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  • Writer's pictureDiogo Machado

What to visit in Manchester?

Updated: May 9, 2023

Manchester is a cultural, commercial, sporting, and industrial center. Football fans should not miss a tour of the famous Old Trafford or Etihad Stadiums. Walk through Castlefield, filled with canals, and pay a visit to Manchester Cathedral, the local Science and Technology Museum, and Heaton Park, Europe's largest park. Manchester will captivate you with its diversity, stunning views, architecture, and multiculturalism. Manchester has so much more to offer.

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What not to miss?

Science and Industry Museum

Many significant discoveries and inventions have been made in Manchester, many of which are documented in the Museum of Science and Industry. Walk through the concourse, admire the steam trains and early airplane collection, and spend some time upstairs experimenting.

The National Football Museum

Anyone interested in football should visit the National Football Museum, housed inside the striking glass structure formerly known as Urbis. Learn more about your favorite sport, including how England won the last World Cup, and earn the opportunity to improve your football skills.

Old Trafford Museum and Football Club

Manchester is perhaps best known for its football club, Manchester United, and fans can get the full experience by visiting the club's training ground at Old Trafford. The field itself dates back to 1910 and is also known as the Theatre of Dreams. Whether you're a Manchester United fan or want to see one of the world's most famous football stadiums, it's always worth hopping on the tram to Old Trafford. Take a tour of the stadium, visit the gift shop to buy souvenirs, or simply admire the structure from the outside.

Manchester Cathedral

The official name is "The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Mary, St Denys, and St George," and it is a must-see attraction in the city. It's worth a stroll around to admire the beautiful architecture, especially since it's been so well preserved. Book a tour to learn more about the cathedral's history, or keep an eye out for information about one of the cathedral's occasional concerts.

Heaton Park

Heaton Park, a large expanse of green land spanning over 200 acres, is ideal for visitors looking for green space and the opportunity to simply relax in the sunshine (when it decides to appear in England). There are also some stunning landmarks here, so make time to see them when you visit.

What else to visit?

Albert Square

This square is home to the massive and impressive Manchester City Hall, which is almost reason enough to visit. The square is also home to several stunning buildings and is well worth a visit if you want to get a sense of Manchester's architectural prowess and history. Afterward, head over to the Grand Pacific, which is stunning and serves some of the best cocktails in town. Make sure to sample a few of their signature drinks because they're too good to pass up.

Manchester Art Gallery

If you want to walk through Manchester's art history, come to Manchester Art Gallery, conveniently located in the city center. Works dating back to the pre-Raphaelite period and works by well-known local artists such as Lowry. It's unquestionably one of the best things to do in Manchester if you enjoy a good dose of culture.

John Rylands Research Institute and Library

The John Rylands Library is a book lover's paradise! Particularly noteworthy is its reading room, which is still in use today. The library is named after John Rylands, a cotton merchant who played an important role in Manchester's early development, and it is a truly stunning example of Gothic architecture.

The Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum, as the name suggests, takes visitors on a journey through military history. There are a variety of interactive and static exhibits here, and the museum is located on The Quays, another iconic Manchester area.

The Manchester Museum

The Manchester Museum is a great stop, especially for families visiting the city, as the attractions here are suitable for all visitors. It's one of the best things to do in Manchester, especially if the weather turns bad!

How to travel there?

Manchester can be reached by plane, bus, train, or car. Flying is the most convenient way to get to Manchester, and there are direct flights from all over Europe. The bus is another option. Direct bus lines usually terminate in London, where you must transfer to another bus from London to Manchester. There is also a train connection, but it requires several transfers to reach the final destination. The last way is by car, but you must consider the ferry.

When to travel there?

The months of June to August are ideal for festivals and pleasant weather. This is peak season in Manchester, when the city's parks, beer gardens, and canalside bars are packed with locals and visitors alike. June, July, and August are prime months for Manchester festivals such as Parklife (a magnet for music fans) and Manchester Pride (one of the largest festivals of its kind in the UK). As a result, hotel prices are at an all-time high; booking a few months in advance is advised.

Manchester's football and festive markets are at their best during the shoulder season, which runs from September to December. When the streets of Manchester are adorned with beautiful autumn foliage, this is a great time to visit. Temperatures can remain mild until November, but bring an umbrella because unexpected rain showers are common. The football season begins in September, and fans flock to Manchester to watch their teams play at Old Trafford or the Etihad Stadium. Hotel prices can skyrocket in the fall, so double-check match dates if you're planning an autumn weekend getaway.

