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The student guide to Manchester

Posted at 06 October 2017

Moving to the big city of Manchester in September? Here’s a few tips to dealing with the busy city.

Make sure you familiarise yourself with your surroundings and what main buildings are near your village, this includes shops, cafes, restaurants and leisure activities. We have three villages based in Manchester, Rusholme Place, Peel Park Quarter and John Lester & Eddie Colman.

How to get around?

The main way to get around Manchester is by foot - the city isn’t as big as it looks, however it does all look the same until you become more used to it! Use landmarks like the Arndale Centre, Town Hall, Manchester Central Library and the Manchester Cathedral as guides around town.


If you are planning to get round Manchester and travel by public transport, there are loads of trams and buses running right through the centre and they are the main way to get from place to place. Trams run to Deansgate, Market street and Piccadilly as do buses. There is always a metro ticket machine outside every tram stop which is super user friendly, you can pay both cash and card with different language settings.


Manchester weather can sometimes be really unpredictable so buying an umbrella would be a smart investment. There will be days where you feel like you’re seeing the sky for the first time in months! In the rainy city, you can expect rain all year round - buy an umbrella and keep it on you, always.


Manchester is known for having amazing culture and if you are looking to get a taste of that museums are a great way to explore the city, plus they are free! The museums range from people, art, entertainment and sport. If you like art and entertainment, the Lowry is highly recommended. If you’re a lover of sport, why not visit the National Football Museum? Manchester has lots of music venues where you can watch live music and comedy shows, too. Keep an eye on Manchester Confidential to keep up with what is going on in Manchester.

Where to eat 

There is a wide variety of culinary experiences from all around the world to choose from! However, you don’t get any more “Manc” than chips and gravy, it sounds and looks totally unappetising to some, but don’t knock it until you try it! If that’s not for you there are plenty of other options, for example the Northern Quarter are is known for its quirky food and has vegan options too.

Manchester has a number of different food varieties they range from Thai (My Thai) to Indian (Mowgli) to Italian, oh and you can’t forget China town that’s a whole area dedicated to Chinese food!

Where to drink

Students are normally looking for the cheapest place to drink if that’s you check out Rosylee in the Northern Quarter where Monday to Friday they have two cocktails for £10 or Tusk do Sunday to Friday 5pm till 10pm two bottles of beer for a fiver! That give you a big saving for the city centre.

To branch out and if you’re feeling fancy and want to sip cocktails looking over the whole of Manchester, then Cloud 23 located on top of the tallest building in the Hilton Hotel is the place to go!


You can always have a good night out in Manchester as the city is so lively! Places to go for a night out would be Lock 91, Revolution De Cuba and Gas Lamp (which is a quirky Victorian drinking den)! Of course you can’t miss the famous Canal Street where there is a large LGBT community that socialise in the centre around bars and restaurants.

Keeping fit and active

‘Gym’ and ‘students’ don’t really go together but it’s a great way to clear your mind and stay active! If you like to keep fit and enjoy a good workout there are many gyms available in the centre of Manchester. Bannatyne’s is a great place to relax and includes a spa and swimming pool, and you can also go just for the day! Or if you want to commit to something a bit more affordable, why not try Pure Gym? It is open 24 hours and 7 days a week, and starts at £21 a month with no contract.

Local jobs

A part time job might be the last thing on your mind as a student but a little extra money each month can go a long way and really relieve some of the financial stress! Take a look on the students’ union website for local jobs advertised, some of these jobs are even in the Student Union bar and shops themselves.

Few extra tips

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for directions if you get lost - everyone has been lost before!
  • Explore, explore, explore! Manchester has so many unique and quirky places you will be amazed how many you find.

Make lots of new friends even within different universities. It is good to have a wide range of friends in such a big city.​