What is Southampton Nightlife Like? The Best Places To Visit

University has, for a long time now, been seen as the time for students (now away from their parents for the most part) to discover what nightlife has to offer. Pubs, clubs, live music and more provide social experiences – some great, some not so great but equally unforgettable.  

Within this blog we will go over some of Southampton’s best spots for those memorable nights out for students. Listing a variety of places to accommodate for the different types of student looking to find those who are like-minded. 

Thankfully, Southampton’s nightlife hotspots are relatively close together – most are to be found between Portswood and the city center, leaving only around a thirty minute walk between the places which are furthest apart and allowing navigation from place to place easily.  

Southampton nightlife

1. The Hobbit

The general favourite, or at least the nightlife spot most frequently brought up in discussion, is certainly The Hobbit. Despite being a pub rather than a bar or a club, it’s still definitely a great place to visit. It’s themed around the Lord of the Rings and based close to Portswood,

The Hobbit is not only very conveniently placed in the midst of one of Southampton’s busiest areas but it also serves a fun mix of unique drinks at surprisingly fair prices.  

It’s a good place to start for students who are wanting to drink without having to spend ridiculous amounts, and with some of their drinks being made with the intent of sharing, it can also serve as a good social icebreaker to begin with when making friends on nights out.

For the quieter amongst the readers, this one comes with a particular recommendation – it’s quite laid back and easy to just socialize over drinks if that’s the nightlife experience you’re searching for. 


Address: 134 Bevois Valley Rd, Southampton SO14 0JZ

2. Jesters 

Another frequently mentioned place is Jesters, this one more so for intense nights out rather than for sitting and talking with friends over drinks as you would at the Hobbit.

In fact, the phrase ‘Jesters’ Shoes’ has even become popularly known and frequently used to describe a pair of cheap and comfortable shoes bought to be destroyed by the sticky drink residue and crazy dancing. 

They also offer a Gold Card, acquired by attending the club six nights in a row or staying there for more than twelve hours in one visit (though this amount of time sometimes changes to eight hours…). What does this Gold Card allow? It gives you free entry and the ability to jump queues for a full year, which is a great bonus for any (potential) regulars to the club. Do keep in mind though – it is a particular kind of challenge, that is only for the most devoted – do not risk your health and sacrifice your sleep for the sake of a Gold Card. 

Jesters is further infamous for its two-bicle, a cubicle in the ladies toilets that has two toilets rather than the usual one. It sounds odd, but the majority of those who have used it praise the two-bicle as an odd place where you can find out who your real friends are in your time of drunken need.


Address: 114-118 Bevois Valley Rd, Southampton SO14 0JZ

3. Switch

The club closest to the city centre is Switch, which has is known for its great music, neon lighting and friendly staff. 

Switch hosts weekly club nights like Projekt and FRESH Fridays as well as hosting big-name DJ’s and artists.

It’s for sure a popular place for students in the city to party it up in Southampton! 



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Address: 127 Above Bar St, Southampton SO14 7FN

4. The 1865

For those more interested in live music, The 1865 is a great place provided they’re playing something that you’re interested in. Drinks are  fairly priced (perhaps not quite as expensive as you’d expect in a live music venue), but the focus is on the live performances or the events happening more so than the drinking.

The 1865 has a good variety of gigs and events happening, so there is likely to be something interesting to anyone, and the intimacy of the venue is what sets it apart from most other live music places as the standing floor only allows for around 700 people.

The sound is fantastic, and you’re bound to meet some like-minded people when attending a show thanks to that intimacy.

It’s a really good place for those interested in music!



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Address: Brunswick Square, Southampton SO14 3AR

5. The Engine Rooms

The Engine Rooms is an independent venue quite similar to The 1865, hosting live music and nightclub events. Whilst smaller in size, it gives a similarly intimate feel for its live shows and provides an excellent atmosphere for both gigs and nights out.

They even host Bingo Lingo if you fancy getting competitive in a lively game of bingo!

There is a limited range of drinks available so you won’t have too many bevvies to decide upon, making it that much easier to choose. 

The sound system and staging makes up for all this, so if you’re looking for a place to go for a concert or an event after dark, add The Engine Rooms to your list. It’s only a ten-minute walk away from the Westquay Shopping Centre too!

So, if you’re fancying a bite to eat or a mooch about before experiencing what the Southampton nightlife has to offer you’ll have tons of options. 


Address: West Quay Road Industrial Estate, W Quay Rd, Southampton SO15 1GZ

6. Popworld 

Finally, let’s talk about one more club – Popworld. This is a club that isn’t afraid of embracing the cheesiness often associated with the clubbing experience by playing the new and classic songs that you and all of your friends can sing along to with embarrassed, red faces. 

There are frequent events like Lollipop which takes place every Thursday and coincides with deals, and the custom drinks are often covered in sparklers and bursting colors that only add to that mix of cheesy fun and style!

For those who are looking for a fun club experience that allows you to feel a little silly and let loose, Popworld is one of the best that Southampton has to offer.

It’s a little further out of the way than most other Southampton nightlife spots, but many would tell you that it’s worth the extra walking or taxi fare. 


Address: Lower Bannister Street, Southampton SO15 2EH

And so, here concludes our brief exploration of the nightlife that Southampton has to offer to its student population.

What’s more to say? There is a strong mix of places to go and things to do in Southampton.

Those with varied interests can all find their own place – those who want a quieter experience will likely find themselves at The Hobbit. Whilst the party animals will likely be on their tenth pair of Jesters’ shoes after a month of owning their Gold Card and the musically-minded will find themselves huddled in The 1865 getting perhaps a little too close to the person in front.  

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