Manchester Basic Information
Manchester has a population of just over 2.5 million within the greater urban area making it the second-largest built-up area in the UK after London. Manchester is a stronghold of the north with a wealth of impressive qualities such as architecture, media, culture, a thriving music scene, scientific and engineering expertise, social impact and sporting connections all helping to entice inquisitive visitors from across the world all year round.
Australian passport holders looking to visit the UK for less than 6 months do not require a visa. If you are planning on staying longer than 6 months, or looking to study or work in Manchester, then you will need to apply for a visa before you travel. Your type and length of study or work will determine what type of visa you can apply for. You may also be eligible for a working visa if you are a Commonwealth citizen or have UK ancestry. All foreigners are required to register their place of residence within 24 hours of arrival. Please be aware that this information is only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, please contact your local British embassy.
The UK uses the British Pound. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and British Pound changes constantly, so keep an eye on the exchange rate and purchase Pounds when the rate is at its best. For safe spending overseas, it is also recommended to bring a credit card or prepaid travel money card with you. A Multi-currency Cash Passport™ allows you to transfer money onto the card in Pounds and access the local currency with a much lower fee than a typical bankcard. Always let your bank or credit card company know your travel dates before you leave so you can easily access your account from overseas.
The food in Manchester is extensive to say the least mirroring the standard and variety of a modern capital city. Head to the Curry Mile in Rusholme for a mouth-watering traditional banquet, while the Chinatown district, focused around Faulkner Street near the city’s Town Hall, is packed full of oriental markets and authentic Asian restaurants. The city is also home to an iconic Hard Rock Café and other well-known international chains such as Wagamama. Many nationwide restaurants started in the Northern Quarter of the city, which plays host to big names like Revolutions Vodka Bar (which also serves excellent food throughout the day and into early evening) and The Living Room, which is known for its chilled-out yet entertaining nightlife scene.
Manchester is not the type of city to do things on a small scale, so the first venue on the list most definitely has to be Manchester Arena with a year-round lineup that usually gets heads turning. Be sure to book tickets online for shows that are likely to sell out and leave the big night stress-free and full of world-class entertainment. Manchester is known for its own brand of music nursing such bands as The Stone Roses and Oasis to international fame. Check out Star and Garter on Farefield Street for a bit of the local rock scene, or Tiger Tiger club for those that prefer to dance the night away to house and disco mixed by live DJs. Another nightlife area of the city to check out is Oxford Street, which is great for students and indie music lovers, while the city’s famed The Warehouse Project club night truly has to be seen (and heard) to be believed.