mobile menu toggle

About Urbana-Champaign

The twin cities of Urbana and Champaign (also referred to as Champaign-Urbana or "C-U") has the friendly atmosphere of a small town and the facilities of a larger city. It has a large international community and is within easy travel distance of Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis.

What does Urbana-Champaign have to offer?


Like to shop? You can do it here. Urbana-Champaign has a wide variety of shops from huge, general department stores and large electronic stores to international food shops and clothing boutiques. Some are located on campus and the others are easily accessible by car or public transportation. From May to November, you can also enjoy the outdoor Farmer’s Market where fresh fruit and vegetables and arts and crafts are sold.

Public Transportation

Our award-winning public bus system will easily take you almost anywhere you want to go! And it’s free for you to ride with your student ID card.


Enjoy a movie at one of three local movie theaters or concerts and dancing at the many different music venues.

Restaurants and International Grocery Stores

With such a large international community, Urbana-Champaign offers a wide range of American and authentic international restaurants at prices ranging from cheap to expensive. Right on campus, you can find Korean, Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Chinese and Italian restaurants and many others. Want to stay home and cook? Also, no problem! Urbana-Champaign has several grocery stores that specialize in different foods from all over the world.


Like green open spaces? Then you will enjoy Urbana-Champaign’s more than 50 public parks. The parks offer many different types of recreational opportunities. You can play tennis, soccer or basketball. You can go fishing, swimming or boating. There are also picnic areas, playgrounds, a sculpture garden, walking and biking trails, and a nature center.

Community Festivals

Urbana-Champaign hosts several festivals during the year such as the Roger Ebert Film Festival in April, the Illinois Marathon, the Taste of C-U, the Independence Day Celebration in July, a music festival and Sweet Corn Festival in August, and the Parade of Lights in December, as well as many other smaller events during the year.