Like most great disputes, this one started over a few casual beers with friends. Conversation came around to sharing amusing Uni anecdotes, which inevitably turned into passive aggressive bragging about whose uni was the best.
You can imagine my surprise when one of my acquaintances decided to crank this debate up a notch. Puffing out his chest, he announced proudly that Manchester was, without a doubt, the best student city in the UK. The cheek!
Before I knew it, people I had previously considered friends were piping up all over the place with equally ridiculous assertions. One even had the audacity to claim York was the best (lol).
It’s time to put an end to this ridiculousness once and for all, this is the national poll to decide which will be crowned the Ultimate Student City. Don’t allow this prestigious title to fall into the wrong hands, make sure your voice is heard and vote for your ultimate winner now!
Scroll down to vote!
No matter your taste in music, Birmingham has the ideal night out for you. Not a fan of the mainstream? Look no further than Snobs. Looking for more of a dance vibe? Don your Nikes and head to Rainbow or Gatecrasher. Fancy something a little classier? There’s always Mechu. After chart hits and cheesy classics? Of course, there’s Fab n Fresh on a Saturday. Yes, it may sometimes feel impossible to get a ticket but once you beat the queues it’s pretty much impossible not to enjoy belting out the tunes we all know with no locals in sight!
- Student Hot Spots: Players, Snobs, Risa, Fab n Fresh, Gatecrasher
- Messiest Night Out: Fab n Fresh Saturday
- Notorious Drinks Deal: £1.50 drinks from Risa (Fridays)
- Events of Note: Ultra Mondays, Stupid Tuesdays, Vodbull
With so much on offer there’s no reason not to love a Bristol night out. If you’re looking for the biggest student night, then Bunker’s got you covered for the best themed nights around! Alternatively, there’s Lizard Lounge – although it’s awful in theory and it’s definitely not recommended you venture in sober, you can’t go wrong with their combination of Toffee Vodka, £1 Fosters and the cheesiest music you’ll ever encounter. If none of that takes your fancy, there’s Bristol’s legendary party Thekla, the club that is actually on a boat. A BOAT – enough said.
- Student Hot Spots: Bunker, Lizard Lounge, Mbargo, Motion
- Messiest Night Out: BED Mondays
- Notorious Drinks Deal: £1 Fosters at Lizard Lounge
- Events of note: Love Saves the Day, Tokyo Dub, In:Motion
It may be small but why on earth should that mean it isn’t the best? Sure, the clubs are all closed by 2:30 but that just means we get to start pre’s earlier and have a longer post-lash, which everybody knows is the best part of the night anyway. The fact that the students basically make up the entire population of the city means less of the odd folk in the clubs and our obscenely attractive student body make nights out here an absolute delight. Whether it's partying the night away in Arena, showing everyone how it's done on the Ledge in Top Top or seeing off endless VKs in the Lemmy - you're guaranteed to have an entertaining night wherever you end up.
- Student Hot Spots: Arena, Timepiece, Mosaic, The Lemmy
- Messiest Night Out: Wednesday Timepiece
- Notorious Drinks Deal: 3 VKs for a fiver
- Events of note: Hijacked festival, Safer Sex Ball
As one of the biggest student cities in the UK, Leeds has definitely earned the right to the title of one of the best for nightlife too. With over 400 bars and clubs, there’s something to do pretty much every night of the week (plus the drinks are cheap as well). As clubs don’t close until 6am, the biggest struggle you’ll face is actually fitting lectures around the nights out. If you’re all about house or hip hop, there’s Mint Mondays or if you prefer something alternative, Leeds has you covered too with Hifi’s Mixtape project playing old school classics, chart hits and everything in between. Plus, if big names are what you’re after, Control has had famous DJ sets from Snoop Dogg to Disclosure. On top of all that, if you don’t feel like hitting the city, the always sold-out Fruity Fridays at the SU offers cheap drinks, weekly themes and music to suit everyone’s taste!
