Manchester is a metropolis positioned within the north-west of England. It’s well-known immediately for its soccer groups, music, and meals. It’s additionally a metropolis with a wealthy previous, having been on the centre of the Industrial Revolution.
Laurence labored and lived in Manchester for a time, and it’s a metropolis we each take pleasure in visiting the place we at all times discover a lot to see and do.
On this information, we’re going to share with you a few of our favorite issues to do in Manchester. These cowl a various vary of sights and actions, from cultural highlights by means of to meals and procuring experiences.
We’ll additionally share some suggestions in your go to, together with the way to get across the metropolis and the place to remain in Manchester.
So, whether or not you’re visiting Manchester for the weekend, catching a match, or in Manchester with youngsters and on the lookout for leisure, we predict this information will assist you determine the way to fill your time.
15+ Issues to do in Manchester
This information options a few of our favorite issues to do in Manchester. After all, as a serious metropolis there are tons greater than 15 issues to do in Manchester!
If you’re in Manchester for an prolonged time period, then you’ll little doubt uncover many extra issues to do within the metropolis.
However we predict this information covers the primary highlights of town and will provide you with some concepts in your go to.
Go to a Soccer Membership
It’s exhausting to say Manchester with out immediately eager about soccer (soccer). There are two fundamental soccer golf equipment in Manchester, that are Manchester United (sometimes called “Man U”) and Manchester Metropolis (typically simply known as “Metropolis).
Each are widespread and well-respected Premier League soccer golf equipment. They’re additionally longtime rivals and each golf equipment date again to the nineteenth century.
Manchester United particularly is likely one of the world’s most well-known soccer golf equipment, with supporters all all over the world. Each time we journey abroad, we practically at all times discover ourselves chatting with a Man U supporter or two!
You may also go to each groups’ stadiums do you have to want. For those who occur to be on the town on a match day then it’s also typically doable to get tickets to observe the gamers in motion.
Alternatively, you possibly can take a guided tour of their respective stadiums. Excursions of Outdated Trafford, the Manchester United Soccer Stadium might be booked online in advance here. Excursions of the Etihad Stadium, the Manchester Metropolis Soccer Stadium, might be booked here.
We not too long ago visited the Manchester United stadium, Outdated Trafford. The tour included entry to the superb museum in addition to a full tour of the stadium itself. We’re not precisely big soccer consultants, however the tour was plenty of enjoyable and properly price it. Positively beneficial, even should you aren’t an enormous soccer fan.
Advance reserving is certainly beneficial as these are among the extra widespread actions in Manchester. Additionally notice that each stadiums are a bit outdoors town heart. From central Manchester, you will get to both of the stadiums utilizing town tram or public buses in underneath half-hour.
Take a Sightseeing Bus, Cruise, or Strolling Tour
Taking a sightseeing bus trip, a ship cruise, or a strolling tour is one in all our favorite methods to get an concept of the historical past, structure, and tradition of a brand new metropolis.
So if you’re new to Manchester, taking one in all these excursions can shortly orient you and provide you with some native data. Listed here are some choices to contemplate.
A great way to get round all the key sights within the metropolis is with a hop-on hop-off bus. This covers the primary highlights of town and in addition supplies commentary so you possibly can study what you’re seeing.
You may book a hop on hop off bus tour here. Because the title suggests, you will get on and off as typically as you want at some stage in your ticket, so that is additionally a great way to go to a lot of sights and save strolling.
A river or canal cruise is likely one of the hottest actions in Manchester. The town is criss-crossed with canals, and it’s additionally the place the Manchester Ship Canal begins.
Opened in 1894, this 36-mile-long canal was a critical engineering feat of its time, linking Manchester to the Irish Sea and permitting for the passage of products and freight from town.
It was the most important river canal on this planet when it opened, and enabled Manchester to turn into one of many UK’s largest ports. This regardless of Manchester being over 30 miles inland.
You may study all concerning the canals of Manchester by taking a river and canal cruise like this.
We at all times take pleasure in taking strolling excursions once we go to a brand new metropolis. They’re an effective way to study loads in a short while. We additionally typically choose up suggestions and recommendation on what else there may be to see and the place to eat from an area.
There are a variety of strolling excursions you may think about taking in Manchester, listed below are some advised choices.
