You’ve settled into your student accommodation, got to know your way around campus and maybe even joined a few clubs. Now it’s time to explore the city you’ll be calling home for the next few years.

Uni living in Leeds is fun and packed with things to do, but you might feel a bit daunted at first, especially if you’ve never lived in a city before. That’s why we’ve come up with a handy student guide for Leeds to help you get the most of out your time here.


A bit about Leeds

A multi-cultural metropolis that offers both cool urban appeal and gorgeous green spaces, Leeds is compact and easy to navigate.

With four universities, plus the Leeds College of Music, it’s very much a student city, so you’ll find it’s well geared towards student life.


Get in the know about discounts

Budgets are tight when you’re a student, so you need to make the most of the discounts that are available to you.

TOTUM is a student discount card and app which gives you money off certain high street and online retailers, along with restaurants, cinemas, gyms and supermarkets. There’s a free tier of membership, but you can unlock more discounts by paying a small annual fee, which also includes a PASS-approved proof of age.

Other discount-finding apps that are worth downloading are UNiDAYS and StudentBeans.


Cheap Eats

Leeds has a plethora of amazing eateries and you’ll find cheap and tasty delights wherever you go. Head to Kirkgate Market for a chilli paneer wrap at Manjit’s Kitchen; enjoy no-frills but delicious Thai food at Thai Aroy Dee on Vicar Lane; or fully flavoursome Mexican at Lupe’s Cantina on Cardigan Road.

Follow your favourite places on social media to keep up to date with special offers. Lots of restaurants offer a student discount, so it’s always worth asking. The eateries in Trinity shopping centre, for example, offer up to 30% off. Just remember to take your student card wherever you go, so you don’t miss a deal!


Getting around

Uni homes in Leeds tend to be mainly located in the areas of Headingley, Hyde Park, Burley, Woodhouse and Meanwood, all of which are close to the universities and city centre.

If you don’t fancy walking, the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett are both served by regular buses including the 1, 6, 28 and 29. If you’re going to use the bus regularly, it might be worth sorting a student travel pass, which will save you some serious cash against buying tickets when you board.

Burley and Headingley have their own train stations, where you can get trains to Harrogate and York, or change at Leeds for direct trains to Edinburgh, London and Manchester.

For green spaces and walks, hop on the 36 from the city centre which will take you past Harewood House, through the grand spa town of Harrogate and onwards to Ripon.



When you need a break from studying, Leeds offers plenty of opportunities to cut loose.

If you love live music, you’ll find big names at Leeds Arena and the O2 Academy. But you can see a great line-up of acts for a little less dollar at smaller venues like Hyde Park Book Club, The Brudenell, Headrow House and Belgrave Music Hall.

If partying into the early hours is more your thing, head into the city centre to dance to top DJs at Mint Warehouse; chart hits at Revolution Leeds; or alternative music at The Key Club. Love those dancefloor fillers? Mixtape Project at Hifi – the weekly student party – is the place to go.

There’s also a fun LGBTQ+ scene that includes Viaduct Show Bar and Bar Fibre.



For more relaxing recreational activities, an hour or two in a gallery is a nice way to pass the time. And as most are free to enter, easy on the wallet too.

Check out the exhibitions in the grand Tetley building, or enjoy a coffee in the incredible surrounds of the Tiled Hall Café at Leeds Art Gallery. For a great programme of arts, workshops and comedy, some of them free, take a look at Left Bank Leeds on Cardigan Road.

Leeds also plays host to a roster of annual events including Live at Leeds, a multi-venue urban music festival; Light Night; where the city centre is lit up with spectacular light installations; and the Leeds International Film Festival.