Nottingham Student Life: Best Places to Study, Eat, Drink and Unwind

Welcome to Nottingham! It’s a vibrant city known for its rich history, diverse culture, sports excellence and bustling student life. With scores of students from all corners of the world flocking to its renowned universities, Nottingham offers a dynamic and exciting environment for academic and social pursuits. If you’re getting ready to study in Nottingham or you’re already a student in the city, you’ve made a great choice!

In this guide, we’ll explore the best places to study, eat, drink and unwind in Nottingham for students, helping new and existing students make the most of their time in Nottingham and the surrounding area.

As a self-storage company near Nottingham, we will also provide tips on student storage solutions for those who need to store their belongings over the summer or during study abroad programs.

How Many Students Are There In Nottingham?

Nottingham is home to two major universities: the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University – two of the top 10 biggest unis in the UK. Combined, they host a student population of over 60,000.

This huge community of students contributes significantly to the city’s vibrant atmosphere and ensures there is always something happening, from academic events to social gatherings and a whole lot more.

Study Spaces in Nottingham

Key to your academic success is finding a study space in Nottingham that allows you to focus and perform to the best of your capabilities. Thankfully, Nottingham provides a variety of potential study spaces, both official and unofficial, catering for different needs and desires. Read on for a summary of some of the most popular.

Libraries in Nottingham

Both university libraries and public libraries provide quiet, resource-rich environments ideal for studying. Full of books, e-books, magazines and other resources key to your studies, a library is often the go-to choice for studying.

In Nottingham, you’re lucky enough to have access to the Nottingham City Libraries group, which includes the large Nottingham Central Library, plus smaller libraries spread across the city and surrounding areas. There’s a total of 17 public libraries in the city, offering a wealth of information and study space.

In terms of university libraries, Uni of Nottingham’s George Green and Hallward libraries and Trent’s Boots library are popular choices among students of those universities. 

Other Places to Study in Nottingham

If you’d prefer somewhere other than a library to do your university work, Nottingham is a hotbed for trendy cafes and coffee shops which are ideal for studying. Some of our favourites are listed below.

Portland Café: Located on the University of Nottingham campus, Portland Café provides a comfortable setting with a relaxed atmosphere, perfect for studying with a coffee and snack at hand​.

200 Degrees Coffee: This coffee shop has two locations in Nottingham; one near Old Market Square and one near the railway station. It serves some of the best coffee in the area and offers ample table space for students looking to study in a vibrant environment​.

The Kitchen on Pelham Street: The Kitchen on Pelham Street offers a cosy atmosphere with a diverse menu, making it an ideal spot for a mid-week study session or a meetup with friends from your course or accommodation. Helpfully, it’s located close to the Lace Market tram stop​.

Waterstones Café: You can’t beat Waterstones, can you? Situated on the third floor of Waterstones on Bridlesmith Gate, this café provides a pleasant ambiance with views over the city. It’s a great option for reading, writing and researching, while also helpfully surrounded by thousands of books you might find useful.

Hockley Kitchen: An independent café in the vibrant area of Hockley, Hockley Kitchen offers ample seating and a variety of gluten-free and vegan options. It’s a great spot for studying, especially when the weather is nice​ and you can sit outside​.

Nottingham Student Bars

When it’s time to take a break from studying and let your hair down, Nottingham’s student bars are the perfect places to unwind and socialise. You’re spoilt for choice in terms of pubs and bars, but we have whittled it down to a few of the best.

The Magic Garden: If you’re looking for an instagrammable bar in Nottingham, look no further than The Magic Garden. Situated in a Grade 2 listed Georgian building, this quirky bar has lots of cocktails to enjoy.

Boilermaker: Another quirky spot for student drinking is the Boilermaker, which hides behind an unassuming facade of being a boiler showroom. Behind the charade, you’ll find a buzzing bar with an extensive drinks menu.

Penny Lane: If you want to combine drinking with activity, Penny Lane is the place for you. The large bar features lots of retro arcade games, from air hockey to basketball and loads more, offering a world of fun.

Nottingham Student Nightlife

Nottingham student nightlife is renowned for its diversity and vibrancy, with many clubs and late bars available to students in addition to the trendy bars listed above. We’ve picked three of our favourite clubs for students in Notts below.

Rock City: This huge music venue doubles up as a club, offering banging tunes and relatively cheap drinks. On a Thursday night, Rock City hosts the ‘Tuned’ student night with 2-for-1 offers on drinks for students.

Ocean: Take a dip in Ocean and experience one of the true students nights out in Nottingham. Only open to students, they put on lots of themed nights and play cheesy pop songs, perfect for fun university socials.

Unit 13: Unit 13 is a fairly new addition to the Nottingham student nightlife scene, comprising two large rooms playing different music genres. On Mondays, Unit 13 plays host to ‘Dirty Mondays,’ when students can really go wild.

Nottingham Student Storage Solutions

Storage can also be an important consideration for the students of Nottingham, whether they’re moving accommodation, storing items over the summer break or studying abroad.

Thankfully, Bingham Self Storage has a variety of personal storage options, based just outside Nottingham in nearby Bingham. We offer a variety of short term and long term storage solutions, from storage units to storage crates and more. This ensures that your items are safe and accessible whenever you need them.

In Summary

Nottingham is truly a wonderful place to be as a student, boasting a variety of study spaces, dining options, bars and clubs that cater to every student’s needs. Whether you’re hitting the books or enjoying a night out, Nottingham has something for everyone. And for those times when you need extra space, Bingham Self Storage is here to help with reliable and convenient storage solutions.