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"My favourite thing to do in Chester is get a hot chocolate from one of the many small independent coffee shops."

Criminology and Psychology

"My favourite thing to do in Chester is to go for a walk and go out for some nice food and drinks with my friends, or for a boogie. The market is so good for independent, affordable restaurants, and there's a huge number of bars and pubs; Chester has one of the highest densities of pubs per head in the UK!"

French and International Development Studies

"One of my favourite places to go in Chester is Storyhouse. It provides a great, relaxed and alternative workspace to the library on campus, whilst its small theatre and cinema spaces have really comfortable and welcoming atmospheres, making them both great choices for quieter evenings out."

English Literature

Student in Chester city centre

Food and Drink

Wander down Chester's cobbled streets and explore cuisines from all over the world. Alongside well-known favourites, the city has a thriving independent food scene - packed full of flavour and suitable for anyone on a budget. Why not try breakfast at Hanky Panky Pancakes, or enjoy happy hour and tapas at Fiesta Havana. At Chester Market, feast your eyes on a vibrant selection of global and local street food, from Thai, Bangladeshi or Mexican, to cheese themed stalls, artisan breads and an ice-cream pudding parlour. Discover even more foodie gems at Chester Vegan Festival and the monthly Taste of Cheshire Market. If cafe culture is your thing, take in the coffee aromas at Jaunty Goat or Bean and Cole - perfect for a study break.

Star Must do: Grab an award-winning pizza at Stile Napoletano – thank us later.


For a unique shopping experience, Chester is your place. Set within Roman walls and lined with black and white Tudor buildings, the city's bustling high street is packed with big brands, designer boutiques and independent stores. Head to Grosvenor Shopping Centre, or venture down the winding side streets and discover a wealth of hidden gems. Browse Chester's oldest record store, source sustainable re-fills at Just Footprints, or find unique reads at Amblongus Books. It's no wonder the city has been voted the second best high street in the UK (The Telegraph, 2022). Finally, don't miss a trip to the UK's largest shopping outlet, Cheshire Oaks, just a 15-minute drive from the heart of the city.

Star Must do: Explore The Rows – half-timbered, 13thcentury buildings hidden above the shop fronts and filled with unique shops, bars and restaurants.


Hit the town and experience Chester's vibrant nightlife. Whether you want quirky bars, lively nightclubs or side-splitting comedy evenings, there's a night out to suit everyone. Find a plethora of music venues showcasing live performances every weeknight, such as Telford's Warehouse, The Live Rooms and Alexander's. For chilled vibes and drinks with friends, the city is abuzz with bars - try Palm or Lono Cove for cocktails with that wow factor, or step into an atmospheric, art-deco style jazz bar at Prohibition - if you can find their secret entrance! If nightclubs are your thing, head to Rosie's or Cruise - and don't miss their weekly student nights. What's more, Chester has been awarded the coveted "Purple Flag" status, which means you can be sure of a safe and thriving nightlife in the city.

Star Must do: Cocktails and an unbeatable playlist at Kuckoo.

Festivals and Events

Get your festival fill with plenty of events throughout the year. From celebrating cinema and literature, to savouring live music and sumptuous street food, you'll be spoilt for choice! Watch the city come alive with festivities, including: Chester International Film Festival, Chester Literature Festival, the Food and Drink Festival and Chester Pride. Not to mention a whole host of festivals on Chester's doorstep, including Rewind Festival, Bluedot and Creamfields.

Star Must do: Watch the Christmas parades and browse Chester Christmas Markets for a festive atmosphere.

People at Chester Christmas market


Set in a 1930s art deco building in the heart of the city, Storyhouse is a cultural centre containing two state-of-the-art theatres, a cinema, library, restaurant and two bars. In this award-winning space, immerse yourself in home-produced and international cultural works, including drama, comedy, music, and dance. On top of that, their cosy workspace is ideal for a study session, especially with the coffee-filled aromas swirling through from the cafe.

Star Must do: Become a Young Storyhouse member for discounts on events, food and films for a fiver.

Sport and Leisure

Enjoy a diverse range of activities that will be sure to keep your weekends jam packed. Along with bowling, cinemas and crazy golf at the Coliseum Leisure Park take up the challenge of cracking secret codes in several of Chester’s escape rooms. If the outdoors calls you, choose from a variety of watersports – cruise the River Dee on a kayak, go river tubing in nearby Llangollen, or try stand up paddleboarding yoga. A short distance away is Delamere Forest, perfect for mountain biking trails, horse riding and Go Ape adventures.

Star Must do: Catch a local sports game at Chester FC or watch Cheshire Pheonix basketball team.

A group of students playing volleyball


Steeped in history, Chester is an impressive mix of Roman foundations and medieval charm. You'll find historical treasures spread around the city - the nearly 2000-year-old city walls, the iconic Eastgate Clock, the black and white Rows and the Roman Gardens. It's well worth a trip to Grosvenor Museum to learn more about local history and see Roman artefacts up close. Chester Cathedral stands impressively in the city centre with its striking architecture and colourful stained-glass windows. Explore its historical grounds, attend its exhibitions and events, or take a tour up 216 steps to the Tower for stunning views across the city. The Cathedral provides a stunning location for our yearly graduate ceremonies - what better backdrop for our graduates to collect their well-deserved degrees?

Star Must do: Walk the Roman walls for incredible views over the city.

River Dee

There's nothing like a stroll along the banks of the River Dee - perhaps with a famous Snugbury's ice-cream in hand. Walking down the Groves promenade, you'll find a selection of cafes, restaurants, pubs, and its own bandstand. Throughout the year, the river comes alive with a variety of thrilling races. Join the riverside festivities for the oldest regatta in the world, the Dee Mile swimming race, the Raft Race and the rubber duck race! Why not explore the river yourself by catching a boat trip, or cruising on a pedalo or paddleboard? It's the perfect place to unwind or chat with friends, so grab a bench and enjoy the picturesque views.

Star Must do: Be an adventurer and take a kayak tour down the river.

Two students on a boat on the River Dee

Outside Spaces

There's no better place to relax than in Grosvenor Park - a beautiful 20-acre green space just across from the River Dee. Meet with friends, relax with a good book, or head to the Belvedere viewing platform for stunning river views. During the summer, Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre puts on incredible productions for an unrivalled outdoor theatre experience. Close to the park are the scenic Roman Gardens where you can stroll around the Roman ruins, and The Meadows for idyllic nature walks by the river and the Duke of Westminster's estate.

Star Must do: Open air cinema nights at Moonlight Flicks in the Roman Gardens.

Chester Zoo

Passionate about wildlife and preventing extinction, Chester Zoo is a conservation and education charity that is home to over 20,000 animals across its 128 acres of award-winning zoological gardens. It’s no surprise it has been voted the UK’s number one zoo and most popular attraction outside London (The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), 2021).

Animals at Chester Zoo