Saturday, 19 September 2009

Take 5: Manchester

Arriving - if you can't get into Manchester, from anywhere in the world, then you really shouldn't be leaving your armchair. One international airport, three quite large (and historical/beautiful) railway stations, a big old bus station, canals, skate routes...

Sleeping - if you like a good curry, best thing to do is look for student accommodation a short us ride away from Rusholme. And these are Manchester students; the rooms are 5* quality. You could rent a luxury apartment in Chinatown, stay with the footballers in the outer-visual-eyesore of the 5* Hilton, or there's always the Travelodge.

Eating - no matter where you end up, you can enjoy excellent international food. One of my favourites is Kroma, just off Albert Sq, an Italian that does a great duck pizza, and was where Steve took Fiona on their first date, Shameless affeciandos. We regularly travel from Plymouth to Rusholme for curry, Manchester's China Town is the only place I'd eat Chinese food outside of China, and there's excellent middle-eastern, African, French, Japanese, Mexican and snack food in every district of Manchester.

Travelling - use the Metrolink to make your way to Salford Quays for the fantastic Lowry museum, War Museum of the North and waterfront and even Old Trafford. Use the bus to get out to the Trafford Centre, where you'll find the best shopping experience outside Hong Kong, take the free city centre bus between the Cornerhouse Arts centre, the Triangle shopping centre and the Manchester uni bar area.

Photographing - a city on the move, yet also happily settled, this is the place for Architecture-lovers. Glass fronted Urbis (think a glass Flatiron building), renovated Printworks (that used to be an actual printworks but now is a centre of entertainment), bug-ugly, but tallest Skyscraper Hilton, gothic town hall, rotund Central Library and damn cute St Ann's Square piazza.

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