• Hold down Ctrl key and select the sections you want to print. If using a Mac, hold down the Cmd key.
  • Use Ctrl + A or on Mac, Cmd + A to select all sections (if you are using the Chrome browser).
  • Click "Apply" and the site will customise your print guide in the preview below.
  • Click the "Print" button and a print pop up should appear to print to your printer of choice.

Moving to Leeds

With a flourishing job market, lively nightlife and an eclectic arts-and-culture scene, Leeds is increasingly attracting new residents from across the UK and beyond.

Living in Leeds

Fondly known as 'God's own county', Leeds' natural beauty and scenic countryside are rivalled by few. The city is also blessed with lovely architecture, plenty of historical sites and charming Victorian-era shopping centres for residents to enjoy. Active residents love the city's abundance of parks, sports grounds and picturesque pathways.

Professionals moving to Leeds will be happy to know that the city’s economy has experienced regeneration and diversification in recent years and is brimming with opportunity. Major international and local corporations have established bases in the city, making for an exciting job market open to qualified workers looking to take advantage of the city’s favourable work-life balance and excellent lifestyle.

That said, salaries in Leeds tend to trail behind those in other major UK cities such as London. Be that as it may, the gentler cost of living in the city often offsets the difference in earnings, so new arrivals can rest assured that they will likely live very comfortably.

The local public transport infrastructure is exceptional, with most residents choosing to forego car ownership entirely, while the city is also conveniently located with efficient transport links to the rest of the UK and Europe. The city’s healthcare is also top-notch with access to subsidised and comprehensive services at NHS-approved doctors and hospitals.

Cost of living in Leeds

The cost of living in Leeds is relatively affordable, and the highest cost new arrivals will have to budget for is accommodation. The cost of renting or buying a home in Leeds is on the rise and is currently one of the highest in Northern England due to increased demand. While the housing market may be fiercely competitive, savvy house hunters should be able to find something suitable for their lifestyle and budget.

Families and children in Leeds

Parents moving to Leeds will have a range of excellent government and private schools to choose from. Leeds is also one of the most family-friendly cities in the UK, with plenty of green spaces and other attractions to keep the whole family entertained. Roundhay and Golden Acre Park are among the jewels in Leeds’ crown, while the city also boasts myriad museums, theme parks, historical sites and theatres to explore.

Climate in Leeds

Tucked in the foothills of the Pennines and the valley of River Aire, Leeds has a maritime climate. Winters in the city are typically grey and rainy, with occasional frost and snowfall. With wet yet mild summers in Leeds, raincoats and umbrellas are non-negotiables when leaving the house, no matter the season.

Ultimately, new arrivals in Leeds will fall in love with the city's multicultural vibrancy, relaxed way of life and friendly locals, and will likely stay far longer than intended.

Weather in Leeds

The weather in Leeds is characterised by mild summers with moderate rainfall and cold winters with instances of snowfall and frost. 

The winter months in Leeds – December to February – are generally cloudy with high humidity and strong winds. Rain is fairly frequent during winter and the mercury drops below 23°F (-5°C) on the coldest nights of the year. 

Summers in Leeds bring a reprieve from the cold, though the weather remains mild rather than hot. July is the warmest month in Leeds, with an average temperature of 67°F (19°C) and the possibility of rainfall, although not as frequently as in winter. Heatwaves do occur but are rare and tend to be short-lived.


Working in Leeds

Once a manufacturing and trading hub, Leeds has since evolved and diversified its economy to become one of the UK’s largest financial centres outside of London. The city has seen a meteoric economic rise in recent years, making working in Leeds an attractive choice for workers from all over the UK and the world.

Job market in Leeds

The finance, legal, service, creative and digital industries in Leeds have overtaken the traditional manufacturing sector as some of the city’s biggest employers.
The metropolis boasts an exciting start-up culture, attracting tech professionals from all over the UK. A few major UK and multinational corporations, such as Channel 4, GHD and ASDA, have also moved their bases to Leeds in the last few years, opening up even more doors for qualified job seekers. The city’s tourism sector has also grown exponentially, followed closely by the logistics and production industries.

