Ultimate Guide for Students Renting in Sheffield City Centre
Sheffield is a great place to spend your time as a student, with the city centre always a particularly popular choice when it comes to picking rented accommodation.
As you make the transition from first year residence into a student house or flat, it will undoubtedly be one of the areas that you consider.
To help you decide whether the city centre is the right place to live for you, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide.
For a city of Sheffield’s size, the actual centre is quite small in comparison to northern counterparts Leeds and Manchester. Despite this, Sheffield is still a great city for eating out. From lighter bites to world cuisine, the choice on offer is truly impressive.
Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch
Upshot Espresso - One of a number of stylish food businesses to set up in the Instagram-inspired era in Sheffield, Upshot Espresso makes food that tastes as good as it looks. Their considered menu includes grilled cheese, avocado toast and poached eggs; whilst on Saturdays you can enjoy rare treats like matcha pancakes.
Depot Bakery - Depot Bakery’s skilled team of bakers produce a wide selection of breads, pastries and patisseries, with breakfast and lunch on offer within their intriguing warehouse-style base near to Kelham Island. Open 7 days a week, they regularly supply their produce to other businesses in the city, including Steam Yard and Tamper.
Tamper Sellers Wheel - Established within a whitewashed, former silversmiths in the heart of Sheffield’s Cultural Industries Quarter, Tamper Sellers Wheel has quietly earned a storming reputation over the past few years in Sheffield. Celebrating New Zealand-inspired dishes, their menu is wonderfully intriguing. Watch out for the daily specials at lunchtime, which are always a treat.
Lucky Fox – The Lucky Fox has been such a hit since opening its doors on Division Street that its owners opened a second branch on Ecclesall Road in May 2017. The new venue will do well to match the success of the central branch, which offers a fantastic mix of delicious dishes. These include waffles, French toast and their signature fried chicken.
Options for An Evening Meal
A real highlight of Sheffield city centre, Leopold Square offers a mix of historic Grade II architecture, tranquil water features and high-end bars and restaurants. Its options for food include Pizza Express, Wagamama and Cubana. Recent arrival The Botanist is also proving particularly popular. One of the great things about the space is that each venue benefits from outdoor seating. Perfect in warmer weather.
Developed as part of the ‘Heart the City’ project, Millennium Square’s popularity has led to many-a-restaurant being established in the vicinity. In recent times, Smoke BBQ joined the offering, whilst Cosmo is arguably Sheffield’s highlight all you can eat buffet location. Other highlights include the Italian delights on offer at Piccolino, as well as blossoming chain Bill’s.
A new £8 million complex which opened in Sheffield in April this year, The Light’s centrepiece cinema is also accompanied by 3 new restaurants, each of which has been designed with strikingly-modern décor. Between Gourmet Burger Company, Pizza Express and Zizzi, there are plenty of options to enjoy, even if you’re not heading to the cinema too.
West Street & West One
As one of the main ‘veins’ running through Sheffield, West Street is one of the centre’s busiest hives of activity. It offers a seriously diverse mix of food, with chain restaurants including Taco Bell and Nandos in attendance – as well as independent delights such as the newly-opened Firepit BBQ venue. Just round the corner from the top end of West Street there is also the West One complex. Here you can find Las Iguanas, as well as Korean BBQ restaurant Ginseng.
Coffee & Cake
Steam Yard - Students with a sweet tooth need look no further than the impressive Steam Yard. Boasting countless variations of donuts, kronuts, brownies and more, it’s sure to become a regular haunt for newbies. Steam Yard’s owners recently undertook some major refurbishment to extend the premises, reflecting just how popular the business has become. If you get there when it’s not too busy, you can enjoy your treats out in the courtyard - perfect on warm days.
Marmadukes Café Deli – Perched just round the corner from HSBC on Norfolk Street, the quaint surroundings of Marmadukes are complimented by the charming interior. The company’s passionate baristas possess great knowledge of superb coffee. Their house espresso and batch filter is sourced and roasted by Workshop Coffee Co.
