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Manchester student living guide

A photo showing the exterior of a building near a busy road.

Moving to a new city is an exciting time in one's life. Add that to the excitement of being a university student, and you're left with one of the most thrilling experiences. But moving to a new place can be just as daunting as it is thrilling, especially if this is your first time being away from home. So, to make things feel easier, we have put together a handy Manchester Student Living Guide to help you navigate life as a student in this beautiful city!

Manchester is one of the most popular cities in Britain, so, it comes with no surprise that this is a hotspot for art, food, and culture. The city is also home to some of the biggest bands, including The Smiths, Oasis, and New Order.

So, as you embark on this new adventure, what do you really need to know about Manchester?

What is student life in Manchester like?

With top universities like University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and The Manchester College,  this vibrant city has lots to offer to anyone looking for a unique experience.

From the best music to outstanding cultural activities, there is something for everyone in Manchester. Here are a few highlights of what to expect:


As you would expect, getting around Manchester is pretty easy. If you're living on campus in the city centre, then walking around it the most convenient option.

Manchester has three main train stations - Manchester Piccadilly, Victoria and Oxford Road - each with both local and national connections. Public transport, in fact, makes it just as easy to get to Manchester City centre from anywhere. The Metro link provides a smooth commute, and students can take advantage of discounts for both trains and trams. This can ultimately cut costs down by a third.

If you're not living on campus, a good alterative to getting around is cycling. There are plenty of cycle lanes linking the various student halls and campuses with the town centre.

Cost of living

Manchester is notoriously more affordable than most UK cities, London in particular. This makes it the perfect destination for students who are looking for affordable housing.

Working in Manchester as a student is also quite easy, as the city has plenty of opportunities to offer for students looking to earn a little side income. The most popular student jobs are usually within hospitality, working as floor, bar or kitchen staff in pubs and restaurants.

You can use sites like TotalJobs, Indeed and Student Job to find vacancies in your area.

Going out

Of course, maintaining a good social life is up there in every student's list of priorities. And Manchester makes light work of that too. The city has plenty to offer, with some the best places to visit being:

  • The Science and Industry Museum
  • Manchester Cathedral
  • National Football Museum
  • Manchester Art Gallery
  • People's History Museum
  • Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden
  • Platt Hall: Gallery of Costume
  • Manchester’s Central Library

Blending in

During your time studying in Manchester, you will have the opportunity to take part in some of the most exciting and memorable activities. And the city is incredibly student-friendly. To make the most of it, make sure you sig up to Unidays to receive student discounts on restaurants, bars and pubs. There are also deals available for entertainment and student events.

Students from all over the world move to Manchester every year to attend university, so you will have plenty of great company to create new memories!

Moving into your student accommodation

Home to plenty of esteemed colleges and universities, Manchester is a vibrant hub for academic learning. So, finding student accommodation in the city isn't hard at all.

With plenty of student halls and campuses scattered around Manchester, thousands of students every year flock to the city to start their courses. If you’re a student moving into your new accommodation, chances are you have a lot of moving, packing and unpacking to do, which can be stressful at the start of your course. But that's where student self-storage comes in, giving you a flexible option to store all your belongings until you're ready to get settled into your new accommodation.

At Vanguard Storage, we offer a flexible range of storage solutions at our Salford branch – just a 4-minute walk from Swinton train station. Our smallest student storage locker starts at 10 sq ft, ideal for storage boxes or personal belongings, with our larger storage units start from spacious 25 sq ft for individuals who need to store small items of furniture, clothes or homeware.

Why consider student self-storage

Student storage is also a great aid between terms. In fact, most students will need to vacate their places during the summer break, which means packing everything and potentially having to take it all back to your parents' until you're ready to come back. Renting out a self-storage unit during the summer break will save you from the hassle of having to move everything back and forth. And thanks to our flexible and short-term plans, you can use your storage unit for as log as you need it.

With eight locations across London, Bristol and Manchester, we offer safe and reliable self-storage for domestic and commercial customers. For those searching for self-storage units in Manchester from a storage company you can trust, look no further than Vanguard Self Storage.

We understand that not all students can hire a moving company, so we offer a free man and van service to help transport your items, as well as forklift truck storage services for heavy and bulky items.

There is simply no one better in the Salford and Greater Manchester area to meet all your storage needs. And with our quick city guides you'll never be stuck for ideas. Most importantly, you'll know you're getting the best out of your student city and life at university!

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