Welcome to the first modern city.
Home to the industrial revolution, Manchester’s the birthplace of everything from the computer to the football league; a city where history and a hard-working way of life inspired the minds as Alan Turing, Emmeline Pankhurst, Sir Alex Ferguson… even Karl Pilkington.
From Roman origins to Victorian majesty and a modernist revival, this is a city that’s never stopped reinventing itself and is still at the forefront of radical ideas and new inventions.
Start your trip with a history lesson at the ancient ruins of Mamucium, before working your way down Deansgate, stopping at The Museum of Science of Industry to see where the first ever train departed.
Pace the halls of Chetham’s Library, where Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels made a start on The Communist Manifesto, then pop next door to the National Football Museum. If football’s your thing, there’s the small matter of a couple of local teams offering stadium tours too.
Be sure to take some time to explore the city’s contemporary side. Modernism hit Manchester in a big way, creating a skyline of some of the most original and striking buildings in the country, now commanded by the indomitable Beetham Tower. At ground level, you can enjoy retail therapy in the Arndale Centre (for trendy but affordable gear), New Cathedral Street (for posh treats) and, just outside town, at the Trafford Centre (for everything under one roof – including crazy golf and a cinema).
If an eclectic indie vibe’s more your thing, visit the Northern Quarter to find local artists and vintage clobber, not to mention dozens of alternative bars and restaurants that make a refreshing change from the usual chains in the city centre. For a truly off-beat evening, venture down to the reborn Hacienda at FAC251 and learn how ‘Madchester’ got its name.
When it comes to culture, the art galleries and museums will keep you going for days. The Manchester Museum, tucked away in the University of Manchester’s beautiful Old Quadrangle, houses some of the most significant artefacts of the Ancient Egyptian civilisations. If you’ve never seen an authentic Van Gogh, Picasso or Tracey Emin, stop by the Whitworth Art Gallery to tick those off your list.
Tread the towpaths of Manchester’s famous canals to Canal Street, the beating heart of the LGBT community, then hop on a tram to Salford Quays, home to MediaCityUK. When you’ve finally made yourself hungry, Curry Mile awaits.
Don't just go to Manchester for the day, book with Best Western and give it the time it deserves.