Magnificent Manchester

Shereen Shabnam

Manchester has become a common destination for our trips to UK recently as our child goes to university an hour away from this bustling city. It is full of surprises with a diverse range of retail offering, a cutting-edge music scene, historic sites and of course world-class football games.

Architecture in this city is impressive from old buildings to modern skyscrapers. During one of my work trips to the city, we spent some time at the iconic British Muslim Heritage Centre housed in a beautiful UNESCO protected building. The City Council, the cathedrals, The Urbis Building, John Rylands Library, The Lowry and of course the Etihad Stadium which are all very impressive.

The city has some of the best cafes and restaurants that suits everyone and for culture, it is perfect for music and art lovers. The Northern Quarter remains a hub of alternative and street culture while murals and street art pieces around the city are abundant.

For food, I enjoyed the Hard Rock Cafe for both eating and for the wide selection of merchandise. The Opera House is also a must visit and so is the Castlefield Bowl for pop and classical concerts.

For retail therapy, there are a lot of options and shopping malls are abundant. We love the Affleck’s Palace which is an independent shopping emporium where you can find so many interesting goods.

For a day out, a city bus tour or going on a river cruise is a great way to see the old monuments and sights of Manchester.  Football fans would love a tour of the Old Trafford to explore the Manchester United Museum and Stadium.

Other noteworthy attractions include the Legoland Discovery Centre or the SEA LIFE Manchester that is home to over 2,000 marine species. For families, we recommend the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester Museum, the Transport Museum, Manchester Art Gallery, The Whitworth Art gallery and the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Chinatown.

If the weather is good, head to Heaton Park or see some colourful blooms at Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden. There are a lot streets that are great for walking and enjoying the cafe culture of the city.

Manchester is indeed a vibrant and multicultural destination with a lot of things to see and do. The best way to explore the city is to get a local tour guide to tailor make your itinerary according to your preferences and enjoy the delicious cuisine along the way.

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