10 awesome things about Manchester

By now you should know that our UKEC’s head office is based in Manchester, one of the most vibrant cities in the UK. As a thriving town, Manchester has a great deal to offer whether you are into art, sports, music, shopping or food and drinks, there is truly something for everyone in this city regardless of your interest and budget.


whymancImage source: Manchester Evening News

What do you think of when you think of Manchester? Most people would say football and they are not wrong. Manchester is (1) the sporting capital of the United Kingdom.

Newcastle-v-Manchester-UnitedImage source: Mirror

With two world-class football clubs in one city, this is the place to be if you want to see a great football match. Not into football? Manchester is home to the Manchester Aquatics Centre, Regional Athletics Arena, National Squash Centre and Manchester Velodrome thanks to the legacy left behind by the Commonwealth Games in 2002.

Apart from its football teams, Manchester is also renowned for its (2) music scene worldwide. It is a city that has generated many internationally successful artists and bands, such as Take That, Oasis and more recently Hurts and Rixton.

tumblr_mby1wiIomH1qzck56o1_1280O2 Ritz | Image source: Tumblr

There are plenty of venues to choose from if you wish to see a live gig in Manchester and we are not just talking about concerts but also stand-up comedy, plays and musicals. There is always something on somewhere at any one time.

piccadillyrecordsPiccadilly Records | Image source: Shortlist

Music lovers of Manchester here enjoy a collection of record stores (yes, they still exist) like Piccadilly Records, which selection of vinyl records attracts local collectors and beyond.

Speaking of retail therapy, (3) Market Street is the heart of all shopping action in Manchester City Centre. ZARA, Marks & Spencer, H&M and Dr Martens are only a few of the many well-known brands that dot the whole stretch.

image_update_0d88a70b53e7969a_1361120788_9j-4aaqskManchester Arndale | Image source: ITV

If that’s not enough to satisfy your needs, the shopping centre Manchester Arndale can be accessed through this street via several entrances to even more stores including Topshop and Topman – a true shopper’s paradise.

trafford_5-1080x608Trafford Centre | Image source: Hedley McEwan

If you are willing venture further out to hunt down the shoes of your dream, hop on a tram headed for the famed (4) Trafford Centre, the second largest shopping centres in the UK. In addition, it features Europe’s biggest food court, the Orient which houses a huge variety of Asian cuisines under one roof. It is worth a visit simply for that!

img_1756Blue Rinse | Image source: Lefty Literary Hack

Perhaps you have a tight budget, then you should head to the (5) North Quarter where you will find a whole array of second-hand, vintage and charity shops selling branded or even designer (if you are lucky!) items for considerably lower than the original price. This is a relatively western culture so be prepared to have an eye-opening experience in one of these stores if you have been to one before!


Indeed, from what they are wearing to where they are eating, Northern Quarter is the hip place to be if you are aiming to learn what the cool kids in town are up to.

HomeSweetHomeNQ-exteriorHome Sweet Home | Image source: I Love Manchesterremote.jpgTakk | Image source: Visit Manchester

The Mancunian coffee culture is ever exciting. To taste some of the most popular Mancunian coffee shops, you need know the following names; Home Sweet Home, Common, Federal, Takk, Foundation, Propertea, North Tea Power… just to list a few!


Speaking of (6) food and drinks, Manchester is one of those cities where, every corner you turn, you are likely spot a new restaurant that either opened recently or you simply haven’t noticed before.

filthyFilthy Cow | Image source: Filthy Foodjamies italianJamie’s Italian Manchester | Image source: Visit Manchester 

Restaurants here can leave the scene just as quickly as they enter so try them out while you have the chance! If you are after something homelier because you get homesick now and again since you are in a foreign country halfway across the world… We understand, and let us assure you that Manchester has just the solution for that!

chinatownImage source: Annie Bananie en Europe

The Manchester (7) Chinatown is the second largest of its kind in the UK and third in Europe, containing restaurants, bakeries, supermarkets and more. Believe it or not, this is not even the only spot to find tasty, authentic Asian dishes, they are all over the town so do a little exploring and the options may surprise you.


If you are trying to get away from the eastern vibes and prefer to soak in the western cultures during your time in the UK, you may be glad to learn that Manchester’s (8) museums and galleries are second to none:

JS50586247Manchester Art Gallery | Image source: Manchester Evening News

The-Whitworth_press08_Stirling-Prize-nomination_Photo_Alan-WilliamsWhitworth Art Gallery | Image source: Museum & Heritage

The Whitworth is highly regarded as one of the best galleries in the country. In fact, it was awarded the title of “Museum of the Year” in 2015. It is within walking distance to the Manchester Art Gallery, talk about two birds one stone.

Enough of what is in Manchester, the (9) surrounding places are looking just as appealing. We have the futuristic MediaCityUK in neighbouring city Salford, where the BBC, ITV Granada, the Lowry and of course, the University of Salford’s media-related teaching and research are based.

MediaCity_at_nightMediaCityUK | Image source: Media City Daily

New_Lowry_studio_01The Lowry | Image source: Mather & Co

Not forgetting the nature lovers, the Peak District National Park is reachable by various means of transport and in next to no time you will find yourself immersed in the breathtaking natural beauty the English country has to offer.


Peak District | Image source: James Grant Photography

Go for a leisurely stroll or hike to clear your head, this part of the UK is beneficial for your body, mind and soul.


Last but not least, Manchester is attractive for its cost and standard of living.

OB-WN555_pound0_P_20130301063433Image source: Wall Street Journal

You have heard all about the awesome things we have to tell you but what makes Manchester truly a great place to live and study in is (10) the affordability when compared to most parts of the UK, making it a popular choice for students on a budget.


Whether you are hoping to study here or simply planning a day out in this greatly northern city, we hope you have a better idea of how you can spend your free time in Manchester. Oh, and did I mention that Manchester is also known as the rainy city? Always carry an umbrella or raincoat with you because the chances are it will be raining, everyday.


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