Whether you’re a fresher looking forward to moving to the Steel City or a second-year eager to explore the city after a year of quarantine, this city guide has everything you need to know about student life in Sheffield.
Sheffield is famous for its £1 student single bus ticket but what are the other ways to get around?
As previously mentioned, the £1 student single can get broke students anywhere from the city centre to Fox House at the edge of the Peak District. The 120 bus service is useful for freshers as it passes by both Endcliffe and Ranmoor accommodation before making it’s way to the city centre. If you’re a second year, the 52 and 95 take you to popular student areas such as Crookes, Walkley and Crookesmoor, all for a £1. Grab a Zoom Beyond 18-21 travel pass to get your single journeys for 80p or a 18-22 TravelMaster discount card to receive 15% off all TravelMaster tickets (available for tram and bus travel).
Sheffield is one of the few cities with a tram service and it’s a great way to get around. Faster than bus services most of the time, it can take you to the new Ikea and Meadowhall so that you can pick up anything you need when moving into the city. It also takes you to Centertainment and the FlyDSA Arena so you can get your movie and music fix.
Sheffield is right at the centre of many great cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool so you can catch a train to visit all your mates. The line between Manchester and Sheffield has great views as it runs right through the Peak District, meaning you could hop off and go for a ramble in the beautiful area. The train station is right next to the bus station and a tram stop so no worries about getting there.
Obviously, you could hitch a ride with Uber easily, but City Taxis is also a great alternative as if you don’t have the cash to get home they’ll take you provided you go to the SU and pay your fare the next day. Just call 01142393939, quote the ‘Safe Taxi Scheme’ and hand over your UCard/SHUcard in exchange for your fare. Visit the SU Welcome Desk (Uni of) or HUBS reception (Hallam) within 24-48hours to get your UCard back and pay the taxi fare.
Shopping as a Sheffield Student
If you go to uni of, you’ll likely end up living in Crookesmoor in second year, in which case Beanies is a student favourite. With loads of vegan and veggie options and plastic free fruit and veg, this co-op is great for the eco-conscious student. For first years, Broomhill offers Morrisons and Fruit-A-Peel, which as well as having a great name, has a really friendly owner and cheap fruit and veg.
Sheffield has loads of options for shopping, including the Moor and Meadowhall, which house loads of high street favourites. If you’re a fan of vintage shops, Sheffield is a haven with loads around West Street and Division Street, such as Vulgar and Freshman’s Vintage. If you love finding a bargain in charity shops there are plenty in all the student areas such as Ecclesall Road, the City Centre and Broomhill, but our favourite is White Rose on Ecclesall Road as they have so many great brands at affordable prices.
A while back we wrote a guide to the best fancy dress in Sheffield, but in summary, there’s some great shops like Party On and Party Town whilst charity shops offer great DIY ideas. Check it out here.
There are two types of people: those that are excited to get colour-coded binders and matching stationery for uni, and those who are happy to turn up with a pen and write their lecture notes on the back of a takeaway receipt. Whichever way you swing, there’s plenty of places in Sheffield to pick up your books, pens and other uni supplies. Blackwells is located right in the Uni of campus so is a great option alongside the SU shop. In the city centre, check out Rymans, the Works and WHSmith, but if you’re looking for something unique and aesthetically pleasing, Paperchase and Fred Aldous are worth a look. For books, it’s great to support local businesses such as Rhyme and Reason on Ecclesall Road or shop second hand either in Blackwells or charity shops such as Oxfam in Broomhill, which often has loads of books on uni courses due to the University of Sheffield first-year accommodation being just up the road.
Decorating your room
Sheffield has so many great options when it comes to decorating your room. Hop on the tram to Meadowhall or Ikea or stay in town where there are loads of options such as Primark, Wilkos and more. If you want to shop independent, there are so many cute independent shops with Sheffield themed postcards and prints to decorate your new room, such as Bird’s Yard and Sheffield Makers. A great idea is also to get a few plants to really make your room feel like home from local florists or greengrocers. If you can’t take care of a plant, try Ikea for some fake look-alikes. Alternatively, check out local charity shops to find bargains or see if your accommodation does a sale of crockery and other bits from previous students.
