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Glasgow vs. Manchester What’s the difference

Glasgow vs. Manchester: What’s the difference?

Both popular for their impeccable music and sports scene, Glasgow and Manchester alike have their own unique identities.

In this article, we’ll explain some distinct differences between Glasgow and Manchester.

If you’re ready to know which city fits you best, then read on!

Which is better, Glasgow or Manchester?

Which is better, Glasgow or Manchester
Photo by Hiljon from Pixabay

In terms of cost of living, Glasgow is cheaper than Manchester. Living in Manchester is more expensive considering the prices affecting the cost of living, which is 11.5%% costlier than Glasgow.

In terms of safety, Glasgow is safer than Manchester. Glasgow falls at 54.65 on the safety scale, which is 20.16% higher than Manchester’s 44.64.

In terms of education, Manchester is better than Glasgow considering school rankings. The top university in Manchester is at 28th, which is 97.25% higher than Glasgow’s 81st.

In terms of the job opportunities, Manchester shows greater opportunities than Glasgow. Glasgow has a 12% unemployment rate, which is 67.41% higher than Manchester’s 5.95%.

In terms of culture, Glasgow is more amiable than Manchester’s locals. However, Manchester has a better LGBTQ+ scene than Glasgow and has more leisure establishments to offer. 

1. Cost of Living

Cost of Living
Photo by StockSnap from Pexels

Manchester is 11.5% more expensive than Glasgow. This means that factors affecting cost of living are pricier than Manchester, compared to Glasgow’s.

Here are the detailed price ranges per city:

Expense TypeGlasgowManchester
Dining Out£0.95 – £15.00£1.30 – £15.00
Market£0.74 – £12.75£0.70 – £12.12
Transportation£1.06 – 76.09£1.29 – £70.00
Monthly Utilities£0.10 – £193.59£0.10 – £205.68
Sports and Leisure£10.00 – £27.75£9.14 – £25.38
Childcare£791.00 – £11,375.00£1,005.44 – £11,000.00
Clothing and Shoes£27.35 – £69.41£28.24 – £67.19
Rent Per Month£610.21 – £1,011.90£675.60 – £1,746.67
Price per Square Metre to Buy Apartment (One-Time Cost)£2,297.49 – £4,681.67£2,569.71 – £3,911.25

2. Safety

Photo by brigsteer from Pixabay

Safety Scale

The safety scale determines which city is deemed more ‘safe’ than the other. Meaning, the higher the number is, the higher security a city has. 

That said, Glasgow is safer than Manchester by 20.16%. Glasgow has a rate of 54.65, while Manchester falls at 44.64. 

Crime Rate

The crime rate indicates the number of crimes present in a city. The higher the number is, the higher crimes there are.

In terms of crime rate, Glasgow is lower compared to Manchester by 19.88%. Manchester’s rate is 55.36, while Glasgow’s is 45.35.

3. Education

Photo by lil_foot_ from Pixabay

In terms of education, Manchester shows greater competence in terms of providing quality education as the city’s top university is higher than Glasgow by 97.25%

Manchester has the University of Manchester, which ranked 28th on the QS World University Rankings, while Glasgow’s University of Glasgow only falls at 81st. 

However, Glasgow has costlier educational expenses than Manchester by 10.13%. In fact, Glasgow has an average yearly tuition fee of £19,920, while Manchester has only £16,500 – £18,000. 

Average tuition fee per year£19,920£16,500 – £18,000
Courses offered1,2031,000
Other services offered– Public & private schools
– Homeschooling
– Special-needs education
– Tutor
– Government-funded schools
– Private
– International
– Special-needs
– Tutor 

Education in Glasgow

Home to numerous prestigious universities, Glasgow has University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian University. 

