Like Birmingham, Manchester is regarded by many as the second city in the UK. This is the city that achieves worldwide recognition through Manchester United and now Manchester City, not a bad distraction if football is your thing. It also offers a nightlife that is up there with the best, shopping centred around the Corn Exchange, the Printworks and Manchester Arndale shopping centre and excellent transport within the city. The metro is due to have finished extending its services by 2016. Ultimately, if you are looking for big city life, this may well be the place for you.