Manchester is an incredible city with so much to see and do, it is constantly evolving and becoming ever more vibrant. Whether you want to see the sights, go to the theatre or sample the fantastic food and drink scene that Manchester has to offer, there are plenty of things to see and do for everyone.
Manchester has undergone quite a renaissance in recent years with new initiatives such as the Castlefield project, with its museum complex on Liverpool Road. The extension of the city’s entertainment and sports facilities & the billions of investment into Manchester City football club has also considerably enhanced its appeal for tourists.
Places to Shop in Manchester
If you love to shop, there are plenty of options in Manchester. Manchester Arndale lies in the heart of Manchester city centre and is the home to a whole range of popular high street brands. If you fancy a bite to eat there are lots of restaurants and cafes with varying offerings in the centre so that you can refuel and refresh. Manchester is also home to collection of popular department stores including Selfridges, Debenhams and House of Fraser. One of the UKs biggest Primark stores is located on Market Street too.
For an out of town shopping experience with a difference head over to Intu Trafford Centre. Along with a huge selection of retailers and brands both high street and luxury, Intu Trafford Centre is home to LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre, Sea Life, ODEON Cinema and many more fun and exciting activities for all members of the family to enjoy.
Places to Eat & Drink in Manchester
Manchester has a thriving food and drink scene with an incredible collection of cafes, restaurants and bars to choose from. Hit the trendy Spinningfields and enjoy one of their upmarket and luxurious restaurants. The iconic Australasia is a popular choice serving modern Australian cuisine in a beautiful setting.
For a range of popular restaurant chains, a visit to the The Printworks is a must. With Wagamama, Nando’s and Hard Rock Cafe under one roof there are lots of options for a delicious, relaxed meal. You will also find an ODEON cinema in The Printworks if you fancy making a day of it.
Just across the road is The Corn Exchange. This stunning Edwardian building houses a range of restaurants with menus from all around the world. Enjoy the spice and flavour of India at Mowglis, try authentic Mexican street food at Wahaca, fun and vibrant Brazilian meals at Cabana, or a classic Italian dish at Pizza Express. These are just some of the great options at The Corn Exchange.
For something quirky, independent and a little bit different you need to head over to The Northern Quarter. Colourful street art brings this part of Manchester to life and you will find cute little cafes, perfect brunch spots and cool bars lining every street. There are hidden gems to discover around every corner. Popular spots include Evelyns, Federal cafe and Home Sweet Home.
Places to be Entertained in Manchester
Do you love a trip to the theatre? The Palace Theatre, Manchester Arena, The Lowry and The Bridgewater Hall can all be found in Manchester so there is always a lot going on. From classical music and touring West End musicals to live music gigs and fun pantomimes, you are sure to find an afternoon or evening of entertainment in one of Manchester’s theatres.
The Crystal Maze is one of the newest additions to Manchester. What was once a popular UK television show has been turned into a fun but challenging activity and is a great family day out. (Please note, it is only available to people aged 13+ and under 18s must be accompanied by an adult).
Places to See in Manchester
If you’re here to see the sights and learn about Manchester’s interesting heritage, the Museum of Science and Industry is a great spot. There is lots to discover here and you can learn about all sorts of different interesting facts about the Industrial Revolution, an important part of Manchester’s identity.
For art fans, Manchester Art Gallery is the home to a vast amount of world-class art. You will find an interactive space known as Clore Art Studio. Here visitors can really immerse themselves in the art and the experience which is perfect for children. The Whitworth Gallery on Oxford Road is another place to sample great art.
The Manchester Town Hall is a beautiful building and a must see when you come to Manchester. During December, it overlooks the popular Manchester Christmas Markets and really is an iconic building in the city. The Library in St Peter’s Square is also a stunning building and one for the photo album.
The Victoria Baths has a fascinating history. This brilliant heritage visitor attraction is open for tours on selected dates if you want to discover their history.
Sport in Manchester
Manchester is the home to a collection of different well-known sporting clubs. Manchester United can be found at Old Trafford which is the UK’s biggest club football stadium and Manchester City’s state of the art Etihad Stadium is certainly a must see. The National Football Museum, very centrally located next to the Corn Exchange, is filled with interesting facts and information stretching across every single aspect of the game and is a great visit for any football enthusiasts.
The UK National Cycling Centre is used by elite Olympic athletes and used regularly by the famous Sir Chris Hoy and Laura Trott, members of the GB track cycling team. Manchester continues its affiliation with successful sporting teams by being the home of the Sale Sharks, one of the only Northern Rugby Union teams.
If you are keen to get in on the action, a visit to Chill Factore is a must. You’ll find the longest indoor ski and snowboarding slope in the UK here, making for a very action packed day for the family.
Places to Go Outside Manchester
If you fancy getting out of the city and into the countryside, Manchester’s stunning Heaton Park is a must. There is plenty here for a full day’s worth of activity. Not only will you find a gorgeous stretch of green space but there are guided walks, a boating lake, a fun play area for children and of course the beautiful Eighteenth Century Heaton Hall. Cafes are dotted around the park for a lovely lunch or coffee break.
Sarah (aka Sass) has been writing her own blog at www.whatsasssays.com for 3 years now. Since moving to Manchester 18 months ago, she fell in love with the city and now writes predominantly about the best venues to eat and drink here. You will also find fitness updates and tips on living a healthy yet fun and achievable lifestyle.