Manchester is a fun and engaging city where the warmth of the welcome is apparent throughout the hotels, restaurants, shops and many attractions. As it is a compact city, it is simple to navigate and there is a first rate transport system with trams and buses making all areas easily accessible. The city has always been enterprising, at the centre of industrial heritage, the splitting of the atom and the modern computer, and it continuing to lead in scientific innovation, culture and creativity.
The cultural base is very strong, with a range of events and festivals including the biennial Manchester International Festival which features a variety of arts events, the Manchester Literature Festival, Manchester Pride and the Manchester Science Festival. HOME is a new centre for contemporary art, theatre, literature and cinema, while several theatres often showcase performances before they go to the London West End. Classical music, rock and pop are heard in several music venues including the renowned Bridgewater Hall, Manchester Arena, the Manchester Academy, O2 Apollo and many other intimate venues situated in the thriving university area.
Visit The Quays waterfront and enjoy a cruise round the canals before visiting the thought-provoking Imperial War Museum, The Lowry art gallery and theatre and Media City for the BBC Tour. The Whitworth is an award-winning art gallery and is situated close to Manchester Museum so both are easy to combine in an afternoon trip. The Whitworth’s café is worth a trip in itself! The Museum of Science and Industry, based at the world’s first passenger railway station is really interesting for all ages, or pop out to East Lancashire Railway, Chester Zoo or Tatton Park for a different view of the area.
You can eat your way around the world, with all varieties of food from fine dining to tasty street food. Manchester attracts top chefs from all over Europe, there are new restaurants opening up on a regular basis, which along with the variety of cocktail bars, craft beer pubs and independent coffee shops allow the visitor to find exactly the type of food they are craving. The nightclubs, jazz clubs and late-night bars allow the more energetic visitors to make the most of all that the city has to offer.
Sport is a massive draw for Manchester, showcasing the friendly rivals Manchester City and Manchester United, as well as the National Football Museum and its interactive exhibits. Other sports feature just as strongly including track cycling, mountain biking and BMX at the National Cycling Centre, skiing at Chill Factore, cricket at Lancashire County Cricket Club,
..and there is always shopping. With Intu Trafford Centre’s huge array of international stores and high street brands, Spinningfields’ luxury brands, the Northern Quarter’s innovative independent shops and Manchester Arndale Centre’s national shops there are lots of options if you fancy some retail therapy.
Things To See & Do in Manchester
Whether you’re seeking culture, nightlife, history, or just good fun, there are plenty of things to do in Manchester.
Be absorbed by the beautiful gothic architecture at John Rylands Library and Manchester Cathedral; take in fine art at Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth; or discover history, old and new, at Manchester Museum and the Imperial War Museum North.
Of course Manchester is synonymous with football: it’s written in their DNA. So make some time tour of the grounds of Manchester United and Manchester City, and discover the social history of the beautiful game at the National Football Museum.
For those who enjoy the outdoors, a short journey from the city centre provides access to beautiful walks at such as Hollingworth Lake, Heaton Park, Sale Water Park and Haigh Hall.
And if you need to keep the kids entertained, there’s plenty on offer. The Museum of Science and Industry, Play Factore and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre are great fun for all the family.
Where to Stay in Manchester
With luxury hotels such as the Radisson Blu Edwardian, set in the historic old Free Trade Hall and the newly renovated Principal Hotel, there are hotels oozing class and style in Manchester. If you’re on a budget, why not try the Hilton Chambers – part hotel and part backpacker hostel; or the centrally located Pendulum Hotel with contemporary rooms that are value for money.
If you’re planning a relaxing spa getaway, The Midland Hotel is set in a Grade II listed Edwardian building which exudes elegance and style, with a soothing spa to ease you into Manchester life. Alternatively the stunning Malmaison Hotel exudes tranquillity, offering calming therapies and treatments.
Escape the city centre with one of Greater Manchester’s beautiful countryside hotels. The brand new Oddfellows on the Park is set within a picturesque Victorian mansion in the middle of Bruntwood Park. The Mere Golf Resort and Spa set in the heart of the countryside offers an idyllic break, while The Stanneylands boasts comfort, luxury and style set in a country house hotel. If you’re travelling with the whole clan, Novotel and the Hilton Manchester Deansgate both offer group friendly accommodation options, as well as the soon to open Crowne Plaza.
Food and Drink in Manchester
From fine dining and afternoon tea to pop-up markets and humble street food, Greater Manchester is packed with options to suit any mood offering any and every cuisine you can think of. Why not try foodie destination, the Corn Exchange
Shopping in Manchester
Visitors travel from all over the world to shop in Manchester and it’s easy to see why.
Manchester Arndale, intu Trafford Centre, Exchange Square and Market Street offer an unrivalled selection of international brands combined with the best of British at John Lewis, Selfridges, Debenhams and Marks and Spencer.
For that extra special something, visit boutique districts around King Street, Spinningfields and New Cathedral Street. Or if one-off independents and handmade is more your thing, Manchester’s alternative and creative heart, The Northern Quarter, is home to countless vintage stores, record shops, cafés, bars and restaurants.
Article by: Michelle Costallo
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