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Manchester, Great Britain City Info
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Pleasant open countryside with picturesque villages surrounds Manchester, United Kingdom, and there are numerous art galleries, theatres, museums and country houses to visit.

Manchester receives hundreds of thousands of visitors each year from all over the world. Britain's second largest city is also one of it's most dynamic and cosmopolitan. There is a growing desire to develop Manchester's individuality, to avoid mediocrity and to encourage high quality design whether it be in the conservation of its 19th century buildings, or in the design of modern buildings, or in the treatment of its open spaces.

Manchester is the Northwest's regional center for finance, commerce, retail, culture and leisure, home to a major international airport and one of the largest student populations in Europe. It has transformed itself from an industrial city dependent on manufacturing to a thriving, modern, international center. It is now rated among the top ten European cities for business location.

Manchester is easily accessible from all parts of Britain and beyond. The city is the hub of an excellent motor way system linking the south with the north; the east with the west. A frequent Intercity service serves two main Manchester railway stations, Victoria and Piccadilly. A regional service links the local and surrounding areas. Coach travel is economical and convenient.

Several examples of 18th century buildings and street patterns remain in the City Center and in some outlying districts, but it is the Victorian and Edwardian plan and building form which dominates the city.

Manchester has established itself as a leading center of youth culture. Its large student population is an essential ingredient in the unique 'Manchester scene' and this results in an exciting variety of entertainment. Mancunians appreciate the importance of an active and varied social life. The club and dance scene in the city is legendary. Manchester has the whole range of pubs from the traditional 'real ale' variety to the city center wine and cocktail bars. Prices are lower than in many parts of Britain so students can still afford to enjoy themselves in the city.

Manchester is one of the most important theatrical centers outside London's West End. Visitors will find a large choice of theatres and productions, from touring musicals at the Palace Theatre and Opera House to the more innovative, fringe or community events at the smaller theatres. The University has its own theatre, the Capitol.

Music is one of Manchester's greatest exports. The city has two internationally renowned orchestras, the Hallé and the BBC Philharmonic, which as well as playing to packed houses in Manchester also perform all over the world.

Other classical and contemporary performances are provided by the Manchester Camerata Chamber Orchestra and The Royal Northern College of Music. For many, the city is renowned for the Manchester sound, which has catapulted some of its home grown bands into musical legend.

Pop and Indie fans from all over Britain and abroad see Manchester as the focus of the current music scene. The wide variety of venues means that the whole range of music styles can be presented: including classical, chamber, opera, jazz and blues, folk, and pop.

The treasures of Manchester can be viewed in its many galleries and art centers, including works of the great masters and modern contemporary art. The city has developed vast libraries with thousands of volumes housed in public buildings which are a great resource for students of any subject. The region also has a long pre-industrial history dating back to Roman times. Manchester has a fifteenth century cathedral and many other historic buildings which can be enjoyed by visitors.

As well as two world-famous Premier League football teams, and a test and county cricket venue, facilities to watch or participate in most sports are available throughout the city.

Its rich industrial and commercial heritage is everywhere to be seen and enjoyed: cotton warehouses converted to modern uses, railway bridges, viaducts, quays and peaceful waterways.

Alongside this is the wealth of the great Victorian Manchester celebrated in ornate municipal architecture, adorned buildings, facades, stonework, steeples and spires. Examples abound all over the city: the splendor of its neo-gothic Town Hall, the Free Trade Hall and the Charter House Hotel.

The past is proudly cherished with heritage centers and museums which allow a glimpse of the Manchester of old. The Urban Heritage Park in Castlefield is a historical landscape of industrial museums, working exhibitions, canal-side pubs, narrow boats and walkways.

For those who appreciate open spaces there are many large parks and gardens. Heaton Park and Platt Fields are both large areas of attractive park land in easy reach of the city center. Manchester's excellent central location, motor way and transport system also means that some of Britain's most scenic countryside is readily accessible, including the Peak District and Pennines, Yorkshire Dales, Lake District, Cheshire and North Wales.

Manchester has many individual and specialized shops and boutiques. The city center also contains many interesting and attractive shopping environments including Arndale Center and the more elegant Corn and Royal Exchanges. There is also the more unusual and alternative fashion center, Affleck's Palace. The new Marks and Spencers has four floors, each the size of a football field and includes a customer lounge "where shoppers can put up their feet, watch television and read a newspaper." .

Exciting and varied restaurants and cafés exist all over Manchester. There is Chinese and Cantonese cuisine, as well as American, Dutch, English, French, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Persian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese.

Manchester is an exciting modern city for business, a place in which to live, work, and study, and a top choice by travelers as the ideal holiday destination.

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