Lovers of both books and architecture will delight in one of Manchester’s most beloved buildings. This Neo-Gothic structure is filled with one of the most extensive collections of literature in the entire country, but it’s not just for academics. Spend a few hours getting lost in its many rooms, staircases and corridors to fully appreciate the attention to detail of the building.
John Ryland’s Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester +44 161 306 0555
Anyone with an interest in football should make a beeline to the National Football Museum, situated inside the dramatic glass building previously known as Urbis. Find out more about your favourite sport, including an extensive look at the last time England won the World Cup, and take the chance to refine your own football skills.
Whether you’re a fan of Manchester United or you just want to visit one of the most iconic football stadiums in the world, it’s always worth hopping on a tram to visit Old Trafford. Take a tour of the stadium, pop into the gift shop to buy a memento of your visit or simply admire the structure from the outside.
Old Trafford, Sir Matt Busby Way, Stretford, +44 161 868 8000
Manchester’s new centre of culture, HOME is the place to head to if you’re interested in cinema, theatre or art. As well as a variety of independent films, performances and exhibitions, you’ll find an impressive restaurant and cocktail bar.
HOME, 2, Tony Wilson Place, First St, Manchester, +44 161 200 1500
In the heart of the Northern Quarter, you’ll find this hub of creativity inside a former Victorian fish market. Local artists and creatives have set up studios inside, creating and selling art, prints, sculptures, jewellery and ceramics from their own unique spaces. There’s also a cute little café and occasional musical performances and exhibitions.
Manchester Craft and Design Centre, 17 Oak St, Manchester, +44 161 832 4274
You can’t visit Manchester without spending at least a couple of hours exploring the Northern Quarter. Pop into some of the independent shops that line the neighbourhood’s street, sample the best coffee in the city from its many cafés, admire the eclectic street art or discover a seemingly never-ending array of bars, restaurants and eateries.
A local institution, Affleck’s is a mecca for Manchester’s alternative crowd, containing an impressive array of stalls selling everything from fetish gear to DIY jewellery. Pop inside to discover an eclectic array of clothing, jewellery, memorabilia and gifts before sneaking upstairs for a luxury ice-cream at Ginger’s Comfort Emporium.
Affleck’s, 52 Church St, Manchester, +44 161 839 0718
Attached to the University of Manchester, Manchester Museum houses an impressive collection focused around natural history. You’ll find everything from Egyptian mummies to dinosaur skeletons and unusual beetles inside. Ensure that you take time to explore the vivarium and visit the collection of rare frogs and reptiles.
This Edwardian swimming bath is currently undergoing a slow renovation which aims to get at least one of the pools and the Turkish baths eventually reopened. In the meantime, it frequently opens for guided tours and special events such as gin and beer festivals, wedