What Is Student Life In Stirling Like? 10 Things To Do

Stirling is a city in central Scotland which is steeped in rich history and culture, with plenty of things to do and see from museums to galleries to historical sites to so much more. 

There’s the likes of Stirling Castle, The Stirling Distillery as well as The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum so, whatever you’re into, you’ll fit right in whilst studying in this city located on the River Forth. 

With a student population of just under 20,000 you’re bound to make friends for life and make amazing memories during your student years in this stunning city. 

Without further ado, discover the top 10 things to do whilst living in student accommodation in Stirling… 

things to do Stirling

1. Visit Stirling Castle 

If you want to make the most of living in this Scottish city, one of the top things to do is to visit the historical Stirling Castle.

Dating back to at least the 12th century, Stirling Castle is one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland. 

Perched atop a hill and offering stunning views of the city from the rooftop, the castle is a must-visit whilst studying here. 

As you take a visit, you can wander around the Great Hall, the largest mediaeval banqueting hall ever built in Scotland, discover over 900 years of history in the castle exhibition and wander around the beautiful Queen Anne Gardens.

Once you’re done soaking up Stirling’s impressive history, you can head to the Unicorn Café, which offers hot and cold drinks as well as tasty food. 


Address: Castle Wynd, Stirling FK8 1EJ

2. Head To The National Wallace Monument 

The National Wallace Monument is one of Stirling’s most famous landmarks, located on the shoulder of the Abbey Craig, a hilltop overlooking the city.

The 67 metre tower honours Scotland’s National Hero, William Wallace, who led his troops to victory at The Battle of Stirling Bridge. 

As you climb up the 246-step spiral staircase to the top of the tower overlooking the surrounding countryside, you will be transported back in time to the 13th century. 

Take in the amazing panoramic views, learn more about the life of Sir William Wallace and his fight for Scottish independence.

If you’re looking for things to do, The National Wallace Monument is fantastic and they even offer student tickets so you can save some money! 


3. Tickle Your Tastebuds At Stirling Distillery

Stirling Distillery is a small family-run distillery creating handcrafted gins and whiskeys in the shadow of Stirling Castle. 

When it comes to things to do, this award winning Distillery is a top choice, offering gin and whiskey experiences which will take you through the history of Stirling’s first legal distillery, followed by a tasting tour.

They also provide weekly masterclasses where you can create your very own gin, or you can head to the distillery gift shop to take home a bottle of gin or whiskey made on-site! 


Address: 9 Lower Castlehill, Stirling FK8 1EN

4. Discover The Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum

The Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum showcases Stirling’s rich history and cultural heritage, from art and archaeology to local history and natural science.

The Victorian museum and art gallery was founded in 1874 by the artist Thomas Stuart Smith and houses over 40,000 objects and artworks that celebrate the people, heritage and culture of this Scottish city. 

With two galleries hosting temporary exhibitions, no two visits are the same so make sure to experience it for yourself. 

The best part is, it’s the only free attraction in Stirling so you don’t need to stretch your student budget further for a good day out! 


Address: 40 Albert Pl, Stirling FK8 2RQ

5. Explore Stirling Old Town Jail 

For something a little different to do, explore the Stirling Old Town Jail, a top-rated independent attraction in the heart of the city. 

Built in 1847 and serving as a prison for over 140 years, the Stirling Old Town Jail is today a popular tourist attraction and museum. 

As you step inside, you can take part in the tours and Scene of the Crime Exhibition which allow you to explore the dark history of crime and punishment, and learn about the lives of the prisoners who were once held there. 

For the adrenaline seekers out there, there’s two immersive escape rooms where you and your friends can search for clues and try to break free from the real Victorian prison within the 60 minute time slot!



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Address: St John St, Stirling FK8 1EA

6. Walk Along Stirling Bridge 

Stirling Old Bridge is a stone bridge spanning the River Forth which dates back to the late 15th century, replacing the timber bridges which stood before.

Upon taking a visit to one of the most important crossing points in Scotland, you can walk in the footsteps of key historical figures, William Wallace and Andrew De Moray. 

For history fanatics, there are guided tours to discover more about the Guardians of Scotland and The Battle of Stirling Bridge. a significant victory for the Scots over the English army during the First War of Scottish Independence, taking place on September 11th 1297. 

If you’re not wanting to get involved with a tour, even walking across the Old Stirling Bridge and taking in the sights is an experience, and you can get some great Insta-pics too! 


7. Watch A Show At Macrobert Arts Centre

For things to do in Stirling, we urge you to take a visit to Macrobert Arts Centre, a multi-arts venue located at the University of Stirling camps. 

Central Scotland’s leading arts venue, The Macrobert has over 400 live performances including comedy, dance, music, opera, art exhibitions, as well as a year round cinema programme. 

Inside the modern 135-seat cinema you can watch the latest film releases of blockbusters, arthouse movies, classics, documentaries and world cinema. Whatever you’re up for watching, they’ve got you covered! 

You can even make an evening out of it with your flatmates and get some food and drinks from the Macrobert Cafe Bar before you enjoy a live show or cinema experience. 


Address: University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA

8. Enjoy Some Drinks At Meraki 

Whilst living in Stirling you’ll be able to make the most of a vibrant social scene with plenty of bars, pubs, and restaurants to suit all tastes. 

If you’re wanting to head out for a few tipples with your friends then we highly recommend Meraki, Stirling’s leading cocktail bar. 

Situated on King Street, this quirky venue serves up exquisite cocktails, fondue and tapas in an intimate setting so you can toast to the good times with your friends. 

Our tipple of choice has to be The Cordelia, a Tequila Cocktail with Patron, blackberry, elderflower, grapefruit, lime and smoked rosemary. 

Open 7 days a week until late, this wee bar is one of the best drinking destinations in the city so be sure to check it out! 



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Address: 79 King St, Stirling FK8 1BN

9. Have A Meal At Brea Restaurant 

For somewhere to indulge in some tasty Scottish food, we’d urge you to try Brea Restaurant.

Situated on Castle House, this award winning restaurant serves local produce freshly made from gourmet burgers to seafood, steak to Haggis to Scottish cheese boards. 

If you fancy a few drinks with your dinner (who wouldn’t) they also have a large selection of Scottish spirits, ciders and craft beers for you to choose from. 

Whether you’re heading out for a meal with your flatmates for a mid-week treat, or to celebrate a special occasion, this foodhub won’t disappoint with mouth-watering flavours, friendly service and affordable prices! 


Address: Castle House, 5 Baker St, Stirling FK8 1BJ

10. Shop Around Made In Stirling 

We couldn’t finish off this post with things to do in this buzzing city without mentioning Made In Stirling.

For the shopaholics out there, this award-winning marketplace is the city’s go to space for creatives with an array of vibrant products on offer from local artists. 

There’s everything from calendars to jewellery to cards to wooden crafts to ceramics to prints on offer so you can buy a unique gift for someone or treat yourself to something nice. 

This show and sell concept store also features artist-led workshops which you can get involved with to have some fun and learn something new! 


Address: 44 King St, Stirling FK8 1AY

Stirling is a city which is known for its stunning scenery, rich cultural heritage, and natural beauty with so many things to do and see.

We hope this guide has been useful in finding out more about student life in this wee city with a huge array of activities! 

If you’re wanting this summer to go out with a bang, check out our post on the Top UK Festivals 2023: LineUps, When, Where & How To Get Tickets.

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