We live inbetween Manchester and Liverpool in the UK. Recently my husband and I visited Manchester for the day to celebrate my birthday. Our day was spent eating good food and sampling the cocktail menus of the local watering holes (it was my birthday after all!)
During the day I happened to comment that this would be a good place to visit for a city break if you didn’t live nearby. My husband almost choked on his drink at the suggestion, stating that Manchester was in no way a place for a short break as it didn’t have any of the tourist attractions that somewhere like Barcelona had…
Obviously seeing that Manchester is one of my favourite cities in the UK I felt the need to disagree and prove that he was wrong.
During the discussion we compared what he liked about Barcelona and how Manchester has a comparable attraction.
To be honest his first suggestion was laughble saying that there was no where like the Nou Camp to visit if you are a football fan. Well where do I begin? First and foremost there is Old Trafford, the football stadium of one of the most successful teams in the world – Manchester United. There is also the Etihad stadium the home of the lesser known (😉) club – Manchester City. On top of these impressive stadiums Manchester is the home of the National Football Museum.
Manchester 1 Barcelona 0
We then moved on to shopping, my husband pointed out that Barcelona has many areas to shop including the harbour side Maremagnum situated on the beautiful coast line. I then proceeded to inform my husband that not only was Manchester one of the premier city shopping destinations in the country but within a few miles of the city was the award winning Trafford Centre and the Lowry shopping outlet.
Manchester 2 Barcelona 0
Finally there was the topic of general entertainment, whilst Barcelona has the world famous Rambles and the wonderful architecture of Antonio Gaudi seen both in the unfinished Segrada Familia and at the Parc Güell. Manchester has its own forms of entertainment…
Theatre goers have four spectacular theatres to attend including the Royal Exchange which is an unusual ‘theatre in the round’ with the stage in the middle and audience sat around it. All of these theatres feature works famous plays and musicals. If concerts are more your cup of tea then the Manchester Arena has hosted everyone from One Direction to the Imagine Dragons to Disney on Ice.
Manchester also has parks, cathederals, libraries and a town hall to be in awe of.
If food and drink are more what you desire look no further than Deansgate with bars and restaurant of every conceivable type. It certainly rivals Barcelona in food choices, both in chain restaurants like the Hard Rock Cafe to the lesser known such as Gaucho.
Manchester is renowned for being one of the most cosmopolitan citys in the UK boasting not only a lively Chinatown but a gay village to rival Castro in San Francisco. With three universities in the city the student population make up a good portion of the diversity.
There is something going on in Manchester on most weekends from the Manchester Pride and the end of August to the world famous Christmas markets in December.
I think that it would be very difficult to suggest that a city break in Manchester would be anything other than jam packed and enjoyacle.
I think the reason my husband cannot see Manchester’s best side is because he can visit anytime he likes ( plus he is a Liverpool football fan!!)
After saying all of that I feel I must point out that I love Barcelona and have visited more than once and will be there again later in the year but when it comes to favourites there’s no place like home…