It’s official: Tourists love Manchester. After tourist honey-traps London and Edinburgh, Manchester is the third most visited place in the U.K and with so much on offer it’s not hard to see why. Stunning architecture and numerous museums and galleries vie for the visitors’ attention, alongside the city’s more modern attractions world class nightlife and shopping. In short, visitors to the city will not be disappointed. The only problem they’ll face will be deciding what to do and see during their stay.
Manchester has plenty to offer culture-vultures. As well as it’s historic roots in Roman times, the city has also played an important role in British history, including women’s suffrage, the Industrial Revolution, and the Trade Union movement. Several museums celebrate Manchester’s rich past, including the Museum of Science and Industry and the Imperial War Museum North.
Manchester has a thriving art scene too, so there are several galleries worth visiting. Manchester Art Gallery boasts one of the U.K.’s most important collections of pre-Raphaelite works. The Lowry, named after the famous northern artist, is another prestigious gallery, and it is housed in a complex that also features two theatres. There are a number of top theatres and arena’s which ensure that there is always something to see or do.
Architecture buffs will be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding magnificent buildings in Manchester. From the Gothic flourishes of the medieval Manchester Cathedral, to the Victorian splendour of Manchester Town Hall, to the imposing skyscrapers built in the 1960s and 1970s, the city has it all. There are some great examples of modern architecture as well in the city, including the aforementioned Lowry but also the impressive Beetham Tower, which towers over the city. Known locally as Hilton Tower after the hotel that it houses, the 551ft structure is the tallest building in England outside of London. The breath-taking views from Cloud 23 Sky Bar are a must for any tourist. However, with a waiting list of two-to-three months it is certainly advisable to book in advance through their website – http://www.cloud23bar.com/
The 2002 Commonwealth Games were hosted by Manchester, and the city now features first class stadiums and sports facilities as a result. As such, there are regular top sporting events in the city for a multitude of sports including cycling, swimming, badminton and basketball. But perhaps Manchester is most famous around the globe for football. The city can boast not just one but two of the biggest football teams in Europe in Premier League Manchester United and Manchester City. Both teams have huge fan-bases, are steeped in history and regularly vie for the Premier League title. No trip to Manchester would be complete without going to watch a home game.
The BBC has aptly described Manchester as the “retail capital of the North West”. From high street stores to designer boutiques, shoppers will find plenty of stores to cater to their budgets. The Northern Quarter is jam-packed with quirky, independent stores and second-hand shops for those who prefer to lead rather than follow fashion trends. But for those with cash to burn, a trip to Exchange Square to browse Selfridges and Harvey Nichols should do the trick.
Besides its famous football teams, Manchester is probably best known for its lively nightlife. The film “24 Hour Party People” was set in Manchester in the 1980s, when the city was experiencing a musical boom with bands such as the Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays and perhaps the most famous of all Oasis. Always a popular party city, the night scene received a boost in the early 1990s when breweries, supported by the city’s council, invested millions in the area’s pubs and clubs. Today, there are more than 500 venues licensed to serve alcohol in the centre of the city, and they have a combined capacity to cater for about a quarter of a million people. Which is just as well, because tourists are flocking to visit Manchester – and with so much to enjoy in the city, who can blame them?
This was a guest article by One UK, specialists in apartments in Manchester.