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A student guide to the city of Leicester

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Leicester is a jewel of the East Midlands and a destination in its own right, with its booming food and bar scene, buzzing city centre, and a complete cultural revival.

As one of the oldest cities in the UK, Leicester is particularly attractive for students. It is one of most affordable student areas in the country, housing over 42,000 students every year, with the student accommodation and street food scene, in particular, making Leicester an exceptionally affordable city.

Additionally, both the University of Leicester and De Montfort University are centrally located, and within walking distance of one another, so all you need is just a stone’s throw away. There is a close relationship between two universities too, which ensures students will make lifelong friends.

Leicester is well connected with other cities, lending itself to spontaneous nights out in Birmingham and Nottingham for example as trains run late into the night.

There are also a wide variety of things for students to do outside their university timetable in Leicester, including an endless list of events, fantastic attractions, and a comprehensive nightlife. Here are our favourite picks.

What can students do in Leicester?

Shopping

Fancy browsing around a historic and picture-perfect shopping place? Leicester’s outdoor market is 800 years old and complete with affordable fresh fruit, vegetables, and vintage shops.

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The cobbled streets of Leicester’s Haymarket are home to many high-street brands, as well as traditional pubs – proving very popular with students on fresher’s week as it makes for an entertaining pub crawl.

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And if you are after high fashion that is very close to both universities then your needs will certainly be met at the award-winning Highcross shopping centre which boasts a beautiful outdoor eating space.

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Leicester Attractions

Leicester museum is renowned for its real-size dinosaur displays, whilst Leicester Cathedral is the resting place of Richard III, whose remains were discovered by the council and the University of Leicester under a car park back in 2012. Both Leicester attractions make for a culture-rich day out and won’t cost you a penny.

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Leicester’s King Power Stadium is a must visit for football fans. And if you are a space aficionado, the National Space Centre is the place for you.

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Outdoors

There’s nothing like the great outdoors, and students are spoilt for choice in Leicester. Students are often seen having picnics and BBQs whilst hanging around and studying at Victoria Park, which is just on the doorstep of the University of Leicester.

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The Grand Union canal is extensive and boasts beautiful gardens - great for walks in the summer, and from which the city’s iconic skylines can be seen.

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The Abbey Park is a 10-min walk from both universities. Funfairs and regular events are held there throughout the year.

Leicester nightlife

Leicester bars and clubs are aplenty, and highly rated by local students. The student nightlife is notorious, so here’s a guide on where to find the hottest action throughout the week. Just remember your student ID!

 

Day of the week

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Where to go

Club Republic

Mosh

O2 Academy

Fat Cats

Revolution Bar

 

Granby Street

FireBug

 

Rainbow and Dove, Helsinki, and Dover Castle are gay friendly bars, attracting heterosexual and LGBTQA+ alike. The late-night bar, Firebug, is a great venue to party on until the early hours.

If you enjoy the theatre, be sure to visit the award-winning Curve Theatre. The Little Theatre, and Upstairs at the Western – Leicester’s only pub theatre - won’t disappoint either. 

Athena, De Montfort Hall, and the O2 Academy (aka Shebang) host live music, shows and performances, proving extremely popular with students.

The dining scene in Leicester is thriving too. Melton Road, the most popular street in town, is packed with Leicester's best street food and restaurants – a true food haven!

We can’t forget to mention the “Last Friday”, an exciting night in Leicester featuring street food, art, and music at LCB Depot, taking place every last Friday of the month. And at just £2 per ticket, it is a steal.

Events in Leicester

Let’s face it, students love a good event, and Leicester has one of the busiest social event calendars in the country.

Throughout February, the Leicester Comedy Festival takes in over 90 venues across Leicestershire, putting on performances of musical comedy, stand up, one liners and political sketches. ‘Pay what you feel’ events are a staple, making it a perfect event for students on a tight budget.

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In March, the Leicester Holi festival - or the festival of colours - is held on Bede Park just a short walk from De Montfort University’s Student Union. Both universities come together, attracting hundreds of enthusiasts, especially students, who leave the party covered in powdered paint and feeling free!

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Spring and summer see a variety of events take place in sunny and historical Victoria Park.  Amongst a variety of events, Pride festival, Leicester’s Race for Life, and the Caribbean Carnival are a real highlight.

Throughout October, the Golden Mile aka Melton Road is blanketed in a shimmer of gold, red and green jewels, dancing lights and beaded decorations. The biggest Diwali celebrations outside of India attract families and students who take pleasure in celebrating in colourful clothing, Punjabi music, and traditional dishes.

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So, if you are heading to Leicester to study then rest assured you will enjoy a student experience like no other – making memories for a lifetime!

Study Inn Leicester

Study Inn Reynard House is conveniently located within a 3-minute walk from De Montford University and within a short walking distance from the University of Leicester. Here’s an illustrative map showing what’s on the doorstep of our Leicester student accommodation building.

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Offering luxury all-inclusive studios and serviced apartments, state-of-the-art facilities and a hotel-like service, Study Inn is the best student accommodation Leicester has ever seen.

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