- This group walking tour focuses on the highlights and historical past of town. The same non-public tour can be out there here.
- This group walking tour focuses on the musical and soccer heritage of town
- Meals lovers will wish to take a look at this guided Manchester food tour which is able to let you know the historical past of Manchester by means of its meals
- Manchester’s Salford Quays space is legendary for the Manchester Ship Canal, in addition to being the house of media giants just like the BBC. This tour will introduce you to this fascinating space.
- Like many cities all over the world, Manchester has some world-class avenue artwork, particularly within the Northern Quarter. This Manchester street art tour will take you to among the greatest avenue artwork places, in addition to a lot of widespread filming places within the space.
A few of these are particular curiosity excursions. So for instance, should you’re within the Salford Quays space you may wish to take this one, if you’re involved in combining meals and historical past you may wish to take this one, and if you’re involved in avenue artwork you may take this one.
Lastly, we simply needed to say this tour of the Coronation Street set. This is likely one of the most well-known and longest operating UK TV exhibits, and the set is present in Manchester.
The tour is totally guided, and is a should for followers of the present, in addition to those that simply like to see behind the scenes of how a TV present works.
Science and Trade Museum
Manchester has been on the epicenter of some seismic technological developments, from the rise of industrialization and steam-powered mills by means of to the creation of the world’s first pc with reminiscence.
For those who’d wish to study a few of this unimaginable historical past, you then’ll wish to go to Manchester’s Science and Trade Museum.
The museum buildings themselves sit on the positioning of Liverpool Street Station, the Manchester terminus of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway and the world’s first purpose-built passenger railway.
This free museum covers an enormous quantity, from the Industrial Revolution that modified how folks lived and labored, by means of to fashionable developments in computing. There’s additionally an entire flooring of interactive experiments which is enjoyable for each adults and children alike.
Notice that some sections of the museum are at present closed for a serious renovation mission that began in 2019 and can be ongoing till 2030, so test the web site earlier than visiting to see what sections are at present open.
The Science and Trade Museum everlasting reveals are free to go to, though donations are clearly welcome and inspired. There are additionally typically paid momentary reveals and experiences. You could find out extra and plan your go to on the official web site here.
Attempt the Native Meals
Manchester is a unbelievable place for eating out, with every thing on supply from avenue meals to afternoon tea to impartial espresso outlets and even Michelin star eating places. After all, there are additionally all of the frequent chain eating places and bars as properly.
So you’ll undoubtedly wish to schedule a while throughout your Manchester go to to dine out.
There are after all many choices. For avenue meals for instance, you may think about the Mackie Mayor meals corridor which showcases among the area’s greatest food and drinks. One other central choice is the Picadilly Gardens Street Food Market which has a variety of consuming choices.
We at all times like to take pleasure in a day tea once we journey, and Manchester additionally has some good choices. We had a stunning afternoon tea on the historic Midland Resort (the place Rolls and Royce met to debate their automotive enterprise!), however there are many nice choices for these of you who love afternoon tea.
For those who take pleasure in Indian meals then we are able to undoubtedly suggest Dishoom, they’re one in all our favourites and so they have a restaurant in central Manchester. Reservations beneficial.
For prime-end Michelin starred eating, we are able to extremely suggest Mana Restaurant. This can be a Michelin-starred restaurant providing fantastically inventive British eating.
We beloved that you might watch the entire kitchen at work and the service and a spotlight to element was spectacular. Positively well worth the value, and one you will have to order for prematurely.
After all, there are numerous extra choices, and there’s a superb record of eating choices on the Go to Manchester website here.
For those who’re eager to attempt some native meals specialties whereas in Manchester, then we suggest dishes like Lancashire hotpot, Eccles cake, Morecambe Bay potted shrimp, native black pudding, and chorley cake.
Folks’s Story Museum
Manchester was the world’s first industrial metropolis. The huge rise in industrialization led to the creation of all types of recent jobs, and folks flocked from the countryside to town for work.
Sadly, lots of the jobs had been extremely harmful, with income typically put above staff’ well being and security. This lack of concentrate on the rights of staff led to the recognition of commerce unions within the UK, and a normal motion in direction of human rights usually, together with the correct to vote.
The story of individuals difficult the established order and bettering their rights is advised in Manchester’s glorious, and free, Folks’s Historical past Museum.
