7 Things to Know About Student Life in Norwich
Coming to live and study in Norwich? Good choice! According to the Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2021, this city is right up there on the list and when you come to live here you’ll see why.
Norwich is big enough to be interesting and vibrant, while being small enough to not feel isolating and overwhelming.
You’ll soon build up a sense of community and will never be short of things to do in your downtime from university classes.
We’re going to take a look at the nightlife, leisure opportunities, and all you need to know in general about Norwich student life.
In spite of being a compact city, the nightlife is pretty vibrant and active.
There are a few big nightclubs to choose from for when you feel like letting loose after handing in those all-important deadlines, and there are a multitude of pubs and bars for more lowkey nights out.
One of the prime examples of places to drink in Norwich is Bar and Beyond, where you can grab some tasty cocktails while enjoying live music and DJ sets. Or head to the Drawing Rooms, set in a beautiful historic building and one of the city’s best-loved pubs, you can have a pint or two after lectures or attend one of their live music events downstairs in the Ballroom.
Music is pretty important in this city. Norwich has a thriving local music scene and big bands often tour here. You can enjoy regular concerts at The Waterfront, run by the UEA Students' Union. There are also often major music festivals in Norwich, forming a big part of Norwich student life for many who choose to make the city their home.
2. Eating Out
Food’s a pretty big deal here too. As well as big music events, you’ll often see food festivals setting up camp in Norwich.
Not only that, but the city isn’t restricted to just one type of cuisine - here you can take your pick from the range of restaurants serving up dishes from all over the world.
French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Thai and Indian cuisine are all on the menu, as is American and British food. Most places are mindful of special dietary requirements, with vegetarian, vegan and halal options included.
Make sure you check out:
- Wanfo House – very authentic Chinese food
- Blue Joanna – award-winning Asian restaurant
- Namaste Village – quality Indian street food
- Jorge’s – Portuguese meat and seafood dishes
- Goulash House – delicious Hungarian food
- Grosvenor’s Fish Bar for some good old British fish and chips
If you’re a bit of a whizz in the kitchen and fancy recreating some of these recipes, no problem.
There are several Chinese and Asian supermarkets, an international food store, and health food stores in Norwich.
3. Leisure Facilities
No matter what your idea of ‘me time’ is, you’ll find that there’s something for you in Norwich.
Shopaholics, attention please! There are two big shopping centres and retail parks where you can spend, spend, spend. Check out Chantry Place with its 60+ shops - there are loads of student discounts to be had!
Aside from the shopping centres, there are also many high street stores and specialist boutique shops.
For something a bit more unique, head to Norwich Market Place, where you can pick up special gifts and unusual items, as well as some scrummy food. It won the award of Best Large Outdoor Market in 2019, so if you’re serious about shopping this is the place for you. Open Monday to Saturday, it’s well worth a visit.
If going to the cinema is your idea of a good time, then the good news is that Norwich has loads of cinemas!
There are four of them, but our favourite is Cinema City, a quirky old-fashioned cinema with three screens and a gorgeous courtyard. Get some Insta snaps in the 17th century style dining room and bar, where you can take afternoon tea, brunches and other snacks before settling down to see the latest blockbuster.
Football fans will feel at home here too - Norwich City FC have their home grounds here, at Carrow Road Football Stadium.
If you prefer to play rather than observe, the UEA's Sportspark may end up being your regular haunt. There you can take part in general fitness activities like swimming and working out in the gym, as well as indoor activities like rock climbing, squash, badminton and martial arts.
If you like outdoor activities you can also participate in athletics, football, hockey and tennis, and there are lots of watersports opportunities on the coast. Whether it be water skiing, windsurfing, paddleboarding or rowing, it’s all just an hour away from your Yugo student accommodation in Norwich.
4. Green Spaces
There are some picturesque green spaces in Norwich where you can relax and de-stress after a long day with your head between revision books.
One of them is The Plantation Gardens, a three-acre English Heritage registered garden with over 100 years of history.
If you want to really get out in nature, it’s worth taking a trip to the coast to one of the nearby beautiful sandy beaches. Cromer is gorgeous and we recommend a trip with uni mates - you can even go crabbing!
5. Transport and Travel
One of the best things about Norwich student life is that it’s pretty stress-free when it comes to moving around the city. It’s easy to get around on foot or by cycling, but it also has a frequent bus service that will take you around the city.
There are discounts for students on bus passes, and it never takes too long to get anywhere as the city is fairly compact and straightforward in its layout.
When it comes to exploring further afield, you can get to London in under two hours, get to the seaside in 30 to 40 minutes, and even fly to Amsterdam in under an hour.
6. Universities and Societies
For those who are serious about getting stuck into Norwich student life, one of the best things you can do is join a uni club or society.
There are two main universities in Norwich - the University of East Anglia, and Norwich University of the Arts. Both offer a rich and diverse social life thanks to events organised by their student unions, and the societies hosted there.
The best thing you can do is to head to the Freshers Fair at the beginning of the academic year and see what societies are on offer.
Expect everything from dance, to sports, to amateur dramatics, to Harry Potter-themed clubs.
You could even get some work experience by writing for the student newspaper - always useful to add in some extra bits to your CV!
Last but not least, one thing we love about Norwich student life is that there’s so much history and culture to take in.
The city centre is packed with medieval architecture and around 1,500 historic buildings, so History students will be in their element here!
The city was England's second biggest city for more than 700 years, which has left an impressive legacy.
There are two large cathedrals, one Catholic and the other Anglican - take a guided tour and explore the sumptuous gardens surrounding these architectural masterpieces.
You also can’t miss the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery. The Castle is one of the city’s most famous landmarks and is over 900 years old. These days it houses art collections and hosts exhibitions of natural history and archaeology. A great place to explore on a quiet afternoon free of lectures.
Now you’ve discovered 7 things to know about Norwich student life, all that’s left to do is head out of your Norwich student accommodation and get exploring this enchanting city! For more information about our student housing options, check out St Crispin's House.