Sat remotely on the blustery Scottish coast of Fife, St Andrews has the country’s oldest university, and is the spiritual home of golf.

It's a small town so it is impossible to get lost, but there's still plenty to see and do. With three beaches and beautiful historic buildings, there is no shortage of sights to see. Brilliant pub culture with a great selection, from classy drinks to Celtic-style pubs, and you can find live music playing somewhere most nights of the week. The small size means the community feel is fantastic, and you will bump into someone you know every time you walk through town. Very safe, and rightly described as 'The Bubble' because it is such a unique place (and a bubble you never want to leave!). (Third year student, University of St Andrews)

What St Andrews is famous for...

 

Golf

St Andrews is considered the birthplace of golf, and a mecca for fans and players alike. The Old Course is the oldest course in the world..

St Andrews nightlife, according to students

Contrary to popular belief, St Andrews has a nightlife! With so many students in one place, there are always plenty of house parties and 'pres'. We also have some great bars and clubs. The Vic and The Rule have more of a party atmosphere. [St Andrews Brewing Co] and Aikmans are chill, but a good time. The main bar and Club 601 in the union are always busy – St Andrews' unique 'Pablo' drinks are a must-try. We also have lots of balls, which are definitely not as formal as they sound – some of my best nights out have been at balls (definitely improved by the abundance of free food). Also, we have a free night bus service. Every half hour there is a free coach which stops at all uni halls and near student accommodation, keeping you safe (and warm!) as you travel to/from town. (University of St Andrews student)

Will and Kate

Possibly the town’s most famous alumni, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met while at university here.

St Andrews University

St Andrews nightlife, according to students

St Andrews has a ton of pubs spread over the three main streets. This means the nightlife is very centralised, and people are constantly seeing friends. (Second year student, University of St Andrews)

Grisly history

There's a reason St Andrews has a few ghost stories to tell. The castle, and the bottle dungeon below it, has seen plenty of torture and murder.

St Andrews Castle

Student life in St Andrews

Local gems, tips, and things to do, as recommended by students.
Low on cash
There is a cheap driving range in walking distance from the town. Going to Tailend for fish and chips, and watching the sunset in Castle Sands, is a popular date choice in the summer months. (Third year student, University of St Andrews)
Treat yourself
Cocktails at The Räv or The Adamson are really fancy, or if you're looking for a classier pint, Brew Co or The Criterion are great. (Third year student, University of St Andrews)
Friday night out
Every Friday, the union hosts 'The Bop' in The 601, which is usually themed. It’s a great place to go and dance, but if you don’t want to pay to get in, karaoke nights in Sandy’s Bar are a great alternative. (Third year student, University of St Andrews)
Sunday chilling
Lade Braes is a beautiful walk. At one end, there's a large park where it's lovely to sit and read. The pier and beaches are also very calming, and it's easy to find a quiet spot. The Botanical Gardens are also very peaceful. (Second year student, University of St Andrews)
When family visit
The Himalaya's Putting Green is a great thing to do with family – it's like fancy crazy golf. There is also an aquarium, the Cathedral, the Castle, and a few nice museums, including the Bell Pettegrew. (Second year student, University of St Andrews)
Feeling cultural
If you want, there's a concert, play, or poetry reading every night – you just have to look for them. The Byre is a great wee theatre which often has excellent things on. (Third year student, University of St Andrews)
Catch up with mates
St Andrews holds the record for the biggest pub density, so I won’t attempt to list all of them. Places like Northpoint or Cottage Kitchen are really cheap, and great for a brunch with friends. (University of St Andrews student)
Grab a bite
Famous throughout Scotland is Janetta’s Gelateria, which makes incredible ice-cream and sorbets. CombiniCo is a minimalist Korean/Japanese student favourite. (Third year student, University of St Andrews)

St Andrews in pictures

 

St Andrews Castle

The medieval castle and cathedral, just off the North Sea. There is nowhere like this on earth. (Rachael, third year student at University of St Andrews)

Living in St Andrews, according to students

Kinnesburn – the town is so small, so even if you live on the edge, it isn’t a long commute – a 25-minute walk, maximum. [Previously] I lived about five minutes from the centre of town, and enjoyed the ease with which I could access mainstream facilities. There are small supermarkets in the centre, and a large Morrisons on the outskirts by the community hospital. I would choose to live here again, but I think for my final year next year, I will live in the centre.(Third year student, University of St Andrews)

The seafront

My favourite place to walk to [take a] break from the library. Look one direction and see a view of the town, another the famous Old Course, and yet another, the length of West Sands Beach and the sea. (Lydia, third year student at University of St Andrews)

East Sands Beach

East Sands Beach, early in the morning. A lovely place to run at sunrise, with lots of wild rabbits living along it. It's also special because that's where everyone goes to swim on Raisin Monday and May Morning. (Julia Webster, second year student at University of St Andrews)

 

Living in St Andrews, according to students

St Andrews doesn’t really have neighbourhoods, however there are some residential areas outside of the three main streets. I’m lucky to live on Market Street this year, which [is] a great location, but can be loud at night with all the crazy students. The flats in the centre tend to be smaller and more expensive. Some people prefer the cheaper options which are a ten to 15-minute walk from town [and] closer to cheaper supermarkets, like Aldi and Morrisons. (Second year student, University of St Andrews)

The Gaudie Pier Walk

The Gaudie, a pier walk students do with torches, in red gowns – one of the many St Andrews traditions. (Antonia, Third year student at University of St Andrews)

Living in St Andrews

Housing, travel, and budgeting tips.
Where you'll find students
  • Town centre
  • Kinnesburn
Local transport
  • Weekly ticket: £12.70
  • St Andrews 7 Day Megarider ticket
  • Bus

Student money tips

If you are looking to rent privately, avoid the three main streets as they are often very overpriced. If you live even a ten-minute walk out of town, you can save yourself at least £100 a month on rent (and honestly, St Andrews is very bicycle friendly). (Second year student, University of St Andrews)

The cost of living as a student soon adds up, us our budget calculator to find out roughly how much you'll need each month.

Discover more savings on student life in St Andrews with UCAS student discounts. Find the latest deals, from fashion brands and eating fresh, to big discounts on tech and travel.