Here’s a quick summary of their rankings and specialties: 

Top SchoolsRankingSpecialties/Recognitions
University of Glasgow– 81st in the QS World University Rankings 2023
– 19th in the Impact Rankings 2022
– 101-125th in the World Reputation Rankings 2022
– Ranks 1st for Veterinary Medicine, Accounting & Finance, Sports Science and Drama Dentistry, Nursing, Education and Dance & Cinematics
– Top 3 in the field of Medicine, Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering and Law
– 95.6% of graduates are in employment within 6 months of graduation
University of Strathclyde– Awarded as University of the Year in 2012 & 2019
– 325th in the QS World University Rankings 2023
– Spectacular expertise in Business
– Accredited as one of the top 20 higher education institutions in the UK for research intensity
Glasgow Caledonian University– 1001-1200th in the QS World University Rankings 2023– Has a 95% rate of getting graduates in employment after graduation
– Received a degree granting authority in the State of New York (1st foreign higher education institution)

Other reputable universities that can be found in Glasgow include Glasgow School of Art, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, City of Glasgow College and Glasgow College of Nautical Studies.

In primary schools, some of the top-rated ones include Hyndland Primary School, St Fillan’s Primary School and Garrowhill Primary School.

Meanwhile, quality-performing secondary schools include All Saints Secondary School, Drumchapel High School and John Paul Academy. 

Other services such as special-needs education, homeschooling and tutor are also provided in Glasgow. This could be perfect for children who need guidance at the comfort of their homes. 

Education in Manchester 

Manchester also has innumerable admired universities in the world, such as the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Check their respective achievements below: 

Top SchoolsRankingSpecialties/Recognitions
University of Manchester– 53rd in the Best Global Universities
– 9th on the Impact Rankings
– 28th in the QS World University 2023
– 50th on Times Higher Education 2022
– Shows subject strength in Business, Immunology and Economics
– 41st in the employability ranking among all universities in the world
– Offers 138 undergraduate programs, 133 for post-graduate and 6 for doctorate
Manchester Metropolitan University– Placed 750th in the Best Global Universities in the U.S. News & World Report Rankings 2022-2023
– Ranked 56th in the Best Global Universities in the UK
– Included in the 801-1000 universities in the QS World University Rankings 2023
– 91% of graduates are in employment after graduation or continued further studies
– Architecture programme ranked 3rd as the best amongst all universities in the UK
– Provides expertise in the field of Education and Education Research, Arts and Humanities, Engineering, Chemistry and Clinical Medicine

Other well-respected universities include University of Salford, Royal Northern College of Music and University of Bolton. 

There are also government-funded schools, private schools and international schools in the city. Services for special-needs and tutoring are available as well.

4. Job Opportunities

Job Opportunities
Photo by OleksandrPidcalnyi from Pixabay

In terms of job opportunities, Manchester has more to offer than Glasgow by 67.41%. Manchester has an unemployment rate of 5.95%, which is lower than Glasgow’s 12%.

However, Glasgow has a higher average monthly salary than Manchester by 6.49%. Glasgow has £2,423.83, compared to Manchester’s £2,271.50. 

On the other hand, Glasgow is focused on technology, finance and industrial industry, while Manchester specialises in the finance, legal, business, creative, and digital fields.

Average monthly salary£2,423.83£2,271.50
Field expertise of the city– Technology
– Finance
– Industrial
– Finance
– Legal and Business
– Creative and Digital
Number of people in employment400,0001,330,100

Job Market in Glasgow

Aside from being a centre of business, Glasgow is also recognised for being one of the cities in Europe housing the best companies in technology and finance.

More than 400,000 jobs are supported in the city, generating a total of £13 billion per year. There are also various jobs available in the sector of administrative, professional positions and tourism. 

Glasgow also houses major multinational companies, namely Lloyd Banking Group, Barclays, Tesco, Deloitte and Apple.

Job Market in Manchester

The banking industry, which Manchester is known for, represent the largest employers in the city, too. 

Manchester also specialises in the field of electronics, environment technologies and software development. 

Manchester is also home to large multinational companies such as AstraZeneca, Banter Media, Begbies Traynor, Henri Lloyd, Hydes, Joseph Holt’s Brewery, Kitbag and PH Media Group.

5. Culture

Photo by profq1123 from Pixabay

Glasgow Culture

Glasgow’s culture features the mix of old and new. Lots of historical buildings can be found here, as well as trendy clubs, pubs and bars. 

Aside from that, Glaswegians are also well-known for their cordial and warm personalities! 

