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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

The new European city break destination?

Manchester, the UK's second city, is home to 2.6 million people, is going through a massive renaissance and is a fast riser amongst the major European city break destinations. In 2004 there were 88 million tourism visits to Manchester, only beaten in England by London. The city is also tied with Edinburgh for second place in terms of international visitors. So what does Manchester have to offer? Does it deserve it's status as one of the fastest growing city break destinations in Europe? Lets have a look at what there is to find.

Museums and Galleries
Manchester has one of the broadest selections of museums and galleries in the UK, including some of national standing as well as the only national millennium project for the arts. Listed below are the best on offer.

Imperial War Museum of the North


Picture by Manchester.com

The Lowry


Picture by Countryside-properties.com

Museum of Science and Industry


Picture by Phillip Kent

Urbis


Picture by Manchester.com

Manchester Museum

Manchester Art Gallery

Salford Museum & Art Gallery

The Hat Museum

Manchester Jewish Museum

The Whitworth Art Gallery

The Chinese Arts Centre

The Cornerhouse

Manchester Athenaeum


Picture by Lookingatbuildings.org.uk

Concorde Viewing Park


Picture by Aidan O'Rourke

Museum of Transport

Greater Manchester Police Museum

Platt Hall Museum of Costume


Picture by Aidan O'Rourke

Manchester Central Library


Picture by Aidan O'Rourke

John Rylands Library


Picture by University of Manchester

Sports
Manchester has some of the best sporting teams and sports facilities in the UK. Not only can you watch the sports first hand, you can also take tours of the facilities and even take part yourself!

Manchester United


Picture by an anonymous photographer

Why not come to see Manchester United, the world's most successful sports franchise? Go to the 75,000 seater Theatre of Dreams to see the team play, go for a tour of the stadium, visit the Manchester United museum or have a meal in the Red Cafe.

Manchester City

Bolton Wanderers

Stockport County

Wigan Athletic

Wigan Warriors

Salford Reds

Sale Sharks

Lancashire County Cricket Club

Manchester Phoenix

SportCity

Other events
Manchester is one of the main sports venues in the UK. There are always sporting events on, be it Ricky Hatton boxing at the MEN arena, the Harlem Globetrotters playing a demo match, the world's first Paralympic World Cup or a whole host of other events. All you have to do is check the Manchester press and arena web sites beforehand to see whats on offer!

Theatre & Concerts
Whether you're into the contemporary scene, are more a fan of classical music or simply want to catch a show, Manchester has something to suit everyone's taste. Two symphony orchestras, a chamber orchestra, one of Europe's liveliest music scenes, the world's best selling arena and the UK's second largest selection of theatres all combine to make Manchester unrivalled.

The MEN Arena
The MEN Arena, with seating for 21,500, is the largest arena of it's kind in Europe and has the highest ticket sales of any arena in the world. Staging a variety of concerts and sporting events throughout the year, there's bound to be something on when you visit.

G-Mex


Picture by Aidan O'Rourke

G-Mex is a multipurpose facility. It operates in an "exhibition mode" and an "arena mode". In exhibition mode G-Mex hosts a variety of national events throughout the year. In arena mode it is one of the largest arenas in the UK, seating 19,500 people, again putting on a wide variety of events.

The Bridgewater Hall


Picture by The Brentwood Magazine

The Royal Exchange Theatre

The Opera House


Picture by Aidan O'Rourke

The Palace Theatre

The Contact Theatre

Shopping
Manchester has one of the UK's largest selections of shops, ranging from department stores to small independent retailers, centred in both malls and pedestrian streets and plazas.

The Arndale Centre


Picture by Aidan O'Rourke

The Arndale Centre, Europe's largest city centre shopping mall has a wide selection of stores, totalling 280. With the UK's largest Next store, one of two Selfridges in Manchester (out of only three outside London!) and many other stores, the Arndale Centre's selection is unrivalled. What's more, it's within easy walking distance of Manchester's many other shopping streets!

