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New York Times: MCR Only UK Entry In 'Top Places To Go 2015'

Manchester singled out as one of the top 52 places in the world to visit in 2015

Written by . Published on January 12th 2015.


New York Times: MCR Only UK Entry In 'Top Places To Go 2015'
 

'A FLURRY of cultural openings' makes 'edgy' Manchester the only place in the UK worth a visit this year, according to the prestigious New York Times 'Top Places To Go 2015' list.

"It's also the 20th anniversary of the Manchester Arena which Billboard magazine recently recognised as the third busiest music venue in the world."

Ranked 26 out of 52 destinations for American tourists to explore in 2015, Manchester joins Milan (1), Burgundy (15) and New Orleans (23) on the list, and ranks higher than the likes of Seoul (33), Shanghai (46) and Rome (48).

The eclectic 'Top Places To Go 2015' list is populated by revitalized cities, enlivened and often obscure countries (the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, for one) and places generally lesser-known to the American tourist - Baku in Azerbaijan (51), anybody?

HOME - new theatre and arts centreHOME - new theatre and arts centre

The New York Times - the second largest newspaper in the United States (behind The Wall Street Journal) - cites Manchester's soon to open Whitworth Art Gallery, First Street's new £25m theatre and arts space HOME, and Old Trafford's Hotel Football as reasons to visit the city this year.

Strangely, the list entry fails to mention the city's exploding food and drink scene or the fifth Manchester International Festival (MIF) in 2015 - the world's only biennial festival of world premières and entirely new commissioned works from across the arts.

Still, let's not be persnickety. Here's the entry in full:

"26. Manchester - England's second city shows off its sophisticated side.

A flurry of cultural openings fills the 2015 calendar of this now edgy city, beginning with the completion of the Whitworth, a ₤15-million renovation and expansion of the former Whitworth Art Gallery into its adjoining park with an art garden and sculpture terraces in February. In the spring, the ₤25 million HOME, a film center and theater, will open. Last fall, the Regency-style former home of the 19th-century writer Elizabeth Gaskell, known to her publisher, Charles Dickens, as “Scheherazade,” opened as a visitor attraction. But it’s not all high culture. This soccer stronghold will be home to Hotel Football, opening in March next to the Old Trafford stadium. The hotel, backed by five former Manchester United players, is one of four new boutiques in the pipeline.

Hotel FootballHotel Football

The Whitworth is under refurbishmentThe Whitworth is currently under refurbishment

Commenting on the announcement Nick Brooks-Sykes, director of tourism at Marketing Manchester, said:

"We're absolutely delighted to see Manchester being recognised in this way, in what is set to be an exceptional year for cultural tourism in the city. Marketing Manchester has been courting the US market through promotional activities and campaigns for many years so this is a real coup and we hope that it will inspire a new wave of travellers to discover the city.

"In addition to the culturally significant moments described in the listing Manchester will also enjoy landmark events in 2015 including the fifth Manchester International Festival, Manchester Pride's 25th anniversary and a leg of the Rugby World Cup. It's also the 20th anniversary of the Manchester Arena which Billboard magazine recently recognised as the third busiest music venue in the world."

James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive, said:

“This is a fantastic accolade for Manchester. The combination of sporting, cultural and historical highlights taking place this year ensures that 2015 is set to be exceptional for this northern city.

"This is certainly reflected in the visitor figures as Manchester is the UK’s third most visited city for international visitors (after London and Edinburgh) and received almost a million visitors in 2013.”

The New York Times list is yet more international recognition for Manchester after leading luxury, lifestyle and travel publication, Conde Nast Traveller, awarded the city 'The Brit Hit' title in their 'What's Hot For 2015' feature last week - see here.

The New York Times - 52 Places To Go In 2015

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74 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2015.

'Strangely, the list entry fails to mention the city's exploding food and drink scene'? Somehow I don't think Americans would be impressed by dirty, filthy, mucky street food, burgers and Italian restaurants, do you?

15 Responses: Reply To This...
DarrenJanuary 12th 2015.

Manchester is full of boring food no one in the US would be bothered about. Really. So why are the likes of Beyonce, Nas, The Game and Rihanna never away from Archies when they are in England? There was talk of some of them investing in the place and expanding it elsewhere. We are full of boring soulless chains? So why does Lady Gaga love Afflecks Palace so much and cite it as one of her favourite places to shop? I hear she's a big fan of the ice cream from Gingers Comfort Emporium as well as the clothes on offer there. The last gig I went to was John Grant at the Bridgewater Hall, and he was raving about the music shops in the Northern Quarter, and says he always spends far too much money when he's in Manchester because of Piccadilly Records. There's plenty of independent different places to find and love in Manchester. If people from the US can find them on a short stay then there is no reason you can't.

