Exploring Manchester

We’re really excited to have you at NI2024, and welcome to Manchester!

Manchester is a vibrant city, noted for its industrial history, scientific innovations, renowned sports teams and influential music scene. Here, we will give you a snapshot of some of the great things that Manchester has to offer during your stay.

A quick tour of the University of Manchester

We can’t be the host of NI2024 without singing the praises of our University! The first nursing degree in England was established in Manchester, and our nursing building is named after the first Professor of Nursing in England (Baroness Jean McFarlane). We are 6th in the world to study Nursing.

The University of Manchester has two campuses; Oxford Road and the Northern Campus. NI2024 is being hosted at University Place, on Oxford Road Campus. University Place looks like a tin can from the outside – you can’t miss it!

There are some beautiful neo-Gothic buildings on the Oxford Road campus, including Whitworth Hall, John Owens building, and the Beyer Buildings. Whitworth Hall is the easiest to see from Oxford Road, but you can see them all in their glory in the Old Quadrangle.

The Manchester Museum is opposite University Place (look out for the giant crab in the window), and Whitworth Art Gallery is just down the road.


Where History Stands Tall

Manchester originates from Mamucium, the name of a Roman fort built here in AD 79, and the city maintains it historic buildings which still stand from Tudor and Victorian times. Some notable and beautiful historic buildings include Manchester Cathedral, John Rylands Library, Manchester Central Library, and the Midland Hotel. More contemporary buildings worth seeing are the Imperial War Museum North and the Bridgewater Hall. There’s a real blend of historic and contemporary buildings which can be seen across the city.

Manchester was the first industrialised city in the world. Many of the mills for textile manufacturing still stand in Ancoats, which is now a hotspot for independent cafes, restaurants and bars.

The Roman fort still stands in Castlefield, and whilst you are there you can walk along the viaduct – Manchester’s version of the New York High-line!

Manchester has a world-leading reputation in science.

The University of Manchester has a rich academic history, laying claim to 25 Nobel laureates. Notable Nobel Prize winners include Ernest Rutherford, Niels Bohr and James Chadwick. Our most recent winners, prepared and identified the properties of Graphene, a revolutionary 2D material, and their work is continued at the Graphene Institute at the Northern Campus.

Manchester has a fantastic Museum of Science and Industry, which holds the first programmable computer (known as the Manchester Baby) and was built at… you know where! The University of Manchester!

Inside the Museum there is a former Liverpool Road railway station as the Manchester terminus of the world’s first inter-city passenger railway. The Museum is close to Castlefield, by the Roman Fort.

Sports are in the gene of Manchester.

Manchester is home to two of the most prominent football clubs in history: Manchester City and Manchester United. Unfortunately, July is off-season for football, but you are still able to go to the stadiums for a tour.

The local Tram network (known as the Metrolink or Metro) can take you directly from the city centre to stops near to the stadiums (information about this is in the Moving around in Manchester section below).

In case you cannot make time for a tour of either stadium, why not visit the National Football Museum? It is just in the city centre. If you walk around in the city centre, you will probably pass it already. Here is how to getting to the Museum.

Manchester also hosts the Team GB track cycling team, and you can go to the Velodrome (by the Ethihad Stadium) and arrange a taster session on the bikes on the circuit. Be careful – the bikes don’t have brakes!!! We also have a great Ice Hockey team (Manchester Storm) based in Altrincham, which is accessible via Tram or Train.

Sports at Manchester aren’t limited to these. NI2024 will be arranging walking tours and running groups during your stay. Why not get in touch and join them now?

Moving around in Manchester

Did you know that Manchester had the world’s first ever railway line? You will enjoy the network’s convenience, known as the Bee Network! The Bee Network has an app which gives all information about travel around Manchester, including route planning, buying tickets and schedules for trams and buses.

From landing at Manchester Airport, it is easy to catch a train or tram to the City Centre. The train and tram line from Manchester Airport is located near Terminal 1, and is well signposted throughout the airport. Trains from the Airport to Manchester Piccadilly (the main railway station) takes around 20 minutes, and run every 10 minutes, 7 days a week. Train tickets can be bought through a self-service machine, or by mobile app such as Trainline.

It is walkable from the city centre to the University of Manchester, if you choose to walk here (it takes around 20-30 minutes). If you fancy a faster way to get here, the Buses go frequently down Oxford Road (where the University and Conference site is). The buses run very frequently, so don’t worry if you miss one! They cost around £2 for a one-way journey and can be paid by cash or card. 

The tram network (known as the Metrolink or Metro) is a convenient way to get around the city. It uses a contactless ‘tap in-tap out’ system on the platform before boarding and when you leave, or you can buy tickets on the platform.

Key Metro Stops:

For Etihad Stadium (Manchester City Football Ground): Etihad Campus

For Old Trafford (Manchester United Football Ground): Pomona, Exchange Quay, and Old Trafford. These stops get you a few minutes walk away from the stadium. Old Trafford Metro stop is located next to the Old Trafford Cricket Ground.

Closest Metro Stop to University of Manchester: St Peter’s Square, Piccadilly.

Most Central stops: Zone 1 (St Peter’s Square, Exchange Square, Piccadilly Gardens)

Food and Night life

There are plenty of incredible eateries in Manchester, from all price ranges and all cuisines. Whether you’re craving authentic Indian curry, gourmet burgers, artisanal pizza, or vegan fare, you’ll find it all in Manchester. Places to eat and drink are based in Northern Quarter, Deansgate, Spinningfields, Chinatown.

  • Northern Quarter: You can find everything from traditional British pubs to trendy cocktail bars and international cuisine. Some popular spots include the Mackie Mayor food hall, and the Night & Day Café for live music.
  • Deansgate: You can enjoy fine dining at places like Hawksmoor or Australasia, sip cocktails at The Alchemist, and dance the night away at clubs like The Milton Club or Revolución de Cuba.
  • Spinningfields: You can indulge in upscale dining at restaurants like The Ivy or 20 Stories, enjoy cocktails with a view at the rooftop bar of 20 Stories.
  • Chinatown: You can explore a variety of Chinese, Japanese, and Thai restaurants, as well as enjoy karaoke bars and late-night dim sum spots.

The Gay Village on Canal Street is buzzing with life with its cafes, bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

Manchester also has a rich musical heritage and a thriving live music scene. So don’t forget to enjoy your nightlife with some live music venues and cultural events. If you are interested in some  local bands, emerging artists, and internationally renowned acts. You could visit Manchester Arena, O2 Ritz, and Band on the Wall. Don’t forget to book onto our evening at Band on the Wall! Band on the Wall is on the cusp of Northern Quarter and Ancoats, and used to be a Cinema! There will be food, music, and dancing is a must!

In addition, a number of art exhibitions, theatre performances and comedy shows at Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Museum and Manchester Opera are great places to immerse yourself in the city’s creativity and discover new forms of entertainment.

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