Manchester on a shoestringBy YHA
If you're looking for a cheap getaway this year but can't quite fork out for a flight abroad, a UK city break is the perfect alternative.
You already speak the language, you're used to the weather, and your student card will probably get you discounts across most of the student areas in the country. It's the ideal way to enjoy somewhere new without breaking the bank, and the North's beautiful city of Manchester is just the place for opportunities, excitement and nightlife. Just for TheStudentGuide, we've put together a quick guide to a budget stay in the city to give you an idea of where to start!
If you're looking for a little culture on your city break, you'll definitely be in the right place — Manchester has a huge number of free attractions to tempt you on a rainy day. A vast collection of 19th century work, as well as plenty from earlier periods, can be found at the Manchester Art Gallery, while those more interested in modern history should check out the People's History Museum.
If you'd rather spend your holiday enjoying the outdoors, head to one of Manchester's many beautiful public gardens and parks. St. John's Gardens are by far the most popular in the city, ideal for relaxing in the sun and people-watching with friends, while Whitworth Gardens in the heart of Manchester's gay-friendly district The Village is a much smaller, quieter place to wind down.
Often the hardest thing to arrange when trying to find a budget break, finding good, cheap accommodation is surprisingly simple in Manchester. There are plenty of top-quality hostels in and around the city, which are much cheaper than a hotel. The national YHA charity has a hostel in Manchester and offers bunks and even private rooms at excellent prices.
Manchester certainly has no shortage of the major budget chains you find across the UK, but you can find some genuinely good, home-cooked food at great prices too — if you know where to look. In the Northern Quarter you'll find plenty of small curry houses and cafés, and if you head to Chinatown you'll have a huge range of authentic, cheap meals to keep you satisfied every night of your trip!
Manchester has a vibrant nightlife scene aimed at student revellers, thanks to the large population of university residents living in the city, so whichever night you go out you'll find a good student bar to hole up in and take advantage of your student discount. Don't forget though that Manchester is also the home of northern soul, and its live music scene is legendary — make sure you look out for events around the area when you're visiting!