Local expert John Consterdine shares five great reasons to visit Manchester.

TV Host Darley Newman and Manchester Travel Expert John Consterdine
TV Host Darley Newman and Manchester Travel Expert John Consterdine

Manchester City We’ve all read the articles – ‘9 reasons to live in Manchester’, ‘Manchester 8th most popular city to visit’, ‘Manchester’s top ten hidden gems’ etc. Fabulous articles, and I’m sure every Mancunian adopted or born and bred ( like me ) reads them with pride.

For me though, they all miss one thing; the essential part of Manchester… Its people. Mancunians.

“First, the character of the people goes for much. A sturdy independence, a sound common-sense conservatism, a determination not to lose a good thing unless in exchange for a better, an intolerance of shams, a refusal to be wheedled into calling a thing white when you know it to be black; above all, a salutary sense of humour—these are qualities which two centuries of industrialism, which has changed the face of their country, has not wholly obliterated in its people even to-day ; and they are just the qualities which furnish rare material for grace to work upon.” – Anonymous

Manchester constantly attracts visitors from all over the world. My favorite places are the ones that bring the most people to the city. So, in no particular order here’s my Top 5.

1.Music Manchester music is legendary.

From the founding of Oldest Professional Orchestra in the world through to Punk, New Wave and Madchester. Along with the iconic Manchester venues – the Manchester Arena (22, 000), Bridgewater Hall, Apollo, Academy and of course Salford Lads Club & Hacienda.

2.Manchester Arena Eating – Drinking – Dancing (enjoying yourself)

Manchester Nightlife is something to behold. From traditional Manchester pubs, the chic hipster bars of the Northern Quarter to the Gay Village & The Printworks, Manchester has something for everyone. Fine dining in Spinningfields to Chippy’s and Kebab shops. Come on a Taxi Tour and you may be treated to a delicious pie from the Crusty Cob.


There’s no hiding from it. Manchester has it all, with the second busiest shopping street in the country. What other city has two Selfridges? From Afflecks Palace to the Arndale centre and the out of town Trafford Centre, as well as Bury’s ‘World Famous Market’, Manchester does retail like nowhere else. If you are lucky enough to visit on the run up to Christmas, Manchester has the most amazing Street Markets you’ll find anywhere.

4.Manchester University

Founded in 1824,  the University of Manchester is today one of the largest University campus’ in Europe with 120,000 students from all over the world. It is also responsible for some of the worlds greatest innovations– splitting the atom, computers and the latest innovation, graphene.

5.Sport – Football

Manchester is home to numerous football clubs, from grass roots to two of the largest clubs in the world; City (55,000) and United (76,000). From the founding of the first professional league in 1888 to the National Football Museum, fans from all over the world flock into the City.

‘What is it about Manchester?’ It’s the people! But don’t just take my word for it. Bring your trainers, dancing shoes, drinking boots and shopping bag and find out for yourself. By the way, if you need a local taxi tour guide (award winning, did I mention it?) give me a call. There’s a warm Mancunian welcome waiting for you.

About the Author: John Consterdine is the owner of Manchester Taxi Tours. He is the city’s only Green Badge Tour Guide and Taxi Driver. Born and bred in Manchester, John knows everything there is to know about the city and it’s history. His specialty tours include the popular Coronation Street Location Tour and Sports & Entertainment Tours to locations of The Smiths, Oasis, The Stone Roses, Simply Red and beyond. Watch for John in an upcoming season of “Travels with Darley,” where he leads us through Manchester.