Student Life at Cambridge

There’s loads to keep you entertained in Cambridge and this makes the city a great place to be student.


With two universities in the city, students account for about a fifth of Cambridge’s population (there are approximately 28,500 students in the city) and are an important part of the community.

There’s loads to keep you entertained  in Cambridge and this makes the city a great place to be student.

Cambridge is a small city about 50 minutes north of London on the train. Students account for about a fifth of the city’s population (there are around 28,500 here) and are a significant and important part of the community. As a result Cambridge is a great place to be a student.


Cambridge is a beautiful city, one that combines and embraces the old and the new. You’re surrounded by historic architecture as well as ultra-modern buildings. It has the charm and welcoming feel of a small town as well as the variety and energy of a larger city.

However you like to spend your time, there’s always something to keep you entertained – whether that’s having coffee with friends, going punting, catching a film, having a night out, or getting involved in clubs and societies.

Cambridge has a full calendar of events, festivals and attractions that make it ideal to visit all year round – a destination for all seasons. The city is hard to beat for a weekend away or a longer stay; there is always something to see and do with a choice of activities to satisfy all ages, every budget and interest.

In the summer months Cambridge is sizzling with al fresco performances of music in the parks and green spaces as part of the annual Summer in the City programme of events. This includes the Children’s Marquee and Comedy Marquee on Jesus Green; Midsummer Fair; and The Big Weekend, three days and nights of free music and family entertainment on Parker’s Piece, including an appearance by the Olympic Torch this year.

The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival is an eight-week tour-de-force of Elizabethan drama performed in the idyllic and unique settings of Cambridge University’s private gardens, where the audience can picnic on a summer’s evening before enjoying theatre at its best.

In April and November, literary festival Wordfest brings authors and literary luminaries to Cambridge in a programme of lively and friendly events across all genres. The University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas, in October, is the only free arts, humanities and social sciences festival in the UK and packed with talks, worskhops and performances for all the family.

Cambridge certainly likes to keep its residents and students entertained. There are four theatres, three cinemas, and two major entertainment venues – The Junction and The Corn Exchange (offering varied programmes which include comedy, drama, dance, concerts and club nights) – plus numerous other events, fairs and festivals throughout the year.

Live music is a big part of life in the city. There’s something on offer for every musical taste – from buskers in the street and gigs in pubs, to classical concerts and big name acts.
Amongst many others, Alt-J, Rizzle Kicks, Professor Green, Wretch 32, Paloma Faith, Kaiser Chiefs, Marina and the Diamonds, McFly and The Maccabees have all performed in Cambridge during the last year.

Cambridge also plays host to a world famous Folk Festival and an up-and-coming Rock Festival.

Pubs, clubs and restaurants
Cambridge is well known for its great range of pubs – there are more than 100 to choose from before you even start to count the dozens of College and University bars! There are also several clubs in the city, offering the various music nights you’d expect, as well as cheap entry and offers for students.

There’s a great selection of places to eat too; something for any mood, palate, occasion and price range. Better still, your Cambridge student card (which you’ll receive when you start at the University) will get you discounts and special deals at numerous restaurants and cafés.

There are few recommended  places

  • Regal – massive weatherspoons
  • The Palace – underground club
  • The Cow – near market pub upstairs, club downstairs
  • Q – near the train station, its where all the gothic type people go but they welcome anyone
  • Maypol – its popular with the toff students but good atmosphere it you like more quiet chatty pubs
  • Granta – near the river still does punting far as I know
  • Boathouse – near the river again , just your standard pub there is a boat that goes up the river that you can have parties on.
  • Tram Deport – its nice pub but its right near the shops
  • Black Swan – one of my personal favs, nice beer garden its on mill road where alot of foreign people live so you will get alot of international students in there.
  • The Avary – really relaxed autosphere in the heart of Cambridge, highly recommend this one gets quite busy.
  • Tenpin – its a bowling alley yes but it has a bar which gets lively on saturdays after midnight there is also another club opposite it that suppose be quite good but never been in there myself
  • Fountain Inn – known by locals as the gay bar but all sorts are welcome, they have private rooms that can sit in
  • Prince Regent – I think this pub may of changed its name to something else, in the summer you can sit in its garden done out like a beach with deck chairs, its pretty crap in the winter

There plenty other places too also student bars near the unis/colleges to check out so I hope that helped you.

Within Cambridge’s four shopping centres and the city centre streets, most high street names are represented, as well as many independent shops and boutiques.
The daily market on Market Square sells everything from jewellery and vintage clothes to bread and fruit; and at the weekend there are also farmers’, and arts and crafts markets.
In addition, in the vibrant and eclectic range of shops, cafés and restaurantson Mill Road, you can find just about anything from just about anywhere in the world and to suit any budget, all on one street!