One of the most "happening" parts of Manchester, Oxford Road is a north-south boulevard that draws together the classic architecture of the Manchester University campus at its heart and the trendy institutions of food, drink, and culture at the northern half of the road. There may not be a better selection of cool hang-outs, top-notch music venues, and contemporary art institutions in the city.
There is plenty of "eye candy" on Oxford Road (we're referring to the architecture, any other type you'd have to judge for yourself), making it a relaxing area to grab a coffee during the day or some cheap, local pizza or take-out (although there are a lot of international chains in the area) in the midst of examining the artsy side of Manchester (Whitworth Gallery , The Cornerhouse theater and gallery, and Johnny Roadhouse Music come to mind). There are plenty of bars and pubs that thrive off of the student population, but we really love the live performance spaces; The Deaf Institute , The Manchester Academy , and Sound Control are the biggest and best. There is a high concentration of establishments just north of the university: if you're looking for a snack, a movie, a beer or a chance to pump your fist to some good music, then you need to hit up Oxford Road.