Living in Manchester: 10 Reasons To Make The Move

Sep 20 2023

Living in Manchester merges work with play and home with socialising. It’s the perfect blend. Here, invite the outside in with a neighbourhood of your very own; at Kampus, you might have noticed we adore duality.

Nothing pleases us more than putting opposites together with delightful results.

And this is reflected in our available apartments to rent in Manchester – whether that’s reaching for the stars with sky terraces, relaxing in our assortment of charming green spaces that leave you feeling grounded and tranquil, or retreating back to your stylish apartment overlooking a scenic waterway – opposing elements are woven through the steel and concrete of our Manchester neighbourhoods, and it just works.

This blend creates a to-and-fro that we simply adore. So, let’s get loud about 10 fabulous reasons why Kampus is thrilled to be in Manchester and why you might want to join us.

Living in Manchester Is More Affordable Compared to Southern Cities

One of the biggest advantages of living in Manchester is the lower cost of living, particularly in terms of transportation, cost of amenities, and living expenses. Cost of living comparisons can vary over time and depend on individual circumstances, but, according to Expatistan, Manchester is around 31% cheaper than London based on the cost of food, clothes, transportation, personal care, and entertainment.

If you live and work in the city centre, you may only have a short walk to the office. But if you do need to travel out for work, single adult ticket prices have been standardised to just £2 per journey in 2023. This makes daily bus commuting costs more manageable in Manchester than they have been in years – and even more so if you’re hybrid working. The city centre boasts a well-connected tram network too, allowing simple travel between Manchester zones.

To help reduce individual expenses and manage living costs effectively in Manchester, you could try sharing accommodation with friends or flatmates. You can also find things to occupy yourself that are a little closer to home!

Taking advantage of travel passes and discounted fares can further contribute to cost savings. With careful planning and cost management, residents can make the most of their budget and fully embrace the benefits of affordable – yet stylish – living in this exuberant city.

Invigorating Music Scene

From the unapologetic to the eclectic, the music scene in Manchester City Centre is as diverse and innovative as its people. Manchester is renowned worldwide for its musical heritage and for producing iconic bands such as The Smiths, Oasis, and Joy Division – bands who’ve left an indelible mark on the music industry and continue to inspire musicians to this day.

In a 2021 article from Radio X exploring the most musical towns and cities in the UK, Manchester took number 3, falling just behind Liverpool and London. Manchester hosts various music festivals throughout the year, including Parklife Festival and Manchester International Festival, attracting music lovers from all over.

There are a huge variety of active venues, bars, and clubs in the city centre, with some notable examples being:

The Northern Quarter in particular is a hotspot for live music, intimate venues, and a lively atmosphere, so if you’re off to the NQ to soak up the Manchester nightlife, be sure to check out a gig or open mic night for a feast for the ears while you’re at it.

Mesmerising Art

Just as art can be loud, it can also be vibrant, bird-themed, and fifty feet tall – let us explain…

With Kampus as your base of operations, you’ll be in a fabulous position to explore world-class galleries like the Whitworth Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery. Manchester offers a diverse range of artistic venues, from independent art houses to street art that you can see by simply walking around the city. Colour and movement are a cornerstone of how Manchester has always spoken to its visitors and inhabitants, and this hasn’t changed.

From Kampus, you’ll also be a few minutes’ walk from the Northern Quarter, where the neighbourhood’s cityscape pops with the unequivocal beauty of iconic street art. Whether that’s in the shape of a 30-foot blue tit or two men kissing, community art projects, spirited graffiti or eye-catching murals, art is simply impossible to miss as you explore the city.

A Place for Growth and Excellent Education

Manchester City Centre is home to some stellar universities. Popular choices for students include:

With a strong focus on higher education, the city boasts a vibrant academic community with several buildings standing tall and proud as bastions of knowledge across the city:

As one of the well-regarded institutions in Manchester, The Manchester University is a member of the esteemed Russell Group, which is recognised in the UK and abroad for its academic excellence and commitment to research-led teaching.