There’s a night out for everyone in Sheff, whether you prefer a bar crawl, a quiet night in the pub or clubbing. Check out our article on the best bars in Sheffield if you love cheap drinks or our article about the best rooftop bars to get that great Insta pic of the sunset over Sheffield’s hills. Check out our best pubs in Sheffield article or best beer gardens piece to see where you can grab a great pint. If you prefer pres before making your way to one of Sheffield’s clubs, check out our article on Sheffield’s top nights out. A unique option for a great night out in Sheffield is boozy bingo from the likes of Bongo’s Bingo or quizzes in local pubs and bars such as the Leadmill’s Sunday speed quiz.
If you don’t like to drink or just need a night off, there’s loads of options for a booze free night out. Sheffield has loads of cinemas to check out including the independent Showroom Cinema and Odeon Luxe. Alternatively, you could catch a play or musical at the Crucible or Lyceum theatre. If that’s not for you, check out Air Haus or Lane 7 to return to your childhood with huge trampolines and bowling. One of our favourite activities is visiting the Treehouse Boardgame cafe, where you can try out over 650 new and exciting games with friends.
Days out in Sheffield
Sheffield has so many amazing options for a great day out from touring the independent shops and cafes to visiting the beautiful Peak District. If you love a ramble in nature check out our article on the best outdoor spaces in Sheffield, or if you’d prefer a cute picnic we’ve revealed the best picnic spots in the city. Our top day out is probably visiting the Peaks, and a great option is to catch a bus to Fox House for a pound and take the path on the right towards the stunning views at Stanage Edge. If you don’t fancy a walk catch the bus to Bakewell or Chatsworth House to explore the local history. If that’s your jam, there’s plenty of places to discover Sheffield’s past in the city including the Kelham Island museum, Weston Park museum and the Millennium Gallery. Sheffield is also home to the National Videogame museum which is such a fun day out located in the heart of the city.
Further afield from Sheffield city centre there are lots of sporty days out. Try Rother Valley Inflatable Water Park, which with its total wipeout style course, is well worth the trek to Rotherham, although you will need a friend with a car. Other activities for sporty students include the Depot climbing centre and Air Haus with it’s trampolines and slides.
If you like going to the gym, Sport Sheffield is great for Uni of students whilst Hallam’s Active Gyms are a good option for Hallam students. However, these aren’t the cheapest gyms in Sheffield and options such as The Gym in the city centre or Anytime Fitness may be more pocket friendly if you don’t mind the walk.
If you want to venture out to the Peak District there are plenty of walks which are student friendly, being accessible by bus or train. If you have a bike it’s also a great idea to ride out to the Peak District or hire a bike on the 8 mile long Monsal Trail which is a great option as it is a straight and flat trail with great views and easy access to Bakewell.
Eating out in Sheffield
Sheffield is home to many great restaurants and cafes that you shouldn’t miss, although it will definitely take you the full three years at uni to get round all of the city’s culinary delights. A vegan and veggie hotspot, you won’t miss meat at the best vegan restaurants in Sheffield.
If, like most students, you love a good deal, check out the best bottomless brunch spots in Sheffield.
Places you MUST visit at least once include Balti King and Notty House. Although Balti King has a dubious health rating, the curry house open to students coming back from heavy nights out into the early hours is an experience all Sheff students must try. Notty House or the Nottingham House is a pub serving Sheffield’s best pies. Located in Broomhill, it’s a people pleaser with all kinds of pies and a great place to take your parents when they come to visit. If you want to try different foods check out Kelham Island with it’s up and coming restaurants and cafes as well as the Peddler night market hosting a diverse range of food trucks. Other food hotspots include Ecclesall Road and the city centre.
If you don’t fancy going out, there are loads of great takeaways available in Sheffield. Check out our article to see which are delivering now. Most are open now regardless of coronavirus measures such as Doughboy for cookie dough or Proove for delicious pizzas.
Where to live in Sheffield
There are many student areas in Sheffield to choose from whether you go to Hallam or Uni of. Check out our article on which one is the right choice for you here. There’s also lots of choice over not only where you live but what kind of halls or housing you can pick so find out our top choices here. Not only that, but there’s plenty of letting agencies all competing for a bit of your loan, so make sure you make the right choice with our guide.
If you’re still not sure how to spend your time in Sheffield, check out our Sheffield bucket list here.