Escape to Manchester for a memorable weekend break filled with culture, shopping, football and music. The UK’s second city definitely rivals London as a hub for entertainment – with some the best bars, clubs and restaurants in the country.
Explore the city on foot, stopping at iconic buildings like the gothic John Ryland’s Library or the ultra-modern Urbis Building – home to the National Football Museum. Learn about the history of Manchester at the Museum of Science and Industry and take a stroll down the canal. Then get a retail therapy fix at one of the many shopping districts, from designer names on Exchange Square to vintage markets in the Northern Quarter. Grab a bite to eat in Chinatown before heading to Oxford Road for some live music. Alternatively, visit Manchester United’s hallowed stadium in Old Trafford before going for a curry in Rusholme – an unforgettable experience awaits.
See Manchester and beyond by car
Drive to the stunning Lake District and climb Scafell Pike. Explore the charming town of Kendal and sample its famous mint cake.Learn more
Drive over the border and see some of Britain’s most beautiful beaches, drive rugged coastline or walk Snowdonia, with breathtaking views.Learn more
Nearby cities fly-drive
Take a day trip to nearby Liverpool, home of the Beatles, with art galleries, museums, theatres, the award-winning Beatles Story and Mersey Ferries.
Manchester centre is full of great little pubs that are favourites to those in the know. Head to Shambles Square for an afternoon drink after the shopping. Northern Quarter has no less than six famous pubs – try The Castle or The Marble for traditional ale. Or venture across town to the Briton’s Protection near Deansgate, it is a much-loved Manchester stalwart.
Famed for its connection to the rave culture and the Hacienda days of the early 90s, Manchester’s club scene has developed into one of the best in the UK. Visit the ground-breaking seasonal nightclub Warehouse Project, which runs September to NYE – when the students aren’t too busy. Or visit legendary Sankey’s, notorious for its all night raves and showcasing the best DJs in the world.
A trip to Manchester wouldn’t be the complete without seeing a live band or two. Music is part of Manchester’s lifeblood, from The Smiths to Oasis and beyond. Head to the Deaf Institute or Sound Control on Oxford Road for old and new bands alike. Or go to the Ritz, whose sprung dancefloor has welcomed the likes of Frank Sinatra, The Beatles and R.E.M over its 80-plus year’s operation.
From gourmet bistros on Deansgate to famous curry houses in Rusholme, Manchester’s food scene is world-class. A cosmopolitan city, it boasts many cuisines – try Russian borscht, Bohemian bratwurst or Korean kim chi. Tapas is big in Manchester, so venture to Castlefield’s El Rincon de Rafa for classic Spanish fare. Or head to Chinatown for traditional dumplings and prawn toast by the plate full.
From Manchester Arndale’s underground market to the high-end boutiques inside Harvey Nichols or House of Fraser, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Though the Northern Quarter is where you’ll find the coolest shops. Don’t miss a trip to the eclectic and alternative Affleck’s Palace on Tib Street for vintage bargains, or head over the road to Piccadilly Records – Manchester’s legendary record shop.
History is everywhere you look in Manchester centre, from the renovated warehouses to the canals that navigate the city. Visit the John Ryland’s Library or the circular Central Library – both amazing architectural examples. The Whitworth Art Gallery on Whitworth Street has recently been massively renovated and the superb Museum of Science and Industry takes you on a journey of the UK’s past.
With two of the world’s biggest football teams, it is reasonable to assume that Manchester loves football. The friendly rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City has been key to their successes. Visit Old Trafford on match day to see why this city goes crazy for football – its electric atmosphere is captivating. Take a tour of Manchester City’s City of Manchester Stadium to see how a modern football club ticks.