Manchester vs London: What Is the Difference?

Manchester vs London

In this article

Major cultural centers in the UK, Manchester and London, both provide a wide variety of activities and destinations.

Because of its variety of job opportunities and diverse culture, London has always been a desirable location to live, compared to New York. But as the cost of living and housing prices in London rise, more and more individuals are opting to live elsewhere. Manchester is currently getting popular as an alternative.

In this article, we will look at what both cities have to offer and what are the differences between them. You will find out what the weather is like in these two places, which one is safer, which one offers a better quality of life as well as a cheaper cost of living, and much more that will help you decide which city is better to visit or live in.

Manchester vs London: What's the Difference?

Many people compare London to Manchester, the second-largest city in the UK, because of the north-south divide.

The two cities, which have distinct cultural, social, and economic characteristics, also have various living costs, marketplaces, job opportunities, and transportation systems.

Manchester is starting to establish itself as a leading international metropolis, while London has been regarded as a global city.

Quality Of Life Overview

Manchester's economy is constantly growing, costs are cheaper, and therefore the quality of life in this city is better.

Contrary to this, London, as the most expensive city in the UK, will not provide a quality of life for people who have an average salary.

Manchester vs London Crime Rate: Which City Is Safer?

Like many large cities, London has a lot of petty crime. South and east London have some of the most dangerous areas. Theft from people is the crime with the highest prevalence, followed by burglary, which occurs on a larger scale, while violent crime is quite low.

In Manchester, the situation is much better. Here, burglaries and thefts are represented in a smaller percentage, below the national average, and other criminal acts are very rare.

Manchester is undoubtedly safer than London since drug usage is the most common crime there.

Nevertheless, as a result of the police's crackdown on knife crime among young gang members and unlawful activities, London as a whole is growing safer month by month.

Cost of Living Compared

The more affordable cost of living in Manchester is another advantage. According to some studies, this city has about 30 percent lower costs of living compared to London, with lesser According to The Economist's Global Liveability Index for 2018, Manchester is the most habitable city in England, leading London by 13 positions.

Rent and Average House Price in Manchester vs London

Manchester is a large city where rental prices vary by location.

For a one-bedroom apartment in the city center, a tenant should shell out £650 to £800. However, anyone looking for something cheaper can find an apartment like this a little further from the center for £450 to £550.

On the other hand, London is one of the most expensive cities where a tenant has to shell out £1,200 for a room in the center. If transportation is added to this, then the costs are much higher, so only high-income residents can survive in this city.

North London is extremely expensive. But on the outskirts, the situation is better, for one room the tenant needs to spend on average from £550 to £1000, while for a one-bedroom flat from £1200 to £1700.

As far as house prices go, it's easier to buy in Manchester than in London. The price of a two-bedroom apartment is £150-250,000 in the best part of the city, while the price of a house on the outskirts is £170-350,000.

In London, a one-bedroom flat can cost at least between £350,000 and £450,000, while a house costs around £550,000, and that's in the safe area of the city.

Those looking to be close to central London should budget between £700,000 and £900,000 for a house

Which City Is Better for Foodies?

The majority of English high streets contain a wide variety of international food.

On average, the prices of foodstuffs are nearly the same in London and Manchester. The only thing is that London has more upscale stores like Daylesford, Whole Foods, and Planet Organic, while Manchester doesn't.

There are more places to go out and eat in London than anywhere else, of course. But chain and midrange restaurants generally have similar costs.

In addition to obviously having more restaurants, particularly high-end ones, London has somewhat more expensive eateries.

Public Transportation Comparison

Both cities have excellent facilities and transport connections. The major modes of transportation in Manchester include trains, buses, and trams. Using the Metrolink tram system or the free Metroshuttle buses in the city center is the most practical method to move about for travelers.

With its subterranean and national rail systems, London has historically had one of the greatest public transport systems in the world.

Also, in other parts of the UK, transport links are improving, particularly in Manchester. In this city, public transport is much more accessible than in London. For example, London's underground trains are very crowded, making them cramped, while Manchester's trams are quite spacious, not crowded, and offer beautiful views of the city.

In comparison, Manchester's transportation costs are considerably lower than London's. hus, the monthly bus ticket is almost twice as cheap.

Manchester airport is also accessible, it is international and without long queues.

Manchester vs London Size

London has the biggest population density (just under 9 million inhabitants), yet its population is expanding at the slowest rate in 15 years.

On the other hand, Manchester has had the highest rate of population growth, with the city's population expected to reach 635,000 by 2025, according to Manchester City Council.

Manchester vs London Weather: Is There a Difference?

Most people believe that because the UK isn't so large, the weather should be the same throughout the country. But this is untrue.

Manchester has completely different weather from London since it consistently rains there all year round.

