About Bloomington

Bloomington is a remarkable place to live

Whether you are into nightlife, the arts, sports, good food, nature, or just want to live in a great community, Bloomington is known as one of the best college towns in the country.

Rand-McNally selected Bloomington as one of the eight most desirable places to live in the United States, based on economy, personal safety, climate, housing, services, and leisure activities. And it is affordable: Periodic surveys conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce Researchers Association have shown that the cost of living in Bloomington is consistently at or below the national average.

A welcoming community

Ours is a welcoming community with many international students and faculty from around the world. The city of Bloomington has cultivated strong connections with the university, and it is easy to walk from campus to the heart of downtown. A nationally-recognized Saturday Farmers’ Market showcases the connections to rural Indiana, offering local foods, flowers, and other wares for sale.

You’ll find a large public library, a network of parks, and neighborhoods with a great variety of housing. Bike paths and local buses make it easy to navigate within the heart of campus and town. Restaurants reflect the community—many are international in origin and flavor, while others emphasize a farm-to-table approach to dining.

Check out our small city Explore our restaurant scene

Diversity, inclusion, + cultural resources

Indiana University is unwavering in its commitment to create safe and welcoming learning environments that advocate access, diversity, equity, inclusion, and community for all. Learn more about campus cultural centers and institutes through the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs.

Impressive + beautiful campus resources

Ours is one of the most beautifully landscaped and wooded campuses in America, marked by graceful limestone buildings. Cited as one of the five most beautiful campuses in the United States by Thomas A. Gaines in his book The Campus as a Work of Art, it includes wooded pathways and an arboretum.

The Indiana Memorial Union is one of the largest student unions in the country, with a hotel and conference facilities.

The campus features state-of-the-art laboratories, libraries, and facilities for conducting research.

The Eskenazi Museum of Art includes remarkable works by Picasso, Braque, Davis, Rembrandt, Monet, Pollock, Rivera, as well as stunning ancient and non-Western collections.

See our campus for yourself

An active arts scene

The arts are important in Bloomington, with an emphasis on both local performers and international talent. The Jacobs School of Music, IU Department of Theatre and Dance, and local arts organizations such as the Cardinal Stage Company and the Bloomington Playwrights Project, offer exceptional performances throughout the year. The Lotus Festival of Music and Arts sets the stage in the Fall for the spirit of inquiry present in Bloomington—one that recognizes connections across historical epochs, national boundaries, and disciplinary fields.

The surrounding terrain

While relatively small and easy to navigate, Bloomington is situated near many larger cities, including Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Chicago. Other cities in Indiana are also worthy of exploration, including nearby Terre Haute, Columbus, and Nashville. Exceptional state parks offer camping and hiking. The unglaciated terrain in Monroe County and the surrounding region offer many additional opportunities for exploration. Kayaking at Lake Griffy Nature Preserve, fossil-hunting along the shores of Lake Monroe, swimming in the IU Outdoor Pool, and biking the local backroads and bike paths are all forms of recreation that make life in Bloomington memorable, productive, and rejuvenating.