Smaller than London, Manchester (map) offers the ‘buzz’ of a large city without the overwhelming scale of the capital. It is a vibrant, post-industrial gem at the heart of North West England, between Liverpool and Leeds. It is seen by many as a young, vibrant and cutting edge city, where there is always something happening.
Throughout time, writers have sought to describe the magic of Manchester: George Orwell called it “the belly and guts of the Nation”; Edward Abbott Parry “a synonym for energy and freedom”, but Ian Brown, lead singer of The Stone Roses, perhaps summed up the Mancunian spirit best when he said “Manchester’s got everything except a beach”. The sand is almost certainly on order already.
Manchester is often named ‘best student city’. It is very welcoming to the student lifestyle and many establishments in the centre and South Manchester are geared towards students.
*Manchester’s Chinatown (map) has been a feature of Manchester since the late 1970s. It’s a genuine experience! It’s home to the bulk of Manchester’s east Asian restaurants as well as many traders in Chinese food and goods.
St. Ann’s Square (map) is the centre of Manchester’s main shopping district. It is usually packed with shoppers and usually the odd one or two street entertainers. The Council holds many events in the square, including specialist markets and musical events.
Spinningfields (map) & Albert Square (map) covers the area in central Manchester. It covers the locales of central Deansgate, Albert Square, as well as the newly developed business district of Spinningfields, and is focussed upon the heart of the city centre.
Rusholme’s Curry Mile (map) is, as the name suggests, home to a lot of Indian restaurants! Due to the high concentration of curry houses, and all the competition, you should be able to get a really good curry in just about any restaurant.
During the period leading up to Christmas from November, there is a Christmas Market stretching from the Town Hall towards St Ann’s Square and New Cathedral Street. By the Town Hall section there is a spectacular range of international cuisine.