Student city guide: Manchester

 

What's the big draw?

Through strong musical roots with the likes of The Smiths, Oasis and New Order all hailing from Manchester, to the resident symphony orchestras, (Hallé and the BBC Philharmonic) the busy and bustling city encompasses an idiosyncratic Mancunian charm. It doesn't take long to realise Manchester offers a sense of cultural diversity unrivalled by other major cities. Whether its music, art or food, every interest is catered for. It's surprisingly easy to shake off the initial disorientation of moving to a large city as lively as Manchester: simple to navigate on foot or by public transport, the campus and city centre are very close to each other.

What’s the night-life like? (gigs, bars, clubs)

Traditional student night-life can become vanilla after countless trips to the same sweaty and insufferable closets, stuffed with hundreds of bewildered freshers. The cocktail of cheap shots, mainstream music and kebabs can become a thoughtless ritual.

Luckily, Manchester offers sanctuary in the form of underground and understated venues, such as Fab Cafe. Cult film and TV is projected on mini screens, cultivating a nostalgic atmosphere amidst high spirits. The music at Fab is one of its defining aspects; revellers can twist and shout to The Beatles and rave to The Prodigy in one evening. The resident DJ effortlessly spans the pop, rock and alternative spectrum seamlessly, which is why a such a diverse mix of tracks can be heard.

For those in search of more of a heavy metal haven, look no further than Satan's Hollow. A broader playlist including dance and indie is found at popular student cavern, 5th Avenue. Factory 251, originally the HQ of the independent record label behind Joy Division and Happy Mondays, is another favourite amongst students. Providing 1p entry on Thursdays and including dance, alternative and house music across three floors, it's definitely student budget-friendly. However, although many city centre clubs flog pricey drinks, surrounding bars including Retro Bar and Font provide cheaper alternatives.

On the flip side, students have been known to frequent the city's classiest bar, Cloud 23, a picturesque top floor bar with a pricetag to match. Sightings of footballers and celebs is enough to entice many to circulate the elite bar scene.

Also, the city oozes grandeur glamour in the form of the Palace Theatre, Opera House and Lowry venues, all offering a plethora of performances from ballet to musicals, with a little known student discount on ticket prices.

Boasting an energetic scene through seizure-inducing lighting, the gay district on Canal Street marries transvestites, flamboyance and pop music. It's packed full of gay clubs including the ever popular Poptastic nightclub, attracting revellers of all orientations. This is one area that will not disappoint when searching for a unique and fun night out.

Manchester Museum (Naomi Munns)  

What can you do in the day? (cafes, restaurants, shops and facilities)

The industrial cityscape of Manchester has long remained the canvas for urban developers, injecting colour and creativity on decrepit buildings. The Northern Quarter is an eclectic hotspot of eye-catching street art, as well as independent cafes and bars, with record shops scattered along Oldham Street for vinyl enthusiasts. Almost Famous, an elusive restaurant in a somewhat hidden location, is positively reviewed and recommended to visit by students (if you manage to find it).

Manchester boasts two major generic shopping complexes, with the city centre's Arndale and the slightly out of town Trafford Centre. However, Affleck's Palace is the home of variety. From independent fashion to novelty condoms, Affleck's is the unique rabbit hole of vintage, kitsch wonderment, residing in an ever convenient city centre location.

Thousands of students walking to lectures spot the alluring gothic architecture of the Manchester Museum. Found on campus, the museum is home to incredible artifacts from Egyptian mummies to prehistoric fossils. Best of all, it offers free entry. The hauntingly beautiful John Ryland's library in Deansgate is also worth a visit, especially if you're a keen historian. Its special collections include medieval manuscripts and pieces from the early European printing revolution.

Where’s the best place to live?

Finding the best area to live is relatively straightforward. If you crave the luxury of living 15-20 minutes walk away from campus and dodging public transport, Victoria Park is your saviour and is close to the Curry Mile (a mile of takeaway shops). If you relish a slightly more student demographic, Fallowfield entices with it's cheaper halls and housing, huge Sainsbury's and an abundance of bars and fast food outlets.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Guru Careers: Graduate Marketing Executive / Marketing Assistant

£18 - 23k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Executive / Assistant is n...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Trainee

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider to the fa...

Ashdown Group: Graduate IT Analyst - Global ERP Implementation - London

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful & reputable global business is l...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test