England - Manchester

Canal Street (in "Gay Village")

Largely dismissed by many in the south, Manchester is becoming a vibrant and alive city with many attractions. People are very pleasant and the city itself is easy to get around with fantastic public transport including trams, buses and trains.

Town Hall

The city is interwoven with canals which in recent years have been cleaned up and now host trendy coffee shops, restaurants and art exhibits. New Islington Marina/Canal to the east of the city centre is a prime example and can get quite crowded in good weather.

New Islington Marina/Canal



There are many things to see and do throughout the city. The Manchester Visitor Information Center (Manchester Central Library St. Peter's Square M2 5PD) is definitely worth a visit offering accommodation services as well as a number of brochures and other information (including an absolutely essential city map). It is located in the Central Library in St. Peter's Square.

Manchester City Hall

  • Albert Square - The heart of the city, this concrete square is dominated by the Manchester City Hall.

The Lowry

  • The Lowry - Arts and entertainment - An interesting building near the Manchester United stadium (a short tram ride then walk from the city centre).

Manchester Art Gallery Inside the Gallery

  • Manchester Art Gallery - A small but quite pleasant Art Gallery located right in the middle of town near St. Peter's square. Free admission.

Manchester Cathedral from the Wheel of Manchester Manchester Cathedral

  • Manchester Cathedral - A fantastic old cathedral with incredible medieval carved wood choir. Not as large as other cathedrals it is definitely worth a visit. Guided tours available.

  • Manchester Central Library - A short distance from Albert Square, the library building is an amazing piece of architecture. Well worth dropping in and having a poke around.

Piccadilly Gardens

  • Piccadilly Gardens - As well as being a big tram transport hub, the large open space and fountains attract many from the city on a sunny day with a large number of nearby restaurants and pubs. Note that this is quite a tourist area so be alert for the risks this poses.


Manchester Arndale Shopping Centre

A local pass-time seems to be shopping and there are certainly a lot of choices including the truly massive Manchester Arndale shopping centre located near the cathedral. There is a pay and display car park. Surrounding Arndale are a number of shops on pedestrianised streets including Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.

The Trafford Centre

A bit further out to the west of the city is the even bigger (and nicer) Trafford Centre which is easily accessible via the motorway system. It features a large Odeon cinema and a huge multi-floor food court. There is free parking in the large number of parking lots but be aware it can get VERY busy so you may walk quite some ways to the mall.

There is also the Lowry Outlet Mall in The Lowry art complex in The Quays very close to the Old Trafford football stadium on the west side of the city. This is a much more utilitarian affair with very sparse décor, only a few shops and a small food court (there are a few more restaurants outside). Upscale, this is not, functional it is. There is an attached multi-story paid car park and parking can be pre-booked.

Eating Out

I have not visited many restaurants yet but have hit a few highlights, see here.

Food Halls

A trend in recent years a number of food halls have sprung up hosting street food vendors in a communal atmosphere.

Arndale Market

Located on the eastern edge of the Arndale Shopping Centre the small Arndale Market can be easily missed as it is dwarfed by the large stores of the shopping centre but you would do yourself a disservice by not checking it out as has a number of small, independently run street food vendors as well as a number of other small shops giving it a real market feel.

Mackie Mayor

Machie Mayor

Located in the amazing open space of the restored Smithfield Market in the Northern Quarter (1 Eagle St, M4 5BU), Machie Mayor is well worth a visit with a good variety of reasonably priced fast food in a buzzing relaxed atmosphere – Think industrial chic.

Curry Mile

Wilmslow Road in the Rain

The famous (infamous?) “curry mile” is located quite some distance to the south of the city center in Rusholme on Wilmslow Road. There are more than 50 Indian restaurants all lit up like a Manchester equivalent of the strip in Las Vegas all vying for your trade as you walk down the street offering better and better deals…Definitely a cultural experience.


Chinatown Gate

It is quite surprising at how large this area is and how good the quality of the food available. Located immediately adjacent to St. Peter's square (a block to the south, basically) this area can get a bit rowdy in the evening so take care.


Manchester Piccadilly

Most arrivals by train will be to the centrally located NRLOGO Manchester Piccadilly though there are some services to the smaller NRLOGO Manchester Victoria to the north of the city centre on the other side of the Arndale Shopping Centre and near to the cathedral.

Tram Stop

The whole of greater Manchester is served by fantastic bus and train service though the tram service provides limited but very efficient transport throughout commonly accessed areas. The core area is also served by a very frequent and free Metroshuttle bus service.

See the official Transport for Greater Manchester site for further details.

Parking in the city is not really recommended but it can be had in many city centre car parks though is often very expensive. There is a park and ride service offered by Metrolink where you can park your car for free at a tram station just paying for the tram fare. See for details.

Further Information

For further information please see: