City break ideas in Manchester
Manchester, England’s most visited city outside London, is amongst the most vibrant cities in northern Europe, yet remains relatively untapped by the international market. Ranked in the top 20 must-see tourist hotspots recently by the New York Times, the city has worked hard to shrug off its gritty industrial reputation.
Once typified for its poor weather and factory smog, Manchester, located in the heart of Northern England, has maneuvered itself into England’s epicentre for Culture and Science whilst staying true to its historical roots. Manchester has long been a destination of choice for British tourists and following a huge injection of money the city has well and truly opened up to the world. This coupled with friendly, outgoing and passionate locals really does make the world’s first industrial city a must-see.
Manchester is a very diverse and tourist friendly city and here are just some of the excellent attractions on offer.
The National Football Museum
Football is described as a religion by many in England, where ‘the people’s game’ famously originated from to become the world’s most popular sport. Opening in its new home right in the heart of Manchester in July 2012, the new national football museum is the largest museum dedicated to football, and best of all it’s free! Over 140,000 items make up the most awe-inspiring collection of football artefacts in the world. The museum offers a unique insight into the historical, cultural and social significance of football. The vast range of collections allows the museum to offer a great experience that can appeal to both the die-hard fan and soccer novice.
- Opening times: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 11am-5pm
- Price: Free, although some interactive exhibits cost £2.50 a go
- Website: nationalfootballmuseum.com
The Imperial War Museum
Situated in the heart of the rejuvenated Salford quays – the birthplace of the industrial revolution – the museum opened in 2002. It was impressively designed by Daniel Liebeskind, also the designer of the Jewish museum in Berlin. Voted amongst the most popular museums in the UK, the Imperial War Museum is characterised by its vast sloping roofs and is the focal point of the altogether impressively redeveloped Salford quays. The purpose of the museum’s exhibits is to demonstrate the impact of war on the common man.
- Opening times: Daily from 10am – 5pm
- Price: Free
- Website: iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-north
The Curry Mile
The world famous Curry Mile on Wilmslow road, Manchester is thought to be the largest concentration of South Asian restaurants outside of the Indian subcontinent. It has been traditionally dominated by Pakistani and Indian cuisines but a recent arrival of an array of Middle Eastern restaurants has only added to fantastic range of tastes and smells the area has to offer. In the summer months festivals are regularly held in the area to celebrate the local diversity.
Stay in an apartment
If you plan on visiting Manchester, you should try to avoid the expensive English impersonal hotels and try staying in local apartments. With online platforms such as Wimdu and Roomorama you have a wide range of apartments available in Manchester, that are cheap and of great quality.
Also, Manchester is a bike-friendly city, with a lot of cycling lanes and special routes for bikes. The center is often congested, so renting a bike can be the perfect solution!