In fact, this trait made them win the title ‘world’s friendliest city’ in the 2022 Time Out Index.

Furthermore, the city shows huge support towards the LGBTQ+ community. There are even recreational establishments specifically built for them. 

Cultural Hotspots 

1. The Mitchell Library
The Mitchell Library
Photo from The Mitchell Library

The Mitchell Library houses artefacts depicting old photographs, archives and other vintage pieces in Glasgow.

It is located on North Street and is open from Monday to Saturday, from 9 AM to 5 PM.

2. The People’s Palace Museum
The People’s Palace Museum
Photo from Visit Scotland

The People’s Palace Museum could be great to visit as you can learn about the Glaswegians’ ways of life.

You’ll get to know individuals who contributed to Glasgow’s social progress. There are also old photographs, prints and film inside. 

3. Riverside Museum
Riverside Museum
Photo by charlieirvine1 from Pixabay

Riverside Museum was built fto showcase the industries Glasgow is known for — shipbuilding, engineering and train manufacturing. 

Located in Pointhouse Place, Riverside Museum was originally designed by the famed architect, Dame Zaha Hadid, and was opened to the public in 2011. 

Riverside Museum also recently won the European Museum of the Year Award 2023 due to its outstanding architecture and relevance.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Photo by Kamyq from Pixabay 

Located in Argyle Street, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is home to 22 galleries filled with various pieces of art.

It was first opened to the public in 1901 and has since become one of the most-visited attractions in the city.

5. Glasgow School of Art

One of the masterpieces designed by distinguished architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, The Glasgow School of Art is also well-known to locals and tourists alike. 

Its stunning architecture that was preserved until today is one of the main reasons why people keep coming back.

The Glasgow School of Art is one of the leading art schools in Scotland offering programs in different levels, from undergraduate to doctorate. There are even day and weekend courses and foundation programmes. 

Unique Areas

1. Shawlands
Photo from myshawlands Instagram

Before Shawland’s urbanised state, this neighbourhood was filled with traditional tenements, cinemas and shops back in the day. 

Historic and iconic spots such as Springhill Gardens and Camphill Gate Tenements, which were created by John Nisbet, were preserved and can still be visited until today. 

2. West End
West End
Photo from Klarna.trips

Aside from historical relevance, Glasgow also has a popular neighbourhood frequented even by celebrities — West End. 

West End is popular for its bohemian culture, and of course for being a celebrity hotspot.

Aside from these, the West End is also home to several tourist attractions, namely Glasgow Botanical Garden, Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, and the world-famous University of Glasgow. 

3. Merchant City
Merchant City
Photo from Klarna.trips

Merchant City used to be home to monks, merchants and other market sellers in the country.

Merchants back in the day mainly sold sugar, tea and tobacco, until it became a hotspot for selling cheese, vegetables and fruits in the 19th century. 

Now, Merchant City is one of the most prosperous neighbourhoods in Glasgow and is also home to fascinating tourist attractions such as People’s Palace, Glasgow Cathedral and River Clyde. 

Aside from these, the world’s ancient music hall is also situated here — Britannia Panopticon. 

4. The Barras Market
The Barras Market
Photo by Evavu from tripadvisor

Home to various vintage markets, pubs and clubs, The Barras is one of the most well-known markets in Glasgow. 

In fact, you can purchase lots of old goods such as cheap books, DVDs, and other ancient pieces of art here.

The Barras was also formerly used by traders to sell their handcarts and wares back in the day. 

5. Merchant Square Craft Market
Merchant Square Craft Market
Photo from merchant_square_glasgow Instagram

Glasgow also has Merchant Square Craft Market, which sells handcrafted goods ranging from candles, jewellery to cards. 

In fact, there are also stalls focusing on photography, art, and even aromatherapy products. 

The market opens from Monday to Thursday at 8:30 AM to 12 AM, Friday to Saturday at 8:30 AM to 3 AM, and Sunday from 8:30 AM until 12 AM.

6. Park Lane Market
Park Lane Market
Photo from Instagram 

In Park Lane Market, you can find locals selling homemade bread, second-hand garments and wares. 

