Manchester

Manchester was hailed as the world’s first modern city in the early 19th century, and the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution...

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... still bristles with confidence and energy today. Whether you're coming for the buzzing cultural scene, one of the two huge football teams, or something else entirely, you'll be joining over 40 million leisure and business visitors a year. Manchester shows no signs of slowing down.

Arriving at Manchester Airport

Manchester is one of the best-connected business and leisure destinations in the country, and its airport has three terminals handling over 23 million passengers a year. With direct flights to more than 200 destinations, and 60 national and international carriers, it’s the third busiest airport in the UK, after London Heathrow and Gatwick.

Train is the quickest and most convenient form of public transport for getting into the city. You can reach the station from the terminals via a covered walkway, and the journey to central Manchester takes around 20 minutes, with regular services seven days a week. You can also join the Metrolink tram network at the station. Trams run every 12 minutes, but they're stopping services that run through the city's southern suburbs. Unless you're heading to that part of town, the train is a better option.

For a cheaper journey, try local bus and coach services, which reach the city centre, in 20 to 35 minutes. Or save your energy for seeing the city and splash out on a metred taxi, available outside all three airport terminals.

Food and drink

Food used to be one of Manchester's weak spots, but the city has reinvented itself as a foodie destination – and it’s increasingly hard to argue. The menu covers everything from fine dining to authentic noodle bowls to traditional afternoon tea at the top of soaring Beetham Tower.

City centre restaurants

You don't need to get off the beaten path to find great places to eat. For sheer variety and some crowd-pleasing favourites, try the Corn Exchange centre on Exchange Square. Trawl the long strip of Deansgate for everything from tapas to mezze to pub grub, or head to the UK’s second largest Chinatown for authentic Asian cooking. The centre is also the place for fine dining – try the restaurants at the Midland and Principal hotels.

Curry Mile

If you're craving spice, head south to Rusholme, around five minutes from the city centre by taxi. This is Manchester’s legendary Curry Mile, where you’ll find over 70 restaurants competing for your business in a blaze of neon signs. Inevitably, it's a mixed bag – you'll have to trust your judgement, but that's part of the fun.

Northern Quarter

For up-and-coming restaurants, long established bastions of cool cooking, chic cafés, and an extraordinary number of intriguing bars, head to the hip Northern Quarter, tucked between Manchester Piccadilly Station and Manchester Arena.