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Discover Manchester (there’s more than just a good football team !)

Manchester is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city offering a unique city break experience.  Once at the heart of the industrial revolution, it’s entrepreneurial and innovative spirit has helped the city lead the world in fields of engineering, politics, arts, sports and music.  Manchester is a city of firsts – the birth place of the first computer, professional football team, passenger railway and votes for women, to name just a few. 

Today the city has everything you need for the perfect break, with award-winning attractions, excellent shopping and an exciting nightlife, not to mention the wide variety of accommodation and direct flights…Manchester is an unforgettable weekend for less.

Culture & Entertainment
There are over 90 museums and galleries, most free to enter.  From Pre-Raphaelite works of art at Manchester Art Gallery to contemporary exhibitions at Urbis.  Trace Manchester’s industrial heritage at MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry), located at the site of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station or the effect of war on the world at The Imperial War Museum North.  For historical houses, estates and charming gardens Chatsworth or Tatton Park. 

Visit The Royal Exchange Theatre for classic plays and drama, The Palace Theatre and Opera House for West End musicals and spectacular shows. 

With renowned artists such as Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, Take That and Oasis from the city, some say the M in Manchester is for ‘Music’.  From international pop acts to the Hallé Orchestra at The Bridgewater Hall the city caters for everyone’s tastes. 

Shop ‘til you drop
From haute couture to vintage classics, Manchester has it all, from shopping malls and departments stores to market stalls and boutiques.  High street brands can be found at Manchester Arndale and The Trafford Centre.  Find names like Hugo Boss, Armani and Vivienne Westwood on King Street, at Selfridges or Harvey Nichols.  For those one-off retro designs and vintage kitsch the Northern Quarter has independent stores galore – second-hand boutiques and the alternative department store, Afflecks Palace.  You can find a hidden hand-made gem or works of local artists at Manchester Craft and Design Centre.

For a different shopping experience there are markets around the city offering local farmers’ produce, flowers, fashion and more.  Manchester Fashion Market showcases local designers and funky hand-made clothing and jewellery.  In Piccadilly Gardens the Farmers’ Market has local produce and over Christmas the European markets become popular attractions.  For superb produce all year round, visit Manchester Arndale Market.

Manchester’s nightlife is legendary.   There are hundreds of pubs, bars and clubs to choose from.  Lively Deansgate Locks and Printworks are for those who want to party the night away.
The bohemian Northern Quarter has a choice of unique, independent bars.  Try a cocktail atmospheric Socio Rehab or continental beers at Odd Bar. There’s also Matt & Phred’s jazz bar for live music. 
Manchester started a club revolution, with the legendary Hacienda paving the way for dance clubs across the UK.  Choose from rock, pop, dance, house, R&B and hip-hop for your perfect night out.

Food & Drink
Let your taste buds take you all over the world – from Italian to Chinese, Caribbean to Nepalese, Manchester offers a range of over thirty cuisines at every price range.  There’s Chinatown, with everything oriental and Rusholme also known as ‘Curry Mile’, with Asian takeaways and restaurants. 

For real ale and traditional pub grub there’s Sam’s Chop House, Sinclair’s Oyster Bar, Lass O’Gowrie or the Peveril of the Peak to name a few. 

Manchester Food & Drink Festival in October is an annual celebration of the quality and diversity of food and drink in the city, with celebrity chefs, cookery demonstrations and tasting sessions.

Manchester is synonymous with sport, particularly since the 2002 Commonwealth Games.  In 2008 it was voted Sport City of the Year.  It is the birthplace of the first professional football league and home to four Premiership football clubs.  Come and visit Old Trafford, Manchester United’s legendary ground, for a behind the scenes museum and stadium tour or even try and catch a game (packages available from MU Travel).

If you’d like to take part then there’s world-class facilities such as the Aquatics Centre and Manchester Velodrome.  There are over 100 golf courses in the region, most notably Royal Birkdale, Hoylake and Royal Lytham courses. 

For outdoor pursuits like hiking, hand-gliding and rock climbing try nearby national parks like  Peak District or Lake District.  Both offer stunning scenery and countryside throughout the year. 

Whether it’s five star luxury or budget accommodation, Manchester has something for every need.  For special offers and online booking visit

Manchester is the gateway to the North of England.  The city’s central location means that it’s only two hours by train to London, an hour from historical Chester, York, Liverpool and lively Blackpool.  Served by excellent rail and road links, the beautiful Lake District and Wales are just a couple of hours away.

Manchester’s award-winning international airport prides itself on being one of the world’s busiest and friendliest. 

Manchester Airport is the alternative gateway to the Britain.  It handles over 22 million passengers per year and serves over 200 destinations worldwide, with over 100 in Europe.  Make Manchester your gateway to Europe!


Manchester International Festival, citywide, 2- 19 Jul 09
Manchester International Festival, the world’s first festival of original, new work returns to Manchester. The first three commissions include Rufus Wainwright’s first opera, Prima Donna; a tribute to a great British pastime, Everybody Loves a Winner, which sees the Royal Exchange Theatre transformed into a bingo hall, and Zaha Hadid Architects visually and acoustically transform one of the exhibition spaces in Manchester Art Gallery into a unique environment for Bach’s solo instrumental works.

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