A city with an industrial past, Manchester has made great strides to develop certain areas and maintain others so that the impression a visitor gets is one of a forward-thinking and well-rooted world. Although you won't encounter the overwhelming size of London, Manchester has a strong heritage of sports, arts, and history (even if it is seen mostly from the shelves of a museum) that still allows it to intrigue visitors for a good week of visiting.
Central Manchester (usually broken down into North, East, and West Central) is the apparent heart of the city. There are a handful of famous neighborhoods worth a bit of exploration. Castlefield is the site of the original Roman settlement and also includes the Museum of Science and Industry, which is located at one end of the first ever passenger rail line. Deansgate splits this area from the medieval center of the city. The Manchester Cathedral is just off of Deansgate, while the John Rylands library, known for the ancient piece of the New Testament on display, is on the street. The medieval center of the city based mostly around both Albert and St. Ann's Squares, both of which tout excellent Gothic and neo-Classical architecture in the forms of Manchester City Hall, the Royal Exchange, St. Ann's Church, and more. Finally, the university area, particularly around Oxford Road, is a great place for a stroll and a handful of museums, including the Manchester Museum (for its formidable T. Rex skeleton) and the Whitworth Art Gallery.
Sportcity, a massive grouping of sports complexes that includes the home of the Machester City football team, is located to the north of the city and is a quality option for those looking to catch a game or do some BMX'ing. There is much more to do to the Manchester's south though, where Old Trafford and the redeveloped Quays district create a tandem of popularity that is hard to match anywhere else in the city. Old Trafford is home to arguably the most famous football team on Earth, Manchester United, while the Quays are an abundance of contemporary steel and glass structures built on the Manchester Ship Canal. Highlights here include the visual masterpieces that are the Lowry (modern art) and the Imperial War Museum North (a moving and sometimes graphic portrait of war history). There are other, more niche museums and establishments in the city as well, including the Gallery of English Costume in Rusholm and the Manchester Jewish Museum on Cheetham Road.
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