The universities in Manchester have a diverse student population, with students from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities. For international students, studying in Manchester offers a fantastic opportunity to immerse themselves in a cosmopolitan city, with a thriving arts and cultural scene, historic landmarks, and a vibrant student community.

The Energetic Nightlife

At Kampus, we can keep your home life feeling like the high life. As for the nightlife, well, the streets of Manchester can take care of the rest.

Bigger than most but smaller than the capital, living in Manchester is your excuse to be loud and boisterous. Somewhere to get home after a night on the tiles and fall into bed, wiped out with a smile on your face.

In this vibrant city, broad streets and tall buildings stand out to light your way home. Often the sun shines twice from above and below thanks to the rain-covered pavement and we love it for that.

There’s that duality again – sun and rain coming together to make a rainbow.

Canal Street

Speaking of rainbows… Kampus’ skyward-reaching Stack is nestled just over the river from Canal Street, the beating heart of the Manchester Gay Village. Gay Village is a significant sector of Manchester, known for liveliness and levity by the water.

Home to the city’s Gay Pride celebrations, its streets are lined with clubs and bars. For fans of late 90s TV shows, you might also know it as the neighbourhood that featured heavily in Queer as Folk, or later in Russell T Davies’ Cucumber.

Northern Quarter

The Northern Quarter is an eclectic neighbourhood known for its bohemian atmosphere, creative spirit, and colourful assortment of independent businesses.

It has become one of the city’s most popular destinations thanks to a thriving arts scene, a diverse mix of restaurants, and, of course, a lively offering of bars, clubs, and secret venues dotted between vintage shops, eateries, and galleries. NQ is a must-visit neighbourhood to get lost in with a group of friends on a wild night out, just as much as it is a place to soak up some quirky culture with a juice cleanse and fresh bite to eat the next morning.


Deansgate is a historic avenue lined with a captivating mix of architectural marvels, from the John Rylands Library to the Great Northern Warehouse – all the way to the iconic Beetham Tower, seen from across Greater Manchester.

Apart from the glorious architecture, the huge avenue hosts a variety of lively bars, upscale cocktail lounges, and lively nightclubs that’ll keep the beat going into the early hours. Known for its glamorous nightlife, Deansgate offers a diverse array of entertainment options.


Often referred to as the city’s ‘urban heritage park’, Castlefield begins at the foot of the gigantic Beetham Tower. The Bridgewater Canal and River Medlock both flow through the sector, creating an alluring blend of industrial charm, waterways, modern architecture, and tranquil green spaces.

The canals are flanked by charming towpaths, which offer picturesque views and a host of photo ops of the surrounding industrial architecture and lush greenery. Boats and barges also traverse the canals, contributing to the area’s idyllic setting.

Now, if you’re here for a great night out, the neighbourhood comes with a plethora of restaurants, bars, and pubs. Here, a notable mention is Altas Bar, which is perfect for the avid gin connoisseur thanks to its huge 570-strong gin collection.

Further down, you can explore the waterside and canal locks for Barca Bar, Dukes 92 and Alberts Shed. These bustling venues are full of buzz at the weekend, and their proximity to two waterways and the iconic bridge makes for a visually stimulating space for a night out.

For living in Manchester, Kampus puts you in an ideal location to reach all of these hotspots. So you can put yourself in the thick of it easily and get yourself home safely just as easily.

Exciting Shopping Opportunities

Whether you’re searching for the latest fashion trends, stylish homeware, or exclusive designer items, shopping in Manchester City Centre offers a wide range of high-street staples, independent stores, boutiques, and luxury brands to suit all tastes and budgets.

For your high street essentials, you can head to Market Street, wiling away the hours in the Arndale Centre. You can take the Exchange Court exit of the Arndale and find more shopping units like Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Burberry, BOSS, and Ted Baker.

