In the midst of moving madness, it can be easy to get caught up in the transition. and then you’re then left wondering this: how do I make my way around London? As challenging as that question may initially seem, you’ll soon realise that it’s actually super easy to learn the ins and outs of the city, you just need to know where to look. So from transport and libraries to the best nights out, places to eat and to shop, we have got to all covered in this London Student City Guide.
Getting around London can often be a mission in itself because you might be travelling for over an hour and end up still being south of the river. However, there are many ways you can ease this process and that is by downloading Citymapper. This is an app that takes into account real-time travel options and provides you with alternative ways to commute to your destination with an estimated time of arrival. It lets you know about any delays or congestion that may occur on your route, and also shows the overall price of the travel.
An Oyster card will often act as a lifeline in London as it is no secret that things can often start to add up very quickly, cost-wise. The best thing to do, if your university is more than a walk away, is to get a student Oyster. This includes unlimited use of buses, trains, and tubes and saves you a lot of money in the long run. The majority of students travel between zones 1 and 3, and so the monthly cost for this is £110.60 compared to the normal £167.10, both of which include unlimited use. By getting a monthly ticket, it also saves paying for each individual journey, as pay-as-you-go between these zones costs £8.20. So to ensure you get the best discount when using your Oyster, all you need to do is pay a £5 deposit and £20 registration fee.
Alongside Uber, there are many taxis that are also available for travel around the city.
One number taxi – 0871 871 8710
The London Cab Drivers Club – 020 7394 5553
Sherbet London – 020 8458 7111
London Minicabs – 020 3953 1867
Alongside your traditional methods of travelling by train, tube and bus, cycling is increasingly becoming a favourite way of travelling around London as it is cheap, eco-friendly, and beneficial for your health. Dotted around London are Santander cycles which are docking stations that allow you to use their bikes. It’s £2 for unlimited journeys up to 30 minutes within a 24 hour period, and all you need to do afterwards is return it to any docking station. By also registering for a yearly membership as a student, you get 25% off, bringing the fee down from £90 to £67.50.
Whether you want to nestle down to get the assignments done as soon as possible or even head over after your lectures for a little gossip with your friends whilst convincing yourselves that you’ll get work done, then there are plenty of libraries you can check out to do so.
UCL Main Library
Address: Wilkins Building, Gower St, London WC1E 6BT
Located at their Wilkins Building, this UCL library hosts general resources alongside languages, law, art and economics materials, with an ideal location of being close to Euston and Warren Street tube stations.
Address: University of London, Thornhaugh St, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Open for SOAS University of London students, this library allows access to books, journals and databases for all subjects in one place, also hosting exhibitions and events too.
Address: Chancery Ln, London WC2A 1LR
Being the main research library for King’s College London students, Maughan is a beautiful centre if you’re looking for plenty of space, privacy and comfort when studying.
The British Library
Address: 96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB
Being the national library of the UK, the British Library is one of the largest in the world, allowing for plenty of privacy and reading materials whilst studying.
Bishopsgate Institute Library
Address: 236-216, A10, London
Bishopsgate Institute Library is an independent charity-funded library situated in the city of London, great if you want a break from the university libraries, or if you’re a fan of academia.
If there’s one thing people enjoy the most about their university experience, it’s going out, and what better place to go than the capital itself?
Address: 6 S Lambeth Pl, London SW8 1SP
A nightclub situated in Vauxhall featuring three rooms of LED walls, vaulted ceilings and resident DJs playing the best electronic remixes until the early hours of the morning. By also being opposite the tube station, everything you need is all in one place.
Address: Town Hall Parade, Brixton Hill, London SW2 1RJ
Electric Brixton is known for Freshers Icebreaker night, with confetti cannons blasting alongside drag queens and fire-breathing circus performers dancing to dance DJ sets amongst hundreds of London students.
Address: 32-37 Cowper St, London EC2A 4AP
A nightclub located in the heart of the party district of Shoreditch, XOYO offers two floors of DJ club nights, with SNEAK being their leading student night every Tuesday. With cheap drinks and dance remixes all night, what more could you want?
