Population (and density): 2,732,854 (2,105 people per sq/km)
5 biggest places: Manchester, Wigan, Bolton, Stockport and Salford
Major attractions: John Rylands Library, Etihad Stadium, Manchester Central Library, National Football Museum, Heaton Park, Arndale Centre, Old Trafford, Bury Market, Robinsons Brewery
What the expert says: "There's a feel-good factor about the city at the moment, with a lot of investment coming into it. Areas like Spinningfields are phenomenally successful, largely off the back of Living Ventures taking a number of sites on there.
"The demand for freeholds within Manchester city centre is always exceptionally high because they rarely come to the market. We have just sold John Dalton Bar on John Dalton Street and that was empty and closed, but we still got £1m for that.
"Manchester City and Manchester United are exceptionally good brands for the city; we even had a Swedish operator, who enquired about buying a bar when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was signed by United.
"There's also a big draw for the affluent south Manchester suburbs of Chorlton, Didsbury and Heaton Mersey. Rents historically have not been as high for leasehold properties there, so successful city centre operators are branching out to those locations."
- Keith Stringer, associate director for Christie & Co in Manchester
- Have a property to sell or want to buy? Check out our property site.