It might be scary to move to a new place and begin university. But don’t worry, we’ve all experienced something similar before, and it’s completely normal! We’ve put together a useful student city guide to Leeds, where you can find out almost everything you need to know about Leeds.
Where to live
Finding the proper area to live as a student is arguably the most crucial thing to do, as obvious as it may seem. Consider variables such as the cost of rent and the area where you will be living while looking for a place to live at university (whether on-campus or off-campus). These are some of the greatest areas to live if you’re thinking about living off-campus in your own apartment.
Roundhay is a fantastic spot to live, especially if you enjoy woods and wildlife. It includes a variety of Victorian mansions and is near Roundhay Park, one of Europe’s largest parks.
Headingley is a beautiful place, especially for students searching for a never-ending supply of entertainment. The neighbourhood is diverse, with a mix of professionals, students, and families, making it a fantastic place to call home!
Hyde Park is within walking distance from The University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University and Leeds City Centre, making it a great location for students to live. There are many bars, art venues and green spaces in Hyde Park, which explains why it is popular amongst students.
Finding the right transport can be difficult, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. Will this vehicle get me to where I want to go? Will I be on time? Many questions can run through our heads when deciding how to get from A to B on time. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here are the different transport options in Leeds:
Buses are one of the handiest modes of transportation for students in Leeds. The First Bus is one of the most common buses used amongst students every day and even has its very own app. The app gives you a cheeky little student discount when you purchase your tickets on the app. You can find out how to download it here.
The buses (like many others around the UK) will display a number or a name of the town which can show you where it is going. The specific routes with the associated bus number are shown below:
- 26/X26 and 27/X27- Stops at the Headrow, York Road, Killingbeck Retail Park, Thorpe Park and Halton Dial
- 2-3-3A-12-13-13A- Stops at Roundhay Park, Beeston, Whiterose Shopping Centre and many more.
Find out more about the routes and stops the First Buses take here.
Source: South Leeds Life
There is a wide range of taxis available to students in Leeds. From the mighty Ubers to the taxis that you can wave down when you’ve had a drunk night out.
Road Runners- 0113 217 1717
Premier Cars- 0113 888 8888
Beeston Line Private Hire- 0113 277 7444
Streamline Telecabs – 0113 244 3322
City Cabs- 0113 246 9999
Leeds Water Taxis- These taxis are the black and white taxi’s which you can wave down or can get into if you see one waiting. Make sure to check with the driver and make sure that there aren’t any passengers inside already!
The main train station in Leeds is Leeds Train Station (a bit obvious, I know.) It is located in the centre of Leeds and is the fourth-busiest railway station in the UK. It has 18 different platforms/terminals and serves a massive 30 million passengers a year. The train services it offers include the following:
- LNER (usually used by platforms 7 and 8)- take a train to London, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Dundee
- Cross Country (platforms 9-17)- take a train to multiple destinations including Bristol, Birmingham, Durham, Sheffield, York and Derby
- TransPennine Express- take a train to Hull, Liverpool, Manchester, Redcar, York, Huddersfield and Bradford
- Northern- take a train to Blackpool, Chester, Halifax, Morecambe and Skipton.
You can find out more about the departures, facilities and ticket booking here.
Leeds has a variety of options when it comes to shopping for necessities. It has a couple of shopping centres that are home to many high street stores. You can even find gems hidden away in local shops, and you may even be in for a bargain!
Trinity Shopping Centre
Location: 27 Albion St, Leeds LS1 5AT
Trinity has over 120 Shops, it’s very own Trinity Kitchen, a couple of bars and even its own cinema. So (technically speaking), you can shop till you drop, have a meal and have a cheeky pint in the evening. All in one! It’s located in the City Centre so for students attending the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett, it’s practically next door.
White Rose Shopping Centre
Location: Dewsbury Rd, Leeds LS11 8LU
The White Rose Shopping Centre has 120 stores on two levels – you’ll be spoilt with choice. There’s also Cineworld IMAX, which shows all of the newest films!
Location: Junction St, Leeds LS10 1ET
Crown Point is another fantastic shopping destination for students. Crown Point has 30 major retailers, including Asda, Argos, Card Factory, and M&S. If you have a driving buddy, you’ll get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to park for free, here at Crown Point!
Location: 44, Victoria Gate, Vicar Ln, Leeds LS2 7AU
You’ll definitely get Miranda Priestly vibes as soon as you go through Victoria Gate. Harvey Nicols, Jo Malone, Mulberry, and Kurt Geiger are just a few of the well-known businesses here. You might even be able to catch one of the live events, which include everything from live dinosaurs to festivals such as Light Night.
If you’re shopping for something that none of your friends has (wanting to stand out of the crowd, huh?), you could find yourself at a smaller, local store. Leeds has unique, retro and stylish local shops, which almost every student should check out.
