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The Best How-to Guide to Planning a Trip to Manchester

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Things to do in Manchester - A Local's Guide

What comes to your mind when you think of Manchester? Is it the neo-gothic masterpieces or the world-famous stadiums? The diverse music or the eclectic nightlife? Whatever your passion, Manchester is a city of many dispositions that offers something for everyone. 

Manchester’s weather is not the most reliable, but you will find something worth the trip anytime of the year you choose to visit. Manchester is a travel hub, home to one of the UK’s busiest airports, meaning you can get direct flights to and from the world’s major cities.

Manchester calls itself “The original modern city,” and it is hard to argue with that tag. Navigating the city is quite simple; a network of trams, trains, and taxis makes it easy to move within and around Manchester.

Reasons to Visit Manchester

If you are wondering why you should visit the self-proclaimed second city of the United Kingdom, here are our top reasons you should consider putting Manchester on your travel bucket list:

Explore Manchester’s Galleries and Museums

Manchester has a rich natural, scientific, and industrial history. The beautiful museums and galleries in the city are a testament to this fantastic past. Better still, many of Manchester’s museums are free to visit. Explore history from the time of the dinosaurs till the modern-day at the Manchester Museum.

The Whitworth art gallery houses some remarkable works of art, including pieces by JMW Turner, van Gogh, Picasso, and William Blake. Every art buff who steps into the city must see this place. Manchester Art Gallery hosts a remarkable cache of contemporary and pre-Raphaelite paintings that will excite any art lover. 

Also, discover Manchester’s contribution to global industrialization at the Museum of Science and Industry. These include the first computer made for commercial purposes and the early atomic models that formed the foundations of modern nuclear science.

The Manchester Jewish Museum features ornate works and original stained glass windows that archive and celebrate the importance of Jewish life in the city. See documents, photos, stories, and objects that explain the role of the Jewish community in the city’s growth.

Sports lovers can explore the National Football Museum and learn how football rose to occupy a prominent spot in the hearts of millions. Suppose you are into progressive and radical thought. In that case, The People’s History Museum, with its collection of British political material that describes the journey to equality and democracy, may be just for you.

Bask in the Music Scene

Manchester is home to some of the largest music venues in the world. It regularly hosts some of the biggest global superstars alongside rising acts. The city gave the world Joy Division, Oasis, and many other great bands. Parklife, the city’s annual music festival, has seen stars like Frank Ocean and Liam Gallagher.

See the Manchester Cathedral

The Manchester Cathedral is a gothic-themed architectural masterpiece that inspires as much as it enthralls. This 135-foot cathedral was built in 1421 and is rich in art and history. The Visitor Centre has a shop and exhibition room to learn about the history and unique items that make this place a tourist delight.

Enjoy the Sports

Manchester plays host to elite football games every other week. Manchester City and Manchester United are two of the most followed sports teams in the world. Catch a premier league match at the Etihad Stadium or the world-famous Old Trafford stadium. Learn about the histories of two great Manchester clubs when you visit any of these stadiums. Walk in the footsteps of great players like George Best and Bobby Charlton.

The Manchester sports scene offers more than world-class football; there is also cricket, squash, athletics, and watersports. Thrill-seekers and adventurers may also want to visit Manchester’s Chill Factore. This venue houses the longest indoor natural snow slope in the UK. You can enjoy different snow sports on a 180-meter snow slope.

Feel the Nightlife

Manchester’s nightlife is only second to London’s in Britain. The Northern Quarter offers visitors the perfect place to enjoy a broad assortment of restaurants, nightclubs, and indie bars. If you love some Mexican vibe, the El Capo is a unique bar that offers so many types of tequilas.

Visit Gay Village in Canal Street and enjoy uniquely colorful bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants. Gay Village is always buzzing and is a place you must visit when you go on a trip to Manchester.

Explore Chinatown

Get a feel of Manchester’s diversity in Chinatown. Explore Chinese restaurants, shops, and supermarkets, while interacting with Manchester’s thriving Asian community members. Enjoy delicious Asian baked goods at the bakery, or purchase colorful Asian memorabilia at the local supermarket.

Where to Stay in Manchester

There is a lot to see and do in Manchester, but you need to find a place to stay for the duration of your visit. There are several accommodation options in the city for any preference:

Hostels/Hotels

Staying in a hostel or hotel in Manchester is ideal if you visit for a short time, maybe a few days. For example, hotels in the Northern Quarter allow you to quickly get to the famous spots in the heart of the city. A Northern Quarter hostel is also a great choice if you want to enjoy the vibrant nightlife that Manchester offers.

Airbnb

There are several Airbnb listings around Manchester for every taste and budget. You can get stylish apartments from private rooms with all the essentials in the Greater Manchester area to studio apartments and entire condominiums in the Northern Quarter; Airbnb properties cater to every need.

Final Thoughts

If you want to know our thoughts on whether you should start packing for Manchester, our answer is a resounding YES. Manchester is a travel destination that promises a lot and delivers much more. This multicultural urban city offers paradisiac delights, with a mix of history and industry that will make you want to return. There is a lot in Manchester to keep you occupied throughout your stay. Get set for Manchester. 

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