Manchester can trace its deep roots back to Roman times, when in the year 79 AD the construction of the town first began. The city has undergone massive change since then, of course, and is now considered to be one of England’s major cities and is prized for its rich industrial heritage. Many people are familiar with the city because of their football club, Manchester United. Each section of the city is distinct and offers a new, unique experience to guests. Most of the city can easily be explored on foot or by using public transportation.
1.Museum of Science and Industry
As is common with many museums in England, the Museum of Science and Industry offers free entry and is open nearly every day of the year to the public. This museum is located in downtown Manchester and is easily accessible by public transit, including the free Manchester City Center bus. Guests to the Museum of Science and Industry should expect rotating full exhibits with permanent smaller features, ranging from transportation focused exhibits to electricity, technological advancements, and other various human achievements. Given that content is ever changing, it is recommended that guests investigate the online calendar or contact the museum by telephone before visiting to learn what’s on exhibit.
Liverpool Rd, Manchester, M3 4FP, UK, Phone: +44-16-18-32-22-44
2.Whitworth Art Gallery
After undergoing an extensive expansion worth nearly $20 million USD in 2015, the Whitworth Art Gallery has since doubled its original size and completely transformed their gallery to be able to service a greater number of guests. The Whitworth Art Gallery contains a large collection of diverse art, ranging from historic exhibitions to modern pieces, they also host various outdoor events for the community, and guests are always welcome free of admission. There is an onsite store where guests can purchase art supplies, an onsite cafe where guests can appease their appetites, and even special exhibits designed specifically for families to enjoy.
Oxford Rd, Manchester, M15 6ER, UK, Phone: +44-16-12-75-74-50
3.Manchester Art Gallery
There are a few different ways that guests can explore the Manchester Art Gallery, all depending on what type of visit they would like to have. For families, the Manchester Art Gallery has specific exhibits that allow parents and children to directly interact with art, whether they are playing on sculptures or creating their own pieces. For students ranging from elementary to university, the gallery is happy to host specific tours catered to their age range. Adults seeking a peaceful art viewing experience will want to attend one of the adult only tours to get the most out of their visit.
Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL, UK, Phone: +44-16-12-35-88-88
4.John Rylands Library
Considered to be one of the most outstanding university based special collections libraries in the world, the John Rylands Library is a must see for architecture, knowledge, and history lovers alike. The library itself was originally designed in 1889 by Basil Champneys and was finished being built in 1900. In 1972 the library was adopted by The University of Manchester, and in modern day sees over 250,000 visitors each year. Whether guests want to participate in a program, a tour, perform research at the library, or simply explore the grounds and marvel at the architecture and collections, the John Rylands Library welcomes them with open doors seven days a week.
150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH, UK, Phone: +44-16-13-06-05-55
5.National Football Museum
© National Football Museum
Football, or soccer as Americans call it, is an integral part of Manchester’s history, so much so that they’ve dedicated an entire museum to showcase everything surrounding the game. Guests to the National Football Museum will have to pay admission, but all proceeds go to charity to help with local community groups, volunteer programs, and keeping the museum running. There are many exhibits and artifacts to explore in the museum, and every ticket includes the opportunity to take a photo with one of the famous trophies that reside there. Football fans will love this museum and can even book guided tours to have every jersey and ball explained to them and have their every question answered.
Urbis Building Cathedral Gardens, Todd St, Manchester, M4 3BG, UK, Phone: +44-16-16-05-82-00
6.Manchester Town Hall
© Madrugada Verde/stock.adobe.com
Considered by locals and tourists alike to be one of the most iconic attractions in Manchester, the Manchester Town Hall is one of the most prominent instances of Neo-Gothic architecture in the whole UK. The building was originally commissioned in the late 1800s because the existing town hall on King Street was no longer large enough to house all the necessary functions. A competition was held, the winning architect was Alfred Waterhouse, and his designs were used to construct the Manchester Town Hall between 1868 and 1877 and at the time cost approximately $1.3 million USD.
Albert Square, Manchester, M60 2LA, UK, Phone: +44-16-12-34-43-43
Being home to the world famous football team Manchester United is only one reason to visit Old Trafford Stadium, and guests can appreciate the stadium in far more detail when they aren’t attending a match. The stadium was originally built in the early 1900s and can seat 76,000 people, though one record breaking game had 76.962 attendees. Guests who visit Old Trafford can shop at the Megastore for Manchester United merchandise, take a guided museum and stadium tour to see behind the scenes and in the locker rooms, and even have the opportunity to sit in the Press Room for a photo.
