The 5 best things to do in Manchester

The third biggest city in the United Kingdom by population, Manchester attracts visitors from all across the world. Whether it’s for a holiday, day trip, study or football, there is something for everyone in the city.

Manchester has a rich history but also a modern art hub, grand Victorian markets and trendy food halls, historic music bands to up-and-coming musical talents.

With that in mind, here are our top five things to do in Manchester:

  1. Northern Quarter

Sat between Piccadilly and the Ancoats, the Northern Quarter of Manchester offers a unique character. Here you will find independent fashion stores, record shops, cafés, bars and restaurants.

Here you’ll also find the world famous Afflecks Palace – showcasing affordable outlets for independent designers and traders across four floors. Then there’s the independent furniture boutique Den, featuring a range of bespoke furnishings and a range of vintage homeware and decorations.

At the Retro Rehab you’ll find a vintage clothing boutique, offering unique and hand-tailored clothes and accessories. Housed in the beautifully restored former Victorian Fish and Poultry Market is the Manchester Craft & Design Centre, now home to the best in local design, jewellery, bags and accessories.

In the Northern Quarter you can also find rare vinyl and independent music among the many different record shops along Oldham Street.

After dark you will find many restaurants and bars, offering quirky atmospheres, relaxation, continental beers, and opportunities to dance the night away. Here you’ll encounter pool tables and bar games, or you may simply prefer to play bingo games online whilst sipping a beer at one of the many bars.

  1. Chinatown

Manchester’s Chinatown is the second largest in the United Kingdom and you can be assured of a wide choice of quality restaurants and food.

The annual Chinese New Year festival, celebrated in February, is a popular attraction, featuring stalls and dancing Dragons during the famous parade.

  1. Manchester United, City and the National Football Museum

Two of the most successful football clubs in England are located in Manchester. One of the most famous and richest in the world, Manchester United are a huge attraction to tourists from all over the country and world.

Although the Red Devils aren’t currently as successful as they were under Sir Alex Ferguson in the 1990s and early 2000s, they remain extremely population and often on the brink of success.

Noisy neighbours Manchester City are currently going through the most successful period in the club’s history, winning four Premier League titles between 2012-19 and continually pushing to win the UEFA Champions League for the first time.

The National Football Museum is also situated in Manchester city centre. This offers the chance to geek out on football history and test your skills and knowledge about the beautiful game.

  1. Victoria Baths

Opened back in 1906, the Manchester Victoria Baths were originally described as the ‘most splendid municipal bathing institution in the country’ at the time. Although shut for a decade from 1993, the Edwardian tiles and retro swimming pool changing rooms all remained preserved among its reopening.

The Victoria Baths now host several events in the city, with the empty pools packed with food festivals and antique fairs throughout the year, not to mention the Manchester Beer Convention.

  1. Pankhurst Centre

The iconic site of women’s activism, past and present, the Pankhurst Centre is a memorial to Emmeline Pankhurst and her family, who lived on Nelson Street between 1898 and 1907. During this time was the first meeting of the movement that later became known as the suffragettes.

Today, the Pankhurst Centre is the headquarters to Manchester Women’s Aid, providing services to victims of domestic abuse, and supporting women’s activism in the local community.

Tours cost around £10 per person.

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