The Trafford Centre


Picture by Aidan O'Rourke

The Lowry Outlet

Affleck's Palace

The Triangle


Picture by Chris Wilkinson

Catering for more upmarket tastes, the Triangle offers a range of designer brands and cafes in a unique setting. Located on Exchange Square, within a few metres of the Arndale Centre, Selfridges and the Printworks, the Triangle is a great place to wander through.

Deansgate

King Street


Picture by Aidan O'Rourke

St. Anne's Square


Picture by Aidan O'Rourke

Chinatown


Picture by University of Manchester

After passing through the imperial chinese archway, a gift to the city from China, the only archway of it's type in Europe and larger than the archway in San Francisco, you arrive in one of Europe's busiest Chinatowns. With an array of ethnic shops and supermarkets you can find an array of herbs, spices and other ethnic goods only bettered in China itself!

Canal Street


Picture by Manchester.com

Rusholme

Parks

Other Attractions

Eating & Drinking

Chinatown


Picture by University of Manchester

Manchester's Chinatown has a rich array of ethnic cuisine. Cantonese, Pekinese, Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean, Nepalese and Japanese can be found within the area, offering everything your tastebuds could desire!

Canal Street


Picture by Manchester.com

Rusholme

Nightlife
Manchester is world-renouned for it's nightlife. From it's pubs, clubs and bars to it's concerts.

Sights & Sounds

B of the Bang


Picture by Aidan O'Rourke

B of the Bang, the tallest sculpture in the UK, is situated outside the City of Manchester Stadium, site of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, and was officially unveiled in 2005. It was named after Linford Christie's comment that he starts races on "the B of the bang of the starter's pistol".

The Bridgewater Canal


Picture by Aidan O'Rourke

The Bridgewater Canal, running right into the heart of Manchester, was the world's first man-made waterway. The coal it carried reduced prices in the city and kick-started the Industrial Revolution. Take a stroll down the waterway responsible for everything around you today!

The Manchester Ship Canal & Salford Quays


Picture by Aidan O'Rourke

Another first for Manchester, the Manchester Ship Canal was the world's first man-made shipping channel and was a major feat of engineering at the time. The Ship Canal allowed ships to sail directly into the heart of Manchester at Salford Quays, bypassing the port of Liverpool.

Events & Festivals

Manchester Irish Festival

The Manchester Irish Festival is the largest Irish festival in the UK, attracting nearly 100,000 visitors to the city every year.

Manchester Comedy Festival

Manchester Jazz Festival


Picture by Manchesterjazz.com

As a part of Manchester's "Great Outdoors" summer events schedule, Manchester Jazz Festival is one of the few street festivals in Europe dedicated to jazz music. With 5 venues and over 40 artists the festival is a must for all jazz fans.

Manchester Pride Festival


Picture by Manchesterpride.com

Manchester Pride is the UK's largest gay and lesbian festival, centred around the UK's largest gay and lesbian population in the heart of Manchester. Lasting for around two weeks of festivities, as many as 200,000 people take part.

Manchester Beer Festival


Picture by Beerguide.co.uk

Manchester usually plays host to two beer festivals a year, one an indoor winter one and the other a larger outdoor summer one. If you want to experience beer from all kinds of brewers, from large multinationals to small local microbreweries, you'll find them all at Manchester's beer festivals.

Lord Mayor's Parade


Picture by Manchester.com

The Lord Mayor's Parade is organised as a welcoming event for the new Lord Mayor of Manchester, with a large parade and events throughout the weekend. The parade is one of the colourful highlights of Manchester's calendar.

Move


Picture by eFestivals.co.uk

Organised by the Virgin group, Move 2004 was one of the UK's largest urban music events with internationally renouned acts performing before sellout crowds. Move is to return in 2005, with details due shortly. Would Manchester be Manchester without music festivals?

The Manchester Festival
Currently planning for a 2006 launch, the Manchester Festival aims to be one of the largest festivals in Europe.

