The first thing people ask me when I tell them I’m going to Manchester is usually “…why?” Apparently it’s not a huge tourist attraction, but perhaps that’s exactly why you should go there. The city is has its very own distinctive style and it’s a certainly must-visit for music lovers. I particularly love the industrial vibe you see when you arrive at Piccadilly Station after a short train ride from the airport. In one and the same city you’ll find vibrant street art on one street and majestic fairy tale buildings on the next.
You can’t miss the Manchester Cathedral when you’re exploring the city. The cathedral is right in the city centre behind a couple of marvellously quaint pubs. The cathedral as it stands today was built between 1421 – 1882 and it has been restored a number of times during that period and after bomb damage in the 20th century.
As befits a city known for its musical prowess, the Manchester Cathedral also has its own very talented choir.
The Manchester Cathedral is open to the public from 8.30 AM daily. Entrance is free, and they offer free guided tours as well (no need to book in advance). To help pay for the upkeep of the cathedral, a voluntary donation of £3,- per visitor is suggested and appreciated.
John Rylands Libary
If you want to feel like you’re walking around in Hogwarts, visit the John Rylands Library. The library was was founded in memory of John Rylands – philanthropist and Manchester’s first multi-millionaire – by his wife, Enriqueta Rylands. After ten years of building, the library was opened to the public on 1 January 1900.
The hallways are dark and mysterious, the rooms are filled with old books protected behind glass and the stairs look like they might start moving at any second like they do in Harry Potter.
Entrance is free and the library is open daily. There’s a shop with interesting little books and souvenirs, and if your feet get tired, there’s a cafe as well.
And when you head back outside and walk around for a bit, this is your view:
I think that’s pretty cool.