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Living in Manchester 

Known as the world's first industrial city, Manchester has emerged as a global hub for music, culture, sports, arts and – of course – world-class education. 

World-famous football clubs, iconic live music venues, authentic international food and a vibrant arts scene are just a few of the things that make studying abroad in Manchester an unforgettable experience. 

Whoever you are and whatever you enjoy, you’ll find a million things to love about Manchester.  

Why students love Manchester

Exploring Manchester and beyond

Albert Square

This public square features the towering Gothic style Town Hall, and provides a wide space for events, Christmas markets and other celebrations.

Image of a river and row of houses in Matlock Bath, Peak District
Image of Colwyn Bay in North Wales

Known as the birthplace of the industrial revolution, this ever-evolving city never looked back. Today, it’s one of the UK’s fastest growing cities (Centre for Cities: City Space Race 2018) as well as the leading tech city in the country outside London (CBRE Tech Cities Report 2022). Plus, it’s home to global companies such as Google, KPMG, Siemens, Adidas, AstraZeneca, Barclays, BBC, Deloitte and more. With its job market soaring and flourishing business scene, Manchester is a great city to start your career.  

Regardless of your budget, taste or appetite, you’ll never run out of food options in Manchester. There’s a wide range of quality, modern British and international cuisine for you to experience. From fine dining in Spinningfields to street food at The Makers Market, you’ll find options to suit your mood and budget. Deansgate offers everything from tapas to traditional British food, while the cafés of the Northern Quarter are a favorite with locals.

Manchester’s Chinatown, the second largest in Britain, has many Asian restaurants and supermarkets. There’s also Curry Mile, a stretch of Wilmslow Road in Rusholme, filled with restaurants, sweet shops and cafés offering a diverse choice of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Persian food.  

Manchester is voted one of the top 10 most affordable cities in the UK for students (NatWest Student Living Index 2023). Its lower cost of living allows you to enjoy everything it offers, from food to entertainment. You can expect your monthly spending budget to look something like this: 

Transport (single journey)


Eating out (inexpensive meal)


Weekly grocery shop


Cappuccino (regular)


Cinema ticket


University accommodation (weekly)

From £117

Costs are estimates and are provided for illustrative purposes only. Sources include 2023. 

The city center is easy to explore by foot. You can also use the affordable and efficient Metrolink (Manchester's very own tram network) or extensive bus network to visit the various parts of the city and its surrounding suburbs. 

If you plan to travel further afield, it’s easy to get to Manchester Airport – offering direct flights to 199+ destinations across the world. Located just 20 minutes from the city center, over 100 airlines and 300 tour operators offer direct flights to all of Europe's major cities, as well as daily flights to the Far East and the US. 

Loaded with so many things to do, Manchester is the place to be when it comes to cultural experiences. With its vibrant arts and culture scene, fusion of different cultures, packed calendar of events, energetic nightlife and diverse entertainment options, there's never a dull moment in the Capital of the North. 

  • Music – Manchester remains one of the best cities in the world to hear live music and is a major destination for touring bands. Watch huge music events at AO Arena, O2 Ritz and Victoria Warehouse, or small gigs at Night & Day Café and Soup, the diversity of music experience is hard to beat. 

  • Museums – Manchester is home to over 30 museums and galleries dedicated to preserving art and telling centuries of its history and heritage. Visit Manchester Museum, Manchester Art Gallery and Science and Industry Museum to start your museum-hopping experience. 

  • Festivals – catch the biggest celebrations in Manchester such as the Manchester International Festival, the Manchester Pride Festival, the annual Parklife Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, and more. 

  • Theater – support local arts and explore theater culture in world-class venues such as Palace Theatre, The Lowry, Royal Exchange Theatre and Manchester Opera House. 

  • Nightlife – Dance the night away in one of the city’s eclectic nightlife places offering something for everyone, from the hipster bars of the Northern Quarter to the party palace of the Printworks.  

Discover more things to do in Manchester for students here


Manchester is home to two of the biggest names in sport: Manchester United and Manchester City. Manchester United’s ground, Old Trafford, is the biggest stadium in the English Premier League (Statista 2020), while Manchester City is based at the striking Etihad Stadium. 

You can also enjoy doing sports as the city offers a range of state-of-the-art facilities for you to enjoy, including Manchester Aquatics Center, the City of Manchester Stadium, National Cycling Centre and Manchester Regional Arena to name a few. 

Ready to start your study abroad journey in Manchester?

'National Football Museum' photography source: Marketing Manchester