City centre nightlife: a guide for new students 🎓

Welcome to Sheffield, new students!

One of the first things most undergraduates want to discover as they head off to university is the nightlife on offer at their new home.

With that in mind, we’ve put together this guide showcasing some of the best of Sheffield city centre’s student nightlife.

There’s everything from live sports to drink offers, activity bars - even champagne - plus some recommendations from former freshers who know the scene best.

26 city centre venues are featured in this guide. They are:
Billy Big Balls ✨ The Cavendish 
The Common Room ✨ Capone's Speakeasy
Corporation ✨ Crystal Bar
Dempseys ✨ Firepit RocksThe Forum
FoundryGatsbyGloryholes Sheffield
Gut LevelThe HarleyHoffenbrau
✨ The Leadmill ✨ Maida ValeMolly Malone's 
Olivia's Townhouse ✨ Onyx SheffieldPlot 22
PopworldTiger Works ✨The Washington 
West Street Live ✨ The Viper Rooms 

Please note: all information is correct at the time of posting. Visit individual venue and attraction websites for opening times and the latest details.

The Leadmill

6 Leadmill Road

✨ The Leadmill, Sheffield (@theleadmill) • Instagram photos and videos

📸 The Leadmill

Tiger Works

136 West Street

Tiger Works (@tigerworksbar) • Instagram photos and videos

📸 Tiger Works + Hoop Light Media

The Washington

79 Fitzwilliam Street

✨ The Washington (@washingtonsheff) • Instagram photos and videos

📸 The Washington

‘It wouldn’t be right to be a student in Sheffield and not go to The Leadmill’, said Rebecca McPhillips'.

Rebecca McPhillips

The 24-year-old content creator, a final year journalism student at The University of Sheffield, includes the iconic city institution in her top list of places to visit.

Understandably so. The music venue on Leadmill Road has welcomed everyone from The Killers to Arctic Monkeys in a 40-year history.

They host a diverse range of events, from comedy to theatre, and have dedicated freshers’ events taking place on the weekend of Saturday 16 to Monday 18 September.

📸 The Leadmill

Rebecca added: “Everyone raves about The Leadmill because it’s such a city institution.

“I also recommend Tiger Works, they do a £5 round where you get five drinks for £5, which is really good.

“It has a cool vibe and there are a lot of students working there.”

Rebecca’s final recommendation is old-fashioned ale house The Washington, the home of live music and after parties aplenty.

“You could have a full night out at Tiger Works easily but if you want to go clubbing The Washington is great for the social side of the night.

“It’s also a great photography spot because of the quirky decor, there’s lots of artwork and signs creating a psychedelic vibe.”


2 Milton Street

✨ Sheffield Corporation (@corpsheffield) • Instagram photos and videos

Known affectionately as Corp, this grungey nightclub is also a stalwart of the Sheffield scene.

Introduce yourself to its alternative music, famous metal staircase and four rooms of fun at their freshers’ event, 'Corporation Carnival', from September Sunday 17 to Saturday 23 September.

17th: Sheffield Freshers Opening Party 2023 | Corporation Nightclub Tickets | Corporation Sheffield | Sun 17th September 2023 Lineup (

18th: Freshers Monday Corp - Pay What You Want! Tickets | Corporation Sheffield | Mon 18th September 2023 Lineup (

19th: INDIE MANIA - Freshers Launch Party | Corporation Sheffield Tickets | Corporation Sheffield | Tue 19th September 2023 Lineup (

20th: SKINT Wednesdays - Freshers Launch Party - Wednesdays at CORP Tickets | Corporation Sheffield | Wed 20th September 2023 Lineup (

📸 Corporation

22nd: Freshers - Drop Tickets | Corporation Sheffield | Fri 22nd September 2023 Lineup (

23rd: Freshers - Dirty Deeds Tickets | Corporation Sheffield | Sat 23rd September 2023 Lineup (


2-8 Carver Street

✨ Popworld Sheffield (@popworldsheffield) • Instagram photos and videos

Dance the night away at Popworld, a homage to music from the 1990s to the present day.

They specialise in cheesy songs you’ll sing your heart out to, pastel decor, plus a range of retro-inspired cocktails.

📸 Popworld


1 Hereford Street

So, you want to go to a real party?

LGBTQ+ venue Dempsey’s has been open for 22 years, is open 365 days a year and stays open as late as 6am.

It’s another city icon known for the bustling dance floor, DJs and karaoke.

Billy Big Balls

125-127 West Street

✨ Billy Big Balls (@billysbarsheff) • Instagram photos and videos

Take a trip back to childhood with this adult ball pit bar.

As well as the novelty of jumping into the ball pit, they offer beer pong and bottomless booze sessions.

📸 Billy Big Balls

Foundry, Sheffield Students’ Union

Western Bank

✨ Foundry Sheffield (@foundrysheffield) • Instagram photos and videos

Molly Malone’s Irish Tavern

140-144 West Street

✨ ☘️ Molly Malone’s Sheffield ☘️ (@mollys_sheffield) • Instagram photos and videos

Molly Malone's

The Forum

129 Devonshire Street

✨ The Forum Kitchen + Bar (@theforumsheffield) • Instagram photos and videos

True North's Pledge Student Card unlocks exclusive discounts across four Sheffield venues, including The Forum and The Common Room. gaining access to 20% off everything – all day, everyday!

📸 True North

Sports and safety are the top considerations when it comes to a night out for Ewan Rennoldson.

The second year business management student at The University of Sheffield suggests heading to the student union as a first destination.

