Life In Leeds
You enjoy nightlife
The nightlife in Leeds is something that draws many people to the city – and for good reason! There really is a little bit of something for everybody, no matter what your interests, or what night of the week it is.
Whether you’re into fancy cocktail bars, craft ale houses, intimate jazz bars or clubs with seemingly never-ending floors of music, we’re confident that you’ll find your new favourite hangout right here in Leeds.
Nightclubs / Places to dance
Located at the top end of the city centre, close to our city campus, Pryzm is known for its size, and its good value student nights. It has different music playing in each of its five rooms, meaning you can have a totally different type of evening each and every time you visit. Celebrity guests and well-known DJs often visit here too, making it a firm favourite with students in Leeds.
The Warehouse club is stuff of legend in Leeds. It’s been going for over 30 years, and has hosted artists such as Oasis, The Stone Roses and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Pretty cool, right? It’s now known for its weird and wonderful retro-themed events, which often run until 6am.
Mint Warehouse gives the house and techno music lovers a place to flock to, every night of the week. Well known in Yorkshire, it attracts plenty of big name DJs and famous acts.
Located at the bottom of Leeds’ famous nightlife street, Call Lane, this 1920s themed cocktail bar and nightclub is incredibly popular with fans of R&B. Open on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, this Backroom is perfect for if you fancy dressing in your finest outfit and dancing the night away to artists such as Chris Brown, Usher and Beyoncé.
Bar Fibre has been around for 18 years, and in that time it has reinvented itself several times. It’s now a bar/club on Lower Briggate with four floors, opulent décor, a lively outdoor courtyard and non-stop party tunes. Fibre hosts a different exciting event each and every evening – currently they have ‘Gin Club Tuesdays’, ‘Throwback Thursdays’, live acoustic vocalists on a Wednesday and more. They also host a HUGE party for Leeds Pride, which is absolutely not to be missed.
Student top tip:
- Head to Fibre before 8pm, download their app and make the most of their two for one drinks offer!
Revolución de Cuba
This Latin-inspired cocktail bar and tapas restaurant is the perfect place to visit if you fancy a fiesta! You can find it on the corner of two of Leeds’ party streets – Call Lane and Lower Briggate. Step inside and be transported to Cuba, thanks to their live musicians, yummy cocktails and samba dancers. One word of warning though – you’ll need to make sure you have your dancing shoes on before you step in here, as sitting down is definitely not an option with such cool music playing.
The Old Red Bus Station
This bar, restaurant and club really does tick all boxes. It mixes music and art, and offers up club-nights for genres such as jungle, techno, drum’n’bass and hip-hop. It also boasts an ever-changing cocktail menu, and yummy vegan bar snacks courtesy of its in-house restaurant, Cantina. Their student-friendly night is a Tuesday, and you can enjoy happy hour deals all day long as well as 20% off food.
This huge space just outside of the city centre hosts epic music, food and arts events. Music-wise, you’ll see plenty of famous DJs gracing the decks in this large former mill. Come along and enjoy music such as drum and bass, garage, house and techno. They also host ‘Bongo’s Bingo’, which is an event that needs to be seen to be believed. It’s half bingo, half rave, complete with loud music, hilarious prizes and dancing on tables!
Pubs, breweries and ale houses
If you’re not quite in the mood for dancing the night away in a club, why not sit back and enjoy one of Leeds’ many relaxing pubs and ale spots? There’s everything from a good old fashioned pub that your grandad would enjoy, to funky breweries that sell quirky craft ales and spicy street food.
North Bar and Northern Brewing Co
One of Leeds’ hidden gems, North Bar is slightly off the beaten track, located on New Briggate at the top end of the city centre. It’s a small, cosy, glass-fronted bar which offers over 50 different whiskies, and many more varieties of craft beer. A quick glance at their excellent online reviews show that their staff are extremely knowledgeable, the atmosphere is lively and the beer is delicious. What more could you ask for?
There’s also Northern Brewing Co, set up by North Bar. Visit their brewery (just outside of the city centre) to taste their beers just yards from where they are made. They often host food festivals in association with Leeds Indie Food, and they serve funky flavoured beers such as ice cream and coffee flavour!
Based in Holbeck, this famous Leeds brewery is a short walk out of town, but the journey is well worth the effort. Take a tour of the brewery and sample their 16 keg lines, 2 cask lines and large can selection. You can make an entire day of your visit by enjoying the yummy Mexican food they have on offer too, and participating in their Wednesday quiz night, where you can win beer vouchers for your next visit.
This American style brew pub serves 27 different draft beers and over 100 different varieties of bottled beer, meaning you’ll be spoilt for choice! Grabbing a beer here is a quiet, relaxed and enjoyable experience. What’s more, they also serve yummy pizzas with beer-infused dough. It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely afternoon catch up with a group of friends.
Leeds' oldest pub, Whitelocks Ale House is hidden down a little alley off of Briggate, Leeds’ main shopping street. This lovely little spot has hints of it’s past, with its current interior being mostly from the 1800s. Enjoy their large selection of real ale and craft beers while taking in the charming decoration. You can also sit outside in their courtyard when it’s sunny, making it the perfect pit-stop after a day of shopping!
