Manchester as a city
Manchester is a diverse city with a wide range of different opportunities and venues, we’ve asked some of our current students to explore what they enjoy most about living and studying in Manchester. Below you’ll find four different perspectives on all the great things you could do if you choose to study at the University of Manchester.
One reason I enjoy living in Manchester is how you can step outside and immediately have places on your doorstep to visit! Whilst I’m sure studying at the University of Manchester was your main intention upon moving to the city, knowing places you can go to unwind after studying or to socialise with your friends can allow you to fully enjoy your university experience. Here are some of my personal recommendations which I discovered during the first year of my degree.
Only a 20-minute bus journey from Fallowfield, you can take a break from the bustling hub of urban living and instead experience a more tranquil, peaceful environment in Didsbury. In Fletcher Moss Park and the Botanical Gardens, you can immerse yourself in masses of greenery which feels like a world away from the city. In West Didsbury there are also many independent cafés, like Rustik and Another Heart to Feed, which are the ideal brunch spots to treat yourself with friends and taste unique seasonal menus.
The Northern Quarter is the perfect place to wander around and soak up the city’s atmosphere. There is plenty of eye-catching street art which encompasses one-of-a-kind shops, such as Flourish which sells a variety of houseplants, and an abundance of vintage and charity shops like Blue Rinse and the Oxfam nearby which stock fashionable pieces. If you want to try some new cuisines like baos, restaurants like Wolf at the Door will spark your interest, whilst other eateries like Federal will quench your love for Instagrammable avocado toasts.
There are so many aspects to Manchester, parts that radiate an electric energy and areas which help you relax after a busy day, so please make sure you hop on the bus and explore this vibrant city!
Moving away from home to university provides the opportunity for lots of exploring and visiting new and cool places. I have compiled a list below of my favourite places to visit in Manchester.
Chinatown is just before Piccadilly Gardens. It is a rectangular area starting on Portland Street and is the second-largest Chinatown in the UK. There are so many amazing restaurants to try and beautiful street decorations. Definitely take a visit in February for the Chinese New Year festival with stalls all down the streets and live music.
Whilst it is a little further out than the pubs in Fallowfield, it’s no more than a 20-minute journey on the bus and a 10-minute walk once at Piccadilly Gardens. There is incredible street art and some really lovely places to eat and drink. My favourites include Crazy Pedro’s, Ezra and Gill, Federal Café, NQ64, and Science and Industry.
Salford is worth a visit. The quay itself is so beautiful in the late afternoon when the water is lit up, particularly enjoyable to walk around. Equally, they are trialling the electric scooters so very cool place to scoot around! This is a 40-minute journey on the 50-bus from Fallowfield.
Again, this is a wonderful food place. There is a very sophisticated feel to the area, with a lot of large company head-offices situated there. I particularly enjoyed going during fresher’s week to just look at all the big buildings- so different to my little hometown! My favourite restaurants include 20 Stories, Menagerie, and the Ivy. All these restaurants require a pre-booking of around 2 weeks in advance.
This shopping centre is my favourite place to visit at the weekend. There is so much to do here including shopping, an aquarium, indoor snowboarding, and mini-golf. All of the Christmas decorations get put up towards the end of November and it’s so pretty just to walk around with the fountains and marble statues.
Manchester is proudly proclaimed by many that live here as the best city in the UK. For myself, there are countless reasons as to why Manchester is such a great city. Above all, it is the seemingly endless restaurants, bars, music venues, sites of cultural importance and districts all boasting their own particular niche.
Manchester is a highly historically significant city with areas such as Castlefield and Salford Quays. Castlefield, for example, is home to a Roman fort, is also where the UK’s first canal was built and has now modern sophisticated restaurants – very characteristically of Manchester, where the new is often contrasted with the old.
There are also many museums and art galleries, most notably for me are the National Football Museum, the Manchester Art Gallery and the Northern branch of the Imperial War Museums (IWMN).
Near the heart of Manchester is Chinatown, the third-largest in Europe, with many Chinese shops, restaurants and a beautiful archway to explore.
Bars and Restaurants
While there are food places across Manchester, there are two that particularly stand out to me.
The Northern Quarter – A place that is usually bustling but really comes alive at night with tons of bars serving cocktails and other drinks until late. There are also many food places, my favourites being Mackie Mayors and Nell’s at the common. While there is a vast variety, the former of these is the spectacularly redeveloped historic meat market with many different small stalls and the latter a pizza restaurant serving 22” pizzas!
The Curry Mile – The mile-long stretch of the road between the University Campus and the Fallowfield accommodation is famous for its Pakistani-Indian food. Shere Khan is particularly unmissable.
Discover Afflecks palace and the Northern Quarter for the Vintage and Unique, or the Arndale shopping centre for big brands.
The walk along the Fallowfield loop to Chorlton Water Park, a trip to Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens in Didsbury or a further-afield trip to the Peak District are perfect ways to get out into nature.
Living in Manchester is an experience, it’s never been a dull moment, there’s always something new to discover. The city offers tons of activities for students such as visiting the famous Old Trafford stadium, shopping at The Trafford Centre and an amazing nightlife. I enjoy Manchester very differently though, for me it’s the little things about the city that matter like visiting the Bridgewater Canal, Sea Life Manchester, several historic museums and just roaming the city, spotting motivational quotes which make me feel like I belong here.
Since the University is located in the heart of Manchester, access to supermarkets, shopping, bars and restaurants is just minutes away. My favourite part about Manchester is the culture, the city is so multicultural that there is no shortage of occasions to celebrate. It’s so diverse that I never feel like I’m living away from home. Whether it’s Eid, Chinese New Year or Christmas everything is celebrated here with so much enthusiasm. Manchester has a lot of great restaurants and cafes, it has so many different types of cuisines from every culture that you will never run of out of options. There are literally events every weekend which offer multiple deals for students like discounts on tickets, food and drinks.
I love a lot of things in this city, for instance Christmas. The entire city is filled with lights. The city spirits are so festive that it encourages you to go out and enjoy the Christmas market, ice rink or UK’s largest indoor Christmas theme park. Anywhere you go in the city, you’ll hear Christmas music and it will instantly put a smile on your face.
Manchester has mesmerizing architecture such as the Manchester Cathedral, Calatrava’s Trinity Bridge, John Rylands Library, the list is endless. There’s something about this city that makes everyday feel like a new adventure. I always have something to do in Manchester, that’s the beauty of this city.