Many consider Manchester the ‘Capital of the North’, it’s arguably the second most cosmopolitan city in the UK and it becomes an increasing hub of culture, work and leisure with every passing year. Its attractions really are tailored to suit every possible taste, from live music, food, history to artistic pursuits here are 10 reasons to visit and enjoy Manchester.
- Art Galleries
Manchester’s art galleries have a lot to be proud of. Artists such as Andy Warhol, Cornelia Parker and Marina Abromovic are just some of the legends whose work has been featured in exhibitions in recent years at Manchester’s top venues. Galleries like the Manchester Art Gallery, The Lowry (named after the English artist of the same name) and the Whitworth Art Gallery are constantly displaying impressive works that attract visitors from all over the country.
- Indy Coffee Scene
The independent coffee scene in Manchester has become a cultural phenomenon. With online groups and messages boards all discussing the topic to magazines made especially for coffee lovers available at city newsstands. Coffee has become a big deal in Manchester. From commuters to students Manchester has one of the most thriving indy coffee scenes in England. Takk, Foundation Coffee House, Fig and Sparrow are just some of the venues that are attracting so many new visitors.
- Salford Quays (Media City)
When BBC Headquarters in London aired it’s final broadcast several years ago it was because the BBC had a new home. Media City in Salford Quays is a breathtaking sight at night when it is all lit up. ITV, BBC and SKY are just some of the broadcasters who have all agreed to share studios and locations. This has turned Salford Quays into a true Media City. During the day it’s a bustling hub of those who work in the showbiz world going about their daily tasks. Celebrity sightings are common as many famous programmes are filmed at the location. Coronation Street is one of these and the set can be visited and explored.
In the heart of the city sits the Manchester Museum. This is a must visit for lovers of history, particularly the ancient world. Designed to look like a gigantic ancient tomb, the museum boasts an impressive collection of artifacts from Ancient Egypt. Including 20 human mummies, some believed to be from 750BC. The most famous of these is Asru who is believed to be a noble woman in Ancient Egypt and was given a tomb much grander than the average. Although not a queen herself, Asru must have been important but so far nobody knows why. Other ancient mysteries are also on display throughout the rest of the museum.
- Night Life
Manchester’s clubbing scene is a phenomenon, this has been helped in part due to the Warehouse Project. This is a project aimed at attracting DJs and clubbers from all over the UK and beyond. The events are becoming more frequent and more and more big music names are becoming attached to the project every year. Manchester’s bars are also well worth a look, from the Ice Bar all the way down to Canal Street there is always someone to keep the party going.
- Escape Rooms
Being locked in a room with a limited time to escape may sound like hell to some but a thrill to others. This must be true as they are popping up all over Manchester! The aim is to search the rooms and locate clues that will help you escape the room in a record time, but also to solve a mystery or two along the way. Different escape rooms have different themes, some murder mystery, horror or even comedy, they are well worth a look if you dare.
- Craft Ales
Manchester is home to some of the best craft ales in the world. Many of these are supplied in niche bars like Piccadilly Tap, Beermoth and Port Street Beer House. These bars serve beer that is a little bit different from the normal ales we may see when we walk into a bar. Alternatively you can try one of the bars run by local brewers such a Blackjack Brewer’s Smithfield Market Tavern. There are also very old historical pubs like the Marble Arch pub that is considered one of Manchester’s oldest pubs.
In an increasingly multicultural society some things simply have to be experienced. Chinatown in Manchester is one of these things. Offering a range of Chinese shops, restaurants and bars that are unlike anything else in the city Chinatown is an absolute must see when visiting Manchester. The Chinese New Year celebrations are also an incredible spectacle to behold. If you’re coming to Manchester for a party and have already experienced all the music, food and bars the rest of the city had to offer, then look no further.
- Niche Record Stores
Music is a big deal in Manchester, so much so that it occupies (spoiler alert) 3 entries in this list. Manchester is home to various independent record stores that will sell music (and formats) that you won’t find in HMV or on iTunes. Shops like Eastern Bloc, Vinyl Exchange and Piccadilly Records have remained important and relevant in this increasingly commercial and digital age. There is just something about music appreciation in Manchester that doesn’t seem to occupy other cities.
- Live Music Scene
Manchester’s live music scene is incredibly important. The city has an impressive history of world-class artists such as Oasis and has become a hub for live events and the place for new artists to showcase their talents and get heard. Albert Hall, Manchester Arena and the Apollo are large-scale venues that attract world famous acts, but in recent years venues like the Academy are attracting bands and artists to the city who may have not visited before. Simply put artists know Manchester is a venue they cannot afford to not play and this means live music in Manchester is not to be missed by anyone.