City Guide

Things to Do in Leeds

Ben Maples  · Jul 12th 2024
Leeds city centre with river and modern buildings

Leeds is one of the largest cities in the UK and is the largest city in West Yorkshire and is home to four universities.

In this guide, we will show you the various things to do in Leeds.

Things to do in Leeds


One of the biggest cities in West Yorkshire, Leeds is also one of the most popular places to study as well. With a rough population of 751,500 according to the most recent figures, making it one of the most densely populated areas in the UK.


Part of the university experience is the nightlife that the city offers and everything in between. We’ve compiled a list of three places that we think will keep you entertained while you’re staying in Leeds, we believe you might just want to come back every single time to these events.

First up, we have PRYZM>, which has long since been a favourite nightclub for students. On Monday’s they have a particularly enticing offer which is £1 drinks and £1 entry (As long as you’re on the guest list, which you can do easily). We cannot recommend PRYZM enough for you! Secondly, we have Hifi Club, which is a mixture of a live music event venue and a comedy club, all of which will appeal to you as they have the very best live performances here. If you enjoy live DJ sets or your stand-up comedy, then this is most definitely the place for you without a doubt. Thirdly, we have The Warehouse, which runs as both a nightclub and creative arts space as well. The nightclub has everything that you could want from a club with live music and enticing drinks, it’s all here for you, and we cannot recommend it highly enough for you.

Leeds has a wide variety of things to offer people looking to learn more and more about the city, and it’s rich and cultured history. The Leeds City Museum is one such place that we recommend as it has everything that you could need to learn everything about the city. Other museums include the Abbey House Museum, the Leeds Art Gallery or Temple Newsam all of which are affordable and accessible to the public.

Leeds offers a wide variety of cinemas too if you’re looking to see some of the latest and greatest that Hollywood has to offer. Leeds offers everything from Vue Cinemas and Everyman Cinemas, which have tiered seating and allow for a more comfortable cinema viewing experience. However, if you’re looking for some more independent feature films, then we recommend joining one of the city’s many film societies.

Leeds has a lot of things for you to do while you’re there. If you’re looking into going to some festivals while you’re there, then we recommend the Leeds Festival which features some of the very best in music right now performing every year, which is very similar to Chelmsford/Staffordshire’s V Festival! Grab your tickets while you can, though, this sells out very quickly indeed.


As Leeds is one of the biggest cities in the UK, which means the transportation system in the city is very good.

The main train station in the UK is Leeds Railway Station. The city has a number of different services running through the station, such as West Yorkshire Metro and Northern Trains. The station is considered to be one of the busiest stations in the UK outside of London. The station travels to most of the major cities in the UK.

The main bus service providers in the UK are coordinated by West Yorkshire Metro, with the bus service being the most prevalent form of transport in the city. The main bus providers in the city are Arriva Yorkshire and First Leeds, National Express also operates in the city as well and provides a cheaper alternative for those looking to travel further afield. There are also services provided by Harrogate Bus Company, Keighley Bus Company and the Yorkshire Coastliner Service.

The city does also have a major international airport in the city as well, which is Leeds Bradford International Airport, which is located in Yeadon. The airport has flights that go to destinations in the UK and to a number of international destinations as well. There is also a direct train service from Leeds to Manchester Airport in Manchester as well.

Things to do with kids in Leeds

Universities in the City

There are four universities in the city.

The University of Leeds was formed in 1831 as the Leeds School of Medicine, and after a few rebrands, it received university status in 1904. The university is also a part of the coveted Russell Group of Universities.

The student body is represented by the Leeds University Union and is affiliated with the National Union of Students (NUS) and students are therefore eligible for the TOTUM Card. The union was also one of the founding members of the Aldwych Group as well, who represent the students' unions of the members of the Russell Group. The union has won a number of individual awards for how the union is run over the years, in 2008, it became the first university union to achieve Gold Status in the Students' Union Evaluation Initiative (SUEI), which has only be replicated by the University of Sheffield and their union.

The university has its own newspaper, The Gryphon (which was formerly known as the Leeds Student), and it is published every term-time Friday. The content for the paper is provided by students and the paper itself has won multiple awards in its time. There is also a student radio station called Leeds Student Radio and a TV station called Leeds Student Television (LSTV).

Like a lot of universities, the university competes regularly in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) League. The university competes in the annual Christie Cup, which features universities from a number of cities and is one of the oldest inter-university competitions, second only to the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford rivalry.

The city’s second university is Leeds Beckett University, which was established in 1824 as the Leeds Mechanics Institute and rebranded in 1992 as Leeds Beckett University after receiving university status.

The student body of Leeds Beckett University is represented by the Leeds Beckett Students Union, which is affiliated with the NUS.

The sports clubs at the university are represented by The Athletic Union, which is separate from the student union, but still works closely with them. The university shares a friendly sporting rivalry with the University of Leeds and competes against them in varsity and non-varsity sporting events regularly.

Leeds Trinity University was established in 1966 and was given university status in 2012. The university refurbished and re-opened their sports centre in 2007 and a number of 3G all weather pitches for football and hockey. In fact, local football team AFC Horsforth train on the pitch every single Saturday.

The University of Law has no fixed campus and is based in a number of different cities, however, they also maintain a campus in the city of Leeds as well.

Things to do with family in Leeds


Leeds was initially developed as a marketing town in the Middle Ages and was established to help with the local agricultural economy. The city’s main production was woollen cloth and white broadcloth.

The city had a fairly unremarkable history until the Industrial Revolution, which saw the city become one of the biggest handlers of trade in England. The town began to produce other elements as well, such as textiles.

In 1834, the city’s extensive railway lines were constructed and began to develop easy access routes to Hull, Liverpool and Manchester. The settlement of Leeds didn’t become a city until 1893.

During World War II, Leeds was established as one of the primary manufacturing cities of munitions and military uniforms. The city was attacked nine times by the Nazis in World War II. As Lancaster Bombers were also manufactured nearby to Leeds, it quickly became a second focal point for the Luftwaffe. The city’s main museum, the Leeds City Museum was heavily damaged, and resulted in the loss of a number of priceless artifacts.


There is an awful lot of sport in the city and the city represents all of the major national sports.

In terms of Rugby League, the city has the Leeds Rhinos, who are the most successful team in the city and even won four successive Super League Titles, making them the first club to have ever done it.

With Rugby Union, the foremost team is Yorkshire Carnegie, who play in the RFU Championship, after they were relegated from the Guinness Premiership in 2011. Other Rugby Union clubs in the city include Otley RUFC, who play in the National League 2 North andMorley RFC, who play in the National DIvision Three North.

When it comes to Association Football, Leeds United are the most well-known team and one of the most well known teams in the country, in fact, though Guiseley AFC and Farsley Celtic do also come within the city’s limits as well. Leeds United were formed in 1919 and play at Elland Road Stadium.

The city’s main Cricket stadium is Headingley, which is the home to Yorkshire County Cricket Club, the most successful cricket team in the country. Yorkshire County Cricket Club has won 33 County Championships (although, they did share one of them) and share a fierce rivalry with Lancashire County Cricket Club.

Who’s from Leeds?

There are numerous famous people from Leeds as well including Ralph Ineson, Gemma Whelan, Matthew Lewis, Peter O’Toole, Angela Griffin and Christian Cooke.

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