The first things that come to mind, when you hear the word Manchester are football teams Manchester City and Manchester United. Rock music admirers immediately recollect the groups of the “new wave” like Oasis, Joy Division, the Smiths. If not taking into consideration cultural and sporting influence, this is a large industrial city, located in the northeastern part of Great Britain on the River Irwell by the Pennines. Manchester tears down the cliche of the classical English town. It is like a teenager who doesn’t know whether to become a football player, to gather a rock band, or to go into science.
Despite the small city area, you need at least a week to explore all the sights at leisure, including museums, historical establishments, restaurants, and pubs.
A brief history
In 1940 during World War Two, Manchester suffered from bombing by the Luftwaffe, which was also targeted against non-military places (this is how the Manchester Cathedral was damaged), and industrial factories working for military needs. The biggest air raid took place during the “Christmas Blitz” on the nights of 22-24 December 1940.
It took a long time to restore the city after war consequences, up to 1960, but it was no longer able to reach its former industrial level. In 1963 the UK’s third-largest port was opened in Manchester, but in 1982 it was closed due to unprofitability. From 1961 till 1983, the population lost 150 thousand of working places in the industrial field.
In 1996 Manchester city center suffered from bombing again, this time carried by IRA. It was the impetus for the major reconstruction of the Manchester city center. That’s how large shopping centers, loft apartments, and the highest skyscrapers in Britain appeared, which overtook only London buildings.
Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:
Best time to visit Manchester
There is a Tourist Information Center behind the City Hall, where you can get a free town map, City Guide, and various brochures. Here you can also buy bus tickets on National Express, and book city tours. You will get some help with booking accommodation and learn about discounts and special offers at establishments.
Free busses run daily in Manchester city center, and you can get to suburbs on the Metrolink. Trams run with 5-15-minute frequency, and you can purchase a ticket at Metrolink Ticket Vending Machines at the stops.
Visiting sights (museums, City Hall, and Cathedrals) is free. The exceptions could be for individual presentations and exhibits.
Things to do in Manchester
- Peep into Chinatown surrounded by Princess Street and Mosley Street to taste traditional dim sum, purchase the Maneki-neko figurine for good luck, and take a picture against traditional gates background.
- Take a look at Gay Village, not far from Chinatown, inhabited by the LGBTQ+ community. Feel free to visit numerous bars, pubs, and restaurants. You will be full of vivid impressions for sure.
- Try a traditional ale and Fish and Chips in one of the oldest pubs (Peveril of the Peak, The Ox) in the evening.
- Learn all about the English humor in the stand-up club The Comedy Store, where local comedians perform every night.
- Take part in the competition for eating traditional pies with meat and potatoes. For more than 20 years, this unusual competition is held annually at Harry’s bar.
- Upgrade your style with vintage clothes sold in the Northern Quarter. Here you can find clothes, shoes, accessories and household goods.
- Have a glance at Manchester Victoria station, inside of which preserved ticket booths in art-deco style and a map of Lancashire and Yorkshire railway of 1920.