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2015.

Erm, maybe they shouldn't go to a burger place or an Italian then? They have enough of those in America anyway surely?

EmmerageJanuary 12th 2015.

Evidently, you are still going to the same cruddy places you frequented in 2011, before food got more interesting. It's not Sydney, but it's a whole lot better than your snarky rant suggests...

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

@Darren Gaga would say that. Her entourage would have done an internet search for her and suggested it was an awesome and quaint place to shop. Over twenty years too late mind, but still.

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

Archies Fast Food & Shakes? OMG! Really? How adventurous of those people. To be fair, I couldn't imagine Rihanna having breakfast at Wetherspoons.

DarrenJanuary 13th 2015.

Why is it 20 years late? Is everything in there from 20 years ago? I'd guess most of the people who shop there now were not even born 20 years ago. It's constantly changing, its unique, independent, different and a Manchester institution. Go treat yourself to some of salted ice cream there and lighten up a little.

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

Afflecks has had it's day, and that was over twenty years ago.

DarrenJanuary 13th 2015.

Maybe it's you that's had your day and not the thousands of people who shop there each day?

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

Anon above is just winding people up, Afflecks obviously hasn't had it's day, it's packed and has a waiting list to take us space in there. It probably stands out more than ever as there is very few place like Afflecks now anywhere in the country.

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

Is Afflecks a go to destination for students these days?

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

Do stall holders at Affkecks make much money though? Interested to know if footfall and spend is holding up given the dramatic changes the highstreet is undergoing at the moment.

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

*Afflecks

Duke FameJanuary 14th 2015.

Darren, when Rihanna goes to Archies, I hope she has Eggs and Gammon despite the tenancy to cause wind.

DarrenFebruary 1st 2015.

Afflecks, people making no money, past its best, 20 years out of date......... www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/…/forget-gucci-fashionistas-going-gaga-8554832…

AnonymousFebruary 1st 2015.

Really Darren? Was there any need to troll around and post that link on here over two weeks after your last post? We've all moved on, unlike Afflecks Palace.

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2015.

So Manchester, essentially a large Trafford Centre, is number 26 on places to visit list and beat Seoul, Rome and Shanghai. This piece just queried the inclusion of Baku in Azerbaijan...that freaky place which will end up host a whole load of major events in the coming year. And the "exploding food and drink" scene...Er...dominated by chain bars and restaurants in the city centre because of the high rates. It is a characterless consumer's paradise though.

9 Responses: Reply To This...
DarrenJanuary 12th 2015.

Jeez. I take it you are a glass half empty kind of person? This is something to be happy about, something positive. 2015 will be a great year for Manchester.

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2015.

Yes Darren it will be really great, another 30 Byron Burger joints, 15 branches of Prezzo and a whole corn exchange full of soulless chains. Great. Can't wait.

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2015.

It's alright anon, while you're sat in one of 15 Prezzos (though I'm sure it's two) moaning about it, many of us will be sat enjoying one of the many new independents that there are in Manchester.

EmmerageJanuary 12th 2015.

I bet all you sad sacks who have nothing but negative stuff to say about Manchester being a city of chains and grotty food are the same bastards who get on here every other week rambling on about how the burgeoning independent coffee scene is "just for posh hipsters, all coffee tastes the same anyway, so why not just go to Nero"...?

rinkydinkJanuary 12th 2015.

I always think that if you don't like something you should get off your fat ass and try to change it. Or walk away. Or just shut up

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2015.

It does seem a very Manchester things to do, to knock the city and what has happened in it over tha last few years. When in fact most places would give their eye teeth to be in the position Manchester finds itself. A vibrant city with masses of development in the pipeline where people want to come and visit and live. Or maybe the negative comments are coming from people in rival cities?

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

@Rinkydink It's 'arse', not ass!

DarrenJanuary 13th 2015.

You can sit and moan about it or you could look at Simon Rogan, Aiden Byrne and Mary-Ellen McTague who will be pushing things on, all operating in town and training a new batch of chefs to very high standards. You could look forward to new places opening and having new places to eat, most of which are only operating in 1 or 2 other cities in Britain. Or you can just find fault. FFS!

AnonymousJanuary 14th 2015.

That would be the Trafford Centre with its vast array or art galleries, museums, parks, independent and vibrant bars, cafes, shops and restaurants would it?

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2015.

