Cities and townsEdit
Greater Manchester spans one of the United Kingdom's largest and most vibrant metropolitan areas, and has a population of 2.7 million (2011 census). It is composed of ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the cities of Manchester and Salford. Each borough contains a district centre of at least regional importance, while Manchester city centre and the adjoining parts of Salford and Trafford, form the cultural, economic and social focal point of the 493 square-mile (1,277 km²) City Region, and of much of northern England.
Tourist attractions include Old Trafford (the home stadium of Manchester United FC), the John Rylands Library, the National People's History Museum, the National Football Museum, the National Museum of Science and Industry, the Central Reference Library, the Trafford Centre and Salford Quays.
Greater Manchester has the benefits of an orbital motorway (the M60), which provides the City Region with first-rate road transport links and a nationally important airport (Manchester Airport). Public transport is managed by Transport for Greater Manchester (which is the only body in the UK that has powers comparable to Transport for London), which provide the City Region with a variety of public transport options for navigating places from the Peak District and South Pennines to the noisy, vibrant and truly multicultural hub of Manchester city centre. Greater Manchester’s Metrolink network is one of the most successful light rail systems in the UK, carrying nearly 20 million passengers every year (as of 2011), the system is being expanded. Lines run to East Didsbury, Rochdale & Oldham, Eccles, MediaCityUK, Altrincham, Bury and Ashton Under Lyne. The line to Wythenshaw and the Airport is under construction and construction of the second city crossing has begun. Various proposals for the long-term future include lines to the Trafford Centre and Port Salford.
Most people staying in Greater Manchester will be based in the city itself so much of the information needed for Greater Manchester can be found under Manchester or links to other towns or districts in the conurbation.
- The Wikivoyage guide to Manchester has more information about using the Metrolink system.
The Manchester Metrolink is the largest light rail network in the United Kingdom. The system criss-crosses the county, taking in Manchester city centre, Rochdale, Oldham, Bury, Ashton-under-Lyne, Altrincham, Salford Quays as well as many other destinations.
A key attraction is Old Trafford Stadium home ground to the Manchester United Football Club that has a capacity of 75,765 and a museum for visitors.
The City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester, England – also known as the Etihad Stadium – is the home ground of Manchester City Football Club.
The National Football Museum at the Urbis building in central Manchester.
Albert Square is a great place to view Manchester's architecture such as the gothic Manchester Town Hall that is also home to the famous Manchester Christmas Markets from 17 November to 23 December.