Work culture in Leeds

Leeds has earned recognition as one of the most liveable cities in the UK for its fantastic lifestyle, affordability and favourable work-life balance.  

The work culture varies across different industries; as in other UK cities, the finance and legal sectors in Leeds are naturally more formal than, say, the creative and media industries. This extends to work attire, workplace atmosphere and hierarchies. 
Generally speaking, though, the hierarchical structures in Leeds workplaces tend to be more relaxed. Respecting authority is still important, but egalitarianism is more common. Punctuality and politeness is integral to working and doing business in the UK, and it’s no different in Leeds. 

Locals are known to be friendly, and socialising with colleagues after work or at the weekend is not uncommon. All this contributes to a pleasant working environment and strong colleague relationships.

Cost of living in Leeds

The UK’s fourth largest city, Leeds boasts a thriving and vibrant economy drawing in new arrivals from all over the country and beyond. Newcomers will be pleasantly surprised to find that the cost of living in Leeds is quite reasonable compared to other major UK cities.

Cost of accommodation in Leeds

Accommodation in Leeds is certainly cheaper than in the likes of London and Edinburgh but is also among the most expensive in Northern England. Thanks to the economic boom in Leeds, the city has seen an uptick in new arrivals seeking to take advantage of employment opportunities. As a result, demand for housing has shot up and currently outweighs supply, which has of course led to high prices.

Cost of entertainment in Leeds

As a bustling cosmopolitan city, Leeds has plenty to offer in terms of nightlife, eating out and shopping, but these activities often add up quickly, so newcomers should budget accordingly.

Leeds, the birthplace of cinema, boasts a burgeoning arts and culture scene with multiple music venues and theatres for new arrivals to enjoy. During the summer months, the many green spaces in Leeds, such as Roundhay Park and Golden Acre Park, provide free entertainment for locals in the form of picnics, hiking, cycling and leisurely strolls.

Cost of groceries in Leeds

The cost of groceries in Leeds will largely depend on where new arrivals shop. Discount supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl are where shoppers can save a few quid, while the high-end stores, including Waitrose and Marks & Spencer, offer speciality goods at hefty prices. 

Newcomers looking to bolster their savings should consider buying local produce at one of Leeds’ popular markets and in-house brands to avoid the rising costs of imported goods.

Cost of transport in Leeds

Leeds is a compact city with excellent public transport infrastructure, so most residents living in and around the city centre don’t deem it necessary to own a car, especially considering the rising fuel costs and the expensive parking in the city. Commuting via public transport is affordable if travellers purchase advance tickets and monthly passes. A free and healthy alternative is cycling, which is fast gaining popularity in Leeds.

Cost of education in Leeds

Leeds has a diverse range of public and independent (private) schools, many with ‘outstanding’ ratings from the UK’s Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). Private schools tend to be in the outlying areas of the city and are often costly, while public schools are free to attend with admission depending on catchment zones.

Cost of living in Leeds chart

These are the average prices for Leeds in July 2022. Prices may vary depending on product and service provider.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

GBP 1,733

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

GBP 1,030

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

GBP 830

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

GBP 561


Milk (1 litre)

GBP 0.88

Dozen eggs

GBP 2.31

Loaf of white bread 

GBP 0.85

Rice (1kg)

GBP 1.51

Packet of cigarettes (Marlboro)

GBP 10.45


City-centre bus/train fare

GBP 2.30

Taxi rate per km

GBP 0.93

Petrol/gasoline per litre

GBP 1.56

Eating out

Big Mac Meal


Coca-Cola (330ml)   

GBP 1.48


GBP 3.12

Local beer (500ml)

GBP 3.75

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

GBP 50


Internet (uncapped ADSL per month)

GBP 33.71

Mobile call rate (mobile-to-mobile per minute)

GBP 0.19

Utilities (average per month for standard household)

GBP 189

Accommodation in Leeds

New arrivals in Leeds will be spoilt for choice as far as accommodation is concerned. That said, the city’s housing market is fiercely competitive, so house hunters will need to do careful research and act quickly when they find something they like. 

