Best sports venues in London in 2023

With 17 professional sports clubs playing in London, including some of the best football teams in the word, London’s sports scene is incredibly vibrant and buzzing. No matter what sports you are into, the city’s got something for everyone. In fact, it is home to some of the globe’s most historic sports venues. From world-class football stadiums to cricket grounds and tennis courts, there are plenty of options to choose from for sports fan. These are some of the most iconic venues.

Wembley Stadium 

Arguably one of the most famous stadiums in the world, Wembley is the heart of English football and has a seating capacity of 90K. Throughout its glorious past, the stadium has hosted several high-profile events, including the UEFA Champions League Final and the Olympic Games. If you’re a full-time London resident, a visit to Wembley is an absolute must.

Emirates Stadium

Staying in the realm of football, (don’t worry, we won’t call it soccer?), Emirates Stadium is the home of Arsenal Football Club, the team that is currently at the top of the Premier League table. This is one of the most modern football stadiums in the world, it can seat 60,000 people and offers a wide range of fascinating hospitality experiences.

Lord’s Cricket Ground 

Cricket might not be the most popular sport in the world, but it’s definitely a trademark of English history and culture. The spiritual home of cricket is known as Lord’s Cricket Ground and is widely regarded as the most prestigious cricket arena in the entire world. The ground has a capacity of 30K and hosts a range of cricket matches from various competitions.

Twickenham Stadium 

Switching from cricket to rugby, our list would not be thorough without Twickenham Stadium, the home of English rugby and a stadium with an impressive capacity of over 82,000. And yes, rugby really is that popular! Six Nations Championship games, along with and the Rugby World Cup can be hosted here.

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club 

Wimbledon is not just the temple of tennis, it is a staple of sports in general. The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, the formal name of the Wimbledon complex, hosts the most iconic tennis tournament in the world. The different arenas have different capacities, but even attending a match on a secondary court, just a few feet away from the world’s best players, can be a surreal experience.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Located in east London and initially built for the 2012 Olympic Games, this world-class sports venue is currently used as a multi-purpose facility. The park itself includes the majestic Olympic Stadium, with a capacity of 60K people. The sporting complex still hosts a range of events, including athletics events, football games, concerts, etc.

Notable mentions: The Kia Oval, London Stadium, O2 Arena, Tooting Bec Lido, Stamford Bridge.

What did we miss? Let us know in the comments!

The best music venues in London  

Saying that London has a lot to offer in terms of leisure and entertainment is definitely an understatement. There are so many things to do and see here that the city’s leisure economy is a massive industry in itself. It is estimated that Londoners spend more than £150 a month on leisure and the total earning of this sector alone amount to almost 10 billion pounds. If you add to this the 2.7 billion pounds spent by international tourists, you can understand why London is an entertainment hub.

Moreover, the city has something for every taste and if you’re into music, these are the most iconic spots that nobody should miss in London, whether you’re a tourist or a local. In other words, no trip to the Big Smoke is complete without visiting at least a few of these places. Music venues here have a long history and a well-known reputation. Overall, there is no shortage of live music and rocking clubs, but you do need to know where to start from, as the complete list is more than overwhelming.


We’ll start with the most obvious candidate, the largest indoor music venue in the city, with room for over 20K people. The glitz and glamour of VIP services and corporate boxes is complemented by the more affordable regular tickets allowing you to see some of the biggest names in music perform live.


Be careful not to confuse the two – this legendary hall opened as theater initially, back in 1929 and is home to the continent’s largest fixed stage. Huge names like Amy Winehouse and Madonna have graced the stage along the years, and despite the 5K-people capacity, the iconic character of the Brixton Academy cannot be denied. 


Opened in 1871 by Queen Victoria herself, this hotspot has been among the top London concert venues ever since. Visitors are always perplexed by the spectacular dome, the particular colour display and the world-class acts that can be enjoyed in a relatively cozy atmosphere of only 5 thousand people or so.


Listening to live classical music here is something of another planet, due to the unique acoustics of this auditorium. The Brutalist architecture might be deterring for some people, but if you’re up for a fine musical experience, this is the place to be. Wigmore Hall is also mostly known for its incredible acoustics and breathtakingly beautiful interior. 


