Manchester Travel Guide
Travel Guide to Manchester
When in Manchester, don’t forget to…
Catch a match. Pay homage at the city’s football stadiums. With Old Trafford as its headquarters, Manchester United dominated the English Premier League for much of the nineties and noughties. But in 2009 came the wealthy new owners of Manchester City who turned the tables. Also don’t miss the National Football Museum based in the striking Urbis building.
Make a musical pilgrimage. Manchester has produced more than its fair share of era-defining bands, from The Bee Gees and The Hollies to New Order and Oasis. Visit Salford Lads’ Club, featured on one of iconic 1980s band The Smiths' album sleeves. Pay your respects at the site of “Madchester” clubbing mecca, The Hacenda (now an apartment block). Or snap out of the nostalgia and head to venues such as Night & Day Cafe or the Deaf Institute to catch new acts before they’re (really) famous.
Discover mediaeval Manchester. Visit Chetham's Library to get a feel of the city’s distant past. This oak-timbered library was founded in 1653 within a 1421 building and is the world's longest-serving free public library. Political theorists Marx and Engels spent time poring over the works here, and even the devil was said to have put in an appearance – ask to see the scorch mark on a large oak table in the Audit Room. Arrange a tour through the music school next door of the same name.
Visit a bunch of quays. A little away from the city centre, The Quays are a reinvigorated stretch of old dockland with some of the city’s standout sites, particularly if you’re a fan of modern architecture. The sculptural Lowry arts centre (thelowry.com) is named after the region’s most famous artist – L. S. Lowry, famed for his mid 20th-century paintings of industrial Greater Manchester. The aluminium Imperial War Museum North, designed by celebrated architect Daniel Libeskind, captures the violence of its subject matter with its dramatically intersecting segments (called “shards”). A footbridge connects the two sites. It’s easy to get here – simply jump on the Metrolink tram (the pink or brown lines) from the centre.
Explore the boho-chic Northern Quarter. The city centre’s most distinctive area is a hub of creativity with plenty of trendy independent businesses from cafes, bars and restaurants to shops and galleries. So much of its streetscape is formed of red brick that the area has stood in for New York City in films. Rest assured that wandering these streets is just as much fun as exploring the Manhattan grid.
Capital city specifics: London
Population: 62,041,708 approx.
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz AC
Duty free allowance: -
Manchester Ringway Intl
Timezone (GMT):GMT +1
Average temp (celsius):16
Distance to town (km):16km
Coach/Taxi fare:GBP 4.10 / GBP 23.50 approx.