Manchester likes to present itself as the second city of the United Kingdom, although Birmingham has a larger population. But, say the residents (Mancunians), Manchester has a richer history and has contributed more to England and the world (industry, music and sports). Anyway, Manchester is a fun destination for a short city trip. The city has a great cultural diversity (there is a Chinatown, a Curry Mile (Indian) and a Gay Village. You can see Manchester's rich past from its historic buildings, the industrial heritage and many interesting museums.
The city has a population of 460,000, but in the Greater Manchester agglomeration live more than 2.5 million people.
Manchester is also known as the capital of northern England. The city is located in the northwest of England, at about the same distance from Liverpool as Leeds. The city center is on the eastern bank of the river Irwell. To the north and east of the city lie the Pennine Hills. Mersey River flows south of the center.
Manchester once was an important industrial city, but those days are long gone. Nowadays, the majority of the labor force is employed in the service industry. Financial services (banks, insurance companies) are dominant. Furthermore, the city is an important center for education, it has two large universities.
The airport is located 17 kilometers southwest of the city center and is easily accessible by rental car. Manchester Airport is right next to motorway M56 (exit 5) which connects to the Manchester ring (M60, exit 4). The exit to the airport and the way to the terminals are clearly indicated.
Manchester has excellent public transport, which consists of a dense network of trams and buses. Metrolink is a network of trams with three lines. Furthermore, there are more than fifty bus lines. The Metroshuttle buses are free and run between the business districts of Manchester.
Manchester is a busy city and it can be difficult to find your way in a rental car. A tip: if you get lost, follow the signs to the inner ring road. From there you will probably reach your destination more easily. Finding a parking space for your rental car can be difficult and parking in the center is also very expensive. The cheapest options to park your rental car are the parking facilities of Salford Central Station, behind Piccadilly Station and across the street from the cathedral. Please note that a double yellow line along the curb means that it is prohibited to park there!
There is a huge range of accommodation in Manchester: from luxury five star hotels to simple guesthouses and bed & breakfasts. The tourist office at St Peter’s Square can help you finding an accommodation that suits you. If you have a specific hotel or district in mind, then we recommend you to book your hotel well in advance.
For more information about Manchester we recommend Google and the following sources: