City Life

You’ll be very busy as a student here, but we hope you’ll also have time to explore the ‘town’ part of ‘town and gown’ – Cambridge is not only the University!


Eating and drinking

Whether you want to grab a bite to eat between lectures, a quick drink at the end of the day or have a big night out, Cambridge has got something for everyone. Our thriving restaurant scene serves food from all over the globe to suit all taste buds and budgets from classic student haunt The Gardenia (affectionately known as Gardies) – where pitta bread filled with chips is a popular choice – to Michelin starred Midsummer House.

Newnham has its own on-site student-run bar and you can drink at the other thirty College bars as well, so you are never far from a reasonably priced drink and a familiar face.

The city is teeming with pubs from relaxing, traditional inns with real ales to trendy, cool bars with lengthy cocktail lists. Newnham is a two-minute walk from The Anchor, which has an outdoor area overlooking the river, so it’s perfect for watching people trying out punting for the first time.

Lots of city restaurants offer student discounts as well, so you never have to eat beans on toast for dinner in Cambridge, unless you really want to!


There are two multiplex cinemas in the city and the Arts Picturehouse, a three-screen cinema that shows art house and independent films as well as the mainstream movies.

Vue Cinema can be found at The Grafton Centre on the east side of the city and the second multiplex is The Light, which can be found at Cambridge Leisure Park to the south of the city. All three offer student discounts.

Theatre and comedy

Cambridge has been the stomping ground of many famous actors, presenters and comedians, including Newnham’s Emma Thompson and Miriam Margolyes who both performed as part of the renowned Cambridge Footlights comedy troupe based at the ADC Theatre.

The ADC Theatre is the University of Cambridge theatre and it is run almost entirely by students. You can act in plays, direct plays, produce them, light them or simply show up and enjoy the eclectic mix of drama, music and comedy that is presented every term. The ADC team also manages the Corpus Playroom, a studio venue in the heart of Cambridge that likes to debut new work.

The Cambridge Corn Exchange is the largest multi-purpose entertainment venue in the region and features a choice of entertainment, from comedy and music to ballet on ice and classical concerts, and Cambridge Arts Theatre is a lively regional theatre hosting a varied programme including the annual pantomime.

Just a mile out of the city centre, Cambridge Junction also has a regular line up of famous names, world renowned DJs and boasts a packed programme of club nights, comedy, theatre and dance performances.

Among many others, Jack Whitehall, Emeli Sandé, Fredo, Scouting for Girls have performed here recently.

The Mumford Theatre is run by Anglia Ruskin University and presents a range of touring professional, local community and student theatre, as well as music events including a series of free lunchtime concerts.


Cambridge offers a vibrant nightlife scene and if you are looking for a Moroccan styled nightclub or a beach-themed one, then this is the city for you!

The most beloved student haunt in the city is Cindies (actually now called Ballare) as it offers lots of themed nights and discounts. And you are guaranteed to see a friendly face.

There is also The Fez, Vinyl, The Junction, Lola Lo, and lots of pubs that stay open late with dancefloors.

There is never a reason to stay in when you are in Cambridge, unless you want to!


Cambridge has four shopping centres and boasts a large variety of independent shops and boutiques as well as all of the major High Street names.

The eclectic daily market on Market Square sells everything from vintage clothes to bread and fruit and at the weekend there are many arts and crafts markets dotted around the city.