Though competitive, the market has seen prices remain relatively affordable and newcomers are sure to find a suitable home for their budget and lifestyle. Leeds is also a compact city served by excellent transport links, which make for easy commutes. House hunters therefore needn’t fret too much about proximity to the city centre and can cast a fairly wide net when searching for a home.

Types of accommodation in Leeds

Much of the accommodation in Leeds is in the form of detached, semi-detached and terraced housing, as well as high- and low-rise flats. Each of the city’s neighbourhoods has a unique character and atmosphere, but a strong sense of community is common across the board.

Renovated and terraced flats dot the areas in and around the city centre. These buildings typically have all the modern amenities that make for comfortable city living, and are well suited to young professionals.

Leeds also boasts beautiful Victorian-era homes, which can usually be found a bit further out in the city’s leafy suburbs and are favoured by families. 

As is often the case in cities worldwide, the closer a property is to the city centre, the steeper the rent. Newcomers looking to save a few quid should consider house- or flatshares, which are also a great way to meet new people and make friends.

Finding accommodation in Leeds

Finding accommodation in Leeds can be time consuming and highly competitive, owing to the high demand. New arrivals who haven’t secured accommodation before arriving should consider short-term rentals as a temporary solution while searching for a long-term arrangement.

Thanks to a wide variety of property portals, the easiest way to start the house hunt is online. Property websites such as Zoopla and RightMove usually have plenty of listings, while property pages on social media and community forums are also valuable resources. 

House hunters who want to avoid the hassle of going it alone should consider enlisting the services of an estate agent. Estate agents have intimate knowledge of the local market and will have access to listings before they’re made public. They can also help negotiate agreements with landlords or sellers.

Renting accommodation in Leeds


Once house hunters have found a property they like, they will need to apply to the landlord or property manager. The rental application should include proof of income and identification (a valid driver’s license or passport) and references.


Tenants will usually need to pay a deposit equivalent to one or two months’ rent, which is refundable in principle. Landlords are legally required to protect it through an accredited scheme such as the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).


The standard lease agreement in Leeds is typically for six months or a year but can go up to seven years, depending on the landlord. New arrivals should ensure lease agreements come with the property’s gas and electrical safety certificates and the Energy Performance Certificates (EPC).


Utilities such as electricity, gas and water, as well as refuse removal, council tax and contents insurance, are usually not included so tenants should budget accordingly.

Areas and suburbs in Leeds

The best places to live in Leeds

When it comes to the different areas and suburbs in Leeds, new arrivals will have a wide array to choose from, each with its own unique charm and character. 

Although property and rental prices in Leeds are quite steep for Northern England, the city is still considerably more affordable than the likes of London. With excellent public transport links and Park and Ride facilities throughout the city making for easy commutes, house hunters can widen their search to include outlying areas. 

We’ve listed some of Leeds’ most popular areas and suburbs below.

Central areas of Leeds


Located two miles (4km) from Leeds city centre, Headingley is a thriving and trendy student hub that is becoming increasingly popular among young professionals thanks to its fantastic amenities and transport links. The nightlife, sport and culinary scenes in Headingley are lively, making it perfect for gourmands, sports lovers and partygoers alike.

Leeds Waterfront

A formerly derelict industrial area in the city centre, the Leeds Waterfront has been regenerated with modern luxury flats and vibrant waterside cafes and bars. Flats in the area boast picturesque views of the Leeds Dock and Granary Wharf, while the Royal Armouries Museum and the Leeds Art Gallery are a short walk away.


