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Published August 25th 2012
They say of the 60s that if you remember it, you weren't there, and the same quip broadly applies to student life in Manchester.
Clubbing in Manchester
Memories of Manchester's best clubs and bars seem to swim back on a hazy tide of dazzling recollections, whether you're looking back at them from twenty years later or the morning after. "Amazing night – no idea where we went," is the usual contented burble from those making early-morning stumbles out of the Northern party city.
I've had more fun as a student in Manchester than I've had in any other city. The reason? I think it's Manchester's ability to tip you a cheeky wink and sweep you off to dance the night away. Manchester is seriously cool but also deeply down-to-earth. It doesn't care who you are or where you're from. As far as it's concerned, you're just here to have a good time.
Best student clubs in Manchester
Which is great news for me as I'm by no stretch of the imagination a 24-hour-party-person. My boyfriend belongs to that category – as a dyed-in-the-wool indie lad since his teens, he used to grace The Hacienda's dancefloors and saw several of Madchester's finest before they were famous. I, on the other hand, even at sweet 16, was always more a "book at bedtime/ cup of cocoa" type. But that's the point of Manchester. Whether you're shy and retiring or a fearless dancefloor commandant, I would urge you to give Manchester's club scene a go. It will welcome you regardless.
Competitively-priced drinks, well-organised events and a true-to-its-roots Mancunian flavoured soundtrack combine to make this one of my favourite nights out. Friday nights are famously half-priced with a student card. 5TH Avenue
This is THE indie-lovers' nightclub. Its prime Princess Street location puts it within easy staggering-distance of the university quarter. Sankeys
This is a bit pricier for students but, if you're spending any amount of time in the city, it's a must-visit venue.
It has secured its place in Manchester legend thanks to the top DJs it attracts throughout the year. More a dance venue than the others, it probably attracts a more mixed crowd but does hold student nights during term-time. It also has a free disco bus running from Fallowfield and the university.
This is one of those "only in Manchester" experiences you HAVE to try. Because its presence in the city is fleeting (it runs only from September to January, with the occasional one-off night), tickets are like gold-dust, so plan your night in advance. Its programme is gloriously varied, as are its venues. Visit the website for more details.
The ultimate celebration of Manchester, South isn't a particularly "student" venue but it's a great get-away from the standard scene. Almost defiantly Mancunian in its identity, it perhaps isn't for everybody – it's Alternative Freshers event, for example, plays the likes of Chuck Berry, Fleetwood Mac, Echo and the Bunnymen and British Sea Power. But then, that's exactly why I love it! The entrance fee varies so keep an eye on the website for details.