Other Events

Getting Around

Metrolink


Picture by Aidan O'Rourke

Buses

Trains


Picture by Aidan O'Rourke

Taxis

Where to Stay

Further Afield

Developments

 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I thought it'd be nice to have a thread about the city and what it has to offer. It's under construction, but if you'd like to complete one (or more) of the sections for me and post it as a reply I'll add it on the first post. The more, the better! :)
 

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EarlyBird said:

The new European city break destination?

Manchester Athenaeum


Picture by The Buildings Books Trust


An interesting idea for a guide thread. I'd edit out a couple of your 'facts' though, before some of the more argumentative forumers get hold of them.

I mean exactly what sort of museum is that in my partial quote? Granted I've not been in for at least 12 months, but last time I passed through the doors of this particular establishment the only collection of international standing that they had was their collection of football hooligans on match days.

Also, what exactly are you talking about here

as well as the only national millennium project
I understand there were more than 200 millennium commission projects, granted many of these were small community focused affairs, but do the dome or the eden centre not count as 'national projects'?
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Potato Man said:
I mean exactly what sort of museum is that in my partial quote? Granted I've not been in for at least 12 months, but last time I passed through the doors of this particular establishment the only collection of international standing that they had was their collection of football hooligans on match days.
Never been in myself so I wouldn't know to be honest.

Potato Man said:
I understand there were more than 200 millennium commission projects, granted many of these were small community focused affairs, but do the dome or the eden centre not count as 'national projects'?
If you look, there was one National Millennium Project per category for a number of different categories. The Lowry was the National Millennium Project for the arts, therefore in it's subsection in the guide it is the only one. I'll clarify it though.
 

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I know that Manchester is often quoted as having the highest number of overseas visitors after London (the same as Edinboro) but I never actually see that many tourists around. I think they must count a lot of business visitors because as that bus tour thing thats on in the summer hardly has anyone on it whereas go to Edinburgh and there's loads of them and they're packed.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Craig, I think you are right.

I think we get inflated figures as we get a fair number of students who come and stay for a long time (does this count more than a weekend trip), we also are guarenteed 3,000 people times about 6 or 7 attending Old Trafford in th CL every season.There are a couple of thousand Irish who come to OT every weekend etc.

In reality we have got no where near as many tourists as places like Edinburgh, Oxford, York etc, but stats like the one being quoted just go to show you can prove anything with statistics.
 

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Thanks EarlyBird - I think its brilliant! If you can hurry up and finish I would be real grateful so I can convince my partner that we are going to be moving to one hell of a cool place next month!
 

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Nobby, just as I thought really the figures are a bit of a con. I mean these visitor do spend and add to the ecomony but they are hardly what most people regard as tourists.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
They are kind of tourists, everytime United play at home, every single hotel room in the city centre is full, either Irish, away fans or OOT reds. These people do indeed contribute to the Manchester economy (in a huge way - just walk around Manchester on a Saturday before United play - look at the thousands of OOT's in town shopping and in the pubs).

However, to suggest that as we have lots of 'football tourists' we have got lots of tourist destinations in the city is just wrong.

I would imagine the same is probably the case for the likes of Brum and Leeds - Liverpool however, has a similar situation to us, except replace United with The Beatles (or am I being unfair there???).
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Jonesy55 said:
Isn't the Athaneum a pub/bar???
It's primary use was as a gallery and still is as far as I know...

"After 1882, The Royal Institution which had been based in the present City Art Gallery (above) transferred its art treasures to Manchester Corporation, conditional upon £4,000 a year being committed from rates by the Corporation to purchase further works of art. The original gallery soon became overcrowded, and after many other new sites had been rejected, it was decided to build the Athenaeum, immediately behind the City Gallery as an extension to the gallery's facilities. Charles Barry, who had designed the Art Gallery, was commissioned to build the Athenaeum. This time he chose a Tuscan Italian Palazzo style, quite different from the original, with a connecting entrance directly with the Art Gallery, and a separate entrance in Princess Street. This now forms a visiting or temporary art and craft exhibition space, with frequently changing and exciting shows on offer. Both the eminent art critic John Ruskin, and Charles Dickens gave lectures in this building."
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nobby said:
They are kind of tourists, everytime United play at home, every single hotel room in the city centre is full, either Irish, away fans or OOT reds. These people do indeed contribute to the Manchester economy (in a huge way - just walk around Manchester on a Saturday before United play - look at the thousands of OOT's in town shopping and in the pubs).

