1) Botanical Gardens
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Good for… Greenery, walking, and enjoying rare moments of sun.
What it is… Botanical gardens with a variety of interesting plants, trees and some pleasant green spaces.
Why you should go… To hug the bear in the bear pit. If you haven’t done that you haven’t been a student in Sheffield. Also it’s a really lovely place to enjoy the sunshine or go for a walk.
Good for… Discovering new music, exploring new parts of the city, and rejoicing every half an hour that it’s all free (for now).
What it is… A massive three day festival which takes place in venues across Sheffield. It’s basically like turning the entire city into a mini Glastonbury.
Why you should go… Tramlines has historically been free; though that’s set to change, the price will no doubt be extremely good value for money considering how much music is on offer over the weekend. The amazing thing about Tramlines is that it manages to offer everyone, and I mean everyone, something they’ll love. If you want to chill out head to the folk forest in Endcliffe park; if you fancy having a dance to something more mainstream stick to Dev Green; if you want to discover something new try the Buskers’ Bus or the Blues and Ale trail. Or just go anywhere – you’ll always have fun.
3) Rare and Racy
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Good for… Books, LPs, CDs, old maps, prints, and generally feeling bookish.
What it is… A cosy, higgledy-piggledy bookshop opposite Devonshire Green; great for finding books you’ve always wanted to read but never got round to buying.
Why you should go… It’s a great bookshop to lose half an hour (or several hours) in just browsing. You’ll always find something of interest whether it be a print, a CD or a cool looking map. Don’t miss the upstairs.
4) The Rude Shipyard
Good for… Cake and coffee, post-night out chats on a weekend morning, and breakfast.
What it is… A little café near Abbeydale road which has a good library of books and serves really tasty cakes and breakfast. It also hosts evening events like poetry readings and open mic nights.
Why you should go… Though it’s a little off the beaten track, it’s well worth visiting a few times to see a different area of Sheffield and enjoy a slice of Guinness cake.
5) Bungalows and Bears
Good for… Quick drinks, sessions, live music and food.
What it is… A decent bar on Division Street which has an excellent selection of drinks, American diner style food (cooked exceptionally) and consistently interesting live music.
Why you should go… If you fancy releasing a little bit of your inner hipster without having to dress like a ‘Saved by the Bell’ character, then Bungalows is a good place to start. Think retro games consoles, Belle & Sebastian and kitsch décor and you’ll start to get close. They collaborate with excellent DJs to create really great live nights. Go on Tuesday for 2-for-1 on burgers from their Ruby Jean diner menu.
6) London Road
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Good for… Cheap, authentic food from all over the world.
What it is… A long road leading up from the South of the city with the best strip of restaurants in Sheffield.
Why you should go… Because you can have a delicious meal for half the price of other good restaurants in Sheffield. On offer is Vietnamese, Turkish, Japanese, Polish, Indian, Mexican, and more. Try Amigos for the best (and cheapest) Mexican food in Sheffield, Wasabi Sabi for sushi and Zeugma’s for a meat fix. Fanoush also do excellent falafel and have just opened another place in the city centre.
Good for… Something different from the generic, cheesy student night out.
What it is… A club just down the road from Dev Green. Plays dubstep, D’n’B, electro, hip hop, and alternative, and is open ‘til the early hours.
Why you should go… If you’re bored of generic student nights out, DQs offers something a bit different. Be prepared for a marathon dance session and some arresting and excellent musical offerings.
8) Kelham Island Museum
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Good for… Getting why the Steel city is called the Steel city; going for a post-culture drink.
What it is... A museum about the history and industry of Sheffield which is actually more interesting than it might sound.
Why you should go… It has a pen knife in it with 2000 blades. It’s also next to the very best pubs in Sheffield: The Fat Cat and The Kelham Island Tavern. You need no other reasons.
9) The Crucible
Good for… An eclectic mix of theatre and snooker.
What it is... A theatre near the station and the Winter Gardens famous for hosting the annual World Snooker Championship.
Why you should go… Because it puts on such a variety of theatre you’re bound to come across something you’d really like to see. It’s also worth catching a bit of the snooker if you get the chance; you can call your Mum and tell her to watch out for you on the telly.
10) The Fox House
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Good for… A walk in the Peaks to work up the appetite for a proper country pub meal.
What it is… An excellent pub out in the peaks in walking distance of the city (just head up out of Endcliffe Park).
Why you should go… The Peak District is definitely one of the best things about Sheffield. The fact that you can walk for just twenty minutes from some locations and be out in the Peaks is half the appeal. The walk to The Fox House gives you a good introduction to the Peaks and culminates in eating tasty food in a traditional Yorkshire pub (and if you don’t fancy walking all the way, you can always get a bus out).
Key info about Sheffield
Always popular with students, Sheffield is a small, friendly city that is easy to get around and has a relatively low cost of living. Many students choose to remain in the area after completing their studies. Sheffield boomed during the Industrial Revolution as a major producer of steel, and after mass redevelopment in recent years, is once again a regional centre of business with a strong local economy. Despite its industrial roots, Sheffield is one of the UK’s greenest cities – one third of it lies within the boundaries of the Peak District National Park, and with over two million trees in the city, it has the highest ratio of trees to people in Europe.
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