Indulging in a fantastic book not only transports you to another world but also allows you to momentarily forget about any university stress you may have. We know how it feels when you’ve read all the books on your bookshelf, and you are now looking for a new read. Leeds has some of the best bookshops, such as The Little Bookshop in Chapel Allerton to more well-known book shops such as Waterstones and Oxfam.
University Bits and Bots
If you’re a stationery aficionado, you’re in luck since Leeds has a variety of stores to satisfy your pen and paper needs. You may find these located in Leeds City Centre or even right outside your doorstep!
Location: 16-17 Commercial St, Leeds, LS1 6AL
If you’re seeking unique stationery, pay a visit to Paperchase. I’m not talking about simple coloured pens; I’m talking about pens that are shaped like unicorns, aliens, and animals. They’ve even got a deal with 3 for 2 stationery. You can’t honestly get better than that!
Location: Trinity Shopping Centre, 30 Albion Street, Leeds, LS1 6HX
Neon Sheep is rammed with all you can flock stationery (Wow, our jokes are so baaa’d). From pen pots, pens, journals, planners to even cushions, rugs, tank tops and earrings.
The Works is one of Britain’s leading discount stores. You can get huge savings from stationery such as calculators, highlighters and pens and even on arts and crafts supplies. There’s almost always a deal on which is a win-win for us students! There are multiple stores dotted around Leeds City Centre.
In Leeds City Centre, you’ll find other stores including WHSmith, Ryman, and Office Outlet. If you really don’t feel like going down, you can cross the road to Blackwells (on Woodhouse Lane) and load your basket with all the stationery you can find.
Weekly Food Shop
One word of advice: buy wisely while shopping for food as a student. Look for stores that provide the greatest deals, have the freshest products, and is easily accessible. Here are several supermarkets in Leeds to stock up your fridge:
Leeds University Union’s Co-op
Location: University Of Leeds, Woodhouse, Leeds LS2 9JT
Yes, you read that right. The University of Leeds Union has its very own co-op franchise, and it’s right on campus. Students can take advantage of the great fresh products (e.g. getting a meal deal at lunchtime) and can do an entire weekly shop without actually leaving the campus.
Location: 19-20 Blenheim Terrace, Woodhouse, Leeds, LS2 9HD
If you are more of a Tesco person, then you have one right across the road from Uni of Leeds (5-minute walk for Leeds Beckett students!) It’s a convenient little shop to buy any last-minute food supplies you need for your fridge or even a quick, on the go chocolate bar.
Location: Northside, Meanwood, Leeds LS7 2TT
Aldi is a lifesaver when it comes to finding a good deal, and it’s a great supermarket for students to visit. It would cost less than £30 to stock your cabinets and refrigerator to the brim.
Abu Bakr International Supermarket
Location: 37 Queen’s Rd, Burley, Leeds LS6 1NY
For Muslim students looking for a place to get halal foods and meat, then Abu Bakr is a popular supermarket to find just that!
Location: 26-28 Woodhouse Lane, LS2 8LX
Sing Kee has over 20 years of history supplying the greater public with different foods from the Far East. It is Yorkshire’s largest Oriental store, supplying delicacies from places such as Malaysia, Korea, China, and India.
University reading lists might be lengthy at times. But there’s a good possibility the book you’re looking for is available at your local library. Instead of purchasing them, you can borrow them and (please) remember to return them. You know how it is if you are a general book nerd. The libraries are basically your second home. They’re also a wonderful spot to study quietly if you have any last-minute assignments to finish. Check out the closest library to you in Leeds here.
Where to eat
The frozen meals that we are accustomed to as students can seem monotonous at times. If you’re out with your friends or searching for a location to order from, here are some places to eat at.
Location: Minerva House 29 East Parade Minerva, Leeds, LS1 5PS
Okay, stop what you are doing and go have a look at the Tattu website. Incredibly cool, right? Tattu uses traditional Chinese flavours to deliver the best of the best Chinese foods. From mouth-watering spring rolls to desserts such as Banana Fritters. I don’t know about you, but just reading that makes my tummy growl.
San Carlo Flying Pizza
Location: 60 Street Ln, Roundhay, Leeds LS8 2DQ
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the pizza you just ordered from San Carlo! It’s stylish, it’s fresh, and it’s Italian and a perfect place for you and your friends to go to. San Carlo offers a stunning dining patio with a completely retractable cover, allowing you to dine in the sun or beneath the stars.
Location: 65 Haddon Road Burley, Leeds LS4 2JE England
Located on Roundhay Road, the Bengal Brasserie is one of the best Asian restaurants around! It includes a fully licensed bar, a beautiful air-conditioned place, and serves excellent food!
Go all over the world when it comes to having food in Leeds. Whatever you crave can be found here in Leeds. Check out the other restaurants we have here.
