If you want to be within five minutes of everything that you’ll need and enjoy the hustle and bustle of cities then city centre living is for you. Sheffield city centre has the advantage of being relatively compact which means that everything you need is within a ten or fifteen minute walk.
From independent outlets to high street stores the variety of shops on offer is good and improving, and with the current regeneration of The Moor and Castle Market underway the days of having to pop to Meadowhall for certain items will be over.
If you’re new to Sheffield you might not realise that the city centre has been gradually improving over the past couple of decades and has become far more polished and eclectic than it used to be. Now places like Division Street are full of quality independent outlets and bars, whilst the culture in the city continues to thrive.
Sheffield theatres have long held a reputation for putting on excellent productions and the famous Crucible is also well-known for hosting the World Snooker Championships each year. If you want to find out about the numerous art galleries in Sheffield take a look at our guide.
The city centre also plays host to plenty of festivals throughout the year including Tramlines, Sensoria and Docfest to name a few. Living in the city might be slightly more expensive than elsewhere in terms of cost of living, but there are enough student offers on to make cheap living very easy.
Did you Know?
Sheffield is the greenest city in Europe and has approximately 2 million trees. The city boasts 83 parks as well as numerous woods and gardens including the Botanical Gardens, Peace Gardens and Winter Gardens all in and around the city centre. It has 170 woodland areas with 80 of them classified as “ancient”.
The Great Gatsby
If you want to save the pennies then you won’t be hitting The Great Gatsby night after night, but if you want a few delicious cocktails and a dance which doesn’t involve spending club entry and drinking lethally cheap spirits then Gatsby is for you. It does fantastic food in the daytime and has a cute little beer garden perfect for summer afternoons. It’s smaller than Bunaglows so can be hard to get a table later on the evening, but the music and the atmosphere are worth standing for.
It also has a private neo-gothic parlour in the shape of Skeleton Key that you can hire out – why wouldn’t you go?
Bank Street Arts
Bank Street Arts is one of the youngest art spaces in the city centre and describes itself as “an innovative cross-disciplinary Arts Centre”. It’s not just a gallery; it also has various studios and spaces that can be used for creating art or holding workshops. Each year it hosts the Sheffield International Artist’s Book Prize which involves a month long exhibition of each entry where visitors can vote for their chosen winner. This is a definite must see and a great introduction to the venue. It’s the kind of place which is always worth popping into to if your passing.
The Cavendish is the classic student pub in town and is all the better for knowing exactly what it is. If you find the stylised bars on Division Street reek of pretention and want to go somewhere with cheap drinks, cheap, filling food, plenty of seating and enough room for a little bit of dance before you move on then The Cav is ideal. Located on the bottom of West Street, it’s a great place to go before heading to clubs further into town. They also have the well-known Yellow Cards which offer plenty of discounted drinks.
West Street Live
What can we say about West Street Live other than go and experience it for yourself? If you’re a sucker for an insane selection of drinks offers (many of which offer excellent value) and a host of nights where the dance floor is king, then WSL is where you want to be. Open late on a regular basis, if your night is a bit lack lustre and you need a sweet hit of fun ASAP, then we dare you go to West Street Live and not have a good time.
West Street Live (as its namesake suggests) is frequently available for hire to anyone as a live venue, for music or otherwise. Check the board outside to see what’s up and coming, and take the opportunity to discover new music from a number of different genres.
A night this good comes with a warning, however. If you see a queue outside, either be prepared to fight for your personal space or come back at a later time. Unfortunately a lot of this place’s magic is lost when it’s full to capacity, but catching a time when it’s populated but not rammed is oh-so-very worthwhile.
The Common Room
Located above the lesser-known Forum shopping complex on Division St., The Common Room is a stylish American sports bar and grill, and possibly the best place to shoot some 8-ball in the city centre in their dedicated pool hall with a number of full-size tables. The Common Room has a built a reputation for serving up some great-tasting food, sometimes combining bistro nights with popular televised sports events. Make sure you know what’s on at the time you wish to go however, as the atmosphere can vary dramatically if there’s a special event on – or nothing at all.
The Common Room offer a season loyalty card free, exclusively to students, making available a number of perks which you’d be wise to take advantage of; half-price pool weekdays before 5pm is a steal.
The Showroom Cinema
If you have arrived in Sheffield by train before it is quite possible that you have passed The Showroom cinema and not been aware of it. Often overlooked by cinema goers for the likes of the Odeon and Cineworld, The Showroom is one of Europe’s largest independent cinemas and consistently offers a niche but satisfyingly diverse selection of films and documentaries from around the world. Weekly screenings of classic and potentially future cult flicks on ‘Cult Tuesdays’, special screenings and film festivals and a forever-progressing cycle of cinema seasons mean there’s always something interesting or unseen to be viewed.
If you fancy something a little different from the predictable formats churned out by mainstream cinema then The Showroom is for you. They also have a bar and you can take your drinks into the cinema with you. The student price is also considerably cheaper than other cinemas in Sheffield.
Don’t forget to keep up with developments for the annual DocFest that The Showroom hosts. It’s an internationally acclaimed documentary festival (it’s considered one of the best in the world) and more often than not you’ll be able to pop down and see a few things. It’s best to book well in advance for the really popular ones (for example, the premier of Pussy Riot’s documentary was shown last year and predictably was very tricky to get tickets for) but every so often you might catch something for free if it’s quiet and the staff are feeling generous
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