Sir Matt Busby Way, Stretford, Manchester, M16 0RA, UK, Phone: +44-16-18-68-80-00
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8.People’s History Museum
© People’s History Museum
The People’s History Museum offers free admission to guests, but guests can donate upon entry if they want to contribute to the museum. There are many different learning programs available through the museum, ranging in targeted ages from young school children all the way up to university students and adults. The museum offers the perfect opportunity to learn about ideas such as equality, cooperation in society, social justice, and ways to create a fair world for everyone. The museum welcomes all guests and is open every day of the year from 10am through 5pm, except on major holidays.
New Ct St, Manchester M3 3ER, UK, Phone: +44-16-18-38-91-90
Even though HOME just opened in 2015 they have already had over 1.8 million visitors to their facility. HOME, which is located in central Manchester, was created to help international and UK artists produce the most special experiences for guests as possible, whether that is through film, drama, dance, contemporary visual art, or something else. HOME works hard to push the boundaries when it comes to connecting art and cutting edge technology, and they are a great place to experience a potentially life changing exhibit or performance. Everyone is welcome at HOME, and guests can explore the calendar online or contact HOME by telephone for more details.
2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester M15 4FN, UK, Phone: +44-16-12-00-15-00
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10.Manchester Craft and Design Centre
© Manchester Craft and Design Centre
The Manchester Craft and Design Centre was originally founded to help promote public education of contemporary visual art, crafts, and designs by increasing public access to various types of art. It is located approximately five minutes from Manchester’s primary shopping areas and offers a quiet place to retreat out of the city noise. The Manchester Craft and Design Centre has a cafe at which guests can eat all home cooked food that is made using local ingredients and purchase drinks like coffee and tea. There are rotating exhibits throughout the year, often with brand new content, so guests are encouraged to contact the Manchester Craft and Design Centre directly for up to date information.
17 Oak St, Manchester M4 5JD, UK, Phone: +44-16-18-32-42-74
Manchester’s Northern Quarter is located near to the Piccadilly Gardens, and is considered by locals and visitors alike to be one of the more hip spots in Manchester. Guests seeking a fun night out filled with drinks, dancing, and elaborate dinner options will fit right in with Northern Quarter bars and restaurants. There is also a pleasant morning and afternoon scene which features cozy cafes and breakfast restaurants, small markets, and art galleries for guests to easily explore on foot. Various murals throughout the Northern Quarter keep guests entertained while they walk around, and easy pedestrian access makes this a popular tourist destination.
Affleck’s is located in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and is a large building filled to the brim with eclectic shops, thematic and small niche restaurants, and plenty of open air stalls to keep guests browsing for hours. A trip to Affleck’s can easily fill a day and every meal since there is so much to see, and guests can find shops in Affleck’s that aren’t available anywhere else in Manchester. From custom art to small boutique shops, a Pulp Fiction themed restaurant to open air markets, and more, Affleck’s has enough variety to keep the whole family entertained for hours on end.
52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW, UK, Phone: +44-16-18-39-07-18
© Manchester Museum
The Manchester Museum is the UK’s leading university based museum and is an integral part of the University of Manchester. The museum is open seven days a week, from 10am through 5pm, and is offers free entry to the public. This museum isn’t just a valuable resource to University of Manchester students who need to research, but is a fascinating way for guests to spend their day learning something new. There are exhibits and artifacts from Charles Darwin, Alan Turing, and even mummies from Ancient Egypt. Guests can explore an elaborate collection that spans millennia, featuring over four million different objects.
University of Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PL, UK, Phone: +44-16-12-75-26-48
When Henry V signed the royal charter that allowed permission for the original collegiate church to be built in 1421, no one knew that it would become such a sought out tourist destination nearly 600 years later. Throughout its long history the Manchester Cathedral has gone through many different roles, and in 1847 it was officially declared a Cathedral after the Manchester diocese was created. The cathedral features medieval quires, extensive ancient archives, hand carved thrones and pews, and even bees on the roof. The Manchester Cathedral is open seven days a week and doesn’t charge any admission for entry.