One of the popular up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Leeds, Holbeck is currently undergoing redevelopment and is home to many of the city’s creative businesses, tech start-ups and a sizeable student population. Thanks to the young demographic in Holbeck, eccentric bars and quirky restaurants dot the canal for residents to enjoy.

Family-friendly areas in Leeds


Families will feel right at home in Horsforth thanks to its many green spaces, strong sense of community, and numerous independent shops. Horsforth is well connected with efficient public transport links and a nearby airport. Families love the suburb not only for its splendid amenities at the Horsforth Hall Park, but also for its many high-quality primary schools.


Surrounded by 700 acres of parkland, Roundhay is an affluent suburb not far from the city centre and a haven for young families with children. Residents have access to a lively assortment of independent bars, pubs and restaurants, while shopaholics will love the quaint shops on Street Lane.


One of the most sought-after and priciest postcodes in Leeds, Bramhope boasts grand homes with spacious plots and swathes of parkland encircling a large lake, making it great for families. Bramhope also has some of the best schools in Leeds. The village offers countryside living with access to shops, restaurants, and a pub dating back to the 1700s, all within a 20-minute drive from Leeds city centre.

Education and schools in Leeds

For families moving to Leeds, finding a good school for the kids is sure to be a top priority. Often, families will choose where to live based on the presence of a desirable school in the area. Whether families opt for free government schools or private fee-paying institutions, there's plenty of choice when it comes to education and schools in Leeds.

Government schools in Leeds

Public schools, known as government schools, are free to attend. Catchment zones apply and many families will choose where to live based on an area's associated school. Zoning is highly specific, so it's best not to make assumptions about which school serves which area – parents should check the Leeds school catchment map to be sure.

It's important to note that living in a particular catchment area doesn't guarantee admission to a particular school, but children who live locally are given a higher priority of placement than those living elsewhere.

All government schools are regularly inspected by Ofsted and assigned a rating ranging from inadequate to outstanding. Full reports can be found on the Ofsted website.

Independent schools in Leeds

Leeds has a number of excellent independent (private) schools. Though fees can be high, Leeds's best-performing schools are independent schools. Though catchment areas don't apply, admission can be highly competitive so it's best to apply as early as possible.

These schools are assessed by one or more of several associations, including Ofsted, the Independent Schools Council and the School Inspection Service. This varies from school to school.

Special-needs education in Leeds

When referring to special-needs education, Leeds uses the acronym SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities). All schools are required to cater to SEND children, and the preferred approach is to keep them in mainstream education as far as possible by providing extra support.

If the school is unable to provide the required level of support, parents may wish to apply for a specialist school. Several of these can be found in Leeds, catering to children with physical, mental or learning disabilities.

Tutors in Leeds

Many families in Leeds find tutors to be a great help as they settle into life in the city. Tutors are commonly hired to tackle a problem subject, to help the child learn a new language (such as English, for non-native speakers), or simply assist them in catching up to their new school's curriculum.

Both remote and on-site tutors can be found online, but it's also a good idea to ask teachers and fellow parents for personal recommendations.

Lifestyle in Leeds

Voted the best cultural city in the UK, Leeds is rich in art and history and is home to one of the biggest football teams in the world. With a burgeoning nightlife, great eateries and plenty of green spaces, Leeds offers a fantastic lifestyle with plenty to keep its residents entertained.

Shopping in Leeds

Leeds is a mecca for shopaholics of all budgets. Victoria Gate and Victoria Quarter, especially, are architectural masterpieces offering a wide range of luxury and high street brands. 

Built in 1867 and famous for its independent craft stores, Grand Arcade is full of surprises, which include a hidden entrance to Domino Club. The Leeds Kirkgate Market is a paradise for eco-conscious shoppers, with more than 800 stalls selling local produce, jewellery, clothing and hardware.

