The Spirit of Rock n' Roll
Boasting a long history of industrial achievements, and at once cradle of football and alternative rock music, Manchester will bring out the rebel hiding in each of us.
Manchester moves at an incredible speed, with unremitting excitement typical of old labour centres that successfully shed their skin. Red brick walls make for a large part of the urban panorama, giving the north-western city a “small New York” feel. Most of the remnants of the Industrial era have been turned into lofts, office spaces and artist studios, which passersby can marvel at while strolling along the canals of Castlefield. Various other factories and warehouses will delight urban explorers looking for abandoned sites, where nature reasserts itself.
The city actually invests in that underground aspect, which you are likely to come across on every street corner. Northern Quarter is one of the defining landmarks of English alternative culture, even more so than London's punkish Camden Town. You will constantly be on the lookout for street art frescoes, whether of political and artistical overtones, or simply representing Manchester bees, the city's heraldic symbol. Enter one of its many art galleries and discover daring contemporary works of art, 500-year old Japanese etchings as well as mid-20th-century paintings by Laurence Stephen Lowry, who visually told the industrial history of the region. Manchester has always been on the forefront of global and historical heritage preservation, which you can attest to in its many libraries, full of unique manuscripts, some being several-millennia old.
It is getting dark and the streets are filled with energy. It is happy hour time in the pubs. And on game nights, the atmosphere is electric. Fans of Manchester United are dressed in red while Manchester City supporters wear blue. The two legendary teams make England proud and compete each year to win the most prestigious national and European cups. Manchester is also the embodiment of rock n' roll. It is the birthplace of bands like The Smiths, Joy Division and even Oasis, offering them a springboard before rising to worldwide fame and leaving their marks in the world of music. Capital of counterculture, the city's strong character proves fascinating. Experiment the outdoor stages and various festivals, and explore the indomitable soul of Madchester, as it is affectionately nicknamed, forever rebellious.
When to go
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