Manchester is a city of contrasts. Situated in the northwest of England and in the centre of a beautiful green belt region, the city itself is a thriving urban centre of industry and innovation. Offering a brilliant quality of life to expats, the city is a hive of activity and opportunity for those looking for a new start in a big city.
Living in Manchester as an expat
Home to world-renowned educational institutions and multinational businesses, Manchester offers a wealth of opportunities to expats from far and wide. Expats often land jobs in the city's dominant industries, including financial services, creative and digital industries, and legal and business services, among others.
Much of the city’s charisma is based around its rich musical and sporting history. Expats will soon learn that locals are passionate about sports and music, with the city hosting festivals and sporting events throughout the year. Add to this the city's vibrant culinary scene and its pulsing nightlife, and it becomes clear why the Manchester lifestyle is a major drawcard.
From a housing perspective, the range of available properties will meet most expat requirements, and while some parts of Manchester should be avoided, most of the city is welcoming and safe. Expats generally choose to live in the city centre or in the popular suburbs of South Manchester, each of which has a distinct character.
Expats, even those without their own vehicle, will have easy access to the city centre and surrounds no matter where they live, as the city's excellent public transport system offers commuters plenty of options for getting around. Manchester residents are also covered under the UK’s respected NHS healthcare system, and a number of reputable hospitals are located in the city.
Cost of living in Manchester
While Manchester cannot be called 'cheap' on a global scale, it is far less expensive than London and several other large UK cities. Property is considerably cheaper in Manchester than in London, as is public transport. That said, an expats cost of living is largely dependent on their lifestyle. Eating out and entertainment can be costly, but Manchester does offer many fun attractions to its residents for free.
Expat families and children
There are also plenty of good local schools for parents to choose from, depending on their children's ages and whether they want them to receive a private or public education. While there aren't any schools teaching a foreign curriculum in Manchester, there are a few schools that offer the globally respected International Baccalaureate.
Expat families in Manchester report a good quality of life, and those with wanderlust are sure to enjoy the city's close proximity to Europe, just a short hop away by flight. Still, even those who rarely leave Manchester will never run out of family-friendly things to do in this exciting city, from exploring its many cultural and historical attractions to attending the city's ever-changing mix of entertainment and sporting events.
Climate in Manchester
Manchester has a temperate maritime climate. Summers are warm and winters are cool, with temperatures hovering around 42ºF (6ºC) in the colder months and 68ºF (20ºC) in the warmer summer months. Rain is common throughout the year in Manchester, while snowfall is likely on the hills surrounding the city.
With many job opportunities, good healthcare, public transport and schooling options, Manchester has many drawcards for expats. The lifestyle on offer in the city is versatile and every type of expat will find entertainment options to suit their interests. It is Manchester's high quality of life that entices expats and keeps them in the city far longer than initially intended.
►Learn more about the UK as a whole with our guide on Moving to the United Kingdom
"People in Manchester are extremely friendly and you’ll find strangers will often strike up a conversation with you. People in this city are also extremely helpful and will go out of their way to help you get settled and feel at home." Check out Allison's experiences of living in Manchester as an expat in this interview.
Are you an expat living in Manchester?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Manchester. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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