Ewan Rennoldson

Ewan, aged 21, said: “The students’ union is probably the best bet for people coming to Sheffield for the first time.

“There’s a reason it’s been rated the best in the country. It has something for everyone, and has a very safe environment for a nightclub.

“There are always enough bouncers on the door and they have buses home for £1.50, it’s also very central for anyone going out.

“You aren’t waiting too long for drinks, I would say it is the safest bar in the city.”

The union is hosting a range of freshers’ events from Friday 15 September.

Sunderland fan Ewan found plenty of places to watch his beloved sport in Sheffield city centre.

He added: “Along West Street, the one I used to go to most was Molly Malone’s.

“I loved that there was live sport on so as well as having a night out, I could see the football.

“The Forum may not be as student focused as other venues but they’ve got good drinks offers and lots of variety, including an outside seating area and a dancefloor later in the evenings.”

West Street Live

128 West Street

✨ West Street Live (@weststreetlive) • Instagram photos and videos

Music is at the heart of everything at this late night live music bar, a staple on the West Street circuit.

Staff are imaginative with their drinks offers, too.

📸 West Street Live

The Viper Rooms

35 Carver Street

✨ The Viper Rooms Sheffield (@viper_rooms) • Instagram photos and videos

Upscale cocktail bar The Viper Rooms adds a touch of glamour to a student night out.

It offers VIP tables and luxury packages.

Capone’s Speakeasy

99 West Street

✨ Capone’s Speakeasy - Sheffield (@caponessheffield) • Instagram photos and videos

Hidden away behind a secret door is a 1920s-style speakeasy, Capone’s.

This stylish cocktail lounge inside a cocktail bar (Mr Wilson’s) has private booths, beautiful bespoke drinks and must be booked in advance.

📸 Capone's Speakeasy

Crystal Bar

23-32 Carver Street

✨ Crystal Bar Sheffield (@crystal_bar_sheffield) • Instagram photos and videos

Another location to splash out at is Crystal, located inside a former scissor factory.

This year the luxury bar’s freshers’ events include a Thai-style full moon party on Monday 18 September: FRESHERS 2023 - Crystal_Bar_2023 ( ✨

Sheffield Freshers Full Moon Party Opening Party | Crystal & Viper Rooms

The Harley

334 Glossop Road

✨ The Harley (@theharleysheff) • Instagram photos and videos

They don’t come much more convenient than this.

The Harley is located right next to The University of Sheffield campus and is a former haunt of the Arctic Monkeys.

Happy hours, quiz nights and one of the latest licences in the city complete the appeal.

The Cavendish

220 West Street

✨ The Cavendish (@cavendish_sheff) • Instagram photos and videos

A home from home for students, the Cavendish pub has it all.

There’s live sport, student offers, a gaming booth, big quiz and food. Phew!


73-75 Division Street

✨ Gatsby (@gatsbysheffield) • Instagram photos and videos

A quality venue that delivers on its promise of beats, bites and booze.

It serves excellent drinks and Mexican food - check out their Taco Tuesday deal - alongside a covered beer garden and tunes from local DJs.

Olivia’s Townhouse

173-179 West Street

✨ Olivia’s Townhouse Sheffield (@olivias_sheffield) • Instagram photos and videos

Practice those perfect poses before heading to this Insta-worthy nightspot.

The bright pink exterior makes it easy to spot. Once inside, expect cocktails, bottomless brunches, dancing and late night entertainment.

📸 Olivia's Townhouse

Firepit Rocks

138 West Street

✨ FirePit Rocks - Gaming & Dive Bar 🎮 👾🕹 (@firepitrocks) • Instagram photos and videos

A self-proclaimed gaming and dive bar, Firepit Rocks specialises in beer towers, barbecue food and dirty burgers.

Unpretentious good times are the name of the game here.

📸 Firepit

Maida Vale

88 West Street

✨ Maida Vale (@maidavalesheffield) • Instagram photos and videos

Dig out your dancing shoes and head to Maida Vale for a celebration of music right across the decades.

Classic dance and soul from the 1970s and 1980s feature prominently on the playlist, as well as guilty pleasures. Every Wednesday there’s a Maida Mess event for cheap student drink deals.

Plot 22

20-22 Exchange Street

 Plot 22 (@plot22sheffield) • Instagram photos and videos

Somewhat off the beaten track, Plot 22 is a multi-purpose creative venue with an interesting history.

It’s worth checking out their eclectic events, which include underground music nights, alcohol-free socials and DJs from every niche.

Gut Level

Eyre Street

✨ GUT LEVEL (@gutlevelsheffield) • Instagram photos and videos

Queer-led Gut Level has some of the most immersive events in Sheffield, from speed friending to pub quizzes.

It’s a membership community but the cost of joining is low and the team is fundraising towards an exciting new venue in the city centre.

Gloryholes Sheffield

43 High Street

✨ Glory Holes Golf (@gloryholesgolfsheffield) • Instagram photos and videos

Taking part in an activity is the best way to get to know new housemates.

Mini golf bar Gloryholes is the perfect place for some competitive spirit, plenty of photo opportunities and drinks offers galore.

📸 Gloryholes

And finally...

Two new venues are due to open in September 2023, just in time for the latest arrivals of students to both universities.

They are Hoffenbrau, at 117 Rockingham Street, a new German tavern expected to open on 15 September and Onyx Sheffield dance and night club, a clubbers’ haunt also located on Rockingham Street. Onyx is relaunching at the end of August 👏

💡 Why not have a browse through our our other expert guides to Sheffield city centre for more things to do and places to visit in your new home.