Address: 77A Charterhouse St, London EC1M 6HJ
With three spaces playing the best drum and bass, house and techno, and dubstep music, it comes as no surprise that Fabric is a fan favourite amongst students. By being open all night long, and even until 4 am on Sundays, there are no excuses to not check it out.
Ministry of Sound
Address: 103 Gaunt St, London SE1 6DP
With Milkshake being their most popular student event, Ministry of Sound provides great dance remixes and an electric atmosphere for all party lovers.
If partying isn’t your scene, or you want to take a break from the drunk all-nighters, then there are plenty of other things you can do that London has to offer.
Address: 8 Brown’s Buildings, London EC3A 8A
Address: 15 John Prince’s St, London W1G 0AB
Despite the unfortunate name, Swingers is actually a crazy golf venue situated in the west end and the city. With themes of helper skelter, the big wheel, lighthouse and windmill, the slopes and tunnels will definitely bring out a competitive side you probably didn’t know you had.
Address: Bankside, London SE1 9TG
Tate Modern is an incredible art exhibition hosting some of the worlds best contemporary pieces. With free entry and many scheduled events always occurring, there’s never a dull moment in this modern gallery.
Emirates Air Line Cable Car
Address: 27 Western Gateway, London E16 1FA
Linking across the River Thames, this London cable car allows you to see panoramic views of the city for just £4 for a single ticket.
Whether it be a romantic picnic or chilling for a few hours with your mates, Primrose Hill is the perfect location to see the city from above. With grassy hills and panoramic views, just imagine the sunsets here.
Address: 10 Wardour St, London W1D 6BZ
A vibrant market situated next to Leicester Square, Chinatown offers the best and authentic Asian cuisines, ranging from bubble tea to traditional restaurants, shops and activities all down one road.
Address: Hyde Park, London W2 2UH
Strictly taking place around Christmas time, Winter Wonderland is an incredible event hosting ice skating, funfair rides and markets, transporting you to Santa’s Grotto and back to your childhood.
Where to eat
If ready meals and pasta just isn’t hitting the spot anymore, then there are some great independent restaurants and cafés that you can check out and feast your eyes on instead.
Address: 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames St, London EC3R 6AH
Serving everything from breakfast classics to hearty date night dishes, Coppa Club not only offers some delicious and greatly priced food for central London but also an incredible view of Tower Bridge if you decide to book with one of their outdoor igloos.
Shoreditch Address: 2-10 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6GY
Wembley Address: 18 Olympic Way, Wembley Park, Wembley HA9 0JT
Croydon Address: 99 George St, Croydon CR0 1LD
A great place to not just shop and drink but also eat is BOXPARK, as it is filled with independent food vendors ranging from healthy vegan options to your classic greasy burgers. With locations in Shoreditch, Wembley and Croydon, there’s one for everyone to check out, no matter where you’re coming from.
Address: 59A Portobello Rd, London W11 3DB
For all my classy, healthy brunch lovers out there, Farm Girl in Notting Hill is every city girls dream; with Australian inspired smoothies, sandwiches and salad bowls, this romantic hideaway is perfect for those wanting to treat themselves or someone else to a cute date.
Address: 53 Lexington St, Carnaby, London W1F 9AS
The original destination for bao buns in London, BOA offers delicious tasting menus from your classic recipes to innovate takes on traditions. Also available for delivery and with a shop to create your own buns, this definitely makes a change to a Friday night takeaway.
Address: 22 Old Broad St, London EC2N 1HQ
Bringing you the best Neapolitan pizza in London, unarguably, is Pizza Pilgrims, dotted around London and serving traditional Italian food the right way. With their twist on bottomless brunch with pizza, Prosecco and pints, and even a make your own kit delivered straight to your door, it’s no surprise we all just want to go back for more!
Sometimes we just need to treat ourselves and have a little browse at some of the best shops that the capital offers.
Now, you can’t really live in London if you don’t peruse down Oxford Street at least once a week. Located right in the centre of the capital and filled with endless rows of high street stores, this can definitely do a lot of damage to your maintenance loan.
Vintage Stores in Shoreditch
If you prefer to stay away from all the high street stores and gear your fashion towards the more vintage side, then there are plenty of shops you can check out in East London, particularly Shoreditch, to do just that.