For avid bargain/treasure hunters, the Northern Quarter is the place to be for vintage boutiques, markets, charity shops, and thrift stores.


A myriad of marvels and a wealth of wonders awaits! A shopping emporium filled with independent stalls and shops, Afflecks sits where Church Street meets Tib Street and Oldham Street. It boasts a diverse array of products, ranging from vintage clothing and unique accessories to handcrafted items and alternative merchandise. Every room on every floor is filled wall to wall with wonders, oddities, and curiosities.

Afflecks also serves as a creative hub and showcases the work of local artists, designers, and entrepreneurs.

Beyond shopping, Afflecks houses a delightful assortment of tattoo studios, hair salons, and piercing parlours to reinvent yourself. After wiling away the hours lost amongst the trinkets, head upstairs for a well-earned refuel with a bite to eat and a coffee at the cafe on the 3rd floor.

The Thrilling Cuisine and Foodie Scene

Speaking of a bite to eat, we can’t talk about reasons to live in Manchester City Centre without talking about the food.

A notable highlight of Manchester’s food scene is its thriving street food culture. Across the city centre, you can find bustling food markets and independent street food vendors that offer a wide range of exquisite dishes from around the world. These markets and vendors create a lively atmosphere in numerous zones.

From traditional British fare to international cuisines, the city offers a plethora of dining options to suit all palates; a reflection of the diverse inhabitants of the city and the distinctive influences from each of its different sectors.

But let’s start a little closer to home shall we…?


From your spot at Kampus, you’ll be able to head down to the canalside to experience Nell’s, a wonderful addition to our neighbourhood. Here you can indulge in New York style, thin-crust pizzas and pies, in a delightful neighbourhood bar.

From your doorstep, you’ll be in the thick of it in minutes. Sandwiched between the thriving Stack neighbourhood and the bustle of Canal Street just over the water, you can kick back and dig in with your friends in a buzzing and stylish environment.

The inside space is open and welcoming, with a mixture of larger high tables and smaller tables for intimate groups or pairs. A sweeping bar and plenty of helpful staff greet you as soon as you walk in, ready to serve you a good time. Meanwhile, the outside space is full of promise, almost demanding summer parties and beers by the water.


If you follow the canal towards the west side of the Kampus neighbourhood you’ll find Madre. A very exciting addition to the Kampus family, Madre is a living love letter to Mexico. The menu takes inspiration from the team’s journeys to Mexico over the past two decades.

The restaurant provides diners with an authentic taste of Mexico through classic dishes like tacos, pork carnitas, beef birria and fresh seafood cooked over a wood-fired grill.

Madre embodies Mexican culture; music, food and drinks to deliver a vibrant and indulgent foodie experience and we’re thrilled to add it to the Kampus neighbourhood.


Calling all bread aficionados! Pollen Bakery is another of Kampus’ neighbourhood offerings and a renowned artisan bakery located downstairs on the southernmost corner of the Stack building. If you’re on one of the lower floors you might even be able to smell the freshly baked goodness from your apartment.

Pollen Bakery has quickly become a beloved establishment in the city’s vibrant food scene and a go-to for baked goods for Kampus residents. Their pastry selection features an array of mouthwatering treats, including cakes, croissants, pain au chocolat, and seasonal specialities.

Having previously been based underneath Piccadilly train station and at the New Islington Marina, now Pollen has Kampus to call home, the pastry team have a larger, glass gallery kitchen to show off in – so you can see the masters at work.

Manchester City Centre’s Architectural Marvels

Manchester is a haven for stunning architecture, boasting a range of iconic landmarks that add to its skyline and make for stimulating exploration (and you’d be able to appreciate a fair few landmarks from your bedroom if you end up on the upper floors of Kampus’ Stack building).

