Article by Subhadrika Sen from Trekkers of the East
The city of Manchester is the third largest city in England after London and Birmingham. It is located in the North-West of United Kingdom and is home to the most famous Football Team, Manchester United. This city has always been a supporter of tradition and development. It has been home to the arts and culture and science. After the unfortunate bombings of 1980’s, the government and administrative forces renewed the city infrastructure and gave it a modern look. However, the remnants of the medieval buildings and sculptures definitely keep alive the rich history and culture of this city amidst development and progress.
Top 5 landmarks to see
5. Manchester Town Hall (Albert Square) – Home of the Manchester city administration, The Town Hall is one of the biggest in the United Kingdom. The neo-gothic style structure was designed and built by Alfred Waterhouse who is credited to have designed various other structures across the city like the Manchester University. The Ground level of the Town Hall is open to the public. It is the main attraction during Manchester parades and during Christmas as it hosts a part of the Manchester Christmas Markets.
4. Manchester Art Gallery – With a collection of more than 25,000 permanent exhibits and numerous temporary exhibitions, Manchester Art Gallery is a must visit for Art Lovers. It is open to the general public all days a week, except on Christmas. The main highlights of this place are the Gallery café and shop, apart from the exhibitions themselves. Also, with no entry fee required, this is one of the most loved tourist spots in Manchester.
3. Old Trafford Football Stadium – Coming to the home of the Manchester United Football Club, one has to take the advantage of visiting the Football Stadium. One can either watch a match during the season or opt for the guided tours that take place. Alternately, one can visit the Manchester City Football Club and the National Football Museum as well.
2. The Manchester Museum – A favorite place with the tourists, the Manchester Museum hosts thousands of exhibits from the Animalia Kingdom. In fact, there is a live animal’s gallery as well. In case, you are interested in science, then the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) would be of your interest.
1. Manchester Cathedral– One of the most beautiful Cathedral’s built in Manchester is the Manchester Cathedral. The Cathedral is situation in the city centre and is fully functioning at the moment. Its unfortunate damage during the Manchester bombings to its full recovery is a wonderful transition and the helpful guides in the cathedral gives more details about it. Alternately, you can also pay a visit to the Salford Cathedral or the Hidden Gem.
Off- the Beaten Path
If you have an adventurous bone in your body and want to explore places not quite listed in the tourist hotspots then you can have a look at the following:
4. Manchester Canals, Castlefield – Castlefield is a quiet and serene place in the middle of the city which boasts of the hugely popular canal system of Manchester. Near about Castlefield, you can get many eateries and even the ruins of an old Roman Fortress called the Mamucium.
3. Walk Across Chapel Street – Chapel Street is the first street in the entire United Kingdom where the street lights were first put on. This is street with history in every corner. Branching from the main road, there lie various pubs, cathedrals, churches, old preserved buildings, peel- park and the esteemed University of Salford with the Salford Art Gallery.
2. ChinaTown – There is one Chinatown in most part of the World. You can definitely not miss this one as well. Though the Chinatown in quite small, with only two adjoining streets, there is a lot to see and eat. From Thai to Chinese and Japanese food , to beautiful Chinese ornate good luck charms available in the curio shop, ChinaTown is a beautiful place to visit.
photo by Aimee Cunlife via Trover
1. Manchester Arndale/ Market Street – Set in the heart of the city, Market Street is the best Shopping arena that you can find. With over 300 stores in the mall and on the street, this is not a place to miss for the shopaholics.
Where to eat
5. Trafford Centre – One of the most elaborate places to eat, the food court has been divided into theme cuisines. From Chinese, to Mexican, Indian, and Japanese – you name it you get it. One would be spoilt for choice in this beautiful shopping and eatery arcade.
4. Rusholme – If you are looking for exclusive Indian or Pakistani/ Mughlai cuisines this is the place to be.
3. Deansgate – Hosts some of the most famous pubs and restaurants of the city along a mile long stretch of the road.
2. Beetham Tower, Cloud 23 – Although, Cloud 23 is just a café, it is not everyday one gets a chance to experience a cup of hot coffee, sitting on the twenty third floor of the tallest building of the city.
1. Piccadilly Weekend Markets – Piccadilly Weekend Markets are only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The food ranges from sweets and savory to proper lunch. This is a great place for getting takeaway food. Alternately, you can grab your food and take a seat in the Piccadilly Gardens and enjoy it amidst live music.
Tips for Manchaster
Manchester is a very safe city in its own terms. However, as a personal safety I would not recommend anyone going alone to the Manchester Canals.
The city is well connected by road to all major tourist spots. Thus wearing a good pair of shoes is all that is needed along with a camera and a map.
This is a very cosmopolitan city and you can ask people for help anytime, even if you have a language problem.
The city has always supported and looked after the needs of the disabled as well. Thus, there would be no objection for them to enjoy the city in its full fervor.
Also, a sunglass and an umbrella would be very handy. You cannot trust the weather! At least I don’t: P!
To conclude, Manchester is a city which would not disappoint the tourists in any way. In fact, it might surprise them for all I know. The warm reception of the people is something that you should look forward to. Everyone is always wearing a smile on their face and is up to help you in any problem. As I say, Manchester is a city full of surprises; you never know what holds for you the moment you step out of your doors.
Subhadrika Sen – I am a Journalism student from India currently residing in Manchester. I love to travel and spend all my money on travelling and owning a good camera. Follow her blog on Facebook and Twitter as well.