England’s northern capital of cool
Welcome to Manchester, the cool kid every city wants to be. This once industrial metropolis has transformed itself into England’s edgy northern capital – it’s the home of some of Britain’s biggest music legends, iconic landmarks, a thriving arts and culture scene and world-famous sports...
“Manchester has and will always have a place in my heart – this vibrant, cosmopolitan city has such a unique character and can-do attitude, you might never want to leave!”
Emma, New York
With so much to see and do in Manchester, you’re bound to work up an appetite. And you’re in luck, because Manchester’s food and drink scene is red hot – there are new restaurants popping up all over the city. You can’t go wrong with the famous curries at the Rusholme Curry Mile or the cafes in the Northern Quarter. And wash it all down with a local beer – Greater Manchester is home to over 30 independent breweries, many of which offer guided tours and tastings.
Art lover? Head straight to The Lowry. This iconic gallery is home to the world’s largest collection of works by LS Lowry, one of the best loved British artists of the 20th century. Science buff? You’ll love the innovative exhibitions and hands-on activities at the Museum of Science and Industry. And there’s no better place to discover Britain’s fascinating political history than the People’s History Museum.
Manchester is the perfect place to indulge a love of culture. Don’t miss the year-round programme of special exhibitions of art, photography and design at The Lowry or catch a play or musical. And at the magnificent Royal Exchange Theatre you’ll find live music events, free exhibitions, poetry readings as well as top-class theatre.
This is the city that gave the world Oasis, The Smiths, Joy Division and The Chemical Brothers, so if you do one thing while you’re in Manchester, make it a live gig. And why not make a night of it at the city’s nightspots? Head to Oxford Road to party with the student crowd, Deansgate for swanky cocktail bars, the Northern Quarter for a cool bohemian vibe, and Canal Street for the bars and clubs of Manchester’s famous gay village.
Manchester is packed full of fun family activities for all ages. For a day out that’s guaranteed to keep everyone from toddlers to teens happy, head to Chester Zoo, where you’ll see everything from elephants and rhinos to delicate butterflies and bugs. And don’t miss the family activities and events at the Manchester Museum. At the monthly Big Saturday events, kids can discover everything from fossils and ancient cultures to the latest scientific breakthroughs.
When it comes to sport, Manchester is top of the table. The city is home to one of the world’s most famous football clubs – Manchester United, as well as top Premier League club Manchester City. Get up close to the clubs with a behind-the-scenes tour of Old Trafford or the Etihad Stadium. And if that’s not enough, you can immerse yourself in the beautiful game at the National Football Museum, where you’ll find over 140,000 items and world-class exhibitions exploring the past, present and future of football.
If you’re planning a trip to Manchester, you’d better factor in some extra pocket money. One of Britain’s most popular shopping destinations, Manchester is a paradise for shoppers on any budget. For the best of the high street, head to Market Street, the Arndale Centre, Corn Exchange or the famous Trafford Centre. You’ll find Selfridges and Harvey Nichols in Exchange Square, and the best designer boutiques in King Street and The Avenue at Spinningfields.
It might be heaving with cool shops, restaurants and bars, but take a look around and you’ll see signs of Manchester’s past everywhere. Don’t miss the beautiful Victorian Baths in Chorlton-on-Medlock – opened in 1906, this ‘water palace’ was a much-loved Mancunian treasure. From March to November you can see the beautiful tiled floors, intricate stained glass windows and fascinating Victorian features for yourself on a guided tour.