Manchester: the home of the Industrial Revolution and the football capital of the world. But there’s so much more to the UK’s northern metropolis. With a lively arts scene, many museums and beautiful buildings, it is an excellent place to visit and an even better one to live in. Manchester has produced such cultural heavyweights as The Smiths, Danny Boyle, The Stone Roses and Joy Division. In this short list, we count down the top ten best things about living in Manchester.
It isn’t just the students that flock to Manchester for its nightlife. With thousands of restaurants, pubs and clubs to choose from, and with nights out costing considerably less than in the South, there’s never a dull moment in England’s second city. Of particular note is Sankey’s, the club that gave Daft Punk and the Chemical Brothers their big break. With non-mainstream DJs spinning the decks nightly, there’s something for everyone in this unique nightclub.
With a large sections of the population descended from across the world, there is an exciting energy to life in this city which is reflected in the cities’ arts scene every bit as much as in its culinary delights. Try Yang-Sing Chinese, El Rincon del Rafa Spanish, Shere Khan Indian or the River Bar and Restaurant for a real treat.
The arts scene
Whilst there are many interesting galleries and museums to visit (such as the Whitworth, the Manchester museum and the Museum of Science and Industry to name but a few), it is the truly unique Urbis building which stands out from the crowd. The Urbis is not only home to a permanent collection which describes life in Manchester but also exhibits more cutting edge and provocative temporary collections.
Admittedly, this might not be a draw for everyone but it is a huge part of Manchester’s heritage and tours of the stadium and museum are a must-see pilgrimage for fans from all over the world.
There are many beautiful buildings worth checking out in Manchester. Ranging from the John Rylands library (replete with beautiful stained glass) to the Town Hall (an example of the beauty of Victorian grandeur at its best), just a casual walk around the city centre is a treat with easy access to 19th century industrial buildings, bridges and warehouses.
The Lowry Centre
As well as housing collections by Moore, Turner, Hepworth, Constable, Blake and Hogarth, the city also proudly boasts the legacy of its most famous artist LS Lowry. As well as art galleries displaying his work, the Lowry Centre also serves as a performance space for comedy, dance and drama.
The People’s History Museum
A refurbished Edwardian pumping station, this museum covers British social history via a series of interactive exhibits. Punch a time card on a mill clock, look at the table at which Thomas Paine produced his seminal work the Rights of Man and get a sense of local history.
The Trafford Centre
This huge shopping mall is one of the biggest centres in the UK, with nearly three-hundred shops and even places to stay. With many restaurants, a Selfridges and a cinema, it’s the first port of call for locals to spend their leisure time.
Manchester Craft and Design Centre
Located in a restored Victorian fish market, this is a mecca for designers and creative types alike. The ideal place to pick up everything from textiles to jewellery, many up and coming student artists sell here, so this is the place to pick up a real bargain!
The ultimate alternative record store, this is the place that locals go to buy everything from DJ equipment to clothes to books. Well worth a visit, this is a wonderful spot to get a sense of all things Mancunian.
This homage to Manchester comes courtesy of Vivid Photo Visual – the video production Manchester specialists.