- Student Hot Spots: Mission, Mint, Warehouse, Chilli White
- Messiest Night Out: Fruity Fridays
- Most Notorious drinks deal: £1 Drinks (Quids In), £5 Cocktail Buckets (Mission)
- Events of note: Leeds Varsity, Flux at Beaverworks
Liverpool has loads to choose from when it comes to nightlife. From the less traditional night out in Garlands, where you’re likely find drag queens on stilts, to the more classic night out at Bumper with two floors of music playing everything from house music to Arctic Monkeys, plus a cinema upstairs! If it’s cheap you’re after then you can’t go better than The Raz, offering the infamous neon green Fat Frogs you’re unlikely to pay more than £3 for a drink. Liverpool is definitely a one of a kind night that can’t be beaten.
- Student Hot Spots: The Raz, Aura, Medication, The Shipping Forecast, Bumper
- Messiest Night Out: The Raz Mondays
- Notorious Drinks Deal: 90p Pints and 2 for £4 Fat Frogs (The Raz), £1 Tequila shots or Vodka Mixers (Bumper)
- Events of note: Carnage, Liverpool Varsity
London offers one of the most diverse and exciting nightlife locations in the UK! There’s over 40 universities in the city, each with their own hot spots and night out rituals. More than anywhere else it’s true in London that there is something for absolutely anyone and venues to suit every taste. Yes, you are likely to pay more than you might in other student cities but then again, other student cities aren’t the buzzing hub of the UK. In the capital city, opportunities for a great time are endless - London is truly second to none.
- Student Hot Spots: The Nest, Roxy, Walkabout, Bussey Building, Milkshak, Egg, Fabric, Loop Bar, Infernos
(Each uni in London has their own favourite, so every night is the best night in London, it’s far too difficult to pick one)
Manchester’s notorious music scene has put the Manchester nightlife on the map as one of the most diverse clubbing scenes any city has to offer. Manchester delivers a different club night for every night of the week. Whether you’re heading to Spinningfields for classy cocktails or a casual student night in Fallowfield; you’ll party till the early hours of the morning and wake up wanting to do it all over again. With a city so big, you’ll never get bored of exploring its hidden hide-outs.
- Student Hot Spots: Factory, 42nd Street, The Deaf Institute, Sound Control
- Messiest Night Out: Bass Face at Sound Control, F//CK Th//rsday at Factory
- Notorious Drinks Deal: Factory Thursdays - £1 on selected drinks all night
- Events of note: Parklife Festival, Warehouse Project
Newcastle's nightlife needs no introduction – the city is consistently ranked amongst the top in the UK for student social life, and for good reason. In London, were you to ask for a treble, it is likely that the bartender would look at you as if you were crazy, before charging an extortionate price. Up here, trebles are available at three for a fiver, and are the norm on a night out. Everyone knows cheap alcohol makes for a great night, and up here, it’s the cheapest. Forget about the strict dress codes of other uni towns, here you can go dress and heels, jeans and trainers or absurd fancy dress and no one will bat an eyelid. Whether you wind up in Digital, Powerhouse or TigerTiger you know you’re in for the time of your life.
- Student Hot Spots: Dance, Sinners, Digital, Flares, TigerTiger
- Messiest Night Out: Koosday at TigerTiger
- Notorious Drinks Deal: 3 treble mixers £5 (Basement), 80p drinks (Digital on Mondays)
- Events of note: Evolution Festival
Nottingham offers numerous options for a night out regardless of your musical preferences. Firstly, Wednesday’s Crisis at Rock City dubiously claims to be the UK’s largest student night and caters for all with different genres playing in each of the three rooms. Those partial to a bit of house music can enjoy regular nights at Ink, Stealth and The Bowery Club. Cheese fans can start the week in the aptly named ‘Cheese Room’ in Oceana and end by removing their tops at Ocean as the Baywatch theme plays. The list truly goes on and on in Notts, and if you just fancy a couple of ‘quiet ones’ then you can make your way to ‘Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem’, believed to be one of the oldest pubs in Britain. Finally to finish the year, you can soak up the post-exam sunshine while enjoying ‘No Tomorrow’ festival in Batman’s backyard!
