Living in Manchester City (The Ultimate Guide)

Living in Manchester

Some locals say that once you start living in Manchester, you’ll never again be able to live without the buzz and excitement. England’s second city, as Manchester is often called, is a popular and vibrant destination for many people, young and old alike.

Interestingly, the city is known, both for some of the most energetic nightclubs and some of the best libraries in the country. This makes sense, as there is a large student population in the city. The city comes with its ups and downs, however.

There’s so much to do if you are visiting and touring this city. But the big question is “What’s it like living in Manchester City?”. Well, we’ve got you covered.

This guide is going to focus on the features of Manchester most likely to impact your life there. If you do happen to visit, you’ll have the chance to learn about all the cool things Manchester is famous for. It’ll take longer than you think, believe me.

The Heart of Greater Manchester.

Manchester City is part of the Greater Manchester Metropolitan county, surrounded on almost all sides by the other boroughs of the county. They all wrap around Manchester anti-clockwise from its eastern side in the following order;

Stockport, Tameside, Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Bolton, Wigan, City of Salford, and Trafford.

Manchester is 44.6 square miles across, with a population density of 12,260 people per square mile. The city is in the middle of, and equally distant from both Liverpool and Sheffield. Mostly flat terrain especially in the southern part of Manchester makes for extensive views of the city’s area.

The city has many positives geographically, hence its early development as the first major industrial city in the world. Its closeness to a seaport at Liverpool, its river, and coal mines are just some examples of said positives.

But what positives would make you want to consider living here?

Pros of Living in Manchester

1.      It’s a culturally diverse city.

Regardless of where you come from, you’ll never feel out of place in Manchester (If you love football you’ll feel even more at home).

2.      A place to settle down

It sounds cliché but that’s a really good description of Manchester city. The city offers all the benefits and job opportunities of a big city like London or New York. However, it comes with a better price tag than either of them.

According to Numbeo, you could live just as fine in Manchester as you would in London, but on about $2000 less… Every Month! That’s a saving of over $20000 every year. That amount swells to well over $35000 if you’re comparing it to New York City.

A major contributor to these differences is rent. However, you wouldn’t be wrong if you said everything is cheaper in Manchester.

·        World-Class Universities

There are many universities in and around Manchester City, and all of them are excellent. The most popular university is the University of Manchester.

The institution has been around since 1824 but only recently took on the name the University of Manchester in 2004. It was the third-largest university in the UK.  It has been associated with 25 Nobel laureates (Students and staff) since its inception.

The university teaches the highest number of academic subjects of any university in Britain and is also very popular with international students. The university owns a world-class library, a museum holding over 4 million items, and an art gallery that students have access to.

Ranked 27th in the world according to the 2021 QS World University Rankings, it is truly a remarkable center for academic excellence. The universities are the primary deciding factor for a lot of people living in Manchester.

·        Kick back and relax.

With so many ways to spend your free time in Manchester, it’s hard to know where to start. In the city, there are far more places than you could visit in a year even if you went to a different one every night.

The many bars, clubs, and public houses in the city receive well over a hundred thousand guests on a typical weekend night. Not a bad way to get to know people if you’re into that sort of thing.

Related Article- Living in Victoria

If you’re less inclined towards crowded dance halls and late-night drinking, there’s still so much for you to do in Manchester. For example, there are many performing art theatres in the city that you could visit. This includes the Manchester Opera House and the Royal Exchange Theatre.

The Manchester Arena is the biggest and busiest indoor arena in Europe. So, if any of your favorite artists or bands are doing a tour of Britain, you can be sure they won’t miss it.

One of the biggest clubs in English football, Manchester City, has its home stadium in the city. If you can, you have to catch a live match. The experience is second to none.

There are also many museums and galleries in the city for those who fancy history and the arts.

·        Public Transport

Manchester City has a variety of public transport systems that work efficiently. A network of buses, trams, and trains connects different parts of the city. These will prove very useful as you will see in a bit.

Now, we grind to a screeching halt as we hit the first issue with living in Manchester.

Cons of living in Manchester

·        The Traffic

While this didn’t characterize the year 2020, traffic in Manchester city had been rising steadily between 2010 and 2019, according to the UK Department for Transport.

Manchester Evening News (M.E.N) looked at data released by the Department and found that on average, traffic in Manchester will have you driving at about 15 mph (A cyclist could go 15mph). Traffic here is better than in London, but it’s worse than anywhere else in the UK.

Something you’re going to want to think about if you’re used to driving.

·        The Weather

Just like most places in the UK, Manchester isn’t known for having great weather. It isn’t the worst city when it comes to rain (it’s the 8th according to M.E.N). However, many locals complain about the cloudy skies and the constant feeling that it’s going to rain.

·        The Students

This is a very subjective feature of the city. Over 100,000 students are living in Manchester; that’s about a fifth of its population. If you’re a student this will be a major plus as you’ll feel right at home.

But if you aren’t fond of living around many young people with very few inhibitions, it’s one thing to watch out for. Take note that there are parts of the city with much more students than others.

Cost of living in Manchester.


People living in Manchester spend anywhere from below $1000 to over $2000 on rent. According to Numbeo, a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center could cost as low as $780 while a 3-bedroom apartment in the city center could go for almost $2050.


For those who drive, gasoline costs about $1.69 per liter. However, there are many public transport alternatives. Your monthly pass to use the local tram system costs about $140 while a one-way ticket is about $7. You could also go by bus or train.

Transport for Greater Manchester has all the information you’ll need along with the most up-to-date prices.

Taxi rates may vary according to location and preference.


A person living in Manchester spends, on average, about the same amount monthly on food as other cities in the UK. A budget of between $150 and $200 a month on groceries would be sufficient for the average person.

Numbeo has a list of the most common items you’d need.


Your basic utilities, electricity, heating, and the likes will cost a total of about $230 a month and an internet connection would cost about $50 per month.

How Much would you Need to Live in Manchester?

In total you would need about $2000, including rent, to live alone in Manchester. A family of four would need about $5500. This total will be slightly different depending on where in Manchester you decide to stay.

Your habits and lifestyle also greatly vary.

Destinations to visit while in Manchester

·        The Science and Industry Museum

A look back at the history of the first major industrial city of the world. Some of the displays to look out for are the Power Wall and the Air and Space gallery.

·        The National Football Museum

Where else would it be? Home to many memorabilia, displays, and activities that highlight the history of the country’s favorite sport.

·        Etihad Stadium

Home of Manchester City. This stadium was first known as the City of Manchester Stadium. Even if you don’t go to see a match, a visit to the majestic facility will leave you with a greater appreciation of Manchester City; the city, and the club.


There are so many activities waiting for you in Manchester. If you living in Manchester is your thing, then make the move.