The first leading industrial city of the world and England’s most popular tourist destination outside of London, Manchester is a great place to base yourself from and not just for the football.
The city is home to Europe’s third largest Chinatown, with a wealth of traditional and modern Chinese restaurants and shops to explore. It’s also home to one of the most important Victorian structures in England, the Manchester Town Hall and its concert stadium The Manchester Evening News Arena attracts bigger audiences than New York’s Madison Square Gardens.
Home to the world’s first railway station, Manchester has a thriving bus, train and tram network, including Metrolink Tramway, soon to be Europe’s largest. Located 257km northwest of London, it’s one of England’s largest cities and an absolute breeze to navigate thanks to its comprehensive public transport system.
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Whether you need to warm yourself up with a steaming bowl of soup in winter or keep it cool with a simple sandwich or salad in summer, Shlurp located at Brazennose House East on Brazennose St is the place for you. Fiercely committed to the production of fresh, seasonal food you won’t find any nasties here. Despite its lack of onsite seating the preservative and additive free soups and stews will have you wanting more. The inexpensive eating house is open Monday through Friday and is a favourite amongst inner city locals.
For a late night curry hit there’s no better place than Hunters BBQ. Dishing up generous serves of tasty curries, including some seriously good game choices like rabbit and quail, it’s fast becoming a Manchester institution. If you can get past the mismatched crockery and less than chic interior, you’re sure to be back for more. 90-94 High St.
Spoil your palate at Michael Caines Abode, located in the basement of the Abode Hotel in the heart of bustling Piccadilly. The menu is an exciting take on modern European cuisine with a particular focus on sourcing produce from nearby regional areas. Regular menu changes reflect the restaurants commitment to quality and it certainly pays off. The seven-course tasting menu gives you the chance to savour smaller portions of the restaurants highly acclaimed a la carte dishes. Expect to see the likes of pan-fried duck liver, roasted pork fillet and apple parfait – with a price tag to match it’s an expensive but justified treat. 107 Piccadilly.
Shop the Trafford Centre and you’ll think you’re in retail heaven. From Armani to Zara all the international brands you could hope for are under the one roof including Selfridges and its highly acclaimed accessories hall - for the who’s who of designer bags and shoes.
For those craving a bargain the Lowry Outlet Mall at Salford Quays should satisfy even the biggest retail appetite. Here you can find GAP, Nike and even Marks and Spencer at up to 70 per cent off - just a quick 12 minutes by train.
Take a step back in time by heading to the Manchester Vintage Fashion Market. Held on the third Saturday of each month at Piccadilly Gardens you can take a step back in time as you sort through fashions greatest fads and finds. From the fluorescent eighties, glamorous fifties and flapper style of the twenties, your perfect pre-loved piece is here. Selling everything from clothes to jewellery, gloves and hats it’s a must visit on any fashion fans itinerary, open from 11am to 5pm.