Bangor Student Guide
Bangor is located in Gwynedd in North West Wales and is between the mountains of Snowdonia and the sea. It is one of the smallest cities in the United Kingdom and has the distinction of being Wales’ oldest city. Bangor has a population of roughly 19,000 – which includes around 11, 000 students. The location, the scenery and the surrounding area are amongst the reasons why many students choose to come here.
The new multi-million pound Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre is the biggest arts and entertainment venue in North West Wales. The ambitious centre is set to be a major social hub for students as well as an internationally significant centre for learning, innovation and the performing arts (See more – Performing Arts Degrees). In addition to providing a new base for the Students’ Union, the exciting new centre houses a theatre, studio theatre, cinema, lecture theatres, restaurant, bar and cafe. A full programme of events such as music, drama, aerial theatre, comedy, film and a range of other activities are held in the Pontio centre.
There are plenty of museums in Bangor, the most prevalent of which is the Gwynedd Museum & Art Gallery and Amgueddfa Gwynedd Museum, both of which offer a rich and vibrant culture for university students looking to learn more about Bangor and to see the very best in art.
Have any famous people lived in Bangor? Well, there are a few well-known celebrities from Bangor including; Wayne Hennessey, Tom Ellis, Cai Griffiths and the singer Duffy.
There is a number of different places for one to visit in Bangor for nightlife (See more – Best universities for nightlife, rated by students). A couple of nights out in Bangor are fairly cheap. We’ve found a number of places including:
Peep Nightclub – Bangor’s most popular nightclub and a must-visit for the party animals in Bangor.
Also is Varsity – which is a bar and grill and another very popular haunt within Bangor and probably one the most innovative places you’ll visit in Bangor.
Thursday, Academi is the official student nightclub, is a ‘safe space’ club and provides a focus for the night time entertainment and general socialising. Academi also works alongside the Students’ Union to organise one of the biggest events of the year – the annual Summer Ball which always provides amazing entertainment and activities. Bar Uno, situated on the Ffriddoedd student village and Barlow’s, on the St Mary’s student village, are other popular venues for students.
In terms of activities within Bangor, there’s a wide range of things to do including water sports and football. These form the backbone of the sporting culture of Bangor, students looking to take part in sport at university, will have a field day in Bangor!
Bangor’s unique location also means that there are many clubs that make the most of the area’s mountains, lakes, rivers and coastline. Even if you’re not the outward-bound type there’s still plenty to explore in the surrounding area. You can visit historical towns such as Beaumaris, Conwy and Caernarfon (all with their own castles) or scenic villages like Llanberis, Beddgelert and Betws y Coed. The beaches on the nearby island of Anglesey are popular spots for sunbathing and swimming and if you fancy a trip further afield to Ireland, then Holyhead’s the departure point for day trips to Dublin.
Good road and rail connections along the north Wales coast mean you can easily visit the Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno, and even Chester and Liverpool for shopping trips or nights out further afield. Heading in the opposite direction, you’ll find popular destinations such as Portmeirion and Abersoch on the Llŷn peninsula – which host well-known music festivals, Festival No. 6 and Glass Butter Beach. There are also a few festivals held in Bangor too. Radio One’s Big Weekend was held in Bangor in 2010, but since then there has also been the Open House Festival and the Bangor Music Festival, which has only grown more and more as the years have gone by.
Bangor is conveniently located. There are good road links to Bangor along the north Wales coast from the M56 and M6 and direct trains from London (3.5 hours), Manchester and Cardiff. The ferry service from nearby Holyhead to Ireland is also fast and frequent. Bus services are of course run as standard, and the nearest international airport is some 83 miles away…in Liverpool (See more – Liverpool student city guide).
Bangor has it's very own old-school drive-in Cinema, showing new releases and old classics. The cinema is open from June and closes in September.
If you and your friends fancy getting out of the university accommodation, then perhaps camping could be of interest to you. Bangor has many campsites and some areas charges as little at £7.50 to pitch a tent. Whether you go fishing, play golf or just want to relax and chill out with your mates, then camping could be a great shout!