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The 22 best things to do in Sheffield

From green spaces to a bustling culinary scene, if you want to explore the Steel City, here are the best things to do in Sheffield right now.

Rob Martin
Daniel Dylan Wray
Written by
Rob Martin
&
Daniel Dylan Wray
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There’s a symmetry to Sheffield’s industrial past and cultural present that’s more distinctive than in most cities. When Sheffield’s steel industry was at its height, the pollution generated by the factories meant that suburban developers took to the surrounding hills to create places to live, breathe and enjoy — and from there modern Sheffield slowly took shape.

Those Victorian parks make it one of the UK’s greenest cities while the regeneration of its factories makes it one of the most interesting. These days, the former factories house Sheffield’s thriving arts, cultural and culinary destinations, while you can venture hillside for parks, gardens, independent shops, restaurants and bars. It’s a city that has all the usual offerings of the modern bustling metropolis but also is also filled with areas of tranquility and real beauty. 

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Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.

Best things to do in Sheffield

What is it? An independent cinema, café bar and creative workspace housed in a former 1930s car showroom. 

Why go? An amazing film programming, always showing the finest new releases in cinema from across the world. Not to mention film classes, screenings of classics and the Showroom plays home to a variety of festivals including the acclaimed Sheffield Doc/Fest. Its ‘take two’ deal is a must: two film tickets, two meals and a bottle of wine for £40.

What is it? A map that connects all of Sheffield's greenspaces in the city. 

Why go? From ancient woodland to public parks to peatland bog, a whopping 61 percent of Sheffield is green space. This handy map connects it all, meaning it's an excellent resource for planning walks in and around the city. 

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What is it? Sheffield’s best fine dining restaurant offers exquisite cuisine in a classic, exposed brick setting in the city’s leafy suburbs. Taster menus with matched wines offer the full sumptuous experience.

Why go? Because you’ll enjoy among the best food and wine in the city and while it’s not cheap, you’ll be there for hours. Vegetarians are well catered for too. Go on, give your taste buds a treat.

What is it? Sheffield’s finest theatre combines visiting productions – from the likes of the National Theatre – with an impressive in-house programme.

Why go? The quality of productions at The Crucible is second to none and its innovative design keeps all 900-plus members of the audience intimately close to the action on stage.

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What is it? A beautiful 1920s Grade II listed cinema that has been long-neglected but is now in the process of renovation. It puts on an eclectic programme of film screenings and live events.

Why go? You may well go to be impressed by the magnificent space but it’s the clever mix of events that will bring you back. Enjoy yourself while supporting a great building’s restoration to its former glory.

What is it? A legendary venue, primarily known for music, that has been a stalwart of the performance scene in Sheffield since the early 1980s and continues to present a great line-up of live events.

Why go? It’s not just Sheffield’s best live music venue – it hosts cinema, comedy and club nights too, in what was once a flour mill. Not a lead mill. Plus Jarvis Cocker once directed a panto there.

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What is it? A Kiwi-inspired café with a tasty menu of light bites and mains to go with its own blend of coffee, as well as other, carefully sourced brews.

Why go? The coffee is great – the café even holds coffee-tasting classes – and the setting, inside a former cutlery factory, is charming. It has fantastic cakes and a good kids’ menu too. You can start your weekend there on a Friday night when its opening hours extend to 10pm.

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What is it? An iconic national park 

Why go? It contains some of the most beautiful scenery, walks and places to visit in all of the UK. And it is on Sheffield’s doorstep. A short car, bus or train journey and you are amongst stunning beauty.

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What is it? The largest food hall in the north of England. 

Why go? Step inside this old converted cutlery works to sample an array of different food and drink options. From sushi to pizza, Mexican to Thai, there’s options for all tastes.

What is it? An independent record shop.  

Why go? It’s well-stocked, thoughtfully designed for maximum browsing space, and you’ll come across the odd intimate gig in store.

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What is it? A market of street food, craft beer and live music. 

Why go? For the award-winning grub, the huge selection of drinks, and the bands, artists and DJs that play into the evening.

Hungry for a taste of the best eats in town?

  • Restaurants

This student city has a varied food and drink scene that caters for all budgets – you can find street food, sourdough bakeries and even a fine dining restaurant in a shipping container. Here’s our guide to the best joints in town.

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