Welcome to the best student city on the planet (and the best student guide in town)!
And that’s not just us being biased, London was officially ranked the best student city in the whole world. Congratulations on joining us in the capital! While you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a great time here, we thought it would be handy to give you a few top tips. Our student guide will help you get your head around the underground, dig out those discounts, and discover the exciting places to visit in every corner of this amazing city!
1. Go to the best events using the Fever app
This app can get you some nifty discounts on the top events in London, including brunches, cocktails, tourist attractions, cinema tickets, boat parties… basically everything and anything you can think of! It’s also great just to keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the city. Download it on the App Store or Google Play.
2. Head in the right direction using Citymapper
Your atlas, your tour guide, your London bible. Download this app and never let it go.
3. Travel around the city for a discounted price
In order to explore all the amazing things this city has to offer (while completing your degree of course) you’re going have to do a lot of travelling. There are various ways of getting your hands on some discounted travel – whether you choose to buy an 18+ Student Oyster Photocard, a 16-24 Railcard, or both! Individually, the two cards get you at least 30% off travel.
For all the information you need about student travel in London, visit the TFL website here.
4. Find somewhere to live using this secret TfL travel time map
It may not be the prettiest to look at, but this map sure is useful when it comes to finding places to live near where you will be studying or working. The quicker the commute, the better!
5. Monitor your money
A obvious point for a student guide to make, but it’s so much harder in practice. We know that student loan feels like it will last forever, but trust us when we say it really, really won’t. Give yourself a head start by managing your money from the get-go: get a Monzo account, or download a budgeting app.
6. Use your student discount for other things too
Student discount is now your best friend – whether it be for clothes or cinema tickets. Every penny counts!
7. Tune in for the tube
For the times when you do inevitably have to get the tube, it’s a great idea to download music, podcasts or audiobooks beforehand, as there isn’t any phone signal down there. There’s also nothing wrong with a good old fashioned book for those longer journeys!
8. Get lean and go green
Why burn a whole in your wallet, when you can burn the calories instead? Here are eight London tube journeys that are actually quicker by foot. Some of them take half the time to walk!
9. Stay happy at happy hour (luckily we’ve done it for you)
When you do reach your destination, you’re going to want to save that student loan from running out before Christmas. Take a look at these brilliant tube maps which show you the cheapest pint near every station and the best happy hours in the city!
10. See the city…for free!
People may tell you living in London is expensive, but what they don’t tell you is that no other city in the world has more or better free things to do than London (again, not just our words, but that of travel gods, The Lonely Planet). To make things easy, we’ve listed 175 free things for you to take a look at!
11. Explore the outskirts
While many of your friends may be joining you for university down in London, it is likely you will all live and study areas all over the city. ‘Meeting in the middle’ may sound easy, but finding each other amongst over 8 million other people can become quite the challenge – and there’s plenty of intrigue further out!
Guy, our head of content, was all to familiar with this problem back in his uni days, which he said was ‘generally a disaster’.
‘You end up trying to go for drinks on Warren Street or something mad, when in fact lots, or even most of the best stuff is non-central.
‘Don’t just head into town from wherever you live, go sideways or outwards’.
12. Watch London theatre shows without the price tag
You may initially be put off by the steep prices that you will find when trying to book tickets for the West End. Fear not, there are plenty of ways to play (🎭) the game.
Young people can get a free membership for The National Theatre which gets you access to £7.50 tickets, exclusive workshops, events and discounts! The Park Theatre also offers cheap tickets to young people, whilst this handy article tells you all the ways to get London theatre tickets for less.
13. Appreciate art for less
As well as all the free art exhibitions available in the city, you can get a free membership for the Tate that offers £5 exhibition tickets to young people.
14. Read over 170 million collection items for free
Whether it’s to help your studies or a bit of light, leisurely reading, becoming a Reader at the British Library is free and very worthwhile! Find out how to get a pass here.
15. Discover all of London’s diverse boroughs
From Clapham to Camden, Walthamstow to Waterloo, Shoreditch to Stoke Newington, there are endless places to discover in the big city. Luckily, we have a bunch of area guides on our website to give you the low down on each London borough.
16. Live life outside of the city too
London has too much of a hold over us to leave for long. But these cracking day trips from London will give you a quick escape and refresh your love for this city – it’s also a great way to see the UK if you’ve come from abroad!
17. Indulge in a taste of home
Speaking of which, if you are an international student living in London (welcome!), then we’ve found the surest way to fight homesickness. (Spoiler alert: it’s food). A wealth of non-UK born Londoners have had their say about the restaurants serving their national cuisines, and the result is this guide to London’s best international restaurants.
18. Enjoy it!
We know student life can seem overwhelming at the best of times, let alone in the one of the world’s busiest cities. But it’s also one of the greatest cities with endless opportunities, so make the most of your time in London (and don’t forget Secret London if you’re ever short of things to do)!