It is located in Glasgow’s southside and has been an avenue for musicians from day to night. 

Park Lane Market is open every first and last Sunday of the month.

Restaurants / Dining Concepts 

1. Cail Bruich
Cail Bruich
Photo from cailbruich Instagram

Well-known for being a Michelin-starred restaurant in Scotland, Cail Bruich takes pride in its delectable traditional Scottish cuisine. 

Located in Glasgow’s West End, the restaurant is headed by main chef (also Michelin-starred herself!) Lorna McNee.

Cail Bruich offers dishes featuring seasonal British produce. Due to its popularity, reservation is highly recommended to visit as tables are often booked online immediately.

2. Mharsanta
Photo from mharsanta Instagram

Located in Merchant City, Mharsanta is popular for its mouth-watering Scottish courses and live musical performances.

Some crowd favourites include the Ribeye Steak, Scottish Steak & Scallop and the Traditional Sunday Roast Beef. 

Beverage-wise, must-tries include Auld Alliance, Thistle Me Pink and Dashing White Sergeant are the best-sellers.

3. Unalome by Graeme Cheevers
Unalome by Graeme Cheevers
Photo from unalomebygc Instagram

Located in Finnieston, Unalome by Graeme Cheevers is owned by award-winning Graeme Cheevers who worked for several big name restaurants before venturing on building his own. 

Crowd-pleasers include Barbecued North Sea Mackerel, Scottish Blue Lobster, Jerusalem and Violet Artichokes and Michel Cluizel White Chocolate Parfait.

Music Venues

1. The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Photo from Glasgow’s Concert Halls

Home to prestigious performances, The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall has hosted Royal Scottish National Orchestra, World Irish Championships and Celtic Connections. 

This theatre can cater to a 3,295-strong audience. It has three other halls inside: the Exhibition Hall, Buchanan Suite and Strathclyde Suite. 

2. King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
Photo from KingTuts

Established in 1990, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut has grown from hosting only 40 people in the audience to being one of the most famous live music venues in Glasgow. 

It has hosted several popular solo artists and bands alike through the years, such as The Killers, My Chemical Romance, Snow Patrol and Juliette Lewis.

The venue was even coined as a ‘mandatory musical pilgrimage in Glasgow’ due to its relevance in the music scene. 

King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut can accommodate 300 people per night.

3. Barrowland Ballroom
Barrowland Ballroom
Photo from barrowland_ballroom Instagram

Originally opening to the public in 1934, the Barrowland Ballroom re-opened on Christmas Eve of 1960 after being dismantled by a huge fire. 

The Barrowland Ballroom has hosted numerous legendary artists namely Oasis, The Stranglers, The Clash and The Smiths. 

Clubs, Pubs, and Bars

1. The Buff Club
The Buff Club
Photo from thebuffclub Instagram

Located in Bath Lane, The Buff Club is popular for their legend series, which pay tribute to famed artists who made the club relevant today. 

It is also one of the most acclaimed night clubs in Glasgow.

2. The Sanctuary
The Sanctuary
Photo from sanctuarygla Instagram

Located in Glasgow’s West End, The Sanctuary is another great place to make your night a blast. 

This club can accommodate 200 people and its interiors are inspired by London and Amsterdam. 

The Sanctuary also offers VIP membership to those who want to make their club their venue for private parties. 

3. Kokomo Glasgow 
Kokomo Glasgow
Photo from kokomo_glasgow Instagram 

Located in West Regent Street, Kokomo Glasgow is a 3-room nightclub popular for their artistic lighting system and modern music.

Manchester Culture

As much as Glasgow is into music, Manchester is hyper-focused on music and sports. There are also festivals and other events held every year to continuously showcase their passion in these fields.

In addition, the city also has breathtaking street art, museums, galleries and boutique stores that are worth checking out. 

Compared to Glasgow, clubs in Manchester close at a later time. The standard club closing time in Glasgow is 3 AM, and 4 AM only during special occasions. 

Moreover, Manchester has a larger LGBTQ+ scene than Glasgow. People who have lived in both cities say that the nightlife in Manchester is snappier than Glasgow’s. 

