Manchester Living: What You Need To Know Before Moving There

Situated in the north of England, Manchester is the UK’s third largest city behind London and Birmingham. The city consists of a population of more than half a million people and it was notoriously known for being the birthplace of the industrial revolution. Manchester is one of the most popular cities to visit and do an internship in the UK as a result of its youthful, diverse, energetic and unique character. The history is deeply rooted in the city and today it is one of the liveliest cities in the UK as a result of its eccentric restaurants, bars, shops, museums and galleries.

As it is one of the most exciting cities nationwide, you are therefore wondering what you have to know before undertaking your internship in Manchester and living there. Other than getting accustomed to the notorious British weather, there will be other things that will make moving to this city a lot easier.

So let’s explore what you need to know before moving to Manchester.

Accommodation costs

When it comes to accommodation, Manchester living will beat London by far as housing costs in London tend to be higher than in other cities in the UK. That being said, living in Manchester is quite affordable. Manchester is therefore an attractive place to live when doing an internship in the UK.

Estimated costs

Regarding the monthly rental prices in Manchester, you will find different prices depending on where you live essentially. In the city centre, for example, it is common to find a 1-bedroom flat (apartment) for more than £500. Outside the city center, the same would cost more than £400. If you are looking for a 3 bedroom flat in downtown Manchester, expect to pay more than £850 in comparison to more than £600 for 3 bedroom outside the city center.

Housing comparisons

Now all these prices mean nothing if you cannot compare Manchester living to other major cities in the world. You will actually realize that Manchester is relatively more affordable than the other major cities and it might even make you feel good about moving there, especially for your internship in the UK.

For example, London is 20.67% more expensive than Manchester and if you cross the pond, Paris is 55.82% more expensive. The cities of Los Angeles and New York are on a completely different level being 144.23% and 265.74% more expensive each in comparison to Manchester.

Tips to save housing costs

Despite Manchester being relatively affordable in comparison to the other major cities, that is not to say that it can still be relatively expensive. To make Manchester living somewhat affordable there are multiple ways to save housing costs.

The first would be to share a flat or house. Manchester has many flats and houses that are available for sharing. It is not uncommon to share your house or flat in the UK. Websites like Gumtree, SpareRoom or Easyroommate are great websites to find someone with whom you can share a living space with. Needless to say that this will be extremely beneficial to you during the entire duration of your internship in the UK.

The other would be to avoid living in the most expensive areas of the cities. The likes of Prestwich, Bramhall, Saddleworth, Ramsbottom and Stalybridge are quite popular areas. Others include Didsbury, Chorlton, the Heatons, Sale, and Worsley.

Manchester Food, Grocery and Restaurant Costs

While the British are not notoriously known for their cuisine, there is still an exciting culinary scene in Manchester. Some of which include Greater Manchester’s famous Black Pudding, Manchester Tart, Eccles Eggs, and Vimto.

Estimated food costs

When it comes to the supermarket and restaurant scene, there are plenty of options for making Manchester living — and the time during your internship in the UK, easy. For example, if we explore the essentials you would buy at a supermarket, you can find the following price range for each item.

Grocery items:

  • 1L of milk: £0.50 – £1.00
  • Loaf of bread: £0.62 - £1.20
  • 12 eggs: £1.25 - £2.35
  • 1kg beef: £5.00 - £10.00
  • 1kg apples: £1.00 - £3.00
  • 1kg white rice: £0.60 - £2.00

Now if we compare that to the price of restaurants. An inexpensive restaurant can cost between £8 to £16. Takeout coffee from £1.70 to £3.00 and a bottle of coke between £0.70 to £1.50.

Again, these prices do not really mean anything if we cannot compare them to other major cities. Restaurants in major cities like New York and Toronto, for example, are 30.10% and 14.76% more expensive compared to those in Manchester. Your internship in the UK will be relatively cheaper!

When it comes to groceries, one will notice that Manchester living is more affordable than all the other major cities. In New York, for example, it is expected that groceries are 89.25% more expensive than in Manchester. In Toronto, it is 17.56%, 47.56% in Sydney and 43.09% and 8.62% in Paris and Dubai each.

What travel options are there in Manchester

Like any other major city, what makes Manchester living so ideal is that there are numerous travel options both in the city as well as to other nearby cities such as Liverpool, Blackpool and Leeds for example. The city’s layout makes walking a popular choice for many during their internship in the UK.

Peak Manchester living is when you are able to take the free bus. Formerly known as the Metroshuttle, the free bus provides the “hop on, hop off” service to the main shopping districts, business areas as well as the main rail stations. All your essentials are within the bus route so that makes Manchester living unique.

You also have the normal commercial bus service that goes across Greater Manchester. This bus service, therefore, offers more routes than the free bus.

If you do not really fancy a bus then you can take trams and trains as well. One of the most successful railway systems in the country is the Metrolink network. Due to their frequent services, you do not really have to rely on a schedule as the next available tram will be just minutes away. The Metrolink will transport you to all the attractions and popular venues in the region. If you are planning to use this service frequently, travel cards are a must to have unlimited travel across the network.

