Top Things to Do in Sheffield: A Guide for Students

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Hagar Samir

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26 October, 2023

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5 mins read

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Located in South Yorkshire, England, Sheffield is a large city with many things to offer. Due to its population of over half a million, considered the third largest in England, there is a considerable percentage of students there. In fact, Sheffield was one of the first cities to allow students to continue their education during the pandemic while staying in their Sheffield student accommodation!

With a lot of things to do in Sheffield, students never get bored. The city is known for having many green spaces, with more than 250 parks and gardens, breathtaking architecture, a lot of restaurants, and a vast music scene! It’s even well-known that the UK has the best cafes in Sheffield which we list in our guide. Not to mention, Sheffield was considered the UK’s third safest city in 2021, after Edinburgh and Southampton, with a very low crime rate. 

In addition to being a very safe city, Sheffield has a low cost of living. The city is considered the third-most inexpensive city in the UK, with affordable student housing options and cheap travel expenses. All of this together makes Sheffield one of the best cities for students to study and stay in! If you’re a student planning on staying in Sheffield, this guide is for you!


Explore Sheffield’s Towns

The first thing you have to do is visit Sheffield’s towns and districts. The city has a wide range of beautiful neighbourhoods and places for students to live. These neighbourhoods are known for their safety, convenience, comfort, and affordability. It’s important to have a suitable lifestyle while studying abroad in order to feel more welcome and at home.

The diversity and variety of activities are the main reasons why exploring Sheffield’s neighbourhoods and towns is one of the best things to do in Sheffield! We’ve gathered a list of the best neighbourhoods in Sheffield to visit for you to check out!

1. Central Quay

This neighbourhood is located in the heart of the city in the Kelham Island area, close to both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, which is why it has a huge student population. Central Quay has various attractions, including the Kelham Island Industrial Museum and the Millennium Square.

It’s also easy to find University of Sheffield student accommodation in Central Quay. All options are affordable and are filled with the amenities and facilities needed to make your stay better! The neighbourhood has everything you need, from grocery stores and restaurants to hospitals and flower shops.

2. Sheffield City Centre

The experience of visiting the centre of the city is a must-try if you’re someone who loves staying in a vibrant and lively place! One important thing about staying in the city centre is access to all of Sheffield’s numerous attractions, student destinations, and fun activities, where you can easily visit the Sheffield Cathedral, the Lyceum Theatre, and the Millennium Gallery!

Additionally, if you decide that you want to live there after your visit, you’ll have a wide range of Sheffield Hallam University student accommodation options for you to choose from! You can also use the available bus stations to visit Sheffield’s landmarks, restaurants, and hidden gems.


3. Bramall Lane

One of the exciting things to do in Sheffield is visit Bramall Lane. If you’re a football fan, you’ll find this neighbourhood interesting! It is named after Sheffield United’s official stadium, which is the oldest major stadium in the world that still hosts professional association football matches. If you’re not into football, don’t worry; Bramall Lane will still have something to offer you!

In addition to football, Bramall Lane has also hosted a lot of cricket matches. You can also visit the district to try the many restaurants available; there is a variety of cuisines, which helps students know different cultures!

Explore Sheffield’s Historic Sites and Attractions

Sheffield has a huge selection of entertaining, historical, cultural, and sporting activities, making the city really interesting and fun. We’ve gathered some of these sites to help you learn more about them and hopefully visit some of them when you’re in Sheffield!

Sheffield Botanical Gardens

With over 5,000 species of plants on 19 acres of land, the Sheffield Botanical Garden is one of the top places to visit if you’re in Sheffield! It’s an eco-friendly attraction that is free for everyone to see. It was launched in 1836 and initially designed by Robert Marnock in the Gardenesque style. The garden was open to the public, with balloons and many festivals. There are collections of plants from all over the world, including Mediterranean and Asian. It’s an excellent place for students to sit and enjoy the green areas and sun.


Old Queen’s Head

The Old Queen’s Head is a 15th-century building that is now a pub. It is the oldest surviving local building in Sheffield that was first used as a house in the 19th century. The building then went through several alterations and additions to become what it is today. Its name comes from Mary, Queen of Scots, who was imprisoned in Sheffield from 1570 to 1584.

Millennium Gallery

Another one of the fun things to do in Sheffield is visit the Millennium Gallery! It’s an art gallery and museum that was opened in 2001 as part of Sheffield's Heart of the City project. The programmes change regularly but mainly focus on international art and design. There’s also a collection of over 800 pieces of cutlery, flatware, and tableware.

Additionally, the gallery houses the Guild of St. George’s unique Ruskin Collection. It was established in the 1800s with the aim of inspiring the people of Sheffield and is now showcased through the gallery. All of this is why the Millennium Gallery is one of the top destinations for tourists visiting Sheffield!

The Winter Garden

A proof of Sheffield’s green gardens is the Winter Garden. It’s one of the largest glasshouses in the UK and the largest urban glasshouse anywhere in Europe. The garden houses over 2,500 plants from around the world and was built along with Millennium Galleries to form a pedestrian hub, which links the civic, arts, and university quarters of Sheffield! So, the Winter Garden works as a cultural route through the city centre!

Explore Different Foods in Sheffield

Because of Sheffield’s diversity, the city is known to have a variety of cuisines. This is good because students get to know different cultures while staying in Sheffield. No matter what you like, you’ll surely find a place that serves it!

Italian Restaurants in Sheffield

Sheffield has a wide range of restaurants when it comes to Italian cuisine! Students usually prefer Italian restaurants because they’re everywhere, and they usually know what they’ll eat. This sense of familiarity resulted in many restaurants being close to many student homes in Sheffield. Grazie is one of the most famous Italian restaurants in Sheffield; it serves handmade pasta dishes, classic desserts, and cocktails.


Indian Restaurants in Sheffield

If you’re bored and want to explore more things to do in Sheffield, visiting an Indian restaurant should be on your list! A lot of students end up loving Indian cuisine, as it’s always filled with flavours and spices! Urban Choola is the most famous Indian restaurant in Sheffield; it serves many different dishes full of spices.

Mediterranean Restaurants in Sheffield

Famous for being a healthy diet, Mediterranean cuisine mainly consists of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, nuts and legumes, and olive oil. This cuisine refers to the foods of cultures close to the Mediterranean Sea, including Greece, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Egypt, and Lebanon! The two most famous Mediterranean restaurants in Sheffield are Olive Restaurant and Sicily Restaurant Chesterfield.

As a student, it’s okay to choose a city not only because of its universities or colleges but also because of the fun things to do in it! You won’t be studying every second of the day, so make sure you stay somewhere that has other things to do. That way, your productivity will increase, as you will be taking healthy breaks. You’ll also be able to say that you visited a lot of places while travelling abroad!


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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sheffield a good place for students?

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Sheffield is a wonderful place for students. It has everything you’ll need in a city and more, with a lot of famous landmarks and green areas. The city is also very safe for students.

Is Sheffield expensive for students?

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Sheffield is considered one of the most affordable cities in the United Kingdom for students! An important tip is to find student accommodation that is all-inclusive; this way, you won’t have to pay extra for a lot of things while staying in Sheffield.

What can students do in Sheffield?

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Students can explore the city’s landmarks and historical places. They can also enjoy the many restaurants available with different cuisines. Several fun activities are also available at Sheffield.

What is the best university for international students in Sheffield?

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The best university for international students who want to study in Sheffield is the University of Sheffield. The university welcomes students from all over the world and offers them the best quality of education.