Things to do in Manchester

There’s a lot of stuff going on in Manchester that is impossible to melt down in to one thing. Manchester is built on football, education, and honest northerners who have proved to have each other’s back on so many occasions. If you visit Manchester, the first thing you will notice is how welcoming the place is, despite the grey skies and rain.

In 2022 the Northern Quarter of Manchester was named number 30 in Time Out’s 51 coolest neighbourhoods around the world.

Must Do

There aren’t many Museums in the north, but Manchester has the best museum in the UK, the Science and Industry Museum. The museum spans several huge red brick buildings, with one of them housing dozens of aircrafts, and one with steam engines too.

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Manchester has three different universities, which means the place is full of different cultural, and a slew of artists and creatives that give so much to the city, whether it’s the rich music history, the artful legal graffiti, or the several craft beer breweries (the best of them being Cloudwater.) Manchester is more of a community than any other major city in the UK.

Manchester also embraces seasons; in the summer there’ll be sports on a giant outdoor projector in Spinningfields with deck chairs you can rent. In autumn, there’ll pumpkin lanterns in every tree. And of course, in winter, Manchester has the best Christmas market.

Manchester Cathedral Source : Flickr

Best Walk

The best walk is along the canal, but be carful not to walk in front of runners and cyclists. There are plenty of great things to see; besides the boats and rows of ducklings, the canal goes by a ton of beer gardens and Old Trafford football stadium.

There’s also Heaton Park, which is a huge 600 acres of open greenery. There loads scenic landmarks around the park to explore, including Heaton Hall, a beautiful 18th century building.

Manchester Source: Flickr

Best Restaurants in Manchester

Manchester infamously doesn’t have any Michelin star restaurants, but that’s not what Manchester’s about. Manchester is all about putting creative spins on street-food, which is why the city has a lot of competition for great burger joints, burrito joints, and anything that you can eat with your hands.

Almost Famous, which started as a kitchen in the bohemian Northern Quarter and always had a two-hour queue, has become a huge restaurant underneath railway arches. Almost Famous offers unique burgers with seasonal specials. The ‘Kevin Bacon’ burger goes great with the restaurant’s signature cocktail, ‘Bitch Juice.’

Gorilla is another below railway arches favourite. It has a grill menu, the best completely homemade full English breakfast in Manchester, and a very gin oriented drinks menu. There is a music venue in the back separate to the restaurant, too.

Manchester Library Source : Flickr

Best Music/Festival

One of the most well known UK music festivals is Parklife, named after the Mancunian anthem from Manchester natives, Blur, and due to the fact it’s based in Heaton Park. It’s the most popular music festival in the north of England. Parklife predominantly focuses on dance music, but since its popularity has increased, it has started to include more well-known artists in its line-up.

Best Nightlife

Manchester has one of the best nightlifes. Besides the student clubs where you can get skittle-bombs for 75p and 1.50 pints, the best nightlife area is the Northern Quarter with dozens of unique bars and clubs.

Matt & Phreds is a club that regularly hosts jazz bands that cover house music. Crazy Pedro’s is a club with tropical vibe where you can dance and eat pizza at the same time. The Terrace has the best outdoor area in the Northern Quarter that often changes its taps, so you can always try a different craft beer.

The northern quarter list is extensive; Tusk and Walrus serves the best cocktails in the city. If you head in to Cain and Grain, a Hawaiian bar, there’ll be people dancing between tables as the place is small, but so much fun. Best of all, you can head 2022 NQ, an underground bar with several ping pong and beer pong tables. These bars are all within a two minute walking distance of each-there.

The piece de resistance of nightlife is Warehouse Project, which is only on for a few months of the year. It uses a World War air raid shelter as its venue. The venue has a few different areas all with different DJs from around the world, and the line-up changes every week. Sometimes special bands like LCD Soundsytem will take up the whole space.

Best Day Trips Out of the City

Being home to not one, but two of the world’s largest football clubs, one of the most popular day trips is to visit Old Trafford or the Etihad football stadium. Even when there isn’t a match scheduled, it is still possible to go on tour that’ll take you on to the grounds, in to the changing rooms, and all the behind-the-scenes stuff. And when you’re done you could always head back in to the centre to visit the Football Museum.

Then there’s the Trafford Center, a shopping centre that looks like a temple. But this isn’t just any ordinary shopping centre, it’s worth going even if you have no intention of spending money. Each section has it’s own theme, such as a row of coffee shops that all occupy a space on a street in New Orleans, or a bunch of buffets in Chinatown, or a giant food court that looks like a cruise ship, including a pool and a day and night sky cycle.

Something that not many travellers would know about Manchester

Manchester portrays New York in a ton of Hollywood movies, as Manchester’s industrial look largely resembles the big apple, and it’s much cheaper to film here too. A chunk of season four of The Crown will be set in 80’s New York, which follows Princess Diana’s trip there, and it was filmed in Manchester’s Northern Quarter without even closing off the streets. Other films you’ll see in which Manchester poses as New York are Alfie, Morbius, and Captain America: The First Avenger.