Top 10 Things To Do in Manchester

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The city of Manchester has emerged from its industrial past to become one of the most important cities in the United Kingdom. As the city entered the twenty first century it cast off its working class image to be considered by both the Government and the public as the second city in the country.As one would expect of such a large city there are many things to do in Manchester. Whether you prefer to visit museums and exhibitions, go shopping, dine out, visit a nightclub or watch football, this city has the answer.   

Take an Open Bus Tour

One way to explore the many landmarks of Manchester is to take one of the popular open top bus tours which take you around all the key places, including the Town Hall, Manchester United and Manchester City’s football grounds, Chinatown, Castlefield and many other places of interest. The tour includes a live commentary too so you’ll get to learn all about the city as you ride in comfort. 

Check Out the Architecture

The city is a mixture of architectural styles, with red brick Victorian buildings blending seamlessly with more modern constructions. The majority of the notable buildings are a legacy from the cotton trade which made Manchester its fortune and although some of the former cotton mills have been allowed to fall into disrepair, many have since been redeveloped to create stylish offices and apartments. In the centre of the city, the Gothic styled Manchester Town Hall dominates Albert Square and is a perfect example of a typical Victorian building. The city skyline is also dominated by a number of high rise buildings which date back to the 60s and 70s. The tallest of these, the CIS Tower has since been overtaken by the Beetham Tower which was built in 2006.  

See the Statues

Albert Square is also home to monuments dedicated to Prince Albert and other notable Victorian statesmen such as William Gladstone, while Piccadilly Gardens is the place to see monuments dedicated to Queen Victoria, the Duke of Wellington, James Watt and Robert Peel.  

Go Celebrity Hunting

If you love fine dining there are many fantastic restaurants in Manchester serving up cuisines from all around the world. If you’re lucky enough, you may even spot a few celebrities enjoying a meal in some of the top restaurants in town, such as Chiccetti, an Italian restaurant on the ground floor of House of Fraser. This restaurant is not only classy and stylish but boasts many celebrity diners, particularly from the local premiership football clubs.

Shop Till You Drop

The city also has a superb range of shops. From the usual high store chains such as Debenhams, House of Fraser and Marks and Spencer to more upmarket designer boutiques and high end stores such as Hermés, Agent Provocateur and Space NK. Shopping centres in Manchester is a veritable delight with many shopping arcades and individual shopping streets, but if this isn’t enough for you, the nearby Trafford Centre has shops and entertainment galore.

Sample the Nightlife

Manchester’s nightlife is renowned throughout England for both its variety and its intensity. From ultra trendy nightclubs, to vibrant bars and real ale pubs, there’s something for everyone. The Northern Quarter is perhaps the best place to start your evening if you want to experience just what it is that makes the nightlife in this city so special. You’ll probably want to end it here too at one of the most popular night clubs in Manchester, Mint Lounge, home to Funkademia, Manchester’s longest running club night. For those of you who prefer the atmosphere of a pub, the listed Grade II, 19th century Circus Tavern is the smallest pub in the city and definitely worth a visit.

 

Find Some Open Space

But Manchester is not just an urban area; the city has over 135 parks and gardens with the 610 acres of Heaton Park making it one of the largest parks in Europe. There are also six designated Local Nature Reserves in the area too, so there are plenty of opportunities to find a calm haven from the hustle and bustle of city life or even escape the city air completely and get out into the countryside.

Spot the Shark

Faced with so many attractions, museums and art galleries in Manchester, you’ll need more than just a few days in this city. There’s a brand new Sea Life based at the Trafford Centre which is home to over 5000 creatures, including sharks, octopus, jellyfish, rays and seahorses. You’ll find lots to do here from interactive experiences, talks and feed shows together with an underwater tunnel.  

Discover Manchester's Favourite Sport

Manchester is also the home of two premiership football clubs so if you love football you’ll be in football heaven. Visit the two football grounds or take a trip to the National Football Museum which houses the World’s best collection of artefacts and archives. 

Grab a Little Culture

And if you’re looking for something a little more cultural, Manchester Art Gallery has recently undergone a £35 million transformation and houses one of England’s finest art collections in its Victorian building.