What it is like to live in Leeds

An aerial shot of Leeds city

Leeds is one of the fastest growing cities in Britain. The historical architecture of the city is blended with skyscrapers and waterfront housing complexes to create its own modern Victorian style.  

Other than being beautiful, Leeds is a student friendly city that has one of the largest student populations in the country. This makes it one of the best places for international students to study in the UK. 

Living in Leeds 

Best places to live in Leeds 

A great place to live in Leeds whilst studying is the Study Inn student accommodation. Here you will find the best way to experience student life and learn to live independently. 

Living with other students is a great way to make new friends and you will meet other people who are also new to the city. The Study Inn accommodation has a great community of fellow international students who are going through similar experiences of studying abroad. 

The accommodation, located in Leeds city centre, is just a ten-minute walk from the Leeds Beckett University City Campus and the train station.


Leeds is a pedestrian-friendly city, with everything you need within walking distance including hundreds of top businesses and organisations, as well as shops, bars and restaurants. 

If you do not want to walk, you can use the local bus service. This runs on a regular schedule and is an affordable way to travel. Taxis are another option, although they are pricier than the bus. 

Leeds is home to one of the largest train stations in the UK, which is conveniently located in the city centre. Here you can catch regularly scheduled trains to other major cities across the UK such as York, Sheffield, Manchester and London.

Leeds culture 

Leeds has named 2023 the year of culture. The city will be celebrating art and performance with an emphasis on diversity all year long. 

Millennium Square 

Millennium Square is an outdoor public space and live entertainment venue situated in the heart of Leeds city. The award-winning venue is surrounded by some of the city’s most iconic buildings, including Leeds Town Hall, the Carriageworks Theatre and Leeds City Museum. 

The square hosts a varied programme of year-round events, including live music performances, Christmas markets and an ice rink, and the Leeds Food & Drink Festival. 

As well as being one of the top Leeds places to visit, Millennium Square also hosts various multicultural and community celebrations such as Vaisakhi, Leeds Pride and more. 

Museums and art galleries 

As a city that prides itself on culture, it comes as no surprise that Leeds is home to many museums and art galleries. 

Leeds Art Gallery is one of the top attractions in the city and is home to sensational collections of artworks and exhibitions. The gallery is home to work from the likes of Damien Hirst, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.

Visit the Royal Armouries Museum to view Britain’s national collection of arms and armour. With more than 8,500 objects on display across six impressive galleries, the museum covers 3,000 years of history from across the globe.

Historical homes and buildings 

Leeds has more listed buildings than any other city outside London. The stunning Victorian architecture makes up most of the city. 

Although the city is predominantly Victorian, one of Leeds’ most popular historical buildings is Lotherton Hall, an Edwardian estate. With vast grounds and beautiful gardens, the hall is an attraction to be enjoyed by all. 

Social etiquette

As a multicultural country, you can be sure to feel right at home in any city in the UK, especially Leeds. The diverse culture of the city makes it easy for international students to immerse themselves in life in the UK. 

British people are known for their politeness and love of small talk about the weather.

Leeds nightlife 

The nightlife in Leeds is not to be missed. With a student population of over 60,000, the fourth largest in the country, the Leeds nightlife culture comes alive with live music and incredible restaurants.  

Live music 

Leeds has a thriving live music scene that caters to everyone, no matter their taste. With large venues such as the O2 Academy or smaller independent venues, there is a real mix of shows from world famous superstars and new artists. 

The city offers many intimate live music spaces that promise a great night with even better music. There are multiple gigs happening every night in Leeds, with varying genres and themes. 

No matter what you're into, the nightlife in Leeds has something for everyone. 


There are plenty of great places to eat in Leeds. It is famously known as the foodie capital of the North. 

The city thrives on its independent food scene, which is renowned for its diversity, innovation and energy. Food served by passionate people can be found in the street food stalls of Kirkgate Market, Trinity Kitchen and in the yearly Leeds Indie Food festival.

Across the city there are also world-famous restaurants and bars that, like the independent businesses in the area, offer great food seven days of the week and all year round. 

With so many places to eat in Leeds, you can be sure there is always somewhere incredible to eat no matter the time of day or year. 

Leeds education  

The UK is known for having a high-quality higher education system. This makes education in Leeds very attractive.  

Leeds is home to multiple universities, with Leeds Beckett University’s campuses being based right in the centre of the city. With a large student population, Leeds is a student friendly city that has everything you need for successful international study.  

If you are an international student looking to study in the UK, the Leeds International Study Centre is where you will spend the first year of your studies. The pathway programmes taught at the International Study Centre are designed to boost your academic knowledge and English language skills, giving you everything you need to progress to your chosen degree at Leeds Beckett University.

International Foundation Year

The International Foundation Year at Leeds Beckett will give you the support you need to begin your study experience in the UK. 

During your time at the International Study Centre, you will benefit from specifically designed programmes curated to give you the guidance needed to confidently enter the first year of your undergraduate degree at the University. 

There are two subject options available: 

  • Business, Law and Social Studies
  • Science, Engineering and Computing. 

Both programmes take two semesters to complete, with an Academic English Skills core module included to develop your English language skills. 

International Year One

The International Year One programme is a fast-track study option, allowing students to complete their pathway programme and their undergraduate degree in the typical three years it takes to graduate. 

Taught at the International Study Centre, the International Year One is equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree. The programme is designed to improve your English language and academic skills in preparation for progression to the second year of an undergraduate degree at the University. 


Is Leeds a good place to live? 

As a city that prides itself on culture and diversity, Leeds is an excellent place to live. There is always something to see and do in this vibrant city.

Are people friendly in Leeds? 

The people of Leeds are friendly and are proud to call the city their home. A large student population makes Leeds a very welcoming city that embraces all cultures.

Is it expensive to live in Leeds? 

The cost of living in Leeds is affordable, compared to other major cities in the UK.

Choosing the Study Inn student accommodation in the city centre makes living in Leeds easy and affordable. Find out more about accommodation at Leeds International Study Centre.