1. Because its diversity breeds deliciousness
A third of Leicester's population is Asian and there are over a hundred languages spoken throughout the city. In the coming years it's pipped to become Europe's first "plural city", where no one group is a majority. This has led to a slew of superb Indian restaurants around the Belgrave Road, which attract visitors from miles around to sample spicy delights.
Try Chaat House – something of a local institution, they serve up satisfying mounds of vegetarian food and the masala dosas are delectable.
2. There's great shopping to be done
Just off Silver Street is The Lanes, where a medley of small, independent shops gives this part of the centre real character and provides some excellent shopping opportunities.
Leicester’s open-air market (Mon–Sat), one of the best of its type in the country, is where the young Gary Lineker, now the UK’s best-known football pundit, worked on the family stall. The market sells everything from fresh produce to haberdashery. The Belgrave Road also has the largest concentration of Indian jewellery shops outside of India.
3. Because the city knows how to party
Leicester's Belgrave Road is the hub for two major Hindu festivals every year: Diwali, the Festival of Light, held in October or November, when six thousand lamps are strung out along the street, and Navratri, a nine-day celebration in October held in honour of the goddess Durga.
Image by Emilie Barbier on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)
4. Because there's over 2000 years of history
The Romans, the Danes and a few esteemed earls of Leicester made the city their home during over 2000 years of history. The most recent historical discovery, though, led to the creation of the King Richard III Visitor Centre, which provides a fascinating insight into the the controversial monarch's life and reign.
5. There's an interactive space centre
The National Space Centre, just off the A6 two miles north of the city centre, is devoted to space, science and astronomy, with a string of themed galleries exploring everything from the planets to orbiting earth. The emphasis is on the interactive, which makes the place very popular with kids.
Image by lizsmith on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
6. There's something for all culture vultures
For a bit of culture, head to New Walk – a long and pleasant pedestrianized promenade that’s home to the city’s best museum, the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery. The museum covers a lot of ground, from the natural world to geology and beyond, but one highlight is its extensive collection of Ancient Egyptian artefacts, featuring mummies and hieroglyphic tablets brought back to Leicester in the 1880s.
The museum also holds an enjoyable collection of paintings and, although these are rotated regularly, you’re likely to see a good range of works by British artists as well as an outstanding collection of German Expressionist works, mostly sketches, woodcuts and lithographs by artists such as Otto Dix and George Grosz.
As for the performing arts, the leading venue is Curve Theatre, whose startling glass facade is at the heart of the Cultural Quarter.
Explore more of Leicester with the Rough Guide to England. Compare flights, find tours, book hostels and hotels for your trip, and don’t forget to buy travel insurance before you go. Featured image adapted from Untitled, by Vadim Timoshkin on Flickr (CC BY 2.0).