When you think of the UK, London immediately jumps to mind, but there’s another city just two hours to the north that beckons aspiring artists and inquiring minds, too. We’re talking about Manchester, a city teeming with cultural institutions, sports hangouts, and hip nightspots. For a generation that craves experiences over things, it’s a no-brainer why millennials are itching to check out Manchester. Who could resist a place with so much youthful energy and diversity? The city is captivating, which is just one reason why so many millennials are rediscovering what so many already know: Manchester is a place that never goes out of style.
You certainly won’t go hungry while you’re in Manchester. Its culinary scene boasts a never-ending supply of cafes, restaurants, and bars with new hotspots opening up every day. There are options for any budget and craving, and the international dining scene has a bit of everything. For millennials who appreciate convenience, The Corn Exchange is a must to try a smorgasbord of flavors in one central food hall. The building showcases the best restaurants in the city all under one roof and is just minutes away from popular attractions like Stoller Hall and the Museum of Science and Industry. Some other must-hit spots include Black Milk Cereal, Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza, Kettlebell Kitchen, Fazenda, and Evelyn’s. When you're ready to tip one back, there are more breweries and distilleries than you can count and a pub scene that will have you feeling like a local in no time.
At its core, Manchester is a sports town with some of the biggest and most boisterous fans in the world. Emphatic football (soccer) fans can eat, sleep, and breath Manchester United and Manchester City pride while they're in the city. Pay a visit to the National Football Museum and tour Etihad or Old Trafford Stadium. Manchester also has Hotel Football, a four-star, football-themed hotel that, fittingly, has views of Old Trafford and a restaurant called Café Football.
While it certainly loves its mainstream sports, Manchester is also a city full of bohemian artists with a character all their own. It all comes full circle in the Northern Quarter, where you can find a decidedly eclectic street art scene alongside some of the most legendary music venues in the world. As you spend the day exploring laneways and backstreets on the Skyliner Street Art Tour, get a sense of the mood of the artists and the underlying social issues they address.
Feel the Beat
Manchester is well-known for its star-studded musical heritage, having birthed the likes of The Stone Roses, Oasis, The Smiths, and Take That. Your nights should include stops at Band on the Wall, an eclectic performance venue, and Stevenson Square, home to grungy music venues like Soup Kitchen, Aatma, and Twenty Twenty-Two. Alternatively, Manchester Academy or The Ritz are the place to see up and coming bands, while Albert Hall in one of the most unique venues in all of England. A chapel closed and hidden for 40+ years; it was repurposed in 2013 into a stunning music hall with unmatched acoustics.
Nothin’ But a Good Time
At the end of the day, Manchester has something for every type of visitor. Millennials flock there for the Instagram-worthy street art, cool cafes and buzzing nightlife. Fittingly, Virgin Atlantic has just introduced nonstop flights on Virgin Atlantic from Boston and San Francisco, making it the most stylish, convenient and affordable way to get there.
How to Do It: Virgin Atlantic has added new nonstop flights from Boston and San Francisco, making it easier than ever to get to Manchester.