If you are planning to travel to nearby cities to take breaks from your internship in the UK, the rail network will connect you to all of Manchester’s neighboring towns including the likes of Bolton, Wigan, Stockport and many others.

If you want the best of all worlds and be able to travel on the bus, train and tram then why not get yourself a System One Travelcard? This travel card is accepted by most tram, train and bus companies in the local region meaning you can transfer seamlessly from one transportation method to another as often as you like.

If transportation is not really your thing then Manchester offers you the ability to explore the city on foot and through the use of cycle routes. The city is extremely bike friendly and you will find many dedicated cycle routes throughout the city and beyond.

Everything in the city center is easily accessible on foot as well. Manchester living is ideal because nothing is really further away than a 20 minute walk.

You are probably wondering what the costs will be for all the various forms of transport. You can expect to pay £2.60 for an adult single. For a one day ticket for bus, tram and train expect to pay £8.50. If you rather pay monthly or yearly, you can expect to pay £54 for a monthly season ticket and £500 for a yearly season ticket.

If you want to save money using public transport, we advise the following. Buying a system One card will allow you to travel on any form of transportation. Check the Metrolink site to find the latest savings on ticket prices. Manchester is also a bicycle-friendly city as well as everything is not more than a 20 minute walk away saving you money.

There really is no shortage of transportation for you when it comes to exploring the city of Manchester or its neighbouring cities. Whatever your favourite method of transportation is, Manchester is guaranteed to have it.

Other Tips on Moving to Manchester


One thing you might want to familiarize yourself with before moving to Manchester for your internship in the UK is the taxes you would have to pay. Regardless of where you live in England, you will pay the same rate of income and sales tax.

In the UK, Value Added Tax or VAT is 20% and this is added to most goods and services throughout the country. What is worth noting is that in the UK, VAT is always included in the marked price, unlike in some countries.

If you own or rent your home, you will need to familiarize yourself with the concept of council tax. Council tax is based on the area you live in as well as the size of the property you live in. Manchester Council Tax provides all the information you need regarding council tax in Manchester.

Stamp duty is a term you should familiarize yourself with if you decide to buy a flat or house in Manchester. There is initially no tax on the first £125,000 of your house value although if your house is valued at £1.5 million expect marginal rate increases to 12%.

Things to do and see

Manchester is renowned for its vibrant and dynamic scene, making it one of the most popular cities to visit in the UK. There is always something going on in Manchester. If you are new to the UK or the city of Manchester itself, there are tons to do and see. If you are into history, look no further because Manchester is a city that is proud of its history and it stems deep in the city’s roots. Visit the iconic Manchester Cathedral or the iconic Albert Square.

Manchester is also renowned for its sports scene and is home to two of the biggest clubs in world football today. Watch your favorite Manchester team whether that is Manchester United or Manchester City at Old Trafford or the Etihad Stadium. The city is also home to various museums such as the National Football Museum as well as the Manchester Art Gallery. In terms of places to see or visit, there really is something for everyone!

Events in Manchester

If you are more interested in the arts, check out our top picks of arts events you could attend during your internship in the UK:

From world-renowned museums to intimate independent galleries, Manchester is a great place for art lovers of all kinds. And with a thriving music and nightlife scene, there's always something going on.

The Manchester Museum: With over four million items in its collection, the Manchester Museum is one of the largest and most important museums in the UK. Located in the heart of the city, it's a great place to learn about the history and culture of Manchester and the world.

The Whitworth: One of the UK's leading contemporary art galleries, the Whitworth is home to an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art. Located in the beautiful Whitworth Park, it's the perfect place to spend a sunny day.

The Manchester International Festival: A biennial event, the Manchester International Festival is a celebration of the best in contemporary music, theatre, dance, and visual art. With performances and installations from some of the world's leading artists, it's not to be missed.

So whether you're a local or a visitor, make sure to mark the dates on your calendar!

How to better adapt to living in Manchester

Living in Manchester can be a bit of an adjustment for those who are used to smaller towns or city life. However, there are many things that make Manchester a great place to live. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making the transition for your internship in the UK.

One of the first things you’ll notice about Manchester is that it is a very diverse city. There are people from all walks of life and all corners of the world. This can be a great opportunity to learn about new cultures and make new friends.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Manchester is a very fast-paced city. There is always something going on and things move quickly here. This can be a great thing if you’re looking for a change of pace, but it can also be a bit overwhelming at first.

Finally, Manchester is a great place to live if you’re looking for a city with a lot to offer. There are plenty of things to do and see, and you’re sure to find something that you love.

If you’re thinking of making the move to Manchester, keep these things in mind and you’re sure to have a great experience.

Closing Remarks

Manchester is a great city to live in. There is always something to do and the people are friendly and welcoming. The city has a great sense of community and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in local activities. The cost of living is reasonable and there are plenty of job opportunities. Overall, Manchester is a great place to live and would recommend it to anyone looking for a new place to call home during their internship in the UK..

So why not give Manchester a try?

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