‘This is Manchester, we do things differently here’ – Anthony H. Wilson
Coming to Manchester to attend an Open Day soon? Well, not only is this a good opportunity to check out our wonderful University, but it’s also a super chance to explore the greatest, boldest, and most fabulous city in the North!
Mancunians are famously proud of their city, culture, and football club, and having lived here for a few years it’s easy to see why. Not only is Manchester one of the UK’s most culturally diverse, exciting and famous city (narrowly beaten by London), but it has sights and activities to suit all tastes. With wild nights out until sunrise, a world full of cuisines, and a multitude of museums and more, Manchester has something for everyone.
If you have time on your Open Day, there are loads of things you can see and do within walking distance of the University to have a taste of what Manchester has on offer.
If food’s your thing
Foodies flock from all over to sample the one million and one different cuisines available in Manchester, so be sure to treat your taste buds when you visit!
The heart of Manchester’s South East Asian community is found in Chinatown, a few minutes’ walk from Piccadilly Gardens in the city centre. For top-notch Vietnamese food, I recommend I Am Pho for their delicious noodle soup. Or if you have a sweet tooth and fancy a twist, get a green tea or lychee dessert from Wasabi.
Closer to campus you can find the famous Curry Mile where you can find flavours from all over the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and the Indian Sub-Continent. As well as offering food for all tastes there are also options for all budgets, from mouth-watering £2.50 shawarma from Atlas to elaborate Indian banquets at Mughli.
If you’re keen for a shopping experience that takes you beyond the usual chain shops, the Northern Quarter has an eclectic selection of boutiques, independent cafes and record stores. As Manchester’s beating bohemian heart, it’s also home to some of the most avant-garde bars, underground music spaces and galleries.
If you only have an hour or so, I whole-heartedly recommend a quick tour of Affleck’s Palace. In this multi-cultural bazaar, you can browse a marvellous mix of alternative fashions and knick-knacks, and experience the indie-vibes that make Manchester so Manchester.
Feed your brain in Manchester’s museums
Another reason why Manchester is the best city ever is the vast number of free museums and art galleries found across town. The Museum of Science and Industry is a must-see if you’d like to find out why Manchester is such a hub of scientific excellence and innovation, with fascinating exhibits on how Manchester became the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, Alan Turing’s computers, and graphene.
Avid football fans should consider a visit to the National Football Museum near Victoria Train Station – not only can you learn some fun facts about the city’s renowned teams, but you can also gain a fascinating insight into the history and global impact of the beautiful game.
The University’s own Manchester Museum is an award-winning institution situated in a beautiful Neo-Gothic building in the heart of campus. If you only have a short break in the day between classes this is the perfect place to ogle at the museum’s beautiful collection of natural history and anthropological artefacts. Get involved with their hands-on activities and expert talks, and check out my favourite exhibit – the frogs! (They’re so cute and colourful.)
If you’re more of a da Vinci than a Darwin, then the Manchester Art Gallery has a number of world-class collections showcasing the work of some of the world’s most renowned artists. Here you can view classical masterpieces as well as modern art, and also admire the work of Manchester’s own L. S. Lowry.
Closer to campus you can find the University’s own Whitworth Art Gallery for an eclectic variety of artwork and avant-garde exhibitions. Its café is also a beautiful spot for lunch with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lush greenery of Whitworth Park. Their salads and cakes are absolutely delicious too!
If the main UoM campus doesn’t sate your appetite for stunning Neo-Gothic architecture, then the John Rylands Library on Deansgate Road is a must see. A veritable cathedral of books with its lofty ceilings, exquisite stained-glass and dark wood bookshelves, it’s not surprising that this is one of Manchester’s top visitor attractions. As a student at UoM you’ll have full access to the Wi-Fi and resources available here – I like to study in the main reading room and pretend I go to Hogwarts!
See you soon!
An Open Day here can be so much more than just looking around campus. Take the time to explore Manchester, discover its eccentricities, and get excited for a jam-packed few years studying in this wonderful city!