The Best Cities To Live In After You Graduate

26/03/2014 12:21 | Updated 26 March 2014
Tim E White via Getty Images

For all the final-year students around the country, graduation is now only a stone's throw away.

For the last few months you've almost certainly heard the question "so what are you doing next year?"a thousand times too many. That is of course unless you've got a job lined up already, in which case you probably love being able to brag about how much of a grown up you are now.

For those of you whose plans are still up in the air, below is a list of what we here at The Huffington Post UK think are the best cities to live in the year after you've finished your degree.

SEE ALSO: Top Tips For Job Hunting Students

WATCH: Why Being A Recent Graduate Sucks

Should it you move to the bright lights and big cities of London and Manchester? Should you take a chance and hop over to Northern Ireland? Or should you be spreading your wings even further and explore the possibilities on the continent?

Let us know if you think we've missed any out!


  • 1 Edinburgh
    Truly one of the best cities in the UK. Edinburgh is a city that is very easy to get around and has some of the best scenery in the country. It has an historic castle casting it's shadow over the city centre, and an extinct volcano from which you can get a gorgeous panorama over the sprawling city. It has some of the nicest architecture around, is one of the least polluted of all UK cities, and has a buzzing nightlife. On top of all that 50% of the population of Edinburgh are under 35 so you'll fit right in! Live in the Scottish capital and you're onto a winner. The only downside? It can get pretty chilly!
  • 2 London
    Bright lights, bigger city. There's a reason why so many people move to the capital in their first year after university. Yes, it's expensive. But there's so much going on in London that you'll struggle to not enjoy it. Whether you're starting a grad scheme with one of the world's biggest companies, working in a bar or a restaurant, or doing a masters, London definitely has something for everyone.
  • 3 Manchester
    One of the closest rivals to London in terms of business and entertainment possibilities. Rent is affordable if you are looking for somewhere slightly cheaper than elsewhere, though there are plenty of fancy apartments if you want somewhere a bit more upmarket. With some of the best nightlife in the UK and a great mix of the young and the old, Manchester is certainly a vibrant city that deserves consideration.
  • 4 Brighton
    If you are looking for somewhere slightly eccentric then Brighton is the place for you. A lively, friendly city, Brighton is perfect for those wanting to break into the creative arts and other similar careers. The social life here is extremely varied, with cheap nights out, exhibitions and shopping galore. Though it may not have the economy of bigger cities like London and Manchester, it is still competing with up and coming businesses often locating here.
  • 5 Cardiff
    With the rolling hills and valleys of Wales on your doorstop Cardiff has breathtaking scenery nearby. With the most green space per person in the UK, Cardiff also has a very strong sporting culture with the Millennium Stadium in the city centre. Also with an efficient transport network for both inner and inter-city travel, Cardiff offers something slightly different without needing a complete lifestyle change.
  • 6 Bristol
    Bristol is the perfect place for all types of graduates thanks to its extremely diverse economy. With high quality nightlife, cheap restaurants aplenty, and more graduate positions advertised than the majority of other UK cities, Bristol could be your perfect city. However, rent can be fairly expensive, and with some of the best shopping in the country your paychecks could disappear rather quickly.
  • 7 Leeds
    Another massive student city that often appeals to graduates as well. London is just a few hours away and a decent international airport is very close. Buses allow cheap travel around the city and rent is also relatively affordable making Leeds a very practical option.
  • 8 Newcastle
    Join the Geordies up in the North East. Well known for being one of the friendliest cities in the country, Newcastle also boasts impressive nightlife and entertainment. A surprisingly small city that you'll know your way around in a few days Newcastle deserves its place on the list.
  • 9 Belfast
    It's only a hop, skip and a jump over to Northern Ireland and the fair city of Belfast. A much safer city than many people think, just don't wear the wrong football shirt in the wrong place! Belfast hosts an annual arts festival and is one of the most active cities in the UK with six out of ten adults regularly competing in one or more sports. With good bars and restaurants along the Golden Mile the nightlife is nothing to laugh about making Belfast a worthy competitor.
  • 10 Vienna
    If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, 'The City of Dreams' is a great option. It has everything young people look for in a city with it's history, culture and thriving economy. The world's most livable city for five years in a row, Vienna certainly competes with all of the options in the UK.
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