If you’re involved in studying concerning the previous, current and way forward for points like the correct to vote, honest pay, social justice and day without work, then that is undoubtedly the museum for you. You could find out extra and test opening occasions on the museum’s official website here.
We discovered loads once we visited, and might extremely suggest it.
For those who love procuring, you’ll discover loads of choices to maintain you busy in Manchester. There are a variety of places to select from, relying on what you have an interest in. Listed here are among the fundamental procuring choices and areas to contemplate:
- The huge Arndale Centre in the midst of Manchester has all the key excessive avenue manufacturers in addition to eating choices
- The Northern Quarter is the place you’ll wish to head for impartial retailers, the place you’ll discover classic clothes shops and handmade gadgets
- For jewelry, you’re going to wish to go to the aptly named Jewelry Quarter, the place you’re going to search out an enormous vary of watches and jewelry to go well with any style
- For prime-end designer procuring, plan to go to The Avenue in Spinningfields, which has a variety of designer shops
After all, there are a lot extra locations to buy throughout Manchester, together with the Trafford Centre which is somewhat out of the city centre. However we’re certain should you’re into procuring you received’t run out of choices in Manchester!
In case your concept of a museum consists of dinosaurs, fossils, and different correctly previous stuff housed in a good looking Gothic constructing, you then’ll undoubtedly wish to head to the Manchester Museum.
This free museum focuses on pure historical past, archaeology and anthropology. It has round 4.5 million gadgets in its assortment, which suggests you’re prone to discover one thing that pursuits you.
So whether or not you’re into the historical past of how the world got here to be as it’s immediately, understanding the Egyptians, or gazing frogs, we predict you’ll discover one thing to take pleasure in.
The Manchester Museum is free to go to, though donations are vastly appreciated. You may see extra about opening hours and different info in your go to on the official website here.
Manchester Artwork Gallery
For those who love artwork, then a go to to the superb and free Manchester Artwork Gallery ought to undoubtedly be in your record of issues to do in Manchester.
With a group of over 25,000 objects which incorporates every thing from oil work to sculpture to ceramics. It additionally covers artwork from all over the world and throughout the years, with gadgets together with a 3,000 yr previous Egyptian jar in addition to a robust assortment of Victorian-era artworks.
Suffice it to say, we predict that no matter artwork you’re into, this museum ought to cowl it. Don’t overlook to admire the buildings once you go to as properly. The museum is unfold throughout three buildings, two of that are listed.
Manchester Artwork Gallery is free to go to though donations are very a lot appreciated, and you may see opening occasions and what’s on on the official website here.
Nationwide Museum of Soccer
Followers of soccer will certainly wish to go to the Nationwide Museum of Soccer which is present in central Manchester simply by Manchester Cathedral (additionally price popping into).
This museum tells the story of the game of soccer from its beginnings proper as much as the current day. Being a nationwide museum, it isn’t centered on a selected membership, that means it’s an amazing location to go to no matter which staff you help.
Inside you’ll discover all types of issues, from soccer memorabilia to interactive screens detailing the historical past of each membership within the nation. There are additionally a lot of interactive soccer video games the place you possibly can check your talent.
That is undoubtedly a worthwhile go to for anybody with even a passing curiosity in soccer. You may ebook tickets online in advance here.
Admire the previous Structure & Historic Buildings
With the rise in industrialization in Manchester got here an increase in wealth, and this led to the creation of some somewhat spectacular buildings. Most notably, lots of the 18th and nineteenth century mills, warehouses, canals, and different constructions nonetheless exist doing in “warehouse metropolis” which is a sq. mile of primarily Victorian commerial buildings courting again to when Manchester was referred to as Cottonpolis. There have additionally been some newer fascinating additions to town because it has continued to develop.
General, Manchester has fairly just a few actually beautiful buildings which are properly price taking a look at. Some we suggest testing embody:
- John Ryland’s Library. This was constructed as a library in 1888 and is a very unimaginable little bit of Gothic structure. It appears to be like way more like a Cathedral than a library, and the primary studying room actually is a sight to behold. It’s free to go to.
- Kimpton Clocktower Hotel. This was constructed within the Eighteen Nineties because the headquarters of The Refuge Assurance Firm, and had area for round 2,000 workers! At this time it’s a luxurious lodge, however lots of the authentic options stay, as does the beautiful exterior.
