Manchester is one of the major cities in the UK. It is the main city in the North West of England. For most of the last two hundred years it was the largest city in Lancashire, but is now the centre of its own metropolitan county of Greater Manchester, which has a population of over 2.5 million. Manchester is world-renowned for its influence on the histories of industry and music, and for its sporting connections. It is one of the most gay-friendly and multicultural cities in Europe, and boasts the largest university in Britain. Manchester used to have a reputation for being a dirty and boring city, but things have dramatically changed in the last decade and it is now a more pleasant, open, clean and exciting place, and well worth a visit, even if just for a day.