Bars & Pubs
A staple part of the student lifestyle, the bar and club scene in Sheffield offers an eclectic mix of nightlife venues:
Bungalows & Bears – Residing in an old building that once housed the fire engines that served Sheffield, Bungalows and Bears is now known as a great place to enjoy music and unwind. Tuesday is a great day to head down, as you can enjoy their ‘Two for One Tuesdays’ offer to accompany any drinks with treats like fried chicken and burgers. The massive glass windows at the front of the building are opened up during good weather, giving the venue an additional dimension.
The Great Gatsby – Located right in the heart of the Devonshire Quarter is The Great Gatsby, which is always popular over the weekends. In addition to the primary bar, there is also Daisy’s, which is aptly referred to as ‘The Calm Above the Storm’. Open Fridays and Saturdays from 8pm until 3am, it runs on table service and is great for cocktail fans.
The Old House – With its charming décor, great mix of ales and over 100 gins to enjoy, The Old House is a great place to while away an evening. Their generous Happy Hour runs from 5pm to 9pm Monday to Friday, as well as 5pm to 1am on Sunday, making it absolutely perfect for students.
The Botanist – One of the newest additions to Sheffield’s nightlife scene, The Botanist is fast becoming one of Sheffield’s most recognised bar names. Positioned in the charming Leopold Square, it plays to home an intriguing interior; from within which a plethora of appealing cocktails are served.
Revolution – A true stalwart of the Sheffield nightlife scene, Revolution is a great place to meet in a large group. The spacious venue is always busy, with its four bars offering something for everyone. The large, full-length glass windows along two sides of the building make it immediately recognisable.
The Wick at Both Ends – Having now been open for 7 years, The Wick at Both Ends has become a favourite with Sheffield residents. The venue’s owners pride themselves on the extensive cocktail list they offer, whilst you can also look forward to enjoying music after 9pm courtesy of The Wick’s resident DJs.
Common Room – Equally great as a venue for drinks in the day as it is at night, The Common Room boasts an array of pool tables next to its ‘top’ bar, which are great for some competitive entertainment amongst friends. The other half of the venue then has a mix of booths and standing space. If you’re a fan of any sport, Common Room also televises any major sporting events.
Revolucion de Cuba – Transformed from an old tram shed and tucked away round the corner from West Street, this Havana-inspired bar is open until late and delivers an extraordinary range of rum-based cocktails. In addition to being a great place to pick up the pace of a night out, Revolucion de Cuba also hosts events such as salsa nights.
Frog & Parrot – Said to be one of the Arctic Monkeys’ band member’s favourite haunts back in the day, the Frog and Parrot is a good, old-fashioned city centre pub with charm. Always packed to the rafters, it’s not fancy but it’s also somewhere that has a vibe that will undoubtedly appeal to many students.
The Light – Sheffield’s newest cinema addition has been developed as part of significant investment around The Moor area of the city. A strikingly-modern complex boasting nine screens, its seats have been cleverly designed to provide the perfect viewing experience.
The Curzon – Designed amongst a Grade 2 listed building, which was previously occupied by the Sheffield Banking Company, Curzon Sheffield offers three screens with Sony 4K projectors and a unique line-up of films and events. There are also various bars as well as the highlight rooftop terrace.
The Odeon – A stalwart of the city centre film scene and a recognised UK cinema name, The Odeon remains a popular Sheffield landmark. Located just round the corner from the Crucible, it’s quieter than it used to be. Yet if you don’t fancy heading out the centre to Centertainment - and you want a recognised chain cinema - it still does the trick.
The Showroom – Offering a mix of mainstream, art house and cult films, The Showroom is Sheffield’s longest-standing, independent cinema. With its comfy seating and calming interior, it’s perfect for film fans that want something different than the generic chain experience.
Sheffield is at an exciting point in terms of its shopping offering, with lots of investment planned for the city in the coming years. This will include the addition of the £500 million ‘Retail Quarter’, which will be built over three phases. Phase one is already underway.
