With five universities in the city and one of the largest and most diverse populations of students in Europe, we’re proud and pretty confident to say that Manchester is the best student city. It’s practically built for students with established spots and new gems constantly popping up all around town. Trust us, you’ll never be short on quirky workspaces, unique activities and experiences, or even the best accommodation. Not that we’re biased or anything…
Manchester offers plenty of academic spots for those looking to expand their knowledge or wanting to work outside of their uni campus, and as a bonus, the city is jam-packed with libraries, research centres, and workspaces to suit every student's needs.
If you’ve never visited The John Rylands Library before, prepare for all your expectations to be exceeded. The 19th-century Victorian Gothic building resembles more of a castle or cathedral than a library with its stained-glass windows and ethereal look, not to mention the world-class collection of books which dates back to the oldest known piece of the New Testament, as well as medieval manuscripts and some of the world rarest books. Of course, if you just want a quiet place to study then you can settle in one of the desks dotted around the library.
If you’re looking for more of a light read we’ve got you covered too. Chapter One Books is a great independent bookstore which doubles up as a cafe for those that need extra caffeine during exam season. This is the PERFECT place to get comfy in a cosy corner with your favourite book or to explore their collection for new favourite reads.
One of our favourite things about Manchester is that its cultural scene is hard to match. From endless art galleries, museums, and theatres to vibrant neighbourhoods like the Northern Quarter, Chinatown, and the Gay Village, Manchester is bursting with spots for anyone and everyone to explore and enjoy, and here are our favourites.
Whether you’re an avid art enthusiast or you’re just looking for a day out, The Whitworth art gallery is a must-visit for all students, especially given that it’s part of the University of Manchester. Hosting over 60,000 works of art, ranging from historical masterpieces to contemporary creations, there’s something to inspire every taste, and if after all that you still want more, then you can take a walk around the beautiful parkland surrounding the gallery or grab a drink at the Whitworth café to finish off your day.
If you haven’t heard of the Northern Quarter yet, let us introduce you to the ultimate student hot spot, aka the trendiest neighbourhood in Manchester. Home to independent bars and restaurants, heaps of live music, and the best that vintage shopping has to offer, you have to experience it to truly understand the buzz that fills the NQ. Still, there are a few spots we wouldn’t want you to miss, so make sure to stop by Afflecks for your shopping needs and Liquor and Burn for a spot of lunch and maybe a cocktail, or two.
One thing about Manchester is that we don’t do things half-heartedly, which is why our Chinatown is the third largest in Europe, and second largest in the UK! Nestled in the heart of the city, it’s a great representation of Chinese culture and is filled with traditional shops, bakeries, and most importantly the best and most authentic restaurants. We can’t recommend Little Yang Sing enough. It’s also fairly affordable, so you don’t have to max out your overdraft. Win win.
You can’t be a student in Manchester without somewhere to live, and luckily the city is full of accommodation opportunities for students, from Spinningfields to Ancoats, so it shouldn’t be hard to find your perfect home away from home, but just in case you are on the search, here are our recommendations.
Just in case you missed it, Ancoats is one of Manchester’s most up-and-coming areas to live for young people with its indie bars and cafes on every corner, scenic canals, and one-of-a-kind vibe. We promise we’re not being biased either, even Time Out magazine named Ancoats one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world. Yes you read that right, the WORLD. So, it was a no-brainer when we opened Ancoats Gardens and Piccadilly Village to stick them in this part of the city, plus the area is only a stone’s throw away from the important things, you know, like the train station and universities - meaning getting to your lectures on time will be no stress. Want to be part of the Ancoats hype? Have a nosey through our available apartments. We promise you won’t regret it.
If you’re looking for a truly luxurious lifestyle while studying in Manchester, then Spinningfields is where you need to be. Directly in the heart of the city centre, Spinningfields is one of the most modern and contemporary neighbourhoods with world-class restaurants and luxury shopping surrounding the area. Ideal for students that want to be near the city centre action with easy transport links to other parts of the city. If you like the sound of this lifestyle and are already working out how you can make it work on your budget, we have you covered. Artillery House offers affordable yet luxury living, call it boujee on a budget if you will, in the heart of Spinningfields meaning you can save on rent and bills, and spend your money where it really matters. A dinner at The Ivy perhaps?
Think we’ve missed anything on our list that makes Manchester the number-one choice for students? Let us know over on our socials!