Despite being a working church, Union Chapel regularly hosts world-class artists and award-winning musicians with a diverse range of styles and genres. The impressive Gothic design makes this venue a local favourite and can host almost one thousand people, making the overall vibe quite an intimate one.


This might not be the most evident pairing of venues, but they most excel formidably with respect to jazz music, and have done so for a long time. The former opened in 1959 and has quickly become one of the most famous jazz clubs on the planet, while the latter is newer, having opened its doors in 1992, but has also managed to come close to the same level in a shorter time span.


It used to be a theater, then a cinema, and since 1900, it has promoted some of the most popular British bands and singers of the 20th century. Tiered seating is available, along with standing room, and the variety of music genres performed here range from rock and pop to contemporary dance acts.


Only a 15-minute walk away from Koko, this former engine house built in the 19th century has been of the London’s best venues for performing arts over the ages. The place was thoroughly refurbished in 2006 and enjoys state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, along with unique acoustics. Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears are some of the biggest names to have performed here.


Outdoor concerts are frequent in the summer in both Hyde Park and Victoria Park. BST Hyde Park is a noteworthy annual event hosting several world-class artists, while East London’s Victoria Park is also home to the All Points East Festival, and once hosted Lovebox Festival and Field Day.

Did we miss any notable spots? Let us know!

The real cost of living in UK cities

Today we’re taking a look at the cost of living in the UK’s major cities. If you’re thinking about getting a degree and living in either London, Manchester or Birmingham, then we’ve got you covered with the real cost of living in these cities, up-to-date figures and important comparisons that will help you take the right decision. 


Starting with the biggie, London’s cost of living is currently estimated at around £1K per month, excluding rent, according to Numbeo. While accommodation is clearly among the top expenses of living in the capital of the UK, we have covered this aspect in our article on cheapest rents in London. Moreover, paying for a living space can vary substantially, depending on the number of people being housed, the area, the amenities, etc. Besides accommodation, one of the most important monthly expenses is the money that is spent on food. That is especially valid if you prefer eating out, as an inexpensive meal at a regular restaurant can set you back almost £20, while the cost of a three-course meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant rises up to £70. 

Transportation is another important expenditure for the residents of London, and while the iconic tube is an easy way to get around, people often need to also use other means of public transport. Fares depend on the time and zone, as well as travelcards, but this serves as a good general guide. With regard to utilities, residents usually pay around £200 per month for electricity, cooling, heating, water and garbage services, as well as around £30 for an internet package. Finally, entertainment and leisure obviously depend on what you’re into, but a monthly gym membership will set you back around £40, one seat at a cinema hall costs £14 approximately, while drinking a cocktail in a bar will probably have a £13 price tag attached to it.

2. Birmingham

In the case of the UK’s second largest city, monthly costs for a single person will hover around £670, excluding rent. Everything seems a bit cheaper around here and that is why the cost of living in Birmingham is 34% cheaper than that of London. Monthly utilities are not much cheaper here, but you will clearly see significant changes in costs related to transportation, groceries and leisure. The regular price for a monthly transportation pass does not exceed £60, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant will not cost more than £12, and a three course meal for two people at a good spot will set you back around £50. 

Groceries are somewhat cheaper too, obviously depending on where you choose to do your shopping, but sports and leisure costs significantly less, as a monthly fee for a fitness club is only £25-30 on average, and a ticket to the cinema costs around £10. Going out for drinks is also considerably cheaper, as a beer in the neighbourhood pub is worth £4 and a cocktail in a downtown club comes with an £8 price tag. Seeing that the average salary in Birmingham hovers around £2,370, after tax, the cost of living here is regarded as more than decent. Finally, if you’re looking for a bustling urban vibe, know that Birmingham has the youngest population in Europe, with under 25s representing almost 40% of the total population.

3. Manchester

Moving farther north, Manchester is known for its affordable living, being cheaper than 52% of other Western European cities. Manchester is a liveable city with a modern cosmopolitan vibe and a thriving culture. All this does come at a certain price, but that price is, in fact, approximately 30% lower than in London. Monthly costs for a single person, excluding rent, hover around £740, and while food prices are extremely similar to those of the UK’s capital, there are considerable disparities in other areas, including transportation and entertainment, not to mention housing. 

