Manchester

Manchester by CC user wavydavygravy on FlickrIntroduction By far the largest urban areas in England’s north, Manchester is a city with plenty of attractions well worth your time. From plenty of cultural institutions to two of Britain’s most celebrated football teams, culture vultures and sports fans will both find plenty to like about this vibrant metropolis. National Football Museum, Manchester by CC user raver_mikey on Flickr

Cultural Experiences

If there us one thing that stands out about Manchester, it’s the fact that there is a wealth of museums contained within its city limits.

While there are the usual assortment of solid picks like the Museum of Science and Industry or the Manchester Art Gallery, there are number of other institutions that are more specific and focused in their scope.

The People’s History Museum fits this profile well, as this sleek and modern structure has dedicated itself to telling the story of the workers of the United Kingdom over the centuries.

Depicting the lives of common people in various professions, it also covers labour and other people powered movements that have transformed British society over time, from the rise of trade unionism to women’s suffrage.

Into sports? If so, make time in your Manchester itinerary for the National Football Museum. Covering the history of association football (the form of the game that led to what is currently considered football in the United Kingdom and through much of the world today – or soccer in Canada and the US), this striking flatiron building is clad with blue-green glass from top to bottom.

Inside, it contains six levels that takes visitors through the game’s history via film, artifacts (seats from old Wembley Stadium, trophies, game balls from notable matches over the years) and interactive experiences.

The battle of the Blitz was one of the most challenging moments that Britain had faced in its history, and it was in Manchester where much of its brunt was borne.

The tale of this time is laid in cold, stark detail at the Imperial War Museum North. It is one of a series of institutions that explores that impact of war on society.

Manchester’s unit looks at the effects of modern day conflicts in addition to paying homage to this cities’ own brush with the hellish nature of humankind’s destructive dark side.

Old Trafford Manchester United by CC user vegaseddie on Flickr Other Attractions While exploring the National Football Museum will be a fun time for those that love sports, there is no replacement for seeing the real thing in the flesh. Within Manchester lies the home of two of England‘s better known teams, Old Trafford and Etihad Stadium. The former is home to Manchester United, and the latter is the haunt of Manchester City. Both teams have passionate fan bases, signature chants, and exciting end to end action. If you love watching some of the world’s most talented athletes compete, you need to attend at least one game if either team is in town when you are here. If you are more passionate about food than sports, then walking the Curry Mile will be more to your liking. A common local nickname for a stretch of Wilmslow Road that boasts one of the densest concentrations of South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine outside of India, over 70 restaurants with options ranging from Afghan to Pakistani can be had here. Students flock here for cheap eats, so if your wallet is feeling the pinch from the expensive nature of travel in the UK, this is an excellent place to eat well for less. If you are including Manchester and the United Kingdom as part of summer time Euro Trip, but lament not being around to ski the region’s mountains come winter, paying a visit to Chill Factore will let you get your snow fix. Open 365 days a year, this indoor ski slope is 600 feet long and 330 feet wide, giving you plenty of room to practice your skills and get in a few turns even as the August sun beats down outside!