Sheffield: A Cultural Guide

Fresher’s week can be a great time for everybody – free pizza, getting to know new friends, buying that M.C. Escher poster. However, at some point you are going to want to drink in some of the rich cultural experiences that Sheffield has to offer. Luckily for you, there is plenty to choose from. Whether you are into; art, music, movies, shopping, food or open spaces; Sheffield has something that is sure to please.

Food In Sheffield

Nonna’s is widely considered to be Sheffield’s finest eatery, but is probably out of reach for the average student budget. If Asian food is your thing, then head down to London Road where you’ll find a plethora of Eastern cuisine for your delectation. In particular, HK Wok offers a generous and delicious set menu for a good price, and Jabu offers authentic dumplings with soup and noodles.

If you are a supporter of the recent fad for huge Man Versus Food style burgers then The Harley will see you right for around £5 plus extras. Butler’s Balti House on Broad Lane will cater to all of your Indian and curry cravings, with a student discount available for good measure. Also try Sheikh’s on Glossop Road for delicious falafel and shawarma, and Nibbles for great pizzas.

Music In Sheffield

We’ve already mentioned The Harley in relation to delicious and substantial burgers, however, they also host some of the best gigs in town as well. Look out for the promoters; Small Ideas, Harley Live, Drowned in Sound or Uneven Blonde, as they are responsible for many of the great gigs in Sheffield. If money is tight then you can head down to Bungalows & Bears, The Forum, The Washington or The Green Room for regular free gigs, but expect these venues to be busy.

Film and Art

The Showroom is known as one of the country’s best independent cinemas. It shows lots of great films, to cater for all tastes. Whether you want to see something old or new; documentaries, indie films or even opera, theatre and ballet, The Showroom will satisfy. Tickets are only £5.90 for students and many other special offers and concessions are available. The Showroom is also home to The Workstation, which is Sheffield’s leading business centre for creative and digital industries.

The university also has its own Film Unit, showing some brilliant films for just £2.50 per showing. Showings of each film can be quite limited though, so be sure to check in regularly, so that you don’t miss out on the latest blockbuster.

The most well established art collections can be found at Graves Gallery and the Millennium Gallery, with free entry at both. For alternatives, you should check out Site, APG, S1 Artspace, CADS and Bank Street Arts, which all offer various styles and disciplines of art, for all you aesthetes to enjoy.


Weston Park is very beautiful and is home to a weather station and the Weston Park Museum, as well as stunning floral displays and tennis courts. Crookes Valley Park has a massive boating lake, where you can view trout swimming around, with the central feature being the very impressive Old Great Dam. Other features include a bowling green and a play area that is maintained by local people.

If you find yourself in need of a sit down whilst in the town centre, you should check out Devonshire Green, which has a skate park for the daredevils amongst you; and the Peace Gardens, which has some lovely fountains and cascades.


The Forum is a great location to enjoy some of the finest clothes shops and boutiques in the town. An independent shopping centre boasting ten outlets including ones featured in Vogue and Grazia, a tattoo parlour, a piercing house, urban clothes and an excellent skate shop. The Forum is a goldmine of stylish gifts, clothes, lifestyle accessories and more, which will give you a reprieve from all of the same old stores that you find on every high street in the country.

Venture down to West Street and visit Cow for all of your vintage styles, or just order online if you are feeling lazy. Freshman’s is also good for vintage clothing.

If books or music are your thing, then you must visit Rare and Racy on Devonshire Street. For 40 years, R&R has been catering to the discerning music and literature collectors, with many out of print titles and records and CDs to suit all tastes. It really is an experience visiting this place and it is very easy to lose yourself for hours, thumbing through their massive collections.

So, there are a few suggestions on how to enjoy some of Sheffield’s cultural experiences. We hope that you will try some of these out and please let us know what you think, or if you would like to add something that we have missed off that you think is an essential visit. Have fun.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 29th, 2015 at 1:08 pm by and is filed under Blogs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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