5 Best Things About Living in Manchester
Football, music, food, culture, art, theatre, nightlife, shopping… Manchester has it all.
Whether you’re fed up of London and want to live in an equally cool city that won’t bleed your bank account dry, or you’re a true Northerner who couldn’t live without chips and gravy and a decent cheap pint, Manchester could make the perfect home.
Oasis, The Smiths, The Courteeners, The Stone Roses, Joy Division. Countless inspirational, world-class bands were born in Manchester, and they’ve certainly left their mark on the city. Manchester is home to some of the best small venues in the country, from the beautiful Grade-II listed Albert Hall to the Deaf Institute and Band on the Wall, so you’re spoilt for choice for a great place to enjoy live music.
The Warehouse Project is loved by EDM and techno fans – its three-month run of club nights hosting the biggest names in dance music always sells fast, and are known for being some of the best nights out of the year. This year’s line-up includes Annie Mac, Flume, Skepta, Fatboy Slim and Hannah Wants, and culminates in possibly THE best NYE party in the city.
Summer brings Parklife festival, an independent festival of indie, dance and hip-hop music hosted at the sprawling Heaton Park. It’s the largest metropolitan festival in the UK, and attracts some of the world’s biggest artists.
Manchester is home to two of the best performing Premier League teams in the country, Manchester City and Manchester United. Both teams have a localised, dedicated fanbase, and home games are a sight to behold with an electrifying atmosphere.
Cricket is also strong in Manchester, and the city hosted six games of this year’s ICC Cricket World Cup at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground.
Manchester is steeped in Rugby League tradition, and although there isn’t a professional Rugby League team in the city anymore, high-level Canadian Rugby League club Toronto Wolfpack has partnered with Manchester Metropolitan University, and made Manchester their home-away-from-home.
Also, Manchester Rugby Club is one of the oldest Rugby Union clubs in the country.
3. Food and drink
One thing’s for sure: you won’t go hungry in Manchester. Every week there are new restaurants, bars, gastropubs, microbreweries and cafes opening in the city, and it is one of the UK’s most exciting foodie destinations.
There are some true world-class eateries in Manchester (which Time Out do a great job of summing up), along with a huge range of vegetarian, vegan and halal offerings too.
Hatch on Oxford Road is a Boxpark-esque collection of amazing street food, with pop-up bars, cafes and retailers also occupying the colourful shipping containers.
GRUB is another amazing option for street food, where “any street food trader worth their salt” has appeared, according to the Manchester Evening News. it brings together amazing food, live music, craft ale and a proper community spirit, and is well worth a visit.
When my flatmate heard I was writing this article, he insisted I include Soup Kitchen – and for good reason! Soup Kitchen is an insane venue, during the day selling amazing – you guessed it – soup (plus sandwiches and kebabs), and then transforming into a bar and music venue in the evening. It hosts live music events, club nights, comedy events and art exhibitions.
There are far too many amazing bars and clubs in Manchester to list here, but some favourites are Junkyard Golf Club for cocktails and crazy golf, stunning tattoo-themed cocktail bar Tattu, and the botanical paradise Eden which has three club spaces and a gorgeous floral bar area.
4. Fashion and Shopping
Manchester is known as ‘the shopping capital of the North’, and has a range of high street stores, designer boutiques, and vintage and retro shops.
The Trafford Centre is great for high street shopping, and has over 250 stores.
The city’s Northern Quarter is renowned for being a trendy neighbourhood with vibrant street art, bohemian bars and independent shops. Here you’ll find some great vintage and second-hand stores, including independent record stores. A favourite is Affleck’s, an “emporium of eclecticism,” which is housed in an old department store from Manchester’s textile heyday. It hosts more than 70 independent stalls and businesses in an indoor market, and is a great place to find a unique piece.
5. Friendly people
Mancunians are really proud to live in their city, and as a result are super friendly. If you’re moving up from London it might be a bit of a shock to have the guy next to you on the bus strike up a conversation, but you’ll soon realise that its actually really lovely.
It’s also a very inclusive city, with a thriving LGBT+ community and one of the biggest Pride events in the UK every summer. The world famous Canal Street is the centre of the LGBT+ scene, with a huge range of bars, restaurants and green spaces centred around the inclusivity of the community.