However, to suggest that as we have lots of 'football tourists' we have got lots of tourist destinations in the city is just wrong.

I would imagine the same is probably the case for the likes of Brum and Leeds - Liverpool however, has a similar situation to us, except replace United with The Beatles (or am I being unfair there???).
You're honestly trying to say you don't see dozens of foreign tourists wandering around every time you go to Manchester? Every time I've been recently I've been stopped for directions for some poor lost stray! They go to the Imperial War Museum, the Lowry, the Man United tour, the Trafford Centre and walk about the city centre. I know because I've stumbled across them in all these places.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
EB - have you ever been in The Athaneum?

I am guessing not - ever since I have been drinking in town (about 13 years) it has been a bar, and quite a grotty one recently - certainly in desperate need of a refurb.

It must have been a very long time since it was last a gallery.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
EB - yes, I am saying, in comparison to places such as York or Oxford (how often have you been to either of these cities) Manchester has virtually no tourists.

If you are to compare us to a city like Edinburgh for tourists, then you seriously need you head looking at.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Nobby said:
EB - yes, I am saying, in comparison to places such as York or Oxford (how often have you been to either of these cities) Manchester has virtually no tourists.

If you are to compare us to a city like Edinburgh for tourists, then you seriously need you head looking at.
The fact is, though, that Manchester DOES have more tourists than these places. What do you think they do? Do they materialise in the middle of Old Trafford and then dematerialise again? In fact if you look at the figures you'll see that Old Trafford tour figures are quite a bit lower than the number of foreign tourists to the city. Manchester may not have as much to do as you'd like, but it a rival to many cities throughout the world. Don't be so quick to put it down.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
EB - that is what was being said before, OT may well bring in many many tourists, however, that does not make MANCHESTER a tourist destination as such, it does not mean that the tourists are coming to Manchester for Manchester, they are coming here for one reason, the football.

And unlike many of the other places, e.g. Edinburgh, York, Oxford etc, which appeal to a wide range of visitors, Manchester appeals to a certain very specific type of person.

To claim Manchester is more of a tourist destination than other cities is streching statists and making yourself look very desperate.

P.S. These tourist figures, do they say people who 'visit' Manchester are tourists, and are they therefore counting all the tens of thousand of people who live in Trafford/Stockport/Salford etc etc as tourists everyday they go to work?
 

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Earlybird said:
What is Manchester?
Depends who you ask. Ask me or most other forumers and we'll tell you it's a fine British city.

The 'Earlybird' answer would include fairies, goblins, a horrible wicked witch, a few lions, a small wooden boy and numerous grossly exagerated 'facts'.
 

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The Great Manchester Run should be added to the list (a big event which pulls many participants in as well as spectators) along with the only ITU International Triathalon event staged in the UK at Salford Quays. These are both big giant sporting events in their own right.

We also have the Frank Cohen gallery which should add to our growing collection. I read an article stating Manchester has more theatres per head of capita than anywhere else in the country, and although this figure is probably distorted by the small population within Manchester itself, it is still impressive.

We have numerous sporting events at Sportcity which often go unoticed by locals. However, the really big KILLER application (computer talk) that we have over any other UK city is the Arena. This is THE number one venue for concerts on the planet, and when it's booked and utilised at the ratio it is we are always going to pull folks in from all over the place.

We have the usual summer music festivals at OT and this year I've noticed that the City of Manchester Stadium will be doing it's bit for tourism.

Other areas of the UK and cities have some great events, but the variety isn't as great, the venue sizes are often smaller and the knock on affect is that we are heading towards the UK's 2nd city when it comes to tourism.

I think it's good if you ask me. Bring it on!!!
 
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