You will have to pay £70 for a monthly transportation pass, £200 for basic utilities excluding an internet package, and £14 for the average taxi trip. The cost of eating out is not necessarily lower that in other cities, but a cinema seat will only cost you £9 and a monthly gym membership – £25. Your regular pint of beer does not exceed £5 and the price of a cocktail enjoyed in a downtown hotspot will cost about £9. Overall, Manchester is regarded as a big city that comes without London’s price tag, and a student-friendly area. In 2022, Time Out Index named it the least expensive world city, as only 10% of residents believed living there was expensive. 

This information should get you prepared and informed with respect to what you’re signing up for, but don’t forget that students can access substantial maintenance loans that can help with several expenses outside university. Plus, we can help you access these funds!

Top 5 UK cities for students

With regard to the number of international students, the United Kingdom is the third spot among European countries and is ranked sixth in the world. The UK is increasing in popularity to foreign students and despite the Brexit phenomenon, it is still one of the most sought-after global destinations for education. Moreover, seeing that the current population of foreign nationals undergoing university studies in the UK hovers around half a million people, we can safely assert that the high-profile educational prestige of the kingdom is not going anywhere.

In today’s article, we’re taking a look at the cities which foster not only great student populations, but also the best living conditions and opportunities for young people looking to further their education. We’re taking into account a wide array of criteria, ranging from the prestige of universities and the diversity of courses, to leisure, living conditions, safety and all the factors that one could associate with a student’s life. Hence, here’s the five best UK cities for students.

5. Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and is a city that is blessed with natural beauty and top-notch universities. With a large student population, especially compared to its overall size, Edinburgh is a popular choice thanks to social diversity, rich history, spectacular architecture and friendly residents. Communal apartments are quite common, so accommodations does not cost an arm and a leg, and the public transport system is extremely reliable. 

The Scottish capital is regarded as a city that can provide a complete student experience. It is generally affordable and provides students with an amazing nightlife, a variety of employment opportunities and a wealth of cultural events, including the world-famous Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

4. Leeds

Moving to northern England, Leeds is a well-known historical location, buzzing with a rich cultural life and a large student population. Known for its music, sports and arts scene, Leeds presents international students with an appealing experience. In 2022, the city received the highest score in the international student view indicator, a measurement that is based on a survey with over 85K responses. Most of these students appreciated the wealth of restaurants, pubs and leisure venues, all comfortably spaced in a small-town atmosphere. 

Leeds Light Night and Leeds Carnival are major attractions that draw both tourists and residents and enjoying everything the city has to offer is affordable for most people. Moreover, the transport system is reliable, but the urban center is also linked well with other places by means of train and coach services. Finally, what keeps Leeds going is the diverse student population, drawn to the north by world-class higher education institutions.

3. Liverpool

North-western England is home to Liverpool, a city with fantastic universities and great people. Liverpool has the second-highest number of museums, art galleries and parks in the country, and fosters a rich music and arts scene, as it is primarily known for being the birthplace of The Beatles. Boasting consistent transport connections and a generally low cost of living, the city does not only appeal to certain types of students, but is actually called home by around 50K international students  who live in and around the city.

Over the past few years, the demand for places at Liverpool university has constantly been increasing among foreign students and that is mainly because of the international prestige of its institutions. Likewise, people who want to further their studies and obtain qualifications can enjoy the mix of traditional British and vibrant modern culture. Currently, international students make up around 20% of the total student population.

2. Manchester

It’s no wonder England’s second-largest city made it here. Manchester is well-known at a global level thanks to its diverse culture and nightlife, as well as for its Victorian architecture. In a nutshell, Manchester has something for everyone, ranging from culture, arts and major sports teams, to historically significant destinations and world-class universities. In recent years, the city has progressed in some ranking, with students reporting higher levels of quality for a multitude of university programmes. 

The good thing about Manchester is that it is large enough for people to feel the big city vibe and enjoy its opportunities, yet small enough not to overwhelm students with faulty or unreliable transportation networks and a skyrocketing cost of living. People appreciate Manchester’s combination between a sense of community and a multicultural landscape. At the moment, the city boasts one of the largest student populations in Europe.

