Reading City Guide


Photo Credit: ChrisD90

Reading is a fun, cool city right in the heart of Berkshire! The city is known for its exciting atmosphere and buzzing nightlife. You’ll find plenty of students here, this is a great place to spend your uni life!

If you’re new to the city, our Reading city guide will help you find your feet and experience the best of it.


Getting Around

Reading is quite an easy city to get around, with most amenities located in the city centre. Most of the main clubs and pubs are within walking distance of each o40-minutepan>

Reading has got three university campuses, with the Whiteknights campus being the biggest. To get to here from the city centre, it’s about a 40-minute walk. You can hop on the 21 Claret bus though, which will get you there in about 14 minutes. This will also take you to the Greenlands campus, which is right next door.

The London Road campus is only a short walk from the city centre, you won’t need a bus to get here

If you need to get a taxi, there are taxi ranks in the city centre and each journey shouldn’t cost you much more than a fiver.

TIP: Renting a bike is a great way to get around Reading. Keep an eye out for bike renting stations!


Things to do

Reading has got loads for you to see and do.  Reading is known for its gorgeous scenery and lively nightlife. Its large student population means that loads of places cater to the student lifestyle (and budget!).

The first thing you’ll notice in Reading is its winding rivers and canals. The river Thames runs through Reading and gives the town its distinctive look! Have a wander around the rivers, it’s a great way to explore the city! Or better still, take a walk down the Thames Path! It’s a lovely riverside walk and is the perfect way to introduce yourself to Reading!

If you’re looking to see a little bit of history, check out Reading Abbey! It’s a stunning Abbey that’s over 900 years old! Although it’s officially a ruin now, it’s still worth a visit; Learn about its long history!

If you fancy seeing a little more history, check out Reading Museum! It’ll give you a full history of the town as well as the surrounding areas. Hey, you’re gonna be here three years, so get to know a bit about the place!

For something totally different, why not check out the Cole Museum of Zoology? They’ve got a wide range of animal skeletons to have a look at and even have their own whale skeleton!

Fancy seeing some greenery? Reading has got loads of great parks for you to go and see. Caversham Court Gardens is a great place to spend the afternoon and even has a gazebo overlooking the Thames (great for a quick Instagram pic!). Other great parks are Kings Meadow and Prospect Park, with the latter being the perfect spot to take your parents when they come up to visit!

If you’re looking for somewhere to wet your whistle, Reading has got loads of great bars! The Purple Turtle is a cool bar to check out with mates. It has a stunning interior and has two floors for you to explore. The Great Expectations bar is a gorgeous place to grab a drink. The building looks awesome from the outside, with the inside offering up a cosy, yet cosmopolitan feel. Koala is another great spot to check out, perfect for an after-lecture pint!

If you’re looking for something a little more lively, Reading has tons of cool clubs for you to check out. Smash is the perfect spot to kick the night off in. It’s filled with neon lights and many tasty drinks for you to try! Want to see some live music? Head to Sub89. They often have live gigs on, perfect for anyone who’s partial to the odd mosh-pit now and then! If you’re still not satisfied, head to The Face Bar, this place has got a reputation for hosting wild gigs! It’s definitely a great place to Rock fans!  If you’re looking a good club atmosphere, check out Matchbox. This cosy club is perfect for busting shapes with your mates! For the ultimate club experience in Reading, head to the Q Club. It’s got fire-breathers, great pyrotechnics and 3 floors of awesome music. This is the go-to place in Reading. It’s a very popular place with students. This will likely be the place where you spend your Saturday nights!

If you fancy grabbing a coffee, there are a handful of great places to check out. Workhouse Coffee is a quirky little café with a rustic interior. Tamp Culture Coffee is a hipster-style café; perfect for a relaxing cuppa and chill. Want to grab a little brunch with your java? Head to Café Yolk for a tasty espresso and a stack of pancakes! This place is a favourite among locals and will likely soon be your favourite as well!

Photo Credit: Afta Putta Gunawan

Are you a footy fan? Catch a game at Madejski Stadium and see Reading FC battle it out in the Championship! This team is one of the oldest in the UK, so keep the Royals name alive in 2018! Reading is a great team to watch and has even made it into the Premier League a few times here and there! Make sure you don their iconic blue striped kit as well!


Eating Out

Reading is a decent-sized city, so you’ll find all the major restaurant chains here. The Oracle shopping centre has lots of restaurant chains to eat at as well as a few independent places.

Looking to grab a slice of pizza with mates after a lecture? Head to Franco Manca. It’s great value and is known for its delicious sourdough pizzas! Looking for some Mexican food? Pop into Mission Burrito! Its got loads of tasty central American dishes!

For something a little different, go to Global Café. This place serves up tasty Ethiopian dishes and often hosts events towards the end of the evening. It’s a great place to spend all night at!

For vegetarians and vegans, Valpy is your home. They’ve got a great range of dishes for you to try!



Reading has got loads of great shops you can visit. It’s got tons of range, from mainstream brands to quirky vintage shops. Whatever you fancy, you’ll be able to find it here!

The Oracle is the main shopping centre in Reading. This place will have most of what you need; it’s filled with all the big clothes brands. Broad Street Mall is the other main shopping centre in Reading, but that one is a little smaller than The Oracle.

Photo Credit: Uli Harder

Reading also has lots of shops in the city centre for you explore. If you head for The Oracle, you’ll find most of the main shops around that area.

If you’re looking to pick up some vintage gear, the incredibly named Frock&Roll is a cool place to check out. Georgia’s Vintage Couture is another great place to check out if you’re looking for 50s style clothes!



Students in Reading are quite spread out over the city. You’ll have a lot of choices here.

Cemetery Junction and Wokingham road are good areas to live in for students. Wokingham road is the more popular one out of the two.

Reading is a little unusual though, you won’t find as many “student bubbles” here as much as other cities. On the plus side though, this gives you more choice to explore different areas and see what works best for you!

Looking for accommodation in Reading? Search thousands of rooms, right here.