Living In Nottingham - The Ultimate Student Guide 

Table of Contents

Nottingham is an incredible place to spend your student years.  

There s so much to see, do and experience all on your student accommodation’s doorstep. Shopping, partying and exploring: Nottingham is unrivalled on every level.  

We’ve put together the ultimate guide to help you get to know the city of Nottingham. 

1. Shopping 

nottingham shopping trip

Widely renowned for brilliant and independent shopping, Nottingham offers it all and you have it all to gain.  

Victoria Centre 

The main shopping centre is smack bang in the middle of the city.  

The Vitoria Centre is where you can find all your favourite brands like Urban Outfitters and grab a swift bite to eat in places like Ed’s Diner. 

Flying Horse Arcade 

Formerly a pub, the Flying Horse Arcade is now filled with wall to wall boutique shops and independent businesses.  

It’s a unique shopping experience unlike anywhere else in Nottingham.  


Nottingham offers a huge collection of vintage shops all within walking distance of the Lace Market area, making it super easy to achieve the essential and ultra-chic beatnik student look.  

The cow has one of the more extensive collections of vintage garms but we recommend taking a wander and seeing what exciting treasures you stumble upon.  

Rough Trade 

For those budding DJs or simply lovers, Rough Trade is a treasure trove of CDs, Vinyl and much much more.  

You can honestly spend hours trying to decipher the difference between New Wave and Post Punk and get lost in their Experimental/Avant-Garde/Industrial/Noise section.  

It’s a must go for any student.  

2. Partying 


With so many bars and clubs to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice. We’ve listed our faves but we’re sure you’re going to find your own in no time! 

Boiler Maker 

Impress your student mates, your dates and even your ex if you’re still trying to kid yourself you can be friends.  

Take them to this underground cocktail bar with a secret entrance via a quaint coffee shop.  

Great drinks, great music and a friendly vibe, Boiler Maker is unassuming on the outside, but you won’t want to leave once you’re in.  


An intimate bar with live music and brilliant cocktails, this New Orleans styled bar provides a perfect atmosphere for small casual drinks and larger parties.  

Be At One  

This bar has quickly become a Nottingham institution, a killer cocktail menu, brilliant music and a late opening licence set this place apart from the competition.  

It’s always a good time and not one to be missed.  

3. Music 

rock city entrance

Nottingham has a rich history of live music boasting alumni such as Nao, London Grammar and Jake Bugg.  

The city also embraces its underground music scene, so if this is your vibe then you should start by checking out the following venues. 

Rock City  

Rock City is a world-renowned venue dripping in history.  

This stage has seen huge names over the years from David Bowie to Oasis. Rock City prides itself on spotting the next big thing with a number of their gilded list having performed “before they were big”.  

Rock City also has a reputation for putting on amazing, boundary-pushing club nights which draw in crowds from across the UK not just Nottingham.  

It’s rated one of the best places in Notts by students past and present. 

Bodega Club 

Another gem in the crown is Nottingham’s music scene!  

If you want to catch the massive superstar acts perform in a room so small you run the risk of getting their sweat on you, The Bodega Club is for you! 


Nottingham also plays host to several amazing festivals each year so defo look out for these. 

 There are always new and exciting festivals created each year, our personal favourite is Dot to Dot festival.  

With amazing lineups spanning different genres, there’s certainly something for everyone.  

4. Adventure 

sherwood forest in Nottingham

What you may not know is that Nottingham offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK, all just a short trip from your student accommodation.  

Check out the below for activities with a more chilled vibe.  

Sherwood Forest  

According to its website, this is the place “Where Legends Grow”. Embrace your inner Robin Hood and go exploring through this ancient and mystical woodland.  

One-stop you must make is to The Major Oak. Believed to be over 1000 years old this tree has seen some things!  

The main website has all information you need on planning your walks, providing free maps and other details of what events are on.  

Cycling, walking, running and exploring are all better in a forest! 

Wollaton Hall (AKA Wayne Manor) 

Famously featuring as Wayne Manor in the Batman film, The Dark Night Rises, Wollaton Hall is a stunning Grade I Elizabethan Manor with a sprawling deer park on the grounds.  

The hall itself has regular exhibitions within their museum as well as regular concerts and other events held here.  

5. Travel 

how to travel in nottingham


Nottingham is ranked as one of the best cities in the UK for cycling. Details of cycle paths and a useful route finder tool can be found on the Council website. 

The city also has recently introduced dockless cycles and e-scooters that can be rented via apps, meaning you don’t even need to worry about locking up your bike once you have arrived at your destination. 


City centre bus schedules and timetables can be found at and details for buses outside of the city may also be found on 


Nottingham also boasts an extensive and slick tram network to get you around the city centre as well as outside it.  

The Net website includes all the information you need including a journey planner and season passes.   


What’s super convenient is that Nottingham has connections to most of the UK’s major cities, meaning your student life is not just limited to Nottingham!  

You can easily take day trips to all parts of the UK if you wanted to explore even further.  

So that’s it! Our handy starter pack to student life in Nottingham. We can’t wait to see your shop, skip, and hop all over this brilliant city. Feeling like you want to get to know the city even better? Why not make a day of it and visit some of Notts’ best historical and cultural sites.