Eating out in Leeds

The multiculturalism of Leeds has been a big driver behind the city’s evolution into the undisputed foodie capital of Northern England, and it now offers a delicious diversity of cuisines catering to all budgets and tastes. 

The thriving indie street food scene in Leeds is vibrant and wide ranging, with plenty of outdoor and indoor markets of all persuasions. Trinity Kitchen and the centuries-old Kirkgate Market are great spots to try everything from authentic Thai and Lebanese street food to American and Indian cuisine, with stall rotations every eight weeks at Trinity Kitchen.

New arrivals looking for a gourmet experience should look no further than Leeds’ only Michelin-starred restaurant, The Man Behind The Curtain, headed up by world-famous chef Michael O’Hare. Newcomers looking to enjoy traditional British afternoon tea can head to The Grand Arcade.

Nightlife in Leeds

The nightlife in Leeds is one of the city's best assets, with an array of live music venues, clubs, rooftop bars and pubs (some dating back to the 17th century). New arrivals looking for a night out on the town should be sure to start in the city centre in Call Lane, which boasts a variety of establishments suitable for every budget and preference.

Newcomers looking for cosy and intimate spots can check out one of the many underground venues, wine clubs and jazz bars sprinkled across the city centre.

Outdoor activities in Leeds

Fondly known as 'God’s own county', Leeds has sprawling and awe-inspiring natural beauty. Residents looking for a breath of fresh air are spoilt for choice thanks to The Yorkshire Dales, which are a quick drive away, and the 700-acre Roundhay Park right in their backyard. Locals enjoy hiking, swimming and exploring the countryside villages and the Yorkshire coast.

See and do in Leeds

Founded in the 17th century, Leeds is a city steeped in history and culture, and new arrivals will find plenty to see and do in the city. Below are some of our favourites.

Royal Armouries Museum

The Royal Armouries Museum is a must-see for history enthusiasts. The museum hosts regular exhibits on five floors featuring relics and treasures from the National Collection of Arms and Armour. It’s a great day out for the whole family and entry is free. 

Leeds Art Gallery

Art lovers won’t be able to take their eyes off the exhibits at the Leeds Art Gallery. With 20th-century British paintings, photography, sculptures and multimedia pieces by artists such as Alison Wilding and Francis Bacon, there is something to engage everyone. 

Temple Newsam

With 1,500 acres of parkland and a 500-year-old Tudor-Jacobean house, Temple Newsam is guaranteed fun for the whole family. Visitors can explore the luxury house and learn about its secrets, while the children can run around the landscaped gardens or meet the animals at the farm. 

Leeds Playhouse and Leeds Grand Theatre

The iconic Leeds Grand Theatre and the charming Leeds Playhouse are a must-visit for theatre buffs. The Grand Theatre stages big West End musicals on tour, while the Playhouse is the place to go for thought-provoking performances. 

Kristall Abbey

Founded more than 800 years ago, Kristall Abbey is one of the best preserved Cistercian monasteries in the UK. Visitors can take a guided tour of the ruins, take a stroll through Abbey Park, or get their dose of retail therapy at the Kristall Abbey Market.

What's on in Leeds

The Leeds annual calendar is chock-full of festivals, parties and other celebrations. Here are a few of the city’s unmissable events. 

Brew-Dunell Beer Festival (January)

The Brew-Dunell Beer and Ale Festival is the brainchild of the popular Leeds pub and music venue, Brudenell Social Club. The festival celebrates the city's finest ales, craft beers and bitters and encourages knowledge sharing. Beer connoisseurs should be sure not to miss this one. 

Slam Dunk Festival (May)

Leeds’ annual pop punk and alternative music festival is unlike any other. The festival is held at the picturesque Temple Newsam with past headliners including world-renowned acts such as Paramore and Fall Out Boy.  

Leeds West Indian Festival (August)

Enjoy the August bank holiday with the whole family in Chapeltown or Harehills at the Leeds West Indian carnival, celebrating Caribbean culture and history.