- Royal Exchange Theatre. Initially constructed as an trade for cotton merchants within the 1860s, this constructing was residence to the most important buying and selling corridor in England. At this time the corridor is residence to a theatre which takes the from of a large pod sitting in the midst of the corridor. It’s a really cool design and price popping in to see.
- Co-operative Group Building. For those who favor your buildings of the extra fashionable kind, then it’s best to schedule a go to to One Angel Sq., head workplace of the Co-operative group and accomplished in 2013. It’s one of the vital sustainable buildings in Europe and appears fairly spectacular.
- Manchester Cathedral. Courting from 1421 this lovely cathedral is constructed from three sorts of stone and is properly price popping into because it’s lovely inside
- Chetham’s Library. Opened in 1653 and in steady use since then, that is the oldest free public library within the English-speaking world. It’s additionally remarkably fairly inside, and excursions can be found.
- Free Commerce Corridor. This Italian Palazzo model corridor was constructed on Peter Road within the 1850s on what was then St. Peter’s Fields, the place the Peterloo Massacre occurred. Orators from Churchill to Disraeli to Dickens have spoken right here.
After all, there are numerous extra spectacular buildings in Manchester which you will notice as you stroll round, however we predict the above ought to undoubtedly be included in your record of sights to see once you go to town.
One in every of my private favorite musuems in Manchester is the Police Museum, which is sadly solely open for someday per week.
Nevertheless, in case your go to to Manchester does occur to fall on a day when it’s open, I extremely suggest visiting. The museum, which is present in a former police museum, tells the story of the Manchester Police pressure from its beginnings.
In addition to plenty of informative panels and memorabilia, there are some actually knowledable volunteers readily available, lots of whom are former law enforcement officials, who’re properly price chatting to as they’ve plenty of tales to share.
The opposite spotlight is the set of Victorian jail cells and cost workplace. Right here you possibly can see how inmates had been stored, and the form of crimes they had been arrested for. It’s an interesting perception into policing over time. It’s additionally free.
Manchester is a unbelievable place for an evening out. From theatre performances to reside music to bars catering to all tastes and nightclubs, there actually is one thing for everybody.
All you need to do is resolve what sort of night time out you need. The Homosexual Village is a well-liked space of Manchester for an evening out for instance, discovered round Canal Road, and has a variety of cafes, bars and eating choices.
For reside music, there’s an enormous vary, from the Bridgewater Hall to indie venues like The Castle Hotel. Manchester is the house of bands from Oasis to Take That and Pleasure Division, and we’re certain you’ll discover a venue that performs music to your style.
Imperial Struggle Museum North
Discovered to the south of town centre in Salford Quays, the Imperial Struggle Museum North is a wonderful free museum which covers the historical past of battle from the First World Struggle to the current day.
The museum is present in a shocking constructing which is definitely designed to disorient the customer, in the same option to how battle might be very disorienting.
The reveals embody a variety of everlasting shows, with objects, movies and sound relaying the assorted conflicts that Britain and the commonwealth have been concerned in over the past century or so. We discovered it to be a really immersive and, sure, fairly a disorienting expertise. Positively beneficial for these with an curiosity in army historical past and conflicts.
For those who go to Manchester United’s Outdated Trafford stadium, then it’s just some minutes’ stroll to the Imperial Struggle Museum. In any other case, you possibly can simply get to this space by tram.
You could find out extra concerning the museum and test its opening hours and dates on the museum website here. Entry is free.
Go to a Backyard or Park
For those who’re on the lookout for some inexperienced area to calm down and escape the hustle and bustle of town for a bit (maybe with a picnic), then there are just a few choices within the metropolis centre.
Some central choices to contemplate embody Saint John’s Gardens, Hulme Park, Parsonage Gardens and Cotton Area Park.
We are able to additionally suggest Sackville Backyard, close to Canal Road. That is residence to a statue of Alan Turing, the British mathematician who helped advance pc science a lot.
For those who’d favor a extra formal backyard expertise, then the attractive Royal Horticultural Society Backyard in Bridgewater is price testing. It’s somewhat outdoors town centre, however the entry ticket consists of free return shuttle switch.
