When it comes to picking a city to spend an Easter holiday in, Manchester may not initially be at the top of everyone’s list. However, the region has undergone a big resurgence in recent years, and with significant investment in the tourism and retail sectors, Manchester is now a dynamic and exciting city with much to offer the visitor. This article takes a look at the best of Manchester’s attractions with great ideas for spending a few days in Northern England’s most vibrant city.
Manchester is very easily accessible by road or rail, with several mainline train stations serving the city. There’s a busy motorway network and ring road allowing access to all sides of the city and the surrounding areas, and the international airport is located just 10 miles south of the city centre. With Avis car hire from Manchester Airport visitors can easily get to the city’s attractions in a very short time.
Manchester is a great shopping destination. The city centre offers a mix of high-end couture and designer stores, plus numerous department stores. The modernised Arndale Centre is an important city centre retail hub, very handily located within easy walking distance of metro link tram and bus stops. Visitors seeking a one-stop shopping experience should head for the huge Trafford Centre complex located between the city and the airport and accessible by car, bus and tram. Hundreds of shops and restaurants fill the venue, and there is also a large multi-screen cinema complex, bowling alley, laser quest and many other attractions for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
Sport plays an important role in Manchester life, with its two world famous football clubs providing stadium tours. Old Trafford is a Mecca for Manchester United fans worldwide, and offers a great experience. The UK’s National Football Museum is also located in the city, and provides free entry. The city also boasts many other freely-accessible museums and galleries, including the Museum of Science and Industry (5 vast warehouses of scientific exhibits and hands-on attractions), and the Imperial War Museum North.
For those seeking a great night out, Manchester is home to many nightclubs, jazz clubs and comedy venues, including the Comedy Store. The Lowry in Salford also offers an entertainment complex featuring a retail outlet mall and a concert venue which hosts comedy shows, musical events and orchestral performances. The Bridgewater Hall is a great concert venue for lovers of classical music. Back in the city centre, why not take in a play or show at the Opera House or Palace Theatre, both of which host national long-running shows and one-off events. The main concert venue in the city is the recently-renamed Phones4u Arena, which has nightly performances from world-famous music stars as well as popular sporting events and shows.
Thrill-seekers should head for the Chill Factore, a huge purpose-built indoor skiing and snowboarding centre which not only features a huge indoor slope but also various attractions for the children, such as a junior luge and sledging runs. The accompanying Play Factore contains a giant indoor play area, with zip lines, laser quest and climbing equipment.
Manchester is also home to hundreds of bars, pubs and restaurants offering food lovers everything from a quick snack to haute couture. Pick up a free city guide or local newspaper to discover special offers and hidden gems!