About Manchester




Skylines and views        

Albert Square
St Peter's Square

Beetham Tower

  Piccadilly Gardens
Market Street

Town Hall, Central Library
Cenotaph, Midland Hotel, Albert Memorial

  Deansgate Station
White Lion Pub, Liverpool Road
  City Tower
Monument to Queen Victoria
Exchange Square
St Ann Square
  Northern Quarter

Manchester Cathedral, River Irwell, CIS Tower, Coop Bldg, Arndale Centre, Millennium Quarter


Hatters Hostel
Stevenson Square


Faulkner Street

The Printworks John Ryland's Library   National Football Museum

Hard Rock Café, Exchange Square



  Urbis bldg, Exchange Square





Imperial War Museum, MediaCityUK, Salford Quays, BBC Studios, Trinity Bridge, Trafford

  Imperial War Museum

MediaCityUK, Trafford

Manchester Airport




Manchester by night        

Northern Quarter, Piccadilly Gardens, Printworks


ABOUT Manchester:

Population:  530 000 (metro 2 794 000)
Tallest building:
Beetham Tower (157mm, built 2006)
Founded: 1301, city 1853
Ceremonial county: Greater
North West England
Autonomous community:
115.7 km² (urban 630.3 km²)
Year visited: April 2017


Manchester is only United Kingdom's 6th largest city, but it is the 2nd largest urban area in the UK, second only to London, and 3rd largest metropolitan area. It is situated in the mid-west part of England, just East of Liverpool. Manchester is known for its vibrant music scene (the Smiths, Oasis, Joy Division, Stone Roses), famous football teams (Manchester United and Manchester City), several universities an industrial past and its many libraries. The Manchester Ship Canal connects Manchester with the Irish Sea. The River Irwell connects Manchester with the city of Salford. There is a great rivalry between the football teams of Manchester and Liverpool.

Manchester is a great city. There are lots of beautiful historical buildings in gothic, edwardian or victorian style, and the beautiful River Irwell flows through the city center. Santaiago Calatrava's Trinity Bridge is the most modern of the bridges above the river. In the 60s many buildings were constructed in dull modernist style. But many great new modern buildings have been built recently, some with really futuristic architecture. Many of the industrial buildings and warehouses have been into turned to cool buildings. The popular Coronation Street TV show was recorded in Granada Studios in Manchester, now moved to Salford.

There are no less then three large railway stations in central Manchester; Victoria, Piccadilly and Deansgate.

During WWII Manchester was heavily bombed, and in 1996 IRA placed the heaviest bomb in UK history in Arndale Centre, a shopping mall on Corporation St, a truck bomb leading to large destruction and damage of the city centre. Because of evacuations noone was killed, but 200 people were injured! Arndale Centre has been rebuilt and expanded, today it is huge with over 200 stores in several buildings. About only 6 weeks after my visit (May 2017), Manchester suffered from a new terrorist attack; 22 people where killed and 116 injured, many teenagers, when a coward suicide bomber exploded at a concert in the Manchester Arena!

A few modernist skyscrapers have been built in the city centre in the 60s, such as CIS Tower, City Tower and Arndale House. In the 2000s new skyscrapers have been constructed, topped by the 50-storey Beetham Tower, the tallest building in the UK outside London. It is a sleek glass tower built in 2006 with a Hilton hotel and apartments. An even taller one is under construction on Owen St.

Manchester Cathedral is an important gothic church from 1882, situated near the River Irwell. St Ann's Church at St Ann Square is a smaller church.

Market St, Corporation St, Portland St, Piccadilly, Oxford St, Peter St and Church St are some of the most important streets in Manchester's city centre. Deansgate is the longest street in the city centre.

Albert Square and St Peter's Square are the two main squares of the city. Here you find the gothic Town Hall, the neo-classical Central Library, several sculptures and monuments and the Cenotaph.

Piccadilly Gardens is an important park and square, a hub for trams, the 30-storey City Tower highrise and a huge shopping area, around Market Street, begins there. Manchester is really a paradise for shoppers; There are many large modern department stores and malls in the city center, such as Arndale, Selfridge's, Debenhams, Harvey Nichols, Mark&Spencer, House of Fraser, Next and more. There are also small nice speciality stores and second hand stores.

At Exchange Square you find the former Corn Exchange, the gothic Cathedral, the charming timberhouse pub Old Wellington, the futuristic National Football Museum glass building, several modern department stores and Printworks.

The Printworks is a former industrial building that was turned into a really nice entertainment and restaurants complex, with neon lights and high dark passages that make it looks like night, even daytime. Here you find UK:s largest Hard Rock Café.

Chinatown is the 2nd largest in the UK, and the 3rd largest in Europe. It is situated in the city centre, with a Chinese gate at Faulkner Street. Canal Street is a nice area around the canal (that we didn't visit though), counted as a gay area.

John Ryland Library at Deansgate is a historical library, very dark beautiful gothic building, that is open to public. It is said to have inspired the Hogwarts school in Harry Potter. Chetham's Library is the place where Marx and Engels wrote the communist manifesto.

Northern Quarter is a former gritty, gentrified cultural neighbourhood, just North of Piccadily Gardens. Today you find a lot of pubs, bars, nightclubs and record stores. Stephenson Square and the bazaar Afflek's Palace can be found here.

In the Castlefield area, the ancient Roman fort Mamucium can be found.

Salford is a suburb and midsized city with 246 000 inhabitants. Here you find the MediaCityUK with modern highrises, futuristic bridges, Salford Quays and the BBC studios. There are lots of highrises in Salford.

In the suburb of Trafford you find the futuristic Imperial War Museum by Daniel Liebeskind, and the Old Trafford, Manchester United's famous home arena, also UK:s largest club stadium.

Manchester Airport, 13.9km southwest of the city centre, is UK:s busiest airport outside of London. It has no less then 3 terminals.

We visited Manchester for one day, and one morning, after Liverpool and before Leeds. The weather was quite grey during my visit, but not very cold for early April. We enjoyed the vibrant cultural scene, such as the mix of modern and historic architecture, the transformation from industrial to a modern university city and the free museums. It was cloudy during the whole visit to Manchester, but at least it didn't rain.

We stayed at the simple Hatters Hostel on Newton Street, near Piccadilly Gardens and Northern Quarter. So the location was really good, but sleeping on the 5th floor without an elevator was simply too much.

The trip to Manchester was part of a tour in England. We also visited the following cities: Liverpool , Birmingham , Leeds and York.

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