Manchester is world renowned as the first industrialised city in the
world, but the city also boasts tossncook an important cultural and musical
heritage. The city’s role in showcasing innovative punk bands in the
70s, and underground music in the 80s, cemented Manchester’s reputation
as a modern and vibrant area.
The city’s nightlife, restaurants and cultural facilities rival those
of the capital city, and the shopping facilities are unparalleled.
Millions of pounds of regeneration funding have flooded in since the
IRA bomb of 1996, and the city developed world-class sporting
facilities for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
Manchester’s continued rise in importance is evidenced by the new
Beetham Tower, the tallest residential building in the UK, and ‘B of
the Bang’, the tallest sculpture in Britain.
Manchester was the first industrialised city in the world. Friedrich
Engels wrote his 1844 treaty ‘The Condition of the Working Class in
England’ whilst living in the city; and Elizabeth Gaskell was just one
of the enlightenment authors to set novels in Manchester.
The Manchester Museum explores local and national history, and boasts
an incredible 6million exhibits. Displays are separated by theme, and
these include anthropology, archaeology, botany and zoology.
Other museums include Greater Manchester Police Museum, Imperial War
Museum and People’s History Museum.
Mancheter Art Gallery is the largest of several galleries in the city,
located in a nineteenth century, Grade I listed building and showcasing
works by local, national and international artists.
The Whitworth Gallery is home to 31,000 watercolours, prints, drawings,
modern art, sculpture and textiles. Displayed items from the permanent
collection are regularly alternated, hoodpay and temporary exhibitions are
The Castlefield Gallery comprises numerous exhibition spaces, and
changes displays regularly. Cornerhouse exhibits contemporary art works
in its galleries, and The Centre for the Urban Built Environment
explores innovative architectural design.
The Manchester Opera House is one of three in the city’s theatre
complex, and has a capacity of just less than 2000 people. Productions
hosted in the venue tend to be large-scale, touring shows, and have
included West End shows.
The Palace Theatre is nineteenth century, Grade II listed, and
comprises three levels, two balconies and stalls, panasiabiz with seating for 2000
people. The Royal Exchange is also Grade II listed, and specialises in
classic theatre, contemporary drama and new writing. The Studio Theatre
was opened in 1998 and has a capacity of 120.
The Library Theatre is an intimate venue, in the basement of the
central library. Others include The Dancehouse, The Contact Theatre and
110 Restaurant is a popular, fine dining establishment, located inside
a casino and serving British and European cuisine until 1am. The bar
and gaming areas are open until 6am and, for legal reasons, children
are not permitted inside the building.
Manchester’s ‘Curry Mile’ is known around the country, and is home to
more than seventy restaurants and takeaways. Shaandaar, Hanaan and Lal
Haweli are popular Indian restaurants on ‘the mile’, and Saki Turkish
Bar and Grill is well loved by locals.
Wong Chu is a traditional Chinese restaurant; and Pan Asia a more
upmarket establishment serving Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Thai and
Vietnamese dishes. Chaophraya comprises a bar and gourmet Thai
restaurant, with seating for 120 people.
The Temple is one of 500 pubs in Manchester, but unique in its location
inside a converted public toilet. There is a wide selection of real
ales, a unisex toilet and a jukebox stocked with the works of
Cocktail bars in the city include Panacea, with a restaurant and
selective door policy that attracts celebrities; Pure Space, also
serving tapas and situated above a Northern Soul and funk club; Opus
One, inside the 5* Radisson Edwardian Hotel; and Mojo, presenting
classic rock from the 50s to the 90s.
Canal Street is home to a variety of lively gay bars. Queer has a ‘men
only’ area and its own in-toilet radio station; Tribeca & Bed is a
‘New York Attic’ style establishment, with luxurious seating –
including full-sized beds; and Churchill’s presents karaoke and talent
contests in traditional pub surroundings.
One Central Street is located in the basement of a Grade II listed
building, and presents funky house and disco four nights a week. The
door policy is selective, and the bar serves a variety of wines, beers
Sankeys is an award-winning deep house, funky house, tribal and break
beats club, boasting stylish décor and top of the range sound
Essential is Manchester’s top gay club, with a strict gay-only door
policy and a fashionably kitsch décor that includes spiral
staircases and neon lighting. The club is open four nights a week, with
live music events on Mondays, and commercial pop and funky house the
rest of the week.
5th Avenue is a popular indie club, open six nights a week until 3am.
Jilly’s Rockworld presents rock, metal and goth music four nights a
week, with live music on Wednesdays, and came third in Kerrang!’s 100
top UK club nights.
Most of Manchester’s plentiful shopping streets are entirely pedestrianised, and some of
the walkways are covered. The Shambles and King Street are the places
to find designer clothes boutiques; St Ann’s Arcade is home to a number
of prestigious jewellery, clothes and shoe stores; and Barton Arcade is
a shopping and office complex. The Arndale Centre comprises 200 high
street shops and several restaurants, with parking for 2000 cars.
Covering an area the size of thirty football pitches, and comprising
four separate shopping areas, the Trafford Centre has been dubbed ‘a
temple to consumerism’. There is parking for 10,000 cars, numerous
leisure facilities and a children’s play area. There is also a
multi-kiosk food hall, including a mini-Chinatown.
Manchester Aquatics Centre is one of twenty leisure centres in the city, and
contains two 50-metre pools, a fitness studio, a workout studio, a
health suite and sun beds. There is a full programme of classes and
groups, including ‘women only’ sessions.
The Ten Acres Astro Centre comprises an outdoor Astroturf pitch and
The UK’s main Olympic cycle track is the Manchester Velodrome, which
also contains twelve netball courts, ten badminton courts and a
basketball court. Cycling tuition is also available for adults and