Cultural Hotspots

1. Manchester Museum
Manchester Museum
Photo from Wikipedia

Built more than 130 years ago, Manchester Museum takes pride in its stunning architectural design created by the world-famous architect, Alfred Waterhouse. 

In fact, this museum houses over 4.5 million objects, predominantly in the human culture and natural sciences department. 

2. National Football Museum
National Football Museum
Photo from Footy Adventures 

Manchester is not Manchester without football. 

If you’re familiar with the two teams competing neck-to-neck in higher leagues, namely Manchester United and Manchester City, then you could be quite amused by visiting the National Football Museum.

Located in Cathedral Gardens, the National Football Museum has been in existence for 10 years already. With over 2.5 million visitors per year, its popularity only continues to rise through the years. 

The museum already holds the title of ‘world’s largest collection of football objects and archives’. It has an immense collection of more than 40,000 football memorabilia in the resource centre and 2,500 other objects are displayed at the museum. 

3. Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Located in the city centre, the recently-restored Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is an ode to one of the most renowned Victorian writers in the United Kingdom. Here, you can browse through a large number of Gaskell’s writing collections. 

In fact, the attraction also hosts weddings, exhibitions, workshops and other events. There are also period rooms, tea rooms and even a villa garden, so visitors can enjoy their time!

4. Museum of Transport

Located in Cheetham, Museum of Transport offers an abundant collection of vintage transport memorabilia ranging from trams, buses and whatnot. You can also find old maps and designs during Manchester’s ancient times. 

This museum has over 70 vehicles on display and numerous brochures and other information sources can be found inside to help you learn more about Manchester in the past. 

5. Manchester Jewish Museum

Located in Cheetham Hill, Manchester Jewish Museum is well-known for showcasing the story of Jewish migration and settlement in Manchester. 

Built in 1984, the museum now displays a total of 31,000 memorabilia items that depict Jewish history in ancient times. 

Manchester Jewish Museum’s goal is to connect different people through history. 

Unique Areas

1. Castlefield
Photo from VisitManchester

Home to old canals, mills, warehouses and Roman fort, Castlefield is Manchester’s conservation area. 

The Bridgewater Canal, which is also located in Castlefield, is actually the world’s first industrial canal. 

Furthermore, the neighbourhood is also recognised as an urban heritage park in the United Kingdom. 

There are also other notable places in the neighbourhood, namely Castlefield Gallery, Castlefield Bowl and The Crystal Maze.

2. Downtown Manchester

Popular for its blend of past and present, Downtown Manchester has various restored old residential buildings in the neighbourhood.

In fact, most of them are even recorded on the National Register of Historic Places. 

There are also lots of chic restaurants, clubs and other trendy shops in the neighbourhood, making it a mixture of modernity and traditionalism. 

3. New Cross
New Cross
Photo from Yahoo!

Located nearby Oldham Road, New Cross used to be Manchester’s centre of penny ballads and broadsheet and print industry. 

Now, several attractions can be found in the area such as Angel Meadow, Ramona Firehouse and Irk Valley.

4. Levenshulme Market
Levenshulme Market
Photo from levymarket Instagram 

Popular in South Manchester, Levenshulme Market offers a variety of goods ranging from books, plants, furnishings to vintage wardrobes. 

The market also serves as a live music venue, so buyers can enjoy their time with some chill music while shopping their favourites. 

5. Wythenshawe Market
Wythenshawe Market
Photo from Wythenshawe Market Facebook

Considered the hidden gem of Manchester, Wythenshawe Market is a foreign market to most. 

However, it is popular for local businesses as specialised baked goods, cheeses, fresh produce and other deli products can be found here. 

There are also shops selling fabrics and knits, perfect if you’re into sewing as you can also bargain in the market. 

6. Northern Quarter
Northern Quarter
Photo from nqmanchester Instagram

Aside from markets, Manchester also has a creative epicentre — the Northern Quarter. 

It is lined up by numerous art-related stores and galleries, namely Band On The Wall, Mackie Mayor, Oklahoma, Ezra and Gil, Fred Aldous, Manchester Craft & Design Centre and Queer Lit. 

