Manchester is considered by many as the England’s second city, although people from the Midlands might well disagree!

If you consider the area covered by Manchester Council as opposed to Birmingham Council then it’s beaten hands down by it’s midlands rival, in the population stakes anyway.  Considering the wider conurbation of Greater Manchester though compared to “Greater Birmingham” and the figures aren’t so clear cut – both cities being very similar.

Ironically, the IRA bomb in 1996 is probably the best thing that could’ve happened to Manchester from a commercial point of view, and thankfully no one lost their life.

It really was a catalyst for change and cleared the way for substantial regeneration of the somewhat dysfunctional city centre of old, paving the way for many new and exciting retail and leisure developments around the bomb site itself, such as Printworks, New Cathedral Street and Urbex – to name but a few.

Many argue that the redevelopment plans were already well under way before the bomb, as part of the development in support of the bid for the 2000 Summer Olympics – albeit unsuccessful.

Regardless of the causes though, the regeneration has been massive – firmly putting Manchester on the international map.

One of the major factors of the success of Manchester in recent, is the number of people actually living in the city centre, in the vast array of new apartment blocks that have sprung up, be it the Northern Quarter, The Green Quarter, Deansgate, Castlefield, Ancoats or Hulme.

There’s something for all tastes and budgets, from small bedsit costing several hundred pounds a month, to voluminous penthouse loft apartments costing several thousand – all within close proximity of the main shopping centre.

If you’re thinking of buying a and house in Manchester, the following A – Z are great list of positives you might like to consider, not to mention one of our detailed survey reports!

