Manchester is a cosmopolitan city with a wealth of cultural, social and sporting activities. The city centre offers an extensive range of pubs, clubs and restaurants and is rich in museums, art galleries and libraries as well as theatres, concert halls and venues for all types of music. The Hallé and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras perform regularly in the city in a prestigious new concert hall, The Bridgewater Hall. The Opera House and Palace Theatre attract regular visits from many national companies, such as the Royal Opera, Royal Ballet and the Royal Shakespeare Company. The Lowry Centre in Salford houses two theatres, a gallery for the works of L S Lowry and several interactive installations. The Royal Exchange houses one of the leading theatre companies in Britain. The University's own Contact Theatre is a centre for alternative productions, and also a thriving café and nightclub.
Rock, pop, folk and jazz concerts are held at the Apollo Theatre, the GMEX and the colossal Manchester Evening News Arena, one of the largest indoor entertainment and sports facilities in Europe. There are many small venues for local and student bands, and the dance music scene is extremely diverse. The University of Manchester Student Union has three music venues; the Academy building is one of the main UK venues for gigs by touring bands.
The restaurants reflect the range of cultures that have become part of the city; more than 20 countries are represented in or close to the city centre. In particular, China Town and the so-called 'Curry Mile' in Rusholme are large and highly rated. There are many annual celebrations, such as the Chinese New Year, and the Italian and Spanish festivals.
In the sporting world Manchester is best known for its football but there are also several rugby clubs, and Test and County cricket at Old Trafford. There are many facilities for all kinds of sport at the University and in the city, and Manchester's successful bid for the 2002 Commonwealth Games created many new sporting opportunities.
Travel in any direction from Manchester and you will find beautiful countryside, including the Lake District and the Peak District National Park. The city is well placed to reach the rest of Britain, and its airport is one of the busiest in Europe.
The Visit Manchester website contains a wealth of current information about what to do in Manchester as well as providing comprehensive travel and accommodation advice.
Visit Manchester - the official destination website for Manchester.