Spot the Bees
As you stroll round Manchester, you’ll shortly discover that town seems to be obsessive about bees. You’ll discover representations of bees everywhere in the metropolis.
The employee bee has been an emblem of town since 1842, when town adopted it to indicate to the world how industrious Manchester is. Since then the bee brand has flourished, and also you’ll discover it in every single place from the aspect of buses to town coats of arms to statues in public areas.
As you stroll across the metropolis, it may be enjoyable for you (and your loved ones!) to see what number of locations you possibly can spot a Manchester bee.
Different Points of interest & Museums in Manchester
We’ve got lined a lot of Manchester’s museums, nonetheless there are extra to select from relying in your pursuits. There are additionally a number of household pleasant attraction choices that we haven’t talked about. Listed here are just a few extra to contemplate.
- Jewish Museum. Present in a former synagogue, this museum covers the historical past of Jewish migration and settlement in Manchester
- Museum of Transport. This focuses on the historical past of Manchester’s public transport system from horse-drawn buses to the present-day tram system.
- The Whitworth. Artwork gallery which focuses on extra fashionable artwork items, with artists together with Van Gogh, Picasso and Hockney.
- Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. This Victorian period home museum which tells the story of the author Elizabeth Gaskell, who lived right here for over thirty years. She is greatest identified for her books Cranford, North and South, and Wives and Daughters.
- SEA LIFE. With over 2,000 creatures to fulfill, Manchester’s SEA LIFE is the right household attraction for everybody with an curiosity within the sea
- LegoLand Discover Centre. A well-liked choice for households, the LegoLand Uncover Centre is mainly an enormous Lego playground. Excellent for a wet day or for burning off some youthful vitality
- Coronation Street tour. Followers of Coronation Road received’t wish to miss this behind-the-scenes tour of the present!
As you possibly can see, there’s no scarcity of fantastic museums and points of interest in Manchester, masking all types of subjects and pursuits!
Take a Day Journey out of Manchester
While there’s a lot to do in Manchester itself, town additionally makes for an amazing base for exploring. These embody every thing from nationwide parks to seaside resorts to England’s largest theme park. Listed here are some recommendations for some nice day journeys from Manchester.
- Chester. This lovely previous metropolis was based by the Romans within the 1st century, and is barely an hour from Manchester by automotive or public transport. Heaps to see and do right here, you possibly can both go to your self or as a part of a day tour like this.
- North Wales. The northern shoreline of Wales is residence to spectacular hillwalking in addition to an amazing many lovely castles. The simplest option to go to can be with your personal automotive or on a day trip like this, though it’s doable by public transport.
- The Lake District. England’s largest Nationwide Park, the Lake District is a stunning place for strolling and simply getting out into nature. It’s simply over an hours drive from Manchester and is greatest visited with your personal transport or on a day tour like this
- The Peak District. One other lovely nationwide park, the Peak District has cute villages and plentiful strolling alternatives. It’s round an hours drive from Manchester and there are additionally some public transport choices. An alternative choice could be to take a day trip like this
- Blackpool. One of many UK’s most well-known Victorian-era seaside resorts, Blackpool is the place to return for walks on the promenade, sea-side amusements, and enjoyable exhibits. Don’t overlook to head up the Tower! It’s a household pleasant spot, and might be simply reached by practice or automotive from Manchester in underneath 90 minutes.
- Liverpool. This well-known port metropolis is well-known for being the house of the Beatles. It additionally has a wealthy maritime historical past. There’s tons to see and do right here, and you might simply fill a day visiting. It’s straightforward to go to by public transport, with direct practice connections taking lower than an hour.
- Alton Towers. In case your concept of a enjoyable day trip is rollercoasters and thrills, you then’ll wish to head to Alton Towers. It’s a couple of ninety-minute drive from Manchester, and you may book your tickets online here.
As you possibly can see, there are many choices for day journeys from Manchester!
The place to Keep in Manchester
Manchester has a variety of lodging choices to go well with each price range and style, from hostels and guesthouses to high-end inns and residences. Under are a few of our recommendations for the place to remain in Manchster, that are roughly ordered by value from low to excessive.
Pricing does range after all, so that you’ll have to click on by means of and examine costs for once you plan to go to.
