Manchester Sights and Landmarks Guide, United Kingdom
One of the most well known cities in Great Britain and one of the most popular tourist destinations in England after London, Manchester is famous for its contribution to the sports and music industries, and for being home to the largest university in Britain. It is also the ideal base from which to explore northern England and Wales.
Manchester’s climate is moderate, but it is also rainier than London.
Manchester consists of three central districts. It was first inhabited in the first century A.D., although the town itself was not built until the 13th century. It has been a center for political radicalism, and a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln Square stands as evidence to the anti-slavery campaign in parts of Britain during the American Civil War. The heart of the city had to be extensively reconstructed after being shattered by an IRA bomb in 1996, and was renamed Millennium Quarter, remaining the largest shopping and entertainment district in the city. Since Manchester is primarily a student city thanks to its 86000-strong student population, there are not too many over-21-only establishments, but those that do have age restrictions require proof of age before allowing entry.
Manchester is also one of the most gay friendly cities in Europe, with an annual pride parade and Mardi Gras. Asian cuisine can be found in numerous restaurants in the Chinatown area, and the Village, which hosts one of Europe’s largest gay communities, is home to some of the best pubs in the city.
Manchester is accessible by car, but parking is expensive. If you’re going around by car, opt for one of the free parking spots such as Trafford Centre. Some parking spots are free or off limits depending on the time of day or on certain days of the week, so do your homework before you choose your parking space. Buses and trams are an inexpensive way to get around the city. Some operators require tickets to be booked in advance over the internet. Metromax is the tram system, and can be expensive for single trips, so opt for a day ticket instead. Carry the exact amount for your ticket, as the vending machines are notorious for not returning change. Taxis are a good bet, as they are cheaper than London’s black cabs. Some operators manage taxis that cannot be flagged down and have to be booked in advance, but the taxi services are relatively cheap.
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