Woodies Craft Ale House is a student favourite, located close to Leeds Beckett’s Headingley campus. It’s part of the infamous Otley Run, a 16-venue pub crawl that takes you from Headingley into the city centre. Many people enjoy heading to Woodies, trying some of their extensive beer selection and observing the many eccentric fancy dress costumes of the Otley Run goers. We guarantee you’ll be entertained all night!
Many of Leeds’ bars and clubs host regular, exciting live music evenings. Take a look here to see more about these.
Many of the bars which we have mentioned already on this list serve yummy cocktails, but we have so many more to tell you about. Here are just a few of our students’ favourites….
Neighbourhood restaurant and bar is located on Greek Street, a popular destination for party-goers wishing to dress up and have a sophisticated night out. Neighbourhood is a New York themed bar, with beautiful decoration which you’ll see all over Instagram. Enjoy their flower wall, jazzy neon signs and even jazzier cocktails, before dancing the night away to their live saxophonists.
Student top tip:
- If you plan on visiting Neighbourhood on a Saturday night, make sure you book a table as after a certain time, it’s guest list only entry
This glitzy cocktail bar is filled with booths and comfy seats for you to kick back and enjoy a delicious cocktail or two, any night of the week. They host weekly events and fun activities which include ‘Pink Wednesdays’, bottomless Martini brunches and cocktail making classes.
This place is pretty special. This sixth floor bar and restaurant is located within Trinity Leeds shopping centre, but it’s not your average shopping centre drinking and dining experience. The beautiful modern décor and Ibiza-style roof terrace mean that visiting Angelica is sure to always be a classy affair. It’s pretty pricey, meaning that it’s probably not somewhere you’d regularly visit as a student, but it’s the perfect place to enjoy a one-off, special night out with friends.
Similar to Angelica, The Alchemist is a classy cocktail bar located in Trinity Leeds. There’s now also a branch on Greek Street too, which is slightly larger and has more space to dance. The Alchemist has a huge selection of funky cocktails which are just begging you to snap a picture of them. Don’t be alarmed when your cocktail starts popping, smoking, changing colour or making other noises – it’s all part of the fun!
Stepping inside Cuckoo is a pretty exciting experience. The name is very accurate – the place is cuckoo, but in the very best way! The decoration here is as eye-opening as the cocktails – think neon lights, colourful hand painted murals and a Narnia style wardrobe that leads you to the toilets. They also do a pretty exciting offer where you can get FREE pizza when you buy a drink before 9pm. Who doesn’t love free food?
As the name suggests, this amazing little cocktail bar is hidden away, tucked above Call Lane Social bar. This 1950s tropical themed bar features gorgeous decoration, creative cocktails and music from the likes of the Beatles, Chuck Berry and the Beach Boys. Watch out if you order one of their famous ‘Zombie’ cocktails – they set it on fire right in front of your eyes!
Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen is a bit of an all-rounder, and a firm student favourite. They serve a huge selection of beer, host regular comedy, film and arts events, organise gigs for up and coming musicians and serve delicious food courtesy of The Dough Boys and Patty Smiths Burgers. What we really love Belgrave for though is its fabulous roof terrace. On a sunny afternoon, you can guarantee that it will be packed full of students enjoying a spot of sunshine, music and spectacular views of Leeds.
Student top tip:
- When you next visit Belgrave, order the ‘Session fries’. This huge tray of fries doesn’t need much explanation, you simply have to experience them for yourself!
Similar to Belgrave, Headrow House is another student favourite spot, complete with an amazing roof terrace where you can enjoy views of Leeds’ skyline. This former textile mill feels very rustic and cool. Out on their roof terrace, you can enjoy food, drinks and sheltered areas in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Student top tip:
- Arrive nice and early if you want to grab a seat – on a sunny day, it gets very busy
Looking for something different to do in the city on an evening? There are plenty of venues with games for you to enjoy, and popular ones include Shuffleboard, board games and bowling.
Roxy Ball Room
Roxy now has three different venues in Leeds city centre, each with a slightly different vibe. Head to Roxy Lanes to enjoy ten-pin bowling and a game of beer pong (if you dare!). The other two venues don’t have bowling, but have plenty of other exciting games to choose from, such as table tennis, shuffleboard, pool and crazy golf.
Brew Dog (North Street)
Shuffleboard has been on the rise in Leeds and it’s a great game for groups with a competitive streak. If you've not already heard of it think mini curling, on wood, with sand (we promise you will love it!). Brewdog on North Street has 3 Shuffleboard tables for you to play on, as well as having board games and arcade games to enjoy too.
Student top tip:
- If you’re planning on visiting here on a weekend, book your Shuffleboard table in advance, as they are very popular
Mean Eyed Cat
Not necessarily a game to play, but Mean Eyed Cat is always a fun place to visit. This Johnny Cash inspired bar is in the middle of Merrion Street. Between 5 – 9pm, you can roll the dice at the bar, and depending on what number you get, you can win prizes. Roll a 6 and you get your round of drinks for free, roll a 4 and get 50% off, and a 2 gets you 25% off. You also get FREE pizza with every drink. It sounds too good to be true, but we can assure you it really is that good!