Many travellers bound for the United Kingdom will take cheap flights to Manchester and connect there to other parts of the country, but the city in the northeast is more than a match for London or Edinburgh, the UK's most visited cities. Sports fans will know it as the home of Manchester United, the world's most popular soccer club, and music fans will know it as the city with a vibrant scene.
Its history contains many "firsts" - the first industrialized city in the world, the first canal in Britain, the oldest orchestra in Britain - and its streets are full of magnificent Victorian buildings. Recent regeneration has added some stunning new architecture such as the Urbis, an exhibition centre about city life, and the Imperial War Museum North. Salford docks have been redeveloped as Salford Quays, home to the Lowry Centre, an arts and entertainment centre where paintings by Laurence Stephen Lowry now hang. Other museums and galleries have benefitted from the largesse of leading industrialists.
With several universities, Manchester has a young and buzzy population who know how to throw a good party.