A ALBERT SQUAREOne of the city centre’s main squares, immediately in front of the town hall, comprises statures of important historical figures, and a range of bars and eateries to the perimeter.
B BANDSManchester’s renowned for it’s rich music history; with far too many famous bands to list, the following being the most obvious Take That, Oasis, Happy Mondays, The Chemical Brothers, Badly Drawn Boy, The Smiths, New Order, Doves, Elbow, Joy Division, David Gray, Hurts, Inspiral Carpets, Morrissey, M People, New Order and The Verve
C CASTLEFIELDManchester doesn’t have a river, but castlefield makes good use of the canal as a substitute, with an excellent range of cool bars and outside dining.  The cobbled largely pedestrianised street against the backdrop of converted mill buildings and trendy apartments make this a nice place to be.
D DEANSGATEAn attractive city centre shopping destination, Manchester’s answer to Oxford Street in London.
E EVENING NEWSManchester Evening News, the free local paper for the city, covering everything from News, to sport, property and everything in between.  Well worth a read or checking out online to keep up to date with the pulse of this vibrant city.
F FOOTBALLIt’s impossible to think Manchester without thinking football; the city’s international reputation owes a lot to the beautiful game!   Arguably the countries top two clubs are based in Manchester: United based at Old Trafford and their rivals in blue, ManchesterCity who play at the City of Manchester Stadium.   It’s fitting therefore that the National Museum of Football is based here, at the former Urbex building in the city centre.
G GAY VILLAGEAs the gay capital of the north, Manchester’s Gay village on the south side of the city centre is well worth a visit; whether you’re looking for exuberant nightlife, or an outside lunch by the canal it’s always open and always partying with a huge arrangement of bars in very close proximity you can be sure of a fun and friendly night out!
H HEATON PARKLocated in Preswich, an affluent suburb to north Manchester popular with the Jewish community, HeatonPark and golf course.  It’s owned and managed by Manchester City Council and offers a range of family attraction, from an 18th century house restored in 2001, a boating lake, animal centre, and a number of large music events and concerts, most recently The Stone Roses, and in 2013 the Parklife festival is being held here for the first time.
I INTERNETNot everyone knows the internet was born in Manchester.  Ok so perhaps not exactly born here, but Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, studied at the University of Manchester and is best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web.
J JOHN RYLANDS LIBRARYThe John Rylands Library is a late-Victorian neo-Gothic building on Deansgate . The library opened to the public in 1900 and was founded by Enriqueta Augustina Rylands in memory of her husband, John Rylands.The John Rylands Library merged in July 1972 with the University of Manchester Library.  The library contains a number of special collections, including medieval illuminated manuscripts and examples of early European printing, including a Gutenberg Bible and the Rylands Library Papyrus P52 is believed to be the earliest extant New Testament text.
K KING STREETThe pedestrianized King Street is of 18th century origin and is one of Manchester’s most upmarket shopping locations and business addresses. With an array of designer stores, boutique jewellery and shopping arcades.
L LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTREBased at the Trafford centre, the Merlin owned attraction offers a fun day out for the kids, and also adjoins the new Sealife centre .
M MANCHESTER CENTRAL / EVENING NEWS AREALocated in the very heart of the city, Manchester Central  (formerly G-Mex) is a large exhibition and conference space hosting a full calendar of events each year.  Manchester Arena is the cities largest indoor regular concert venue regularly features on the tours of most famous artists.
N NORTHERN QUARTERAffleck’s Palace has been here for years, providing a quirky range of hippy goods and second hand gear, perfect for those unusual gifts and fancy dress parties.  Over the last 10 years the NQ has become one of the trendiest places in town, with a remarkable 120 licensed premises scattered around a handful of Victorian backstreets.  The regeneration has been inspirational and there are now so many eateries, boutique stores, galleries and chic apartments, it’s certainly ones of the places to visit – either during the day or after dark.
O OXFORD ROADOne of the busiest bus routes in Europe, and one of the principal routes into the city centre from the south.  The University of Manchester and ManchesterMetropolitanUniversity are both located here, and accordingly there’s a wealth of associated infrastructure to support the student community – from Bars and fast food establishments and nightclubs, to accommodation, halls of residence and everything in between.   Oxford Road station is one of the three mainline stations in the city centre.
P PRINTWORKSA retail and leisure complex to come out of the city centre redevelopment following the IRA Bomb, providing a range of bars and restaurants and a large cinema complex in the heart of the city centre.
Q QUEERManchester claims to have the largest gay population outside of London, the gay village being cantered around Canal Street to the south side of the city centre.
R RUSHOLMEThe Curry Mile has to been seen to be believed.  I’m not sure it’s possible to count the curry houses and eateries here.  Be warned not all are good, so it’s worth reading reviews before attending.  Well worth a visit in any event though, and you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Las Vegas with the amount of neon lights after dark (well almost!)
S SPINNINGFIELDSA modern business, retail and residential development in Manchester, England in the west of the city centre, between Deansgate and the River Irwell. Developed by Allied London Properties, the £1.5 billion project consists of 20 new buildings, totalling approximately 430,000 sq metres of commercial, residential and retail space.
T TRAFFORD CENTREOut of town retail therapy with ample free parking.  Late night easy parking and an excellent range of designer stores.The site is also home to the Chill Factore, Manchester’s indoor ski slope, Airkix indoor skydiving, and an indoor 5-a-side football complex, amongst other things.
U UNIVERSITIESManchester has the largest student population in Europe, which brings a lot of revenue to the city.Around 90,000 students arrive to the cities three universities each year: Salford, Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan.  All have excellent reputations in their various fields.
V VICTORIA BATHSA listed Edwardian swimming pool and Turkish Baths complex, closed since 1993 awaiting restoration. Tours take place every Wednesday from April to October at 2pm.
W WEST DIDSBURYA leafy affluent and trendy suburb approximately 5 miles south of the city centre, offering a wide range of restaurants, bars and boutique stores and eateries, located primarily along Burton Road.
X XMAS MARKETS Manchester is famous for it’s German Christmas Markets which are focussed around Albert Square and the Town Hall, but spread out far and wide.  Pop along through December for some festive cheers, beers wine, cheeses and all kinds of crafts and other festive delights.
Y Yet to find something beginning with “Y” – get in touch if you can!
Z Z-ARTSZ-Arts is Manchester’s primary venue for children and families covering all art forms and creative activities.