Southampton City Low Down


Moving to a completely new city can be hard. I came to Southampton barely knowing the city, but now I can definitely say it feels like home. So, to help you out we have compiled a low down on Southampton’s top things to do and places to go.

Things to do:

Shopping spree and bowling at West Quay
Living on a student budget can be tight, but you deserve a treat sometimes! West Quay is home to over 100 shops and over 40 dining options, so you’re not stuck for choice. Additionally, West Quay’s new Hollywood Bowl is the perfect place to let off some steam.

The Big Screen
Southampton is home to 5 cinemas. Showing up-to-date films for only £3, The Union Cinema should not be overlooked. The Harbour Lights Picture House even offers E4 Slackers Club (a free film for students) once a month.

Get outside
Southampton Common is a beautiful green place; perfect for taking a relaxing study break or to bring along your new friends and have a BBQ! Alternatively, why not discover Southampton’s Medieval Town walls and Old Town for free, even wander the Titanic trail and visit the SeaCity Museum for a dose of history.

O2 Guildhall and Mayflower Theatre
Fancy a show? The O2 Guildhall and Mayflower Theatre offer a variety of entertainment from music to comedy, to touring West End musicals – a great way to spend an evening.


Just a short walk from campus, Trago Lounge is perfect for brunch, and a relaxing place to study. The American Diner, 7Bone, is raved about for its burgers and dirty fries, while The Rockstone is also not to be missed.  Portswood’s rivals Sprinkles and Scoops are home to the most glorious ice cream, waffles, and crêpes.

City Centre
West Quay is Southampton’s Queen of cuisine, offering fancy restaurants to fast food take away, American, Portuguese, Mexican, Italian, and Asian – there is something for everyone. As a student, Ocean Village is perfect for a date or a family meal – where mum and dad can pay! It’s not cheap, but restaurants such as Steak of the Art, Banana Wharf, and Pitcher and Piano, are divine.

Bars and Nightlife:


Wild Lime is a popular bar down Portswood, with excellent food and cocktails, and insanely cheap £2 pints every Wednesday, perfect stop before either of the next two clubs. Offering up two of Southampton Uni’s strongholds, Jesters and Sobar. Not a lot needs to be said about Jesters, you’ve heard the rumours; most of them true. Have a few Jesticles and you’ll see why it’s the Palace of Dreams. Sobar is an equally good night with £2 quad-vods. That’s right Quads, £2; messy nights. Your friends will most likely be divided into Sobar lovers and Jesters enthusiast, decide which group you fall into.

City Centre

Turtle Bay’s happy hour with 2 cocktails as cheap as 2 for £7.15 is perfect for casual drinks or a flat night out.Venturing further into town and the likelihood of coming across Football Studies students from Solent increases, but so does the choice of club. Choose from Oceana Wednesdays, Café Parfait Thursdays, Switch Fridays or go to them all but be prepared to have your liver hate you. That just leaves you with Bedford Place, the King of the Club Crawl with clubs and bars including Buddha Lounge, Orange Rooms, Popworld and Junk. With Junk’s Retro Jam event is thoroughly recommended.


I hope this gives you a useful low down on Southampton through a student’s eyes. Have an amazing year!


History student and aspiring journalist

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