Manchester is one of the most vibrant cities in the UK. It’s also become one of the most desirable places to live in the country, thanks to its combination of great shopping centres, restaurants, bars, museums and nightlife.

Many parts of the city, including the city centre have been extensively renovated in recent years, greatly adding to its appeal. Thanks to its relatively small size compared to cities like London, it’s also very easy to get around, with the excellent Metrolink system connecting all major parts of the city.

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, there are some great parks and walks to be found and you’re also within an hour’s drive of the Peak District.

Despite having so much going for it, Manchester is a surprisingly affordable city to live in. Whether you’re renting or buying, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding somewhere that fits your budget.

If you’re considering moving to Manchester, then below are some of the best places to live.


Deansgate is one of the most famous and historic parts of Manchester. It’s also home to the city’s largest road and if you want to live in the city centre, it’s a great choice.

Being in the heart of the city centre means you’re within walking distance of a huge number of shops and restaurants. Manchester Arndale is right on your doorstep, as is The Printworks – an entertainment complex that’s home to some fantastic restaurants as well as a cinema.

In addition to the cafes, restaurants and shops – you can also find great culture all around you in Deansgate. Nearby are Castlefield Gallery, The Comedy Store and Manchester Gin Distillery as well as nightclubs such as Rebellion. Deansgate also has its own Metrolink station, so if you want to travel to other parts of the city centre or elsewhere in Manchester, it’s very convenient to do so.

Although it’s definitely one of the more expensive areas to live in Manchester, it’s also one of the very best.

Northern Quarter

Northern Quarter, Afflecks, Manchester

Northern Quarter, Afflecks, Manchester

One of the trendiest areas in Manchester – the Northern Quarter is perfect if you want to experience some of the best culture the city has to offer.

There are plenty of unique bars and restaurants in the Northern Quarter as well as great Sunday markets and smaller, independent shops. It’s also home to some of the city’s best nightlife. It’s great for music lovers too, with shops such as Vinyl Exchange and Piccadilly Records nearby. The Manchester Arndale is in close proximity, so a great shopping experience is never far away either.

Being in the heart of the city centre, the properties found in the Northern Quarter are mostly apartments. This being the case, it might not be the best choice for families but for young professionals, it’s a superb choice, especially if you’re moving to Manchester for the first time and want to experience the best the city has to offer.


If living in the city centre doesn’t appeal, then Prestwich is one of the best suburban areas in Manchester. It’s home to some incredibly beautiful houses and flats, making it a particularly desirable location for young professionals and families.

Prestwich is another area in the city that’s seen extensive renovation in the last 10 to 15 years, with many new shops and restaurants opening in Prestwich Village in particular. Some of the restaurants in Prestwich attract people from all over the city, such as the renowned Italian restaurant, Croma.

It isn’t just great shops and restaurants that Prestwich has to offer though. There are also some beautiful parks and walks to be found there. For example, Heaton Park – the largest municipal park in Europe, is within walking distance from most parts of Prestwich.

Heaton Park has seen some of Manchester’s biggest bands play there, including Oasis and The Stone Roses in recent years as well as the Parklife music festival. When it’s not hosting huge music events though, it’s known for its expansive green areas, Heaton Hall, a boating lake and a fantastic new playground.

In addition to Heaton Park, there’s also Prestwich Clough – a wooded area that looks particularly beautiful when it’s snowing as well as nearby Clifton Marina in neighbouring Swinton.

Prestwich would make an ideal choice for young families or singles who want to live away from the hectic city centre.


On the outskirts of the city and about 4 miles south of the city centre is Didsbury. Despite not being particularly close to the centre, Didsbury is one of the most desirable areas to live in Manchester.

One of the advantages of being outside the city centre is that you can find many great houses in Didsbury, making it ideal for families. There are also some excellent schools in the area too.

Although Didsbury provides a calm retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, there’s still plenty going on there. For example, Didsbury Village has some excellent shops, bars and restaurants. You can also get into the centre of town very easily thanks to the excellent public transportation.

Didsbury would make a great choice if you’re looking for somewhere upmarket but not located in the more hectic areas of the city, such as Deansgate or the Northern Quarter.

Salford Quays

Salford Quays, Manchester

If you want to live in a vibrant and bustling area of Manchester that isn’t in the city centre, then Salford Quays would make an excellent choice.

Although it’s home to many businesses and offices, there are also some fantastic properties in the area as well as many great restaurants and shops to be found on the waterfront.

Salford Quays is also within walking distance of Old Trafford, home of one of the world’s biggest football clubs – Manchester United. Also nearby are the Lowry Theatre and the MediaCity shopping centre. There’s also a local Metrolink station and plenty of buses going into the city centre, so even if you don’t drive, you’ll have no problem getting around.

Property can be somewhat expensive in Salford Quays but generally not as expensive as city centre locations such as Deansgate and the Northern Quarter.


Altrincham would not have been considered a highly desirable area to live all that long ago but that’s certainly not the case now. In fact, The Times recently named it one of the best places to live in the whole of the UK.

Having undergone heavy renovation in recent years, Altrincham is now completely transformed from what it used to be and is now a highly desirable location that’s ideal for families and first-time movers alike.

Among the great things Altrincham has to offer are Altrincham Market, Dunham Massey Halls & Market and The Stamford Quarter. There are also some great walks, including Bridgewater Canal and Transpennine Trail as well as Bridgewater Canal Trail.

It’s certainly true that property prices can be very high in Altrincham but it’s for good reason. With a fantastic shopping area, a great market and food hall as well as beautiful properties and some of the best schools in the city, it’s clear to see why it’s considered one of the best areas to live in Manchester.

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