Some of the city’s architectural highlights include:

Castlefield Viaduct

A unique experience, this grade-II-listed Victorian-era steel viaduct is in Castlefield, the oldest part of Manchester. Built by the same engineers who worked on Blackpool Tower, Castlefield Viaduct is open to visitors, allowing them to explore its rich history and experience an urban ‘park in the sky’.

Being able to walk on the viaduct and experience an urban ‘sky park’ is a unique and immersive experience that offers visitors a different perspective. Castlefield is a well-preserved area with a rich industrial heritage, and preserving the viaduct is an integral part of maintaining the district’s character and identity

The Palace Hotel Manchester

Originally built as the Refuge Assurance Company headquarters in 1895, this grand, grade-II-listed building has been through many transitions, twice known as The Principal Manchester and The Palace Hotel before most recently entering its Kimpton Clocktower era.

The architecture is a mix of French Gothic and Victorian styles, and the iconic clock tower is a prominent feature on the city’s skyline.

Just don’t talk about Room 261

The John Rylands Library

No mention of Manchester’s stunning architecture would be complete without mentioning The John Rylands Library.

This impressive library is a grade-I-listed building located on Deansgate and was founded by Enriqueta Rylands in memory of her husband, John Rylands.

The building, completed in 1900, is a masterpiece of Victorian Gothic architecture, and its exquisite interior includes a historic reading room. The striking building is part of the University of Manchester and serves as a library for the public, as well as an archive for the University of Manchester’s Special Collections – the third-largest academic collection in the United Kingdom.

Manchester Central Library

The Manchester Central Library is another architectural masterpiece, renowned for its striking neoclassical architecture, iconic columns, majestic dome, and grand staircase. Standing tall in St Peter’s Square, this impressive building isn’t merely a library – it’s also a hub for cultural events and exhibitions.

If you make your way up to the top floor library, you can (quietly) take in the magnificent artwork adorning the underside of the dome.

Convenient Transport Links

Manchester City Centre offers a range of transportation options to navigate its bustling streets and vibrant neighbourhoods. Whether you prefer public transport, walking, or cycling, the city provides a well-connected network to ensure seamless travel within the heart of Manchester:


Buses are a popular and convenient mode of transportation in Manchester City Centre. Operated by multiple companies, they provide extensive coverage throughout the area and beyond.

The city’s notable bus terminals are Piccadilly Gardens and Shudehill Interchange – both of which run frequent services and have Transport for Greater Manchester staff on hand to make the buses as accessible as possible.


Manchester City Centre boasts several railway stations, with the primary hub being Manchester Piccadilly Station. Piccadilly Train Station connects the city to destinations all over the UK, making it an ideal choice for long-distance travel.

Additionally, Oxford Road Station and Victoria Station also serve the city centre, providing commuter services and regional connections. Train travel is the fastest means of transportation for those venturing beyond the city limits.


From your excursions from your Kampus apartment, The Manchester Metrolink tram system provides excellent connectivity within the city and its surrounding areas, leaving you well-connected for all sorts of adventures.

Trams run frequently and serve key locations, including Deansgate, St Peter’s Square, and Exchange Square, helping you reach other boroughs if you’re venturing further afield. Living at Kampus, your nearest stop is the Piccadilly tram stop, which is a 4-minute walk from the Stack building.


The Metrolink is an efficient option for getting around the city, especially during peak travel times when it helps avoid road congestion.



Manchester City Centre is bike-friendly, with an increasing number of dedicated cycle lanes and bike-sharing schemes available. The city’s flat terrain makes cycling an enjoyable and eco-friendly way to explore the urban landscape.

Bike parking racks are dotted along most streets, and the council has introduced a cycle hire scheme in the city centre. They’ve set up bike stations around the centre – these, you can rent for short trips using an app on your mobile phone. One of the perks of being a resident at Kampus is having your own secure bike rack for extra peace of mind.


