Britain's first industrial city, the original modern city, birthplace of the UK's first inter-city railway, and a sports crazy one at that.
In the last decade, Manchester has become a 'must-visit' city for tourists and delegates alike. The lure of its footballing sides, history, shopping and culture brings millions of people to its centre. It has hosted prestigious conferences with the Manchester International Convention Centre firmly established as a world class conference venue.
The city centre's compact enough to explore on foot, with such delights including MoSI, the Manchester Art Gallery, and the National Football Museum. Shoppers are well catered for thanks to Manchester Arndale centre, Affleck's Palace and occasional Street Markets. The Palace Theatre, Opera House and Phones4U Arena have world class live productions.
A little further afield from the city centre is Sportcity. This includes the Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City Football Club, the National Cycling Centre, Tennis Centre, and the Regional Athletics Arena. In another direction, Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United Football Club and, not too far away, the newly revamped Old Trafford of Lancashire County Cricket Club.
On the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal, is MediaCityUK, on the Salford side of the Ship Canal. A little further afield on the opposite side, is Trafford Park, home of the Intu Trafford Centre shopping mall. Other attractions include the Imperial War Museum North and the Chill Factor snowdome.
Whether inside or outside Manchester city centre, there is no shortage of places to visit, plus a wealth of conference venues and hotels. The rest of Greater Manchester's a short drive, train, bus or Metrolink tram ride away. Why not relax in Dunham Massey, Heaton Park or Lyme Park? Enjoy black puddings and ride on steam trains in Bury? Or visit historic market halls in Stockport or Ashton-under-Lyne? Even take a trip to Blackpool!
Manchester city centre is well connected by bus, rail, air and tram. By rail, London Euston is 2 hours 10 minutes away from Manchester Piccadilly station, whereas Metrolink and bus services offer outstanding connections with the city centre. Manchester Airport, a short bus or train ride away, has a wealth of domestic and international flights, including regular scheduled services to London Heathrow, Belfast, Dublin and the Isle of Man.
Whether you wish to be entertained or entertain your delegates, ignore Manchester at your peril. With a wide choice of conference venues in splendid urban and semi-rural surroundings, there's something for everyone.