According to Time Out's esteemed ‘2021 World's Best Cities Index', this week Manchester was named the third best city in the world and subsequently the highest-ranking city throughout the whole of the UK.
The eagerly anticipated annual Time Out Index combined the opinions and experiences of 27,000 global participants across hundreds of cities around the world to capture and celebrate what makes a city centre great, curated with the expertise of Time Out's worldwide network of local editors and city experts.
Ranked in categories such as eating and drinking, culture and nightlife, and community spirit & environmental initiatives, respondents were encouraged to share how easy it is to express themselves, make new friends, relax, and discover new things in their respective cities, with a focus this year on the city's dedication to sustainability, activism, and community projects.
"This year's list of the best cities in the world shines a spotlight on cities that adapted during a time where the key factors that make these metropolises the place to be – fun, culture and socialising – were largely off the table. You'd think a pandemic might defeat the point of living in a city, but the results show that community spirit is higher than ever, people are supporting each other as well as local business and initiatives, and many of us are even having some fun."
Caroline McGinn, Global Editor-in-Chief at Time Out
Renowned for its united community spirit under the 'worker-bee attitude' and ethic, Manchester encourages freedom and individuality within its residents whilst uniting as a city simultaneously. According to Manchester's Mayor, Andy Burnham, Manchester's community spirit helps to make it such a great city, with the residents "always coming together when times are hard".
With something to offer everyone – from a variety of worldwide cuisines to catering for various dietary restrictions – Manchester welcomes all cuisines and cultures with open arms and prides itself on famous attractions such as Europe's third-largest Chinatown, The Curry Mile, and the Corn Exchange. With such a widely diverse selection of cultural influences, it is no wonder the city attracts thousands of professionals and students every year. From international students to professionals relocating, Manchester offers its residents a more affordable lifestyle with all the luxuries, career opportunities, and culture a large city could offer.
Manchester's cultural influence is also a hugely important selling point of the city with young professionals and students. An incredibly diverse number of listed buildings contributes to the mixture of modern and Victorian architecture displayed throughout the city.
After undergoing significant infrastructural investment over the last decade, Manchester has also welcomed many big businesses to its borough. Most notably, Media City in Salford Quays, where the BBC and ITV Granada Studios made their home in 2011, with even more prominent names following suit and relocating their businesses to Manchester, such as Amazon and Deloitte. As the biggest media hub in Europe, Media City attracts thousands of students and professionals to its offices and university every year, and even more tourists to the area thanks to the Lowry – the most-visited cultural attraction within the city.
"Manchester is the easiest place to express who you are, make new friends, get to know your neighbours and meet people who are different from you… So, it's only right the city also came out as the friendliest and best for community spirit. The city's nightlife was voted top too."
Time Out Magazine
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