is one of the major cities in Britain. Its metropolitan area, called Greater Manchester, has a population of 2.6 million people. The city is located in the south-central part of Northwest England, bordered by the Cheshire Plain to the south and the Pennines to the north.
The history of Manchester goes back to AD 79, when the Romans built a fort there called Mamucium. For much of its history, Manchester is located within Lancashire, with some areas within Cheshire. It only started to expand in size at the turn of the 19th century, brought along by a boom in textile manufacturing. The industrialisation of Manchester parallelled the start of the Industrial Revolution, and the city is regarded as the first industrialised city in the world.
Today Manchester is a centre for the arts, media and higher education. A British business report from 2006 placed Manchester as being the best place in the United Kingdom to locate a business. It is the most visited city in the United Kingdom by foreign visitors after London.
Manchester experiences a temperate maritime climate, just like much of the British Isles. Its summers are cool while its winters are mild. Warmest months are July and August, when temperature is between 12°C to 20°C. January is the coldest month, with temperature between 1°C to 6°C. Precipitation is fairly uniform throughout the year, ranging between 51 mm in April to 79 mm in August.
Imperial War Museum North, Manchester
Going to Manchester
Manchester International Airport
(MAN) is the biggest airport in the United Kingdom outside of London. It receives flights from all over the world. The airport has two terminals. From the airport, you can take a coach bus, train or taxi to downtown Manchester. A train ride should cost not more than £3.00 while a taxi ride £15.
As a budget traveler, you can fly easyJet and Ryanair to John Lennon Airport in Liverpool, and transfer by coach to Manchester. The journey takes 45 minutes only. You can also take a train from the Liverpool Parkway station, near the John Lennon Airport, to the Manchester Oxford Road station.
You can also reach Manchester by train from London. The two train stations in Manchester are the Victoria Station and Piccadilly Station. Virgin Trains operate a service from London Euston station to Piccadilly Station in Manchester.
Old Trafford Football Stadium, Manchester
Going around Manchester
You can explore the central core of Manchester on foot. Many of the sights are within walking distances. There are public transport in the form of buses, trains and trams to get you from place to place.
The public transport in Manchester is coordinated by the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive, which sells tickets valid on the different transport operators in the city.
Each mode of transport issues its own ticket. If you want to carry just one card for all three modes of transport, you will need to get a System One Travelcard.
As a short-term visitor, you can opt for the Wayfarer card. It allows you to use the bus at any time, and the train and tram at off hours, meaning after 9:30 am on weekdays and any time on Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays. The adult Wayfarer card costs £10 and is available at Wayfarer ticket sales, GMPTE, Wythenshawe Bus Station, Rowlands Way, Wythenshawe, M22 5RG. Make cheques payable to 'GMPTE' and allow 14 days for delivery.
Urbis in Manchester
Places of Interest in Manchester
- G-Mex Centre: Former central railway station now turned into an exhibition and conference complex.
- Imperial War Museum North: A striking piece of modern architecture at the Manchester waterfront by architect Daniel Libeskind.
- John Rylands Library: Library founded by the widow of the local cotton manufacturer some one hundred years ago.
- Lowry Centre: Arts and entertainment complex beside the Manchester Ship Canal.
- Manchester Art Gallery: Art gallery last renovated in 2002 at a cost of £35 million, doubling its size. Gallery has fine collection of decorative arts from Greeks to Picasso and more.
- Manchester Cathedral: 19th century cathedral that stands on the site where a church has been occupying for a millennium.
- Manchester Museum: Museum opened in 1885, as part of Manchester University exhibiting some six million items covering a wide range of topics.
- Manchester Town Hall: Majestic building by Liverpool-born Alfred Waterhouse, who later designed the Natural History Museum in London.
- Manchester United Museum: Museum on the ground of Old Trafford Football Stadium, exhibiting displays on the history and backscene of the Manchester United football team.
- Museum of Science and Industry: One of the largest science museums in the world exploring scientific enterprise and industrial might of Manchester's heyday.
- Royal Exchange: Formerly called the Manchester Royal Exchange, it once laid claim to having the biggest room in the world.
- Urbis: Ski-shaped glass building that houses exhibits on urban life around the world.
- Whitworth Art Gallery: Gallery created through funds bequeathed by Sir Joseph Whitworth, to be a museum of industrial art and design.
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