From January to May, the low season is the best time for crowd-free attractions and low-cost hotel accommodations. Manchester becomes noticeably quieter after the Christmas Markets close. Locals will be relieved, and visitors who want to save money on hotels or spend less time waiting in lines will be pleased. The disadvantage? Expect some of the worst weather, including constant spring rain showers and the odd wintery snow day.

Average costs

Considering the average costs, we have divided 4 different lifestyles (nomad, budget, mid-range, luxury travel) and also the duration of your trip (1-day trip, 3-day trip, week-long trip). If you are a traveling nomad for a 1-day trip in Manchester is about 51€, a 3-day trip will be about 153€ and lastly, a week-long trip is about 356€. Imagine you want to save some money, and be on a budget. Budget travelers could spend on a 1-day trip around 66€, a 3-day trip around 199€, and lastly week-long trip around 463€.

If you want to enjoy Manchester but do not want to spend a lot of money then it is the middle way, mid-range travelers. For a 1-day trip, it is about 119€, for a 3-day trip it is about 357€ and for a week-long trip is about 832€. Luxury travelers could spend a lot of money, and enjoy Manchester to the fullest. For a 1-day trip, it could be around 1,100​​€. The 3-day trip will cost approximately 3,300€ and on a week-long trip, it will cost 7,700€.

Where to eat?

It is important for us to recommend to you the best restaurants in Manchester. So here are the best three restaurants that you NEED to visit!

The Sparrows is the first option. A cozy restaurant that serves hand-made European dumplings and spätzle dishes. The lovely staff and the welcoming atmosphere. There's also the food. If you're unfamiliar with Spätzle, it's an egg pasta famous in South Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Alsace. Meanwhile, the dumplings menu introduces a more Eastern European flavor. Add to that the most delectable sauces, daily baked bread, and a wine list full of surprises, and you can see why The Sparrows is a destination.

The second tip is to consider Where The Light Enters. A modern, airy dining room serves small plates focusing on meat. Where The Light Gets In, located off the beaten path but well worth the journey, attracts serious food fans worldwide with an inspired seasonal tasting menu, an impressive wine list, and relaxed but attentive service. The enthusiastic team works in the loft of a lovingly restored Victorian coffee warehouse in Stockport, and many of the ingredients come from their nearby farm. There's no denying you'll spend much money here, but will it be worthwhile? It is, indeed.

The final suggestion is for vegetarians. Greens is a must-visit if you enjoy vegetarian cuisine. In West Didsbury, the city's oldest and best vegetarian restaurant. It was founded by celebrity chef Simon Rimmer when he was just a chef. He and business partner Simon Connolly make sure that the food is delicious and the atmosphere is laid-back. The staff, like the decor, is friendly and welcoming. It's a fantastic restaurant that deserves all of its accolades.


Manchester Day

Manchester Day honors the city and all things Mancunian! It's a day filled with brightly colored parades and decorations, traditional bagpipe concerts, and hundreds of street food stalls. Each year, a different theme is announced in the winter ahead of the June event, proudly displaying Manchester's diversity and multicultural community spirit.

Parklife Festival

Parklife is Manchester's most popular music festival, held every June, rain, shine, or snow. As revelers take to the grass in Heaton Park to dance and drink the weekend away, tickets always sell out quickly. There are several stages, with the main stage featuring some of the biggest names in music.

Manchester Food and Drink Festival

Mancunians have gathered in Albert Square for the annual Manchester Food and Drink Festival for the past 20 years. It's the UK's largest urban food and drinks event, with over 250 restaurants, bars, cafes, pubs, and other culinary delights. There are over 100 events taking place around the festival hub at Albert Square from the end of September to early October, including pop-up restaurants, behind-the-scenes kitchen tours, master classes, live music entertainment, and more. Dinner in an abandoned train station, learning how to make your signature cocktails, or cooking a feast alongside award-winning chefs are all options.

We've reached the end of the article about Manchester. We believe you will visit this amazing city. In the meantime, you can read other articles on our blog. How about London, Ljubljana, or Salzburg? Do not forget to follow us @thewalkingparrot to be always updated on the new releases.

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