Leeds Light Night (October)

Art aficionados should be sure to check out Leeds Light Night. Over two nights in October, there are free art events across the city, including interactive installations, light projects and street performances. 

Leeds International Film Festival (November)

Film and television buffs can celebrate Leeds’ screen culture and enjoy the latest indie films at the Leeds International Film Festival, recognised as the largest film festival in England outside of London.

Getting around in Leeds

Leeds is a compact city with an excellent public transport network, and the city is continually investing in upgrades to its transport links and infrastructure, making commutes increasingly efficient. The city is also a well-connected regional hub, allowing its residents easy access to other parts of the UK and Europe. 

While roads in Leeds are in good condition, locals deem travelling by car unnecessary and more trouble than it’s worth. That said, those looking to explore the beautiful Yorkshire countryside and those chauffeuring their little ones may benefit from owning a vehicle.

Public transport in Leeds


Leeds has several bus services, most of which operate both in the city centre and towards the outskirts. The Leeds FreeCityBus is accessible for free using validated bus or train tickets. The service connects passengers to the bus and rail stations and the business and shopping districts in Leeds. The coaches, usually run by the National Express, travel to other UK cities. 

Buses in Leeds are relatively punctual, but the lines running in the city centre are sometimes affected by the city’s considerable traffic congestion. Bus fares are reasonably priced and can be paid with cash, contactless payments, mobile or group travel tickets. 

The MCard is a multi-operator reloadable smartcard allowing travellers access to buses and trains across West Yorkshire and is a convenient and inexpensive way to get around Leeds. Students, pensioners, people with disabilities and under-19s are eligible for discounts.


Located in the city centre, Leeds railway station is the main terminal in the city and the busiest outside of London. The station is usually open 24 hours.

Multiple rail services operate in Leeds, each with different routes and offerings. Some travel to the suburbs of Leeds and across the country, while others ferry passengers to neighbouring countries. The trains also connect Leeds with major UK cities, including London, Liverpool and Birmingham.


The picturesque Leeds Docks serve as the water taxi rank. The water taxis carry passengers between the scenic Granary Wharf and the dock and run every 15 minutes. Kids under five ride for free, while fares for older children and adults are reasonable as well.

Taxis in Leeds

Taxis in Leeds abound and are easy to find. Taxi ranks are available on most main streets and next to the Leeds railway station. Riders can also hail hackney carriages (the black and white taxis) on the street. 

Private taxis such as Amber Taxis or Uber can be ordered in advance by phone or using the company’s mobile app. Passengers should make sure the taxi is licensed to avoid potentially dangerous situations.

Driving in Leeds

As Leeds has a smaller and pedestrianised city centre, driving can be a frustrating affair. Parking in the city centre is scarce and expensive, while Leeds charges a road tax, not to mention nightmarish fuel prices. New arrivals considering owning a car will therefore need to budget carefully and consider whether it’s worth it. Be that as it may, driving can be convenient for those with tots or those living in the suburbs. 

To make driving more affordable, newcomers can carpool or use one of the Park and Ride facilities in the Leeds city centre, which allow drivers to safely park their car and continue their commute on public transport. The roads in Leeds are well maintained and easily navigable, apart from the loop in the centre, which can be confusing for new arrivals.

Walking in Leeds

The charming Leeds city centre is highly walkable; to further encourage walking, Leeds has reduced the speed limit for vehicles and widened the pavements on several streets.

Cycling in Leeds

Cycling is a fun, cheap and healthy way to get around in Leeds. The city has made it easy for cyclists with dedicated cycle lanes and paths running from many neighbourhoods into the city centre. 

The Ride-to-Work Scheme, operated by Evan's Cycle, allows cycling enthusiasts to buy a bicycle and accessories through monthly instalments taken directly from their salaries. Families and children can also loan bikes from one of the 13 Yorkshire Bike Libraries sites around Leeds at no cost.