Fan of cocktails? You’ll enjoy the variety of cocktail bars in the West End.

Like a particular genre of music? No worries: Leicester has bars and clubs dedicated to house, R&B, rock, indie, pop, eighties....you name it, the city has it.

Leicester is also home to a number of nationwide chains of bars and clubs you may have frequented elsewhere too.

Basically, whether you want a cheap night out or a more refined and cultured evening, you can make it happen in Leicester.

Things to Buy

The Highcross shopping centre is one of the largest shopping malls in the Midlands, and is home to all of the big name stores and brands you’d expect.

Another smaller shopping precinct is the Haymarket, which hosts Primark, TK Maxx and plenty more.

Quirky, independent stores line the streets of the West End, and the market is one of the most vibrant shopping communities around.

For the more thrifty student, there are numerous shops when you can stock up on groceries and everyday essentials without making too much of a dent in your student loan either!

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