Manchester, England is full of interesting history. It’s also full of passion for soccer! The city boomed in the 19th century when it became the first industrialized city, but then faced a steep decline as manufacturing left England. Today it is full of culture, restaurants, and a thriving business district. The city is most famous for its football (soccer) teams. It has two — Manchester United and Man City — and there’s a big rivalry between the two sides. Manchester is a “rough and tumble” city worth a few days of exploring.
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Manchester
1. Manchester Art Gallery
2. Godlee Observatory
3. Albert Square
4. Manchester Cathedral
5. Become a football fanatic
Other Things to See and Do
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1. University of Manchester
More than just a beautiful campus to walk through, the university is also the place where the first computer was built and where radio astronomy was created. There are tours of this sprawling campus that are really interesting.
2. Walk along Curry Mile
Take a walk along Curry Mile, a main street lined with restaurants, sari shops, and jewelry stores. Manchester has a lot of South Asian immigrants, and you will find great Indian food and curries here (hence the name).
3. Stroll down Market Street
Market Street is lined with shops and is popular with younger people. You’ll find bagpipers on the streets and good outdoor cafes.
4. Visit Castlefield
This site of the original Roman settlement is a good place for history buffs. The walls that still stand over two meters high are from as late as the 16th Century. It is the center of Manchester’s canal network and a transport nexus of unique historical importance.
5. Manchester Town Hall
This beautiful neo-Gothic masterpiece is a symbol of the wealth and power of Manchester during the Industrial Revolution. Free tours can be arranged and the state rooms are open to visitors when not in use. This place was built during the height of Manchester’s industrial influence.
6. The Lesbian & Gay Heritage Trail
The gay scene in Manchester is considered to be unsurpassed outside of London. At the tourist office, you can pick up the Gay & Lesbian Village Guide, which lists tons of bars, galleries, clubs, and groups that cater to the community. The trail itself is a 90 minute walking tour of the city’s pink links.
7. Shop til you drop at the Trafford Center
Just outside of town, this is the largest shopping center in the UK. There are over 280 stores and even overnight accommodations. It’s easy to spend days here as there is a vast variety of shops to check out. There is also an exceptional selection of international cuisine in the center.
8. Experience the nightlife
The club scene here is one of the biggest in England. Many big names, such as Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk, started out playing at places like Sankey’s and FAC 251. For those of you not so interested in dancing, there are plenty of quieter places to spend your evening. Britons Protection is a great place to grab a meal and sample any number of their 200 different kinds of whisky.