Manchester is a large UK city, which is situated in the northwest of England. It is connected to the outlying areas by a number of local bus companies, including First Greater Manchester, Stagecoach Manchester and Arriva North West. National Express bus routes connect Manchester with the rest of the United Kingdom. The city has two bus stations, both of which are considered to be major transport hubs. Manchester Piccadilly Gardens Bus Station is centrally located and served by most regional routes. Rather than having a specific station building, Piccadilly Gardens consists of many bus stands and stops. The second is Manchester Coach Station on Chorlton St, a 5 minute walk from the city’s busy Arndale Centre. This terminus handles long-distance buses to Manchester from other towns and cities in the UK. Both stations are accessible by local buses and the Metrolink tram service.
Manchester has a reputation as being a lively party town, boosted by a large student population from the city’s university. Clubs such as the famous Hacienda and districts like Canal Street make it the ideal location for a fun night out, but that’s only half the story. International acts perform regularly at the HOME centre, a new contemporary arts space, fit for a major world city. Manchester also has a proud industrial past, and that is reflected in the many museums and galleries dotted around. The spectacularly housed University Museum on Oxford Road is crammed full of treasures from the natural world, and the ARTZU gallery, now settled in the old Granada Studios, is another must-see. Shopping is high on the to-do list of many visitors and there are two large malls, Manchester Arndale and the intu Trafford Centre, both of which blend popular high street stores with couture boutiques and numerous quality food outlets.