1. London

Sorry, there’s simply no beating The Big Smoke. This top pick might be quite obvious, and despite being the one of the most expensive cities in the UK, London still attracts people from all over the world, plenty of them looking to get a higher education degree. It is reported that the city has the third ranking among the best cities around the world in certain rankings and the wealth of educational institutions in and around Fog City cannot be overstated. 

19 of London’s universities are regarded as being among the best in the world and the sheer fact that over 300 languages are reported to be spoken in the city attests to the impressive diversity that is appealing to international students. London is also ranked second for employer activity, ensuring that people can find a job, especially with a higher education degree. In the UK’s capital, you can do something new every day and live the experience of a lifetime.

With so many great options, it is more than difficult to choose the right place for you. Obtaining a qualification in any of these cities will substantially improve your career prospects and will provide you with a better understanding of what the labour market needs and wants. If you’re unsure where you want to study or what the best course for you might be, allow us to lend a hand. We’ve literally done it thousands of times before. Contact us for more details!

Your Student Guide to Getting Around London

London is diverse. London is gorgeous. London is weird…in a good way. Despite the 8M+ people living in the capital of the UK, London does not feature in the top 30 largest cities in the world. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not crowded or chaotic, especially around rush hours. As a student in London, we know there’s a lot to look forward to, but queuing up for bus tickets and spending time in the crammed tube won’t be making the list.

Consequently, we’ve designed the ultimate student guide to getting around London. In the following paragraphs, you can find a comprehensive summary of London’s transport opportunities for the city’s student population. Let’s tackle transportation choices and take it one by one.

1. London’s famous tube

There are plenty of efficient underground links and the metro is generally considered to be the fastest and cheapest way to get around the city. There are 9 zones and 11 lines, with zone number 1 covering Central London and the other zones spreading out from the downtown area. Most residents quickly get accustomed to the map of the underground system and have the ability to plan alternative routes on the spot. When it comes to escalators, don’t forget to stand on the right and walk on the left, in order to blend in. 

2. London’s iconic buses 

Double-deckers feature in iconic popular media and sights and are often among the first thing that foreigners think about when mentioning London. They’re not only representative, but they’re also fun to use since they allow quite a lot of sightseeing. Buses are one of the most popular means of transport and they offer students great value. That is because they are cheaper than using the tube, with only £1.50 a ride per ride, but they can take longer and be subject to traffic delays. Finally, many bus routes have 24-hour services. 

3. London’s trains and trams 

The overground train network takes you outside the city and international students can enjoy the various benefits of a 16-25 Railcard which offers discounted fares. Early booking is always a good idea and discounts can help you save around a third of the total cost of your trip. Trams are also a good idea for certain areas of the city, such as the south, with trams working very frequently in Croydon or Wimbledon, for example. The overall tram network has 39 stops and you can expect a tram every 10 minutes or so. If you’re looking to travel to Docklands, East and South-East London, the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) is a great solution.

4. Taxis

London’s famous black taxis are comfortable, but students usually opt for cheaper alternatives. Minicabs, for instance, are especially popular among the student population, since they are not metered, but should be booked beforehand. On the other hand, you can stop Black Cabs anywhere and anytime, but the fares are metered, with a minimum charge of £3.80.

5. London’s river transport

The fantastic view and the opportunity to avoid traffic represent two of the main reasons for using riverboat transportation across the River Thames. With a total network of 23 stops, you can use “Uber boats” in three areas, namely East Zone, Central Zone and West Zone, with fares depending on the area you’re traveling to. If this means of transportation is for you, then buying a River Roamer ticket for one day is much cheaper. 

6. Bicycles

Traveling by bike is the perfect way to save money and get exercise. Central London traffic might prove to be a bit of a headache and you do need to be familiar with the laws, taking care of yourself with a helmet and protecting the bike with a good lock. If you’re also brave enough to put up with the unpredictable weather, biking around can be fun!

Final tips:

  • Rush hours are usually between 06:30 and 09:30 and between 16:00 and 19:00.
  • Getting an Oyster card is essential, as you’ll have plenty of discounts for the tube, bus, and other means of transportation. 
  • Walking is always an option, especially for trips that are not lengthy. Get to know the city by foot!
  • There’s a great travel app that helps you get around London and it’s called Citymapper