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Few questions

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Belfast, Northern...
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Few questions

Hi guys,

I'm going to be in Manchester with my boyfriend for a weekend next month, sort of to "celebrate" my 25th birthday! We are staying in Ancoats Travelodge - stayed here last year when we were over for a football match , but that was a flying visit.

Was speaking to a friend who is originally from Manchester and they commented how the city is very poor for daytime activities. So I have been really searching to find things to do before we leave! Just have a few questions.

1. We definitely want to check out Chinatown! Is it purely just restaurants or does it have chinese/ethnic grocery stores, and little nicknack shops like the chinatowns in New York and San Fransisco? Besides the arch, is there anything "not to be missed" in this area?

2. Is Urbis any good? We like modern type museums and this seems like it could be good, but is it? Or is this just aimed aat children?

3. What is the best way to get to the Trafford Centre from our hotel?

4. Any other suggestions of things to do? Especially day time things? We both like culture, sight seeing and just fun things. Hah.

Thanks in advance.

Manchester, UK
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1. Re: Few questions

Your friend is talking nonsense! There's loads to do during the day over and above the shopping.

1. Chinatown is full of restaurants (Red Chilli is fantastic and very different - spicy Szechanuese food) and grocery shops and shops selling general tat. Nowhere near as big as NYC or (I'd guess) San Francisco but worth exploring. There are also a couple of casinos.

Things not to miss (other than Red Chilli) are the little bakeries. My favourite is the one next door but one to Yang Sing. Hong King style bakeries with Chinese tea and super-sweet coffee (and normal stuff as well) and lovely little sweet and savoury buns (honey buns and chicken curry and everything in between) that cost about £1.00 each.

Chinatown also has the main art gallery which is probably better than URBIS. Has plenty of traditional art but has modern stuff in the extension. Lovely coffee shop here as well that's miles better than any of the Starbucks or Neros.

2. URBIS is different. It had a computer gaming exhibition on during the summer otherwise it's not really aimed at kids. I've seen some really rubbish exhibitions there but if you like that sort of thing it might be worth a visit. Nice coffee shop again and a decent shop selling funky Manchester type stuff.

3. You can get to the Trafford Centre on the 250 bus but there's not that much point. All the shops that are in the Trafford Centre are in the city centre (except John Lewis) but the city ones are bigger. There are only the chains there and pretty poor choice of restaurants and bars (chains again). The only real convenience is in the parking and the fact that you don't have to drive into town, neither of which will affect you.

4. What else to do? The cornerhouse often has modern art exhibitons and has a lovely bar, arthouse cinema and a decent restaurant/cafe (very good for veggies). The Northern Quarter is good to explore and there are lots of good quirky independent shops, dirt-cheap curry cafes (most of which are gorgeous) and funky bars. The Craft centre is here and well worth a visit. There's a brand new cafe in the town hall on Albert Square that's getting good reviews. A tour of the town hall is fascinating. If you're here when the football's not on you could do the Old Trafford tour.

Manchester, United...
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2. Re: Few questions

Agree with tadvice you have received.

I was in Chinatown today and sometimes its hard to believe you are in Manchester! Definitely worth a look and some very good resteraunts. Yang Sing and Little Yang Sing also get good reports.

MOSI (Musuem of Science and Industry) and Imperial War Musuem also worth a look.

The Modern at Urbis has some good reports as well, as does Michael Caine at Abode.

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3. Re: Few questions

manchester isn't a tourist destination but, i've lived here all my life and i'm never bored. walking around the city admiring the buildings (ok, not all of them) and feeding off the vibe is enough for me. i/we visit cities all the time and invariably spend most of our time just getting a feel for the place, sitting in bars, cafes etc.

if you cross the road from the travelodge, you can take a walk around ancoats. unesco have earmarked this area as a world heritage site. it's not pretty but you can imagine what it would have been like during the industrial revolution. castlefield is nice to wander around too.

Belfast, Northern...
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4. Re: Few questions

Thanks so much! This is exactly the kind of things I was looking for! Thanks! :)

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5. Re: Few questions

Excellent advice above.

I would just add that the Northern Quarter and Oldham Street just round the corner from your hotel is worth a wander around as well. Firstly because of the variety of bars and places to eat during the day. Secondly, because it has a number of independent shops selling records, fashion, design work etc.


6. Re: Few questions

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