Manchester is the second largest English city and is considered a little London. It’s big, but not too big, you experience the atmosphere of the big city without some of the negative aspects that characterize the metropolis. Living in Manchester means you can do most of the things you can do in London, but at a lower price.
The city center is very intimate with the usual mix of stores, restaurants and other buildings. The suburbs are densely populated and stretch for miles outside the center. The city is also close to some of the most beautiful rural areas in the UK. Besides, the city is located in the center of England, so London, York, Edinburgh and other interesting places are not too far away.
Public transport is good by British standards, but does not reach the standards of the best European cities, and the network of cycle paths is not particularly well developed. Traffic is crazy and traffic jams are commonplace. The city has one of the largest airports in Europe, making it an ideal location for those who frequently travel across borders.
The cost of living is much lower than in southern England and London in particular, and prices tend to drop as you leave the center. Housing prices vary greatly depending on the neighborhood. In any case, the rent is much lower than in London. Housing in London is about three times more expensive than housing in Manchester. Even if you earn a little less in practice you earn much more.
In Manchester, people are friendlier and there is a more family atmosphere than in London. It is a multicultural city with large communities of foreigners, with more than 190 different nationalities. So you will not feel like a stranger. The pace of life is much slower than in London. People have more time for you and are more helpful and friendly.
The cultural offer is second only to London, and the choice of restaurants and entertainment is huge. Of course, it still does not compare to London, but any day of the week it is possible to find an author’s cinema, an exhibition, a concert or a theater performance. The nightlife is phenomenal and offers something for everyone. Near the city center you can find a quiet bar, a cafe bar or a nightclub, all within walking distance.
The biggest problem is the climate. In the northeast of England, there is practically only one kind of weather all year round: gray, cloudy and rainy. In Manchester, you’re lucky if you can go ten days a year without rain. Ten months of the year are rainy with gray skies. The sky is cloudy almost 95% of the days, and on the few days when the sun shines, it is probably quite cold because of the strong wind that blows the clouds away. Good summers are so rare that they are remembered. For example, some people still talk about “the great summer of 2012” (when it was nice and hot for three weeks straight).
Living and working in Manchester has the advantage over London that the minimum wage is the same, but the cost of living is much lower and it is still possible to find affordable accommodation. And even though many cherish the dream of moving to London, you should keep in mind that living in the capital is not mandatory to have a good career, because Manchester also offers excellent opportunities and a better quality of life.
Living and working in Manchester – pros and cons
Living and working in Manchester, pros
- Good job opportunities
- Much lower cost of living than in London
- Multicultural environment
Living and working in Manchester, cons
- The traffic is terrible
- Many homeless people and some dirty areas
- Terrible weather
Living and working in Manchester, conclusion
Manchester could have better transportation and infrastructure and more pedestrian areas and bike lanes. But on the other hand, it is the second best city in the UK after London: you can find everything you need, there are many jobs, the quality of life is high and at the same time it is quite cheap. If it were not for the infamous climate, it would be almost perfect.
For all the information on how to work in the UK, I recommend you to read the article: How to work in the UK after Brexit
On the other hand, if you want more information on how to move to the UK, I recommend you to read the article: Moving to the UK after brexit