Victoria St, Manchester M3 1SX, UK, Phone: +44-16-18-33-22-20
When the Victoria Baths originally opened in 1906, they were considered to be one of the most splendid bathing institutions in the whole country. The Victoria Baths provided a place where visitors and local Manchester citizens alike could go for a swim, a bath, and leisure activities in a building comprised of the finest stained glass, terracotta, tile, handcrafted mosaic floors, and more. Unfortunately in modern day the Victoria Baths are no longer open to the public as a bathing institution, but instead has shifted into an art gallery and event center. There is a restoration effort taking place that is fueled by the sales of art and donations, and guests to the institution can still enjoy tours of the facilities.
Hathersage Rd, Manchester M13 0FE, UK, Phone: +44-16-12-24-20-20
© Altrincham Market
Altrincham Market originally opened in 1879 as a place for the community to gather, find locally sourced foods, and purchase locally made goods and locally offered services. In the many years since its opening, Altrincham Market has kept its core principles the same while at the same time updating the restaurants, building, and goods offered. There are six different kitchens that offer a variety of foods, a coffee shop, a wine shop, a chocolatier, plenty of British craft beer to drink, and more awaiting guests in this local staple. Aside from food, the covered market area features more than 60 different vendor stalls offering a diverse collection of goods and services.
26 Market St, Altrincham WA14 1PF, UK
Claiming the title of the oldest public library in the English speaking world is no small feat, and Chetham’s Library, which was founded in 1653, definitely lives up to the prestige. The library has been in continuous public use for over 350 years and is considered a community staple of knowledge and architecture. The building itself, which is crafted out of sandstone, dates back to 1421 and was originally used as priest housing for staff members of Manchester’s Collegiate Church. Chetham’s Library offers a fine collection of printed books, manuscript diaries, letters, paintings, deeds, and even glass lantern slides for guests to explore.
Long Millgate, Manchester M3 1SB, UK, Phone: +44-16-18-34-79-61
Paramount Books was originally established in 1965 as a family business, and has remained a family business throughout the years. This book store is well known for its wide variety of second hand books available to customers. Aside from carrying books, Paramount Books also features an extensive comic book collection. This book store is located in Manchester city center, making it easy for tourists to access by public transit or on foot, and holds varying hours depending on the day of the week and the season of the year. If guests seek a specific book they can check Paramount Books’ online catalogue online or contact them by telephone.
25-27 Shudehill, Manchester M4 2AF, UK, Phone: +44-16-18-34-95-09
© Sam Foster/stock.adobe.com
Some of the best—and highest—views in the city can be seen through the sweeping windows at Cloud 23, a bar and cafe that is located on the 23rd floor of the Beetham Tower. The floor to ceiling windows offer unparalleled views of Manchester, and Cloud 23’s outstanding service is certain to keep even the pickiest of guest satisfied. Featuring creative drinks, afternoon tea options, and even full food menus, Cloud 23 asks that their guests dress smart and stylishly when visiting this classy bar. Children under the age of 18 are only allowed between 11am and 5pm, so guests seeking a child free visit are advised to visit in the evening.
Beetham Tower, 303 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LQ, UK, Phone: +44-16-18-70-16-70
© Junkyard Golf
Some of Manchester’s most exciting and wild miniature golf can be found at Junkyard Golf, home of the craziest and most junk filled miniature golf courses. Guests can expect black lights, loud music, and courses that are as difficult as they are aesthetically pleasing during their visit. There is a full service bar available where guests can order beer, cider, and mixed drinks to fuel their golf game, and a cafe where guests can get foods to sate their appetite while they play. Junkyard golf has three distinct courses to choose from, each with its own eclectic style and features.
2 First St, Manchester M15 4RP, UK
21.Chocolate Themed Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana
© Chocolate Themed Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana
Visitors taking public transit will love that Cocoa Cabana is under a minute away from the Burton Road Tram Station by foot, making it an easy afternoon destination for a chocolate themed tea session. Cocoa Caban is located in West Didsbury and is run by an award-winning, fully trained chocolatier who takes their job, and love of chocolate, very seriously. The afternoon tea service is served on vibrant, florally decorated china while guests sit in a cafe and tea room filled with charm. The tea is served alongside traditional and experimental flavored chocolates, biscuits, and freshly baked cakes.
