Is Manchester a great expat city?

Researchers regularly speak to expats living in destinations across the world to determine which hit the right vibe and which do not.

The Manc The Manc - 30th January 2021

There are many factors that determine whether a city is a good place for an overseas person to come and live.

There are some that apply to all, such as personal safety and how welcoming it is; while other factors, such as the cultural scene and the travel opportunities, will appeal to some more than others. Researchers regularly speak to expats living in destinations across the world to determine which hit the right vibe and which do not.

How does Manchester fare?

Really well, according to Expat Explorer, who chat to expats globally. The food scene is one of the city’s biggest pluses. The Curry Mile and its huge Chinatown are just two of the areas that give Manchester a better rating than London when it comes to cuisine. Culturally, it rates higher than the likes of Prague and Barcelona, and internationally it ranks sixth for affordability when overseas residents are quizzed on the cost of living.

How about the UK’s other major cities?


Those who live in London really appreciate its thriving job market, and it also scores highly for culture and sightseeing. Likewise, Birmingham does very well for career opportunities and is more affordable than London. North of the border, Edinburgh rates highly for culture and things to see, while Glasgow is regarded as a very friendly and hospitable place.

International hotspots


When it comes to food, you can’t beat Bangkok apparently, although Sao Paolo and Tokyo run it close. Culturally, Berlin came out top, with Buenos Aires in second place and London third. Istanbul and Paris are inseparable when it comes to sightseeing, each sharing top spot, while San Francisco is the only city to beat London when it comes to job opportunities.

According to an Expat Insider survey, the best countries for expats are Taiwan, Mexico and Costa Rica.

The worst country in the world for expats


This wooden spoon goes to Kuwait, which performed abysmally in leisure options, career prospects, personal happiness, ease of settling in and transport. Perhaps surprisingly, Italy is next on the list with expats saying their financial situation is poor, as finding a job can be hard for those from overseas. Then third from bottom is South Africa, where personal safety is a real issue (only one in four actually feel safe there), as is job security, and many overseas residents find personal income doesn’t cover their expenses.

Wherever you’re planning to move to, there’s lots to consider – not just whether the place will provide you with a good quality of life, but also the legal issues. How easy will it be to get a work visa? Will you be allowed to live there permanently? Are there lots of hidden hoops you’ll need to jump through? Professional advice removes much of the strain from a life-changing move such as this, so make sure you’re careful with your decisions.