Entertainment, Food and Drink

A vital element of student life and in London you will be spoilt for choice!

In many respects London need be no more expensive for students than any other university town or city. Many of London’s attractions are free: libraries, galleries, museums, parks and street markets are everywhere. With a little money to spend you have the pick of theatre, cinema, opera, ballet, music, sport and nightlife and many of these attractions offer discounts for students.

Obviously with so much on offer it is easy to spend a great deal of money, but with careful management of your resources it is possible to make the most of the London experience without breaking the bank.


Essential items such as food and drink cost much the same as they do in other parts of the country and in many cases can be cheaper. London is home to more students than any other city in the country and UCL’s central location in the university quarter means that there are plenty of facilities catering for students. Numerous student union bars, cafes and restaurants provide refreshment and entertainment at similar prices to those found in universities throughout the country. It is still possible to buy a meal in UCL’s Student Union for under £3.00 and the price of drinks in union bars varies very little whatever the location in the country to cater for most interests at budget prices. There are political, cultural, religious, arts, environmental and media societies whose events are open to all. UCL also has its own West End theatre, the UCL Bloomsbury, where at least ten weeks each year are dedicated to student productions. Tickets for all productions are discounted for students.

The UCL Union runs clubs for most major sports and many of the less well-known ones. The 90-acre sports ground at Shenley in Hertfordshire has high-quality pitches and courts for outside and team sports and coach travel is organised from UCL. Closer to hand, the Bloomsbury Fitness Centre (annual student membership from £110) and Somers Town Community Sports Centre offer facilities for indoor sports and fitness programmes. Energybase is a health club owned and operated by the University of London Union, located just opposite the main UCL campus. Student membership costs £25 per month and gives access to the swimming pool (at 33m the longest pool in central London), the gym and up to 50 fitness classes each week.

The UCL Union manages a wide range of food and drink outlets catering for all budgets and tastes, from sandwiches to sushi. There are also bars offering competitively priced alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Make the most of your chance to get the best out of the London experience. University life is not just about studying for a degree but also exploring and developing your extracurricular interests.

  • The UCL Bloomsbury
  • Student Radio
  • Print Room Cafe
  • Westminster station
  • Big Ben