The former Soviet Republic of Georgia is one of the best places to visit right now. Take a look at the old town of Tbilisi, the mountains of Kazbegi or the Shrines and Churches of Mtskheta. Add in authentic home cooked food, a dash of Chacha and some of the most amazing people you can ever wish to meet and you have the holiday of a lifetime. Don't knock it until you try it.

mike_aJanuary 12th 2015.

Shame it didn't mention to avoid staying in a Britannia Hotel at all costs.

BaggioJanuary 12th 2015.

'singled out'? along with 51 others! can we file that phrase along with 'unique' and 'literally'?

Barry MaginnJanuary 12th 2015.

Given the attitude of some comments on here, it's strange the entry didn't make more of the residents' pride in their city.

Barry TravisJanuary 13th 2015.

Yeah the Americans will flood here, then go home telling all their mates "what a great place, but boy the people moan a lot!". Never understood the attitude. The Manchester/Salford area is better than it has ever been, lots of great eateries (just cos a place is a chain doesn't make it bad), the bar scene is magnificent at the moment and there is always a full programme of culture and sport......seriously what are you people moaning about???

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

Yeah the Americans will moan about the weather and that it's more expensive to eat out here than in the US but it was a totally awesome place and it might encourage more direct flights to different parts of the US.

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

Yes, but the city is a little soulless. It's not exactly, regarding fondness, in the same league as Newcastle, Glasgow, Liverpool which appears to have some sort of unique identity. As I stated earlier, Manchester is a "keeping up with the Joneses place" ie what London does, we'll do two years later. Dirty burgers anyone?

21 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

oh, fuck off.

Duke FameJanuary 13th 2015.

I think that's right. Those town s listed have an unmistakeable sense of being that isn't there with Manchester. A feel of a poor man's London or Birmingham prevails rather than a city confident in it's own identity.

Duke FameJanuary 13th 2015.

Manchester is on the map through Football, certainly few overseas visitors would bother if it weren't for Man U and with Manchester City overtaking them, its set to attract more visitors. The problem is that away from football there is little to offer.

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

So there's no point visiting anywhere outside of London Duke, is that what you're saying? As for dirty burgers anon, there's probably fewer in Manchester than any of those cities you mentioned. As for Liverpool identity, what is that exactly?

BaggioJanuary 13th 2015.

duke fame, i'm curious? just what do you think birmingham has to offer? i've been there, and i can categorically state that it poses no threat whatsoever to manchester as a visitor destination.

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

There are enough museums and galleries for a decent city break as long as you don't mind the weather

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

I have family who visit occasionally and they always get excited coming to Mcr

rinkydinkJanuary 13th 2015.

Liverpool ha ha. Do me a favour

Jonathan SchofieldJanuary 13th 2015.

Honestly Duke Fame and the rest I've just written a 244 page guide book to the city which funnily enough isn't full of empty pages but full of relentless content and stories and the underlining of this fact: Manchester is not only a city growing faster than cities with old fashioned senses of identity but has always been about change, which is what all real cities have been about. Sometimes dear negative ranters you just need to grow up, read more, stop looking in such a narrow way in your own backyard but travel and then come back and speak from some authority and experience.

Barry MaginnJanuary 13th 2015.

I honestly wonder why they live in a city they obviously hate so much. No one stopping them moving to the paradise that is Newcastle....

EdwardJanuary 14th 2015.

'Stop looking in such a narrow way in your own backyard' - Very eloquently put.

AnonymousJanuary 14th 2015.

@Jonathan Schofield I am a born and bred Mancunian and I love my city, but if I have a negative rant about [yet another] burger outlet, street food events, poorly parked disabled SUV/Bentley owners, YAFI's, expensive restaurants or HS2 it doesn't mean I think the city's going down the toilet, it's just my honest opinion about those subjects. Je suis Charlie or sumat.

Duke FameJanuary 14th 2015.

I'm not born and bred Mancunian, only here because the wife doesn't like Yorkshire, the South or pretty much anywhere that's not Manchester. What I'm saying is Manchester does not have a sense of identity, rather like Birmingham (as opposed to Brum being some sort of oracle) and as a result is not really an attractive city nor is it's offering unique. Being realistic, most tourist visitors come here for the football, no bad thing but don't pretend there is too much more. Yes, I'm aware of Marx & Engels (who are probably guilty of causing Manc's downfall) and on other hand the great industrialists that have made Manchester but little of that is evident in daily life but for a Marxist work-shy attitude maintained by some contributors to these pages.

AnonymousJanuary 14th 2015.

So it's clear. You dont actually know much about Manchester do you Duke? I find Manchester has a very distinctive image not only in the UK but abroad too and no, that is not solely due to football. And I say this as a reasonably well travelled, outward looking non-native mancunian so I can say this with some authority.