Leeds has everything and anything for that wonderful night out, whether you are a junky for vibing out on the dance floor intoxicated or prefer a calm night out with your buddies at a pub. Check out our article on the cheapest pubs in Leeds for students and check out the 10 best beer gardens that we have in Leeds too! Not to brag, but they are one of the best in Leeds!
Things to do
Leeds has a million and one things to do, as a student, you’ll never get bored. Zipline down from tree to tree in Go Ape, sit on a couch and watch a movie at Everymans Cinema, or reserve a seat at the Leeds Grand Theatre to see a spectacular musical.
If you are a money saver and don’t want to spend too much, then there are a lot of free things to do in Leeds too (and they’re just as fun)! Go for a picturesque walk in Roundhay Park and Yeadon Tarn, take a look at over 8,500 pieces of armour at the Royal Armouries Museum or even visit cute donkeys at the Donkey Sanctuary. It literally costs you close to nothing!
As students, we mustn’t forget about our fitness and wellbeing. Leeds is full of gyms and different fitness classes to help students keep active! Here are a few of the most popular gyms in Leeds:
Location: University of Leeds, Willow Terrace Road, Leeds LS2 9JT
If you are a student at the University of Leeds, then you have a gym quite literally at your doorstep. It has a dandy swimming pool, climbing walls, its sauna room and over 220 fitness classes!
Location: Nuffield Health, Unit 21, The Light, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 8TL
Nuffield Health is said to be different from other gyms in Leeds. It has a range of gym services such as swimming pools, personal training sessions and evening yoga classes. It also provides clinical expertise from Nutritional Therapists, Physiotherapists and Health Mentors.
Location: Leeds Oakwood, 633 Roundhay Road, Roundhay, Leeds LS8 4BA
Source: Snap Fitness
Another amazing gym to go to for students is Snap Fitness. You can have a ‘Free Day Trial’ to have a test the gym and make sure that it is right for you. If you do decide that it is right for you, you will have a 24/7 gym membership, access to all equipment, personal training and group sessions.
There are multiple PureGym Gyms (what a mouth full!) that students can go to in and around Leeds. Find which gym is closest to you here.
We, students, tend to never leave our rooms and end up appearing like zombies to the wider world. Leeds boasts a plethora of hairdressers, nail salons and brow bars that you can visit. There’s a lot to choose from, and they will help make you look brand new!
Leeds has a wide range of hairdressers who can help you restore that unruly post-lockdown hair!
Renegade Hair Studio
Location: Cookridge Chambers, 23 Cookridge St, Leeds LS2 3AG
Renegade’s hairdressers have over 29 years of experience, so there is no doubt that your hair is in good hands. The staff here are trained by the likes of companies such as L’Oreal and Toni & Guy, and don’t miss out on the latest hair trends!
Hive Hair Salon
Location: Unit C8a, Leeds Corn Exchange, LS1 7BR
Why not pay a visit to the Hive Hair Salon if you are a student who enjoys experimenting with their hair and taking risks? It’s stylish, it’s colourful, and the staff can make any boring hairstyle into something spectacular.
Renaissance Hair and Beauty
Location: 2 Albion Place, Renaissance, Leeds, LS1 6JL
Have you ever wished for your hair to be styled like a celebrity’s at the Brit Awards? A Renaissance hair makeover can help you achieve just that. Teese, Elle Magazine, and the Brit Awards have all collaborated with the stylists here. You may rest confident that you will receive the hairdo of your dreams!
Anyone else enjoys tapping their nails on a computer keyboard or every flat surface when they have a new pair of nails on? If the answer is yes (or you just want to get your nails done) then here are some great nail salons in Leeds for you to check out.
Wisunya’s Nail Bar
Location: 25 Albion Place, Leeds, LS1 6JS
Wisunya’s Nail Bar, in Leeds City Centre, has everything you need for perfect nails. Wisunya offers everything you need, from a basic french manicure or some wicked acrylics
Location: 6 Roman Terrace, Roundhay, Leeds LS8 2DU
The truth is you don’t need to get your nails done just for a special occasion. A session at Nails 17 will leave you feeling badass and wanting to wave your hand in front of everyone!
Sky Nails and Spa
Location: 4&5 Harrogate Rd, Moortown, Leeds LS17 6PX
Get the ultimate special treatment your nails need at Sky Nails and Spa. You can opt to get your nails done or just coated with a colourful layer of nail polish once they’ve revived your worn-down nails.
Nothing beats a pair of eyebrows that are sculpted to perfection. To achieve the eyebrows that you desire, Leeds has some brow bars waiting for you! Check out our article on the Best Brow Bars in Leeds here.
Hopefully, now that you know more about the city of Leeds, you feel slightly more prepared and the stress about getting to know the city has flown right out the window.