In fact, it used to be the old Smithfield Market during the 1960s, where locals bought fresh produce, specifically fish, meat, and vegetables. There were also flower stalls before. 

Now, as the city progressed, the Northern Quarter changed into artists’ avenue. You can also purchase any artwork that fits your liking here!

Restaurants / Dining Concepts 

1. Store Street Exchange Restaurant and Craft Bar
Store Street Exchange Restaurant and Craft Bar
Photo from StoreStreetMcr Instagram

Offering delectable courses and luscious boozes, the Store Street Exchange Restaurant and Craft Bar boasts ingredients sourced from local suppliers in Manchester. 

Bestsellers include Goosnargh rotisserie chicken, Store Street burger and Manchester beer battered cod. 

The restaurant also offers aperitif cocktails such as Manchester Craft Lager 4.7%, Helles Lager 4.8% and Birra Moretti 4.6%.

2. Albert’s Shed
Albert’s Shed
Photo from alberts_shed Instagram 

Located in Castlefield, Albert’s Shed famous for their mouth-watering cuisine and gorgeous view. 

They offer British classics, including Mini Eccles Cakes and Lancashire Cheese & Onion Pie. 

Due to its popularity, Albert’s Shed is often fully booked. Hence, advanced booking online is recommended as seats are limited. 

Other crowdpleasers include Pan-fried Miso Scallops, Smoked Chicken Pappardelle, Chalk Stream Trout and Pan-fried Sea Bream. 

3. James Martin Manchester
James Martin Manchester
Photo from jamesmartinmcr Instagram

Derived from the name itself, James Martin Manchester is popular for serving cuisine inspired by the Yorkshireman.

Bestsellers include Tranche of Cornish Brill, Herdwick Lambs and Grilled Beam. 


1. Theatre Royal 
Theatre Royal
Photo from Wikipedia

Theatre Royal is the oldest-surviving theatre in Manchester, opening to the public in 1845.

Located in Peter Street, it is also popular for its architectural design which was inspired by the neoclassical style. It was designed by great architects, namely John Gould Irwin and Francis Chester. 

2. The Palace Theatre
The Palace Theatre
Photo from atgtickets

Built in 1891, The Palace Theatre is home to numerous performances headlined by theatre and music icons such as Judy Garland, Norman Wisdom and the Rolling Stones. 

Fun fact: The Theatre Royal and The Palace Theatre were rivals back in the day, with more audiences coming to The Palace Theatre!

3. The Opera House 
The Opera House
Photo from atgtickets

The Opera House belongs in the list of the largest theatres in Manchester. Located in Quay Street, this theatre is home to several musicals, ballets, concerts and other special occasions relating to performing arts. 

Some of the renowned plays that took place in The Opera House include The Phantom of the Opera, Ghost the Musical and Never Forget. 

Clubs, Pubs, and Bars

1. South Nightclub Manchester
South Nightclub Manchester
Located from southnightclub Instagram 

Located in King Street, South Nightclub Manchester is one of the go-to clubs for locals and foreigners alike to experience the brilliant nightlife in the city. 

Opening to the public in 1995, the club grew into a renowned location for night outs, which gained them the title ‘Manchester’s Original Basement Club’. 

2. Joshua Brooks
Joshua Brooks
Photo from joshuabrooksmcr Instagram 

Joshua Brooks is not only a well-known nightclub in Manchester, but also a long-standing bar with 25 years of experience. 

Located in Princess Street, the club opened in 1993 with the vision to bring large-name artists into the venue and promote music to the world. 

3. The Blues Kitchen
The Blues Kitchen
Photo from thebluekitchenmcr Instagram 

The Blues Kitchen is not only a nightclub but also a restaurant that serves mouth-watering dishes perfect for your drinks. 

Saturdays are the highlight of the club scene as The Blues Kitchen is open from 12 PM to 3 AM. 

Crowdpleasers include Buffalo Chicken Wings, Smashed Avocado Tostada and Szechuan Baby Back Ribs.

FAQs on Manchester and Glasgow

While you’re here, you might also want to check out other things to do in Glasgow. We hope we have helped you in choosing which city fits you best!

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