It's also significantly warmer in London. This city has an 11° average temperature, compared to 1o° in Manchester.

July is the warmest month in London, while January is the coldest.

The months having the lowest risk of substantial rainfall in Manchester are April, June, and September. It has a moderate marine climate, so it never gets too hot or cold. Since it doesn't snow much in the winter, December also provides ideal weather.

Manchester vs London for Students: Which One Is Better?

There are 5 major universities in Manchester, including Manchester Metropolitan, the University of Salford, and the University of Manchester. This city has the greatest graduate retention rate.

The University of Manchester is a well-known Russell group university that is ranked 35 internationally.

For students who wish to study creative disciplines like art, theatre, or fashion, the Manchester Metropolitan provides excellent resources.

London is home to 21 major universities, a number of which are famous both domestically and abroad. These universities include the London School of Economics, Imperial College London, which is ranked seventh globally, and University College London, which is ranked eighth globally.

Given the variety of universities available and the abundance of public libraries in the area, including the British Library, one of the largest in the world, studying in London can be a terrific choice.

Employment Opportunities and Average Salary in Manchester vs London

As the largest, the UK capital has the greatest career opportunities, resulting in a low unemployment rate of around 8 percent.

Notwithstanding, since the launch of the government's Northern Powerhouse initiative in 2014, Manchester's economy has expanded twice as quickly as London's. The economy of the northern city is expanding more quickly than in the UK, and job opportunities are anticipated to continue to increase significantly. The city recorded an unemployment rate of 5.95 percent

Numerous companies are moving to the North of England, particularly Greater Manchester. Salford became the headquarters of TalkTalk, ITV, M&S, and the BBC.

There is little difference in salaries in Manchester and London for several sectors, such as marketing or admissions positions. As an illustration, a digital marketing manager earns around £35,000 a year in Manchester and around £44,000 in London.

A software developer who works in a bank may earn between £60,000 and £120,000 in London, but only between £45,000 and 60,000 in Manchester.

Which City Has More Attractions?

The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and the Natural History Museum are among the many historical and architectural attractions in London. A variety of historical and modern art galleries, including the V&A and the Tate Modern, are present alongside this.

The London Eye and the London Zoo are just a couple of the entertaining day trips available for families. Every person may find something to do in London.

Manchester has a wide range of alternatives, from shopping in the Northern Quarter to a leisurely stroll through Piccadilly Gardens.

For football fans, the Old Trafford stadium is a real attraction.

Moreover, people who are interested in history and culture can visit the Pankhurst Center and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

Manchester vs London Nightlife and Entertainment: Who Has More Fun?

The nightlife in Manchester is phenomenal. Due to its relative compactness, the city center is great for going out and has lots of fun for young people. Considering that there are world-famous nightclubs in London, this is a real attraction for party lover.

Boston is applauded for how much it has been transformed over the past decades, making it one of the cleanest cities in the United States. The Boston Harbor was very polluted in the 1960s; however, with active steps, the harbor has transformed into a clean and healthy water body. Air pollution in the two cities is also minimal, making the city clean and safe for habitation.

How Far Is Manchester From London?

London is south of Manchester, and the distance between them is about 200 miles, with the majority of automobile trips taking 4 to 5 hours.

Depending on traffic, the trip would likely take 6 to 7 hours for a coach service or a bus. Every hour, Avanti West Coast offers a train between London Euston and Manchester Piccadilly.

The ride lasts 2 hours and 7 minutes, and tickets range in price from £65 to £240. As an alternative, FlixBus runs a bus four times each day from London's Victoria Coach Station to Manchester's Shudehill Interchange.

London vs Manchester Summary

Both London and Manchester are fantastic. It is up to you to judge which city is a better place to visit as well as to live

Buying a property in Manchester is simpler, prices are cheaper and transport is more accessible, and as a result, you'll live a better lifestyle and have more money. But this city does not have the attractions that London has and another significant disadvantage is the weather.

The cost of living in London is among the highest in the world, therefore an average salary won't allow you to live well. However, this city is stunning, varied, and offers a ton of activities.

Written by Abisola Fikayomi

Abisola is an accomplished writer interested in US Travel, immigration, passports and visas. She’s passionate about exploring new places and cultures and willing to share her experiences, expertize and findings with others. That is her primary drive for specialising in this industry.


Yes, it is. Manchester is considered a top travel destination.
No, London is bigger.
No, the cost of living in London is about 30 percent higher compared to Manchester.
The average salary in Manchester is lower than in London.
Manchester is more secure than London.
Both cities have their advantages. Although London is known for its great employment opportunities, Manchester is known for its low cost of living.
Both cities have a very rich culture and history. The choice truly comes down to what you're looking for.

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