For those outside of the UK you would correctly think that London is the ‘place to be’ in Britain, and to a certain degree it is. The landmarks of the capital are seemingly endless and while it may be a great place to visit, it simply pales in comparison to Manchester, which is without doubt the coolest city in Britain. There are numerous things that make Manchester great which we will go through and prove in some depth.
Regardless of how much football you follow the name Manchester United will always stick out. The club is estimated by Forbes to be the third most valuable team in the world, estimating them at $2.81 billion. You would expect a billion-dollar franchise to have an impressive office and in Old Trafford, they unquestionably do. The 70,000+ seater stadium is a must see if you are in the city, whilst a quick glimpse in their trophy cabinet should tell you all you need to know about this footballing outfit.
However, United share Manchester with their ‘noisy neighbours’ and rivals, Manchester City. Their home, named The Etihad, is another marvellous stadium that is often packed with vociferous supporters. Whilst City may have once been United’s unruly neighbours, thanks to an influx of capital from their UAE owners they have established themselves as annual contenders for the Premier League title; although the current Premier League betting suggests that they will be dethroned by Chelsea come May.
Besides football, which plays an integral part in the city’s culture, there is the Lancashire cricket team, who play at their own version of Old Trafford. Andrew Flintoff, a legend of the game, still occupies the crease there.
Manchester is a beacon of sports, both forms of rugby also attract a following within the city, as does boxing. It is one of, if not the, most successful cities in regards to sports and visiting one of their sporting institutions is a must.
Joy Division, The Smiths, Oasis, Stone Roses and Happy Mondays are just five of the many bands that came up through the Manchester music scene. Although it has been some time since the Second Summer of Love and the days of The Hacienda, which now goes under the alias of FAC51, the city is still a mecca for music.
Outside of London, it is here where budding musicians go to learn their trade. Venues like SoundControl and The Kings Arms are full of bands trying to get noticed. And then there is The Roadhouse which is a very special music venue. For you see, it is at The Roadhouse where bands who have already been signed start cutting their teeth as they look to build a following to take them to the next level. Coldplay, The White Stripes, Kasabian and Elbow all played here before moving on to bigger venues, which in Manchester would be the Manchester Arena.
Music and Manchester are synonymous. If you are in the Northern Quarter you will be inundated with venues offering live music and so to if you are around the Oxford Road region.
The Arndale Shopping Centre may not be the prettiest looking building but inside it has one of just two Taco Bells in the country, which is a reason for visiting.
However, if you were hoping for a proper shopping experience then the Trafford Centre is where you want to be. With 280 stores and Europe’s largest food court it certainly should appease even the most ardent of shopper’s demands.
Also, it is a mall like no other. The sheer opulence of it all – with its fountains and attractions – is something much more befitting of the grandiose of Las Vegas, not Manchester.
If you are a lover of sport and/or music then Manchester is calling. It is a city that needs to be seen and experienced to get the true feel of how hip it is, and with it being a city of sections you can go from one place to another and find yourself in a completely different scene.