- Located in northwest England, Manchester has a population of ~500,000.
- Established as a city in 1853, Manchester is now the second most visited city in England.
- Home to two Premier League football teams: Manchester United and Manchester City.
- Nicknames: Cottonopolis, Warehouse City, Rainy City, Madchester, Mancunia.
- Currency: Pound Sterling (GBP).
- Spoken languages: English.
- Best time to visit: from May to September.
- Arriving from the airport: the train (every 20 minutes) is less than £3, and a taxi ride costs about £15.
WHERE TO STAY
Many hotels in the city center offer spacious rooms at reasonable prices (with breakfast and wi-fi often included). If the budget isn’t a problem, the best hotels are on Princess Street and Water Street (with great amenities and views of the city).
- Manchester is a walkable city, but free shuttle buses can be found with connections on all main railways and bus terminals; trams are £4 and traverse the city.
- The eco-friendly cab company can be reached 24 hours a day on 0161 436 3636, it’s usually 20-30% cheaper than the black cabs.
- Drinking age is 18.
- Pricey but with attentive table service is the Cloud 23 bar on 23rd floor of The Hilton, Deansgate.
- Cheap drinks may be found on Princess Street at Fifth Avenue, on 96 Oldham Street at The Frog and Bucket.
- Trendy scene: Night and Day Cafe, Mint Lounge (both on Oldham Street) and The Warehouse Project (beneath Picadilly Train Station).
- The best areas to go for a great night-out are Northern Quarter, Oxford Road and Deansgate.
UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT
- The Old Trafford Stadium is home to Manchester United, and is one of the largest football stadiums in the UK (capacity: 75,000). The best way to see it is to watch a game! Tours of the stadium are also available, if you book in advance.
- Manchester Town Hall is considered to be one of the most important Victorian buildings in England, built in the gothic revival style architecture. A must-see. Don’t miss the Manchester Cathedral in the Millennium Quarter (widest cathedral in England).
- The original Roman settlement Mamucium (known as Castlefield) is of historical significance.
- The University of Manchester on Oxford Road is where the atom was first split by Rutherford.
- One of the notable museums in the city is the Imperial War Museum, North at the Quays, with its award winning architecture.
- There are many guided walking tours you could tag along with. Green or Blue Badge Guides offer tours of the original, modern city. Other tours offer overviews of Manchester’s history, Factory Records, The Smiths, and the city’s role as the setting for the popular British TV series Coronation Street.
- Visit the Trafford area for its fascinating industrial heritage. TheTrafford Centre is a large shopping and entertainment complex. It’s a great place to go for a day out as you have an abundance of fantastic shops, a variety of restaurants and a cinema so you can catch a film in the evening.
- Where to find good cheap eats: in the Northern Quarter. Look for cheap Chinese cuisine on Portland Street, and Indian food on Princess Street. Tip: Many restaurants in Manchester have pre-7 PM deals, so you can save some money if you’re willing to eat dinner earlier.
- Dangerous areas: avoid Longsight (nearby Hulme), Moss Side (Whitworth Park and larger Platt Fields Park), Wythenshawe, Ordsall, Salford, and Cheetham Hill (at night). Otherwise, Manchester is a relatively safe city. Exercise caution at night, especially while walking alone.
The Best Manchester Guide Books:
- The Rough Guide to England (Travel Guide)
- Fodor’s Essential Great Britain: with the Best of England, Scotland & Wales
Recommended trip duration: 1-2 days