EdwardJanuary 14th 2015.

You want to leave but 'the wife' won't let you - lol well I guess that's your problem eh Duke.

Mark FullerJanuary 14th 2015.

@Duke Fame: Manchester "a poor man's Birmingham", give me a break,Brum's incredibly drab and lacking in charisma. There seems to be an upsurge in anti Manchester trolling at present. Some of the Guardianistas on their 'Northener's blog' have been slagging the city off even more than usual of late. It's partly because some of them feel threatened by a growing and more successful Manchester, it undermines their" grim up north meme" and "concern trolling". For others, their relentless negativity says a lot about their own inner state. Even in paradise, they'd moan and complain.

rinkydinkJanuary 14th 2015.

Manchester's on an unstoppable upswing and they feel alienated in their own city. Poor little dick weeds

Duke FameJanuary 14th 2015.

No @mark fuller, I'm saying Manchester is similar to Brum, in the post Industrial Age, the towns don't really have a purpose.

AnonymousJanuary 15th 2015.

What towns?

AnonymousJanuary 15th 2015.

They don't have a purpose? What about being places millions of people live work and socialise in?

AnonymousJanuary 15th 2015.

You've let yourself down here Duke.

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

I honestly wonder why some people bother living in this city given that they seem to hate it so much. Never a good word to say about anything. No, everything isn't perfect here. New flash: it isn't perfect every where else either - as i'm sure the moaners would find out if they bothered to move to one of these other cities that they laud so much.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

Completely agree! STFU you moaning lot, if you don't like it -fuck off somewhere else. I love Manchester and it's amazing it got mentioned in the NY times. My only real grip with it is that it's gotten really crime-y lately and it feels like we're back in the Gunchester days - this needs to stop

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

I have visited many times and really enjoy it

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

Great

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

News

AnonymousJanuary 14th 2015.

will

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

Come see our crime ridden streets and 3rd world litter problems.

12 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

Good grief, you need to get out more.

Barry MaginnJanuary 13th 2015.

You could also be talking about New York you know..........If a bit of litter is the bane of your life, move to Switzerland. And then let your soul die a little day by day.

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

Have a point about litter.NYC by the way is VERY CLEAN as are most US cities...OURS ARE A DISGRACE....

AnonymousJanuary 14th 2015.

A bit of a generalisation. Chinatown in Manhattan is one of the dirtiest places i've ever been to.

SquirrelitoJanuary 14th 2015.

Chinatown in Manhattan is the exception though, the rest is mostly well maintained. Commercial waste is bagged and ordered ready for collection, and public realm is planted and manicured. Subway stations and trains are clean and nowhere feels anywhere near as grubby as Picc gardens or Market St. The exception in town in Spinningfields where Allied London give a shit about their area, in direct contrast to the pisspoor efforts of the council other than around the Town Hall. It's hygiene that lets our city down. The cultural and architectural offerings are great, the streets between them are shameful.

AnonymousJanuary 14th 2015.

I agree the council are clueless when it comes to cleanliness and waste management, not that they'll admit to it, they claim that they don't see it even though everybody else does. It's not a budget matter it's terrible planning and organisation.

AnonymousJanuary 14th 2015.

the council need the up their game in terms of cleanliness and waste collection but to compare an entire city with a comparatively tiny pocket of private land is just beyond stupid.

SquirrelitoJanuary 14th 2015.

the comparison was between Manhattan - where grot is the exception - to town, where grot is accepted by the council as the norm. Spinningfield being an exception. This was a follow on from the comment about Chinatown in NYC being grotty (and it is). Clear enough?

AnonymousJanuary 15th 2015.

what a weird comparison. It's clear but still bonkers I'm afraid.

AnonymousJanuary 15th 2015.

New York is way cleaner generally than Manchester..I LOVE Manchester, but it is very much one of the dirtier cities in UK (Leeds is pristine even on a Sat night) and than others all over Europe...

rinkydinkJanuary 15th 2015.

I shouldn't imagine Leeds gets anywhere near as many people in town at night does it? Manchester council are lazy though about dirt and also public realm upkeep. Some of the road and pavement surfaces are piss poor for a start

AnonymousJanuary 15th 2015.

I don't find it's too bad for a big city considering the sheer volume of people that use the city centre, many of whom don't live in Mcr and so don't contribute to its upkeep.

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

HOME will be good, the Whitworth Art Gallery will be good, the International Festival will be good, plus with United and City hopefully both back in the Europe next season and the Rugby World Cup coming to Manchester 2015 will be a good time to visit.

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