- Student Hot Spots: Ocean, Stealth/Rescue Rooms, Rock City, Forum, Ink, Market Bar, Oceana
- Messiest Night Out: Crisis
- Notorious Drinks Deal: Not blessed with a stand out offer, it is the signature ‘Black Milk’ in the city that sets it apart from the rest.
- Events of note: No Tomorrow festival, Seven Legged, Caramello, Gradu-Ocean, Annual Varsity Darts
Whatever you’re after Sheffield will have a night for you! The drinks are cheap (Vodka Mixers for less than £1, anyone?) and the music can be whatever you want it to be, from house to indie to chart hits. If you want to two-step to Drum & Bass, House and Hip-Hop -Tuesday Club at The Foundry has you covered. If you want some chart hits and old school classics – look no further than Skool Disco. What's more, the Sheffield SU has been voted as the best union for events and nights out. Whatever you feel like and whoever you are, Sheffield has the best nights out around that you definitely won’t remember (for all the right reasons).
- Student Hot Spots: Embrace, Corporation, Sheffield Union, Leadmill, Fez
- Messiest Night Out: Skool Disco at Corporation
- Notorious Drinks Deal: £1 Jagerbombs (Plug), 70p Vodka Mixer (Corporation)
- Events of note: Jump Around at The Leadmill, Roar at The Foundry
You only have to take a wander down Portswood Road to realise that Southampton is the best for student nights out. Filled with bars and pubs full of students in fancy dress, as they bar crawl their way, via the Hobbit, to the infamous Palace of Dreams (Jesters) and/or Sobar. With great outdoor areas, scandalously cheap drinks and great chart/cheesy music, you can’t really go wrong… well! If you fancy a bit more of a ‘dressy’ night out Southampton boasts a huge Oceana and Friday night at Voodoo are always a good option. Warehouse events offer something slightly different if you are keen on house and big DJs. If that’s not your cup of tea, Popworld, with it’s huge light-up dancefloor and pole, is the ideal way to get your Spice Girls/S Club 7 fix.
- Student Hot Spots: Voodoo, Jesters, Sobar, Popworld, Oceana
- Messiest Night Out: Jesters Monday
- Notorious Drinks Deal: £2 Quadvods (Sobar Tuesday), 50p Pints (Jesters Monday)
- Events of note: Jesters’ Cider Festival, Common People, Warehouse Southampton
York may not be renowned for it’s amazing nightlife, but that doesn’t mean it’s not up there with the best (in it’s own way)! If you’re after a night of deep house you’re gonna leave disappointed, but if it’s a full on 00’s cheese fest you’re after then there is absolutely nowhere better. I’ll admit, we’ve taken a hit since the loss of our long loved Willow recently. But while it’s free prawn crackers, £1 shots and deathly stairs will never be forgotten, it’s spirit lives on in the revolving dancefloor of PopWorld and the light up floor and cheesy karaoke of Flares. What more could you ask for?! If the answer to that question is a real club where you can get a bit dressy, then look no further than Kuda Tuesdays, Thursdays at Fibbers or, of course, Sunday Revs - the ultimate cover photo location.
- Student Hot Spots: Kuda, Flares, Fibbers, Salvation, The Duchess and of course Willow (R.I.P.)
- Messiest Night Out: Salvo Wednesdays , Phat Fridays
- Notorious Drinks Deal: £1 jagerbombs (Parish), £1 Sambuca/Tequila Shots (Marmite), £2.50 Trebles (Stone Roses).
- Events of note: Marmite, Phat Fridays at The Duchess, Roses
Is your city missing from the list above? Comment below to let us know why yours should have been featured and why!