10 things to do in manchester as an undergraduate student

Moving to Manchester to go to uni at 18 was a big step, and the city has inevitably had an influence on the adult (sort of) I am today! There are a few things that EVERY Manchester student will do during their time living in the city and here’s a list of 10 of them…

  1. Visit Manchester Museum

Situated right next to uni the Manchester Museum is a cultural asset owned by the University and will undoubtedly be visited one day in a gap between lectures. It has a large ancient Egyptian collection and a vivarium of frogs and lizards, amongst other interesting artefacts!

  1. Have a night out at Fifth Ave

5th Avenue (or these days just called ‘fifth’) is an infamous club amongst Manchester students for packed dancefloors with indie anthems, great for first years looking for good music to sing and dance along to. I defy you to find any student who hasn’t visited at least once or twice! For those looking for something a bit different, in my 3rd and 4th years I’ve found clubs such as the Venue, Mint Lounge or Remake Remodel at Soup Kitchen offer great music but in a slightly smaller, less frantic way.

  1. Go shopping in the Northern Quarter
Eleanor - northern quarter

Photo credit: New Manchester Walks

As mentioned above, Mint Lounge and Soup Kitchen are in the Northern Quarter, and where to start! It’s a fantastic part of the city for vintage shopping, trendy bars, cafes and some fantastic food. Take a turn from the centre of town and discover some great independent shops which are definitely worth visiting again and again! You’ll always find something new and interesting with each visit.

  1. Ride on a Magic bus
Eleanor - magic bus

Photo credit: Brian Creasey

Not necessarily an attraction but there is undoubtedly a not single Manchester student who hasn’t been on a magic bus! A handy route from student accommodation in Fallowfield to uni and town.

  1. Visit the Whitworth Gallery

Photo credit: Alan Williams

The newly reopened and completely free Whitworth Gallery is just a stone’s throw away from uni and is full of impressive and interesting exhibitions. Currently showing a solo collection by Cornelia Parker as well as recently acquired 90s contemporary artwork, a textiles gallery and a raft of other collections.

  1. Dance at a gig at the Academy

Manchester is renowned for its music scene, and with the Academy and three other fantastic gig venues on uni campus there’s no reason why you can’t get involved! I’d also recommend amazing venues in town like the Albert Hall (which Yasmine mentioned in her blog), which is an old church converted into a bar and music venue. For something really small and cosy and to see new up and coming music there are places like The Castle Hotel and Gullivers (both inadvertently are in the Northern Quarter, can you tell I really like that place?)

  1. Eat too much on the curry mile

Manchester would be incomplete without Rusholme, the famous curry mile. At least one visit is a must!

  1. Complain about the weather

Manchester is also renowned for its high levels of precipitation, in other words, it rains a lot. I’m not sure how much of this is true and how much people just like to complain! But by the time you’re in your second year and have invested in a good coat, you’ll be striding out in a monsoon like a proper Mancunian.

  1. Take a walk round Platt Fields Park

Any student living in Fallowfield will be familiar with Platt Fields Park, on the doorstep of the Fallowfield halls of residence. Popular with runners and often host to fun fairs and music events, it’s also home to a lake, a skatepark and the Manchester Gallery of Costume.

  1. Explore the John Rylands Library

Listed in Visit England’s ‘top 101 things to do before you go abroad’, the John Rylands library is an icon in the city centre. Owned by the University, it is home to a variety of special collections which are available for students at Manchester to read! Even if you don’t use any of the books, its a lovely place to study or just visit for its intriguing neo-gothic looks.


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