168 Burton Rd, Manchester M20 1LH, UK, Phone: +44-16-12-82-57-00
22.Cocktails in the Refuge’s Winter Garden
© Cocktails in the Refuge’s Winter Garden
Refuge is a unique space in that it features a collection of different eateries all located under the same roof. There is the Dining Room, which focuses on providing spaces for larger groups in communal seating and sharing small plate dishes. The Public Bar, which is open all day and operates as a cafe in addition to offering an extensive wine list. The Den, which specializes in large group gatherings of 60-80 people with vaulted ceilings, entertainment, and cocktail style food. There is also a private dining option, but the Winter Garden is by far the best place to drink hand crafted cocktails in a beautiful garden courtyard that is open to the air.
Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA, UK, Phone: +44-16-12-33-51-51
23.The Spice Club Cookery Class
© The Spice Club Cookery Class
The Spice Club is a dining experience unlike anything else in Manchester, as they don’t offer typical service but instead occasionally host special dinners, run pop up restaurants, and cater events. For those guests who can’t get enough of the food made by The Spice Club, there are optional cookery classes available to help guests learn how to make their favorite dishes at home. Specializing in Indian food, The Spice Club Cookery Class is an intimate experience where guests learn the guarded secrets behind all of the favorite dishes. The classes are designed to accommodate everyone from beginner to expert, they simply ask that guests arrive eager to taste and learn.
© Cat Café
The Cat Café was created on a simple principle, the idea of a space where humans and cats could unwind alongside one another in peace. The cafe costs £12 per hour, and included in this price is unlimited hot and cold drinks and the ability to interact with all of the cats who roam the cafe. Guests can book in advance if they want to, but at any given time during the day the cafe keeps 50% of total capacity open for walk in guests on a first come, first served basis. There are no children under the age of 10 allowed in the cafe, primarily for the safety of the cats, but guests can book a special Kids and Cats session for children under 10.
103 High St, Manchester M4 1HQ, UK, Phone: +44-16-12-22-49-60
25.Mainair Microlight Centre
© Mainair Microlight Centre
Mainair Microlight Centre is the premier microlight school and sales facility in the Northwest of England. The staff at Mainair have a combined many thousands of hours of experience in not only flying the microlight aircrafts, but also in teaching and training people to fly the microlight aircrafts themselves. All of the instructors at Mainair Microlight Centre are certified by the Civil Aviation Authority and love sharing their passion for flying with students. Mainair offers everything from a 30 minute air experience, for guests who have never flown before, to a one hour lesson that leads to potentially acquiring a National Private Pilots License and more.
Barton Aerodrome, Liverpool Rd, Eccles, Manchester M30 7SA, UK, Phone: +44-16-17-87-90-33
25 Best Things to Do in Manchester, UK
- Museum of Science and Industry, Photo: coward_lion/stock.adobe.com
- Whitworth Art Gallery, Photo: SakhanPhotography/stock.adobe.com
- Manchester Art Gallery, Photo: chris/stock.adobe.com
- John Rylands Library, Photo: coward_lion/stock.adobe.com
- National Football Museum, Photo: National Football Museum
- Manchester Town Hall, Photo: Madrugada Verde/stock.adobe.com
- Old Trafford, Photo: Arisa/stock.adobe.com
- People’s History Museum, Photo: People’s History Museum
- HOME, Photo: Stephan/stock.adobe.com
- Manchester Craft and Design Centre, Photo: Manchester Craft and Design Centre
- Northern Quarter, Photo: tony386/stock.adobe.com
- Affleck’s, Photo: Affleck’s
- Manchester Museum, Photo: Manchester Museum
- Manchester Cathedral, Photo: Debu55y/stock.adobe.com
- Victoria Baths, Photo: SakhanPhotography/stock.adobe.com
- Altrincham Market, Photo: Altrincham Market
- Chetham’s Library, Photo: Arndale/stock.adobe.com
- Paramount Books, Photo: likoper/stock.adobe.com
- Cloud 23, Photo: Sam Foster/stock.adobe.com
- Junkyard Golf, Photo: Junkyard Golf
- Chocolate Themed Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana, Photo: Chocolate Themed Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana
- Cocktails in the Refuge’s Winter Garden, Photo: Cocktails in the Refuge’s Winter Garden
- The Spice Club Cookery Class, Photo: The Spice Club Cookery Class
- Cat Cafe, Photo: Cat Café
- Mainair Microlight Centre, Photo: Mainair Microlight Centre
- Cover Photo: Iordanis Pallikaras/stock.adobe.com