- ibis Manchester Centre – this price range choice within the centre of Manchester gives comfy en-suite rooms. Breakfast is obtainable, and there’s an on-site restaurant.
- Motel One Manchester Royal Exchange – this can be a good worth and properly reviewed 3* lodge in a superb central location. Rooms are en-suite and air-conditioned. Breakfast is obtainable.
- Moxy Manchester City – a properly rated centrally positioned 4* lodge. Presents air-conditioned rooms with tea/espresso amenities and and an on-site nightclub. Breakfast additionally out there.
- StayCity Aparthotels Manchester Piccadilly. Simply moments’ stroll from Manchester Piccadilly practice station, this aparthotel gives comfy residences with kitchens and washing machines. We stayed right here on a current longer journey to Manchester and it made for an amazing base to discover.
- Leven Manchester – a well-reviewed boutique lodge present in a former cotton warehouse on Canal Road which has each rooms and residences.
- Stock Exchange Hotel – centrally positioned very properly reviewed 5* lodge providing air-conditioned rooms, some with balconies. There’s a lodge bar and breakfast is obtainable.
- Dakota Manchester – a really properly reviewed 4* lodge in central Manchester, simply 3 minutes stroll from Manchester Picadilly. Presents air-conditioned en-suite rooms in addition to an on-site restaurant, with breakfast out there.
- Kimpton Clocktower Hotel – present in a stunning previous constructing, this centrally positioned 4* lodge gives elegant air-conditioned rooms. There’s a restaurant and health heart on-site.
- The Midland – a good looking historic 4* lodge within the coronary heart of Manchester with air-conditioned rooms and on-site eating places. We had a stunning afternoon tea right here.
After all, there are numerous extra choices throughout Manchester. After we journey we practically at all times use reserving.com to ebook lodging, they’ve every thing from hostels to residences to inns, and we love how straightforward it’s to filter by the facilities we want, whether or not that’s free parking or included breakfast.
You may see their listings for Manchester here.
The way to Get Round Manchester
Manchester may be very straightforward to get round. First, nearly all of the sights are within the metropolis centre, which may be very walkable. For those who wish to stroll, you then’ll be capable of attain many of the points of interest in our information inside a couple of 20-minute stroll of any metropolis centre lodging.
Manchester additionally has a superb public transport system, which is useful for reaching the extra distant points of interest, just like the soccer stadiums or Imperial Struggle Museum. There’s a superb tram system, in addition to a complete bus community. You could find out extra concerning the public transport community in Manchester here.
Talking of the bus, Manchester additionally has a lot of solely free bus routes that can shuttle you round a lot of town heart. There are stops across the metropolis centre, together with at Manchester Picadilly practice station, and the free buses are clearly marked. You may see the routes and stops here.
For those who’d favor a hop on hop off bus with commentary, then Manchester has a sightseeing bus you may think about. This covers lots of the main highlights and the commentary will present background and knowledge on the historical past of town. You may ebook tickets for this online here.
Additional Studying and Assets
That’s it for our information to our favorite issues to do in Manchester. We hope you discovered it helpful.
Earlier than you go, we needed to share just a few of our different guides that will help you plan your journey to Manchester in addition to the remainder of the UK, in addition to some third-party assets we predict you’ll discover helpful.
- For wider UK journey planning, now we have advised one week and two week UK itineraries
- For those who’re driving within the UK for the primary time, take a look at my tips for driving in the UK for some recommendation. We even have a guide to how much it costs to travel in the UK.
- We’ve got guides to many different cities in England. See our information to things to do in Stratford upon Avon, things to do in Bristol, things to do in Portsmouth, ttips on a weekend in York, recommendations on Visiting Oxford on a Day Trip, and things to do in Cambridge
- For those who’re heading to Scotland, take a look at our 2 day Edinburgh itinerary, our Glasgow and Loch Lomond itinerary, our information to the best day trips from Glasgow, our information to things to do in Edinburgh, our itinerary for Skye and the Highlands, our information to the best day trips from Aberdeen, and our information to the very best day trips from Edinburgh to get you began. We even have a information to getting from London to Edinburgh.
- We’ve got a information to 10 of the best Stately Homes in England
And that’s it! Have you ever ever visited Manchester? Do you may have something you’d add to the above? Simply tell us within the feedback beneath!