Travel guide to Manchester

Facts

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Local name
Manchester
Inhabitants
448,900
Timezone
England follows GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). In spring the clocks are moved forward one hour, and moved back one hour in autumn in line with daylight saving. This means when it is 12.00pm (noon) GMT it is: 4.00am in LA, 2.00pm in Cape Town and 10.00pm in Sydney

Best time to visit

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England's weather varies dramatically throughout the year. The winters can be bitterly cold and wet (-4 to about 9 degrees on average). June and July are the best months to travel because it tends to be warmer and drier (usually between 12 and 21 degrees), although English weather is never very predictable. The south coast usually sees the best weather, being milder throughout the year, whilst the North experiences cooler weather. Despite this, the difference in temperature from the north to the south is never more than a few degrees. Manchester is certainly a more pleasant place in the summer months when it is busy with tourists. The prices do drop off season, but the city itself can be quite cold and bleak.

Culture and entertainment

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You will find restaurants, bars and cafes almost everywhere, but it's Portland Street and Chinatown that house the great majority of restaurants in town. Curry is a favourite food and will usually follow a night out in one of the many bars, clubs and pubs. There is a high profile gay scene and a wide range of music from classical to house is available for music lovers. Celebrating the arts and television with events taking place in a variety of venues, held annually. Gay Carnival, held annually during the August Bank Holiday. For further details contact the Manchester Gay and Lesbian switchboard on 0161 274 3999, open from 4.00pm - 10.00pm. "It's Queer Up North", another gay festival is held Bi-annually with the next festival being held in 2002. The Commonwealth Games are to be held in Manchester in 2002.

Accommodation / Hotel

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If you are on a budget it is probably best to stay out of the centre, as this is where you will find the cheapest accommodation. Hotels, guesthouses and B&B's are all available, with many of the bigger hotels offering discounts on weekend stays. The Youth Hostel and University offer cheap and basic rooms. Book your hotel in Manchester here

Local transport

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Taxi

Taxis are readily available throughout the city.

Other transport

Local bus services operate across the city. Manchester also has a metrolink service which runs from Piccadilly Station in the East to Victoria Station in the North. Various travel passes are available. A seven-day pass costing around £6.50 will allow you to travel on all of the city's buses. For further information visit the Travel Shop south of Piccadilly Gardens, or call the GMPTE bus enquiry line on 0161 228 7811.

Special conditions

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As with all large cities, keep your valuables with you at all times. Manchester is a vibrant city, which gets very busy especially on a Friday and Saturday night. Take usual precautions.
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