Once an industrial powerhouse, Leeds has reinvented itself as a vibrant dining, drinking, and shopping destination with numerous trendy restaurants, sleek bars, and cafés, whose outdoor tables defy the northern weather. A large student population, supporting the city's good music shops and funky boutiques, keeps the town young and hip.

The 20th century was not kind to Leeds: World War II air raids destroyed the city's most distinguished landmarks, and in the 1960s urban planners replaced much of what was left with undistinguished modern buildings and inner-city highways. The city is currently restoring its surviving Victorian buildings and converting riverfront factories and warehouses into pricey loft apartments and office buildings.

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