Manchester City Centre is easily accessible by car with major roads leading in from towns across Greater Manchester. But navigating busy city centre streets, newly pedestrianised zones, one-way roads, congestion and occasional roadworks can be a challenging time, especially during peak hours.

Driving may be more suitable for those arriving from outside the city or exploring areas not easily reached by public transport. If you do drive, Kampus offers secure parking for residents. Visitor parking is also available on and offsite, with preferential rates in case you have friends or family staying for the weekend.


Yes, it’s not technically a transport link, but if you’re just getting to know this thrilling city, walking is on par with cycling for one of the best ways to do so. None of the travel costs and all of the immersion, whilst doing your bit to be greener, walking is a win on three fronts and a fantastic way to immerse yourself in Manchester City Centre’s vibrant atmosphere.

Thanks to the size of the city centre, you’re never far away from a point of interest, and the city’s pedestrian-friendly streets and scenic walkways make strolling around an enjoyable and leisurely experience. Even after living in Manchester your whole life, it’s a city that sheds its skin and keeps you entertained on a regular basis, so who’s to say what hidden gem you’ll discover the next time you nip out?

The Vibrant Manchester People

The symbol of Manchester is a bee and with good reason – the people thriving in the hive of Manchester are renowned for being collaborative, hardworking, outgoing, no-nonsense, and getting a buzz out of contributing to their communities.

Community engagement is commonplace in Manchester City Centre, with several arts, culture, and wellbeing organisations adding vibrancy to the streets with murals, gardens, and other projects. Social spaces across the city have notice boards for group activities dotted all over the city for you to get involved in and enliven your weekly schedule; from art to yoga to martial arts, there’s always events happening at Kampus.

In comparison to a larger city like London (where crossing the city can take a few hours, several different forms of transport, and can be quite the undertaking), Manchester City Centre can be crossed on foot:

  • Top to bottom: No more than 30 minutes
  • Left to right: Within the hour

Super simple to navigate, all areas of the town are readily accessible without reliance on public transport and anyone else’s schedule except your own. This allows you to stop now and again and take in your surroundings. While you take a moment to yourself, it’s not uncommon to strike up conversations with strangers in coffee shops, or at local events.

Diversity & Inclusion Abound

Ample areas of diversity foster inclusivity, embracing people from different backgrounds and cultures. The city offers a plethora of social spaces, restaurants, pubs, and cafes, where people from all walks of life can come together, share stories, and build relationships.

From being the world’s first industrial city to splitting the atom and spearheading women’s rights with the Suffragettes, Manchester has a history of nurturing innovators and pioneers who were born to rebel – exhibiting strength through unity.

Of course, this isn’t an exact science – it takes all kinds of people to make up all kinds of places – but it’s not uncommon for people from elsewhere to visit Manchester and immediately point out these pleasant quirks in a Mancunian.

Ready to Live in Manchester? Manchester Is Ready for You

Culture, community, rebellion, and strength in unity are woven into life in this dear Cottonopolis.

And, at Kampus, we aim to embody these same values, with our vibrant neighbourhoods and apartment living. From the cobbled streets that baptise your brand-new trainers with fresh rainwater to the climbing cityscape full of ancient and modern architectural marvels, every step through Manchester City Centre is an adventure that invites you to stop and stay a while.

The heart of the city beats hard and fast with the rhythm of its diverse music scene, the cheers of passionate football fans, and the laughter of friends outside a club at one in the morning. The bustling streets embrace their past and race towards the future, mixing tradition and innovation.

There it is again: the duality, the to-and-fro that we adore.

If you’re looking for things to do to get inspired, find a connection, or pursue a life of adventure, Manchester City Centre and Kampus will greet you with open arms.

Your next chapter starts here.

If you’re setting off on your adventure alone, feel free to size up our 1-bedroom apartments. And if you’ll be bringing a friend, our two-bedroom apartments may be just the ticket.

Book your viewing or give us a call on today on 0161 546 1350.


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