You may want a bit of a break from leather, or this may be one of the first times you have visited Manchester. As one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan destinations in the UK, Manchester is a proud city attracting visitors
from all over the globe. It is a city of firsts – the birthplace of the industrial revolution, where the first computer was
invented, the atom was split and where votes for women and the first professional football league started. Head over to Visit Manchester if you want to see more about what Manchester has to offer.
With its award-winning attractions, diverse shopping, legendary nightlife and spectacular events programme, it is no
wonder Manchester is the third most visited city in the UK, offering an unforgettable city-break experience.
Manchester is an ideal gateway to the rest of the north of England, with Liverpool, Chester and the Lake District only an hour away, and you may plan to visit those. Furthermore, you are directly connected to over 200 destinations worldwide, including Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia with Manchester Airport.
Navigating Manchester city centre
The compact nature of Manchester means that the best way to explore the city is on foot. First time visitors should take a Manchester guided tour, giving an overview of the city’s history, key attractions and hidden gems. Tours can take around two hours. There are also a number of themed tours covering everything from architecture, music, literature, heritage and even real ale.
Shopping in Manchester city centre
Nearby, for high-end shopping, The Avenue at Spinningfields is home to exclusive luxury brands including Emporio Armani, Mulberry and DKNY, and is the city’s newest retail quarter.
Manchester city landmarks
The gothic Manchester Town Hall on Albert Square is a Grade I listed, neoclassical landmark; guided tours can be taken through the Sculpture Hall, Ford Maddox Brown murals and clock tower.
John Rylands Library once belonged to one of Manchester’s most successful industrialists and is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world; both the building and its collections are of outstanding international significance.
National Football Museum encompasses three floors of football fable, including the display of the legendary exhibits such as the original 1966 World Cup ball, incredible stories and interactives as well as regular changing exhibitions showcasing football’s links with popular culture.
Only 15 minutes from the city centre, The Quays offers a wealth of things to do and see covering arts, culture, sport and shopping. Delve behind the scenes of one of the world’s most famous football clubs, Manchester United, at Old Trafford – with tours available in a number of different languages including Chinese and Japanese. IWM North brings to life the reality of war, whilst the artist L.S. Lowry, best known for his distinctive style and depiction of everyday life can be discovered at The Lowry. Alternatively, discover the magic of television on a BBC Tour.
At the Manchester United Stadium & Museum Tour, take a tour of the stadium to discover what happens behind the scenes and explore the club’s fascinating history in the Manchester United museum.
The IWM North, or Imperial War Museum North is a spectacular aluminium-clad building, based around the
idea of the world shattered into pieces by war.
The stunning steel and glass architecture at The Lowry consists of two theatres, a range of galleries and exhibitions, an interactive family attraction, plus cafés, bars, a restaurant and gift shops.
In addition, if you get hungry while over at Salford Quays, for award-winning modern British cuisine, Damson MediaCityUK overlooks the Piazza and BBC North. Alternatively try more informal options such as Wagamama or Café Rouge.
Join a tour of the BBC at MediaCityUK and walk in the footsteps of a whole host of celebrities. The well-informed tour producers will entertain and surprise with a fascinating insight into how TV and radio work.
The Lowry Outlet Mall open seven days a week offers top quality British high street names at up to 60% off. Whether you’re looking for designer fashion or a high street bargain, shoes or unusual accessories – the mall has it all under one roof.
Getting afternoon tea
Visitors can enjoy the traditional British pastime which can include champagne, English tea and a delicious selection of sandwiches, cakes and petit fours in a variety of settings. The Midland Hotel’s Octagon Lounge, and the five star hotels Radisson Blu Edwardian’s Opus One and The Lowry Hotel’s River Restaurant all offer special packages. For a more unique and quirky experience go to Teacup, Sugar Junction or Richmond Tea Rooms.
Heading out for food
For traditional British food and real ale the Victorian Chop Houses – Albert Square, Sam’s and Mr. Thomas’ Chop Houses, each with its own personality, offer a seasonal menu that includes fish and chips, steak & kidney pudding and corned beef hash.
Head to Yang Sing in the colourful Chinatown for the best Cantonese cuisine. Visitors can enjoy dim sum or special banquets, which can be tailored in advance depending on requirements.
Room Restaurant offers modern British cuisine – traditional dishes with a twist. The 2 AA Rosette establishment is one of the city’s favourites set in a grand, gothic building.
Vermillion is a stylish restaurant just outside of the city centre offering Asian cuisine, predominantly Thai and Indian. Exclusivity has attracted celebrities and well known figureheads from across the globe, from the local footballers, to the world’s powerful leaders such as David Cameron and Hollywood celebrities like Tim Burton.
There are many options to choose from in Manchester! Alternatively head back to the city centre for Ning (Malaysian), Zouk Tea Bar & Grill (Indian) or Chaophraya (Thai). For cocktails overlooking a magnificent panoramic view across the city, Cloud 23 on the 23rd floor of Hilton Hotel is a must visit. For fine dining try Aumbry – north of the city centre, or Simon Rogan’s French at The Midland Hotel.
Alternative evening activities
If you don’t fancy leather events, visitors can experience a touring West-End show or musical at the Palace Theatre or Opera House. From the bohemian Northern Quarter, bursting with unique independent bars and pubs such as The Castle Hotel, Kosmonaut or Blackdog Ballroom there is something for everyone.