In addition, the city has already seen money invested into The Moor, one of two main shopping ‘streets’ which link together as they snake through the city centre.
The Moor – One of the two primary, traditional high streets running through the heart of Sheffield, The Moor is now benefiting from some long overdue investment. As well as featuring a brand new Primark store for the city, it also plays host to the Moor Market – which has received serious investment in the last few years. Other highlight stores include Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins and Boots.
Fargate – Pandora, Marks & Spencers, Hotel Chocolat, New Look, H & M and River Island are just some of the many household names that have shops on Fargate – which is Sheffield’s primary shopping district. Offering a less expansive shopping experience than Meadowhall, it still possesses plenty of charm.
Division Street – One of Sheffield’s most intriguing areas, Division Street offers a great mix of independent retailers specialising in clothes, trinkets and homeware. Make sure you check out Plantology for some houseplants to spruce up your student digs.
One of Sheffield’s most appealing characteristics is its greenery, with tree-lined streets and parks on offer throughout urban; as well as rural areas in the city. As a student, when you want to enjoy warmer weather and relax without spending money, having so many green public spaces on offer is fantastic.
Weston Park - A real gem tucked on the edge of the city centre, Weston Park boasts beautiful gardens, a small lake and immaculate lawns. Perched next to Sheffield University, it’s always popular; with the adjacent museum adding some further interest. If you want to venture out a little further from the centre, Crookes Valley Park is right next door too.
Peace Gardens – When the warmer weather arrives, the Peace Gardens quickly becomes a hive of bustling activity. With its water features, grassy patches to sunbathe on and magnificent centrepiece fountain; it’s easy to see why. In addition to being a good place to unwind, the Peace Gardens also regularly plays host to stalls during market events.
Winter Gardens – Actually one of the largest temperate glasshouses in the UK – and the biggest urban glasshouse in Europe – the Winter Gardens remain a unique and enticing attraction in Sheffield city centre. Large enough to house 5,000 domestic greenhouses, the building is home to more than 2,500 plants from the around the world.
Norfolk Park – Boasting fantastic views over Sheffield city centre, Norfolk Heritage Park includes 28 hectares of listed parkland. Having undergone £3.6 million worth of restoration work from 1995 to 2005, the park draws interest from all over the city. Rolling grassland and tree-lined walkways make this the perfect spot to while away an afternoon.
Devonshire Green – Landscaped to create an ‘amphitheatre arena’, Devonshire Green can be found perched just next to Division Street, between Eldon Street and Fitzwilliam Street. With a central area bordered by grass terracing – as well as a neighbouring skate park – it hosts events throughout the year including music festivals and specialist markets.
Art & Museums
Kelham Island – Positioned on a man-made island over 900 years old, Kelham Island was opened in the 1980s to provide a home for the objects, pictures and archive materials representing Sheffield’s industrial history. It’s a great place to experience some true Steel City history and see how steelmaking saw Sheffield through the Victorian Era and two world war eras.
Millennium Galleries – Just round the corner from Sheffield University and a short walk up from the train station are the Millennium Galleries. Free to enter, they play home to a rotating series of exhibitions, which are always varied throughout the year. There are also permanent collections of metalwork there, which pay homage to the city’s industrial roots.
Weston Park Museum – One of Sheffield’s oldest museums, Weston Park sits amongst beautiful surroundings between Hallamshire Hospital and Crookes. Its collections vary between a mix of social, natural and global history, with admission free to all entrants for the standard galleries. The museum has benefited from some superb funding in recent times.
Graves Art Gallery – Perhaps one of Sheffield’s best-kept secrets, Graves Gallery is hidden away on the third floor of the city’s Central Library. Opened all the way back in 1934, it hosts permanent galleries with work by personalities including Paul Cezanne, Bridget Riley and Sam Taylor-Wood. There is also a Damien Hirst piece lent by Jarvis Cocker.
Looking to Rent Sheffield Student Accommodation?
If you’re a student looking ahead to renting in Sheffield, you can check out a full list of our properties in the city centre here.