New arrivals in Manchester can look forward to a diverse and varied lifestyle. There's something to suit everyone in the city – from shopaholics on the hunt for the latest must-have piece and revellers looking for a good night out, to avid foodies and sports enthusiasts. Expats moving to Manchester with children will also find there are plenty of places for a great day out with the little ones.
Shopping in Manchester
Shopping in Manchester is a real treat and people from smaller neighbouring towns head to the city at weekends to take advantage of its larger variety of stores. Whether looking for a new wardrobe on a tight budget, something for a special event, or a truly unique item, Manchester shoppers won't be disappointed.
The stunning Barton Arcade, dating back to 1871, is located in Manchester’s trendy Deansgate area and now houses a range of small independent boutiques and exclusive shops. This is definitely the ideal place for expats to treat themselves or to find a special gift for someone.
Expats can visit Manchester’s King Street to indulge in the latest collections from international and British designers. Manchester is also home to a number of luxury department stores, such as Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.
When the Manchester rain hits, residents head indoors to one of the city’s malls. The famous Trafford Centre is as much a theme parks as it is a shopping destination, and there's plenty to keep the whole family entertained here. Afflecks in Manchester's Northern Quarter is the place for indie commerce, where shoppers will find everything from alternative clothing outlets to old-style record stores and retro gaming shops.
Nightlife in Manchester
Manchester has a bustling and eclectic nightlife scene. For those that enjoy a drink after work, there is a watering hole on every corner. Whether one prefers the historic atmosphere of a traditional English pub, or finely crafted cocktails and stunning views from a rooftop bar, the city has it all.
Expats who enjoy clubbing will be pleased to know that the party never stops in Manchester. Thanks to the city’s large student population, many clubs are open every day of the week; partygoers don’t need to wait until the weekend to have a good time. From '60s soul to acid house, disco and everything in between, Manchester’s club scene is vibrant and varied; it’s easy to understand why the city is a top UK party destination.
Eating out in Manchester
Manchester is fast gaining a reputation for good food, and residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to dining. At eateries in Manchester, expats will find cuisine from a range of destinations, including Thailand, Spain, Italy, France, Mexico and more.
Manchester is home to the largest Chinatown in the UK after London, and here diners can sample authentic Asian delicacies. The city’s Curry Mile in Rusholme is said to have the highest concentration of South Asian restaurants in the whole of the UK, including Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi eateries.
Sports and outdoor activities in Manchester
Expats who enjoy keeping fit will find plenty of opportunities to get involved in a range of activities. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and discover breathtaking scenery along one of the many cycle routes or hikes.
Manchester has one of the biggest and best swimming facilities in the UK – the Manchester Aquatics Centre – where swimmers can enjoy a swimming pool that once hosted the Commonwealth Games. For a cool day out with the kids, stop in at the Chill Factore, where the UK’s longest indoor ski slope can be found.
Those who prefer to watch sport rather than taking part can catch the beautiful game at Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium, the second-largest stadium in the UK after Wembley Stadium.
►Find out about the best ways to travel in the city in Getting Around in Manchester
"Manchester is world famous for its music scene, and it is definitely one of the best parts of living here. From Oasis to The Buzzcocks; Joy Division to The Smiths, a myriad of famous bands has hailed from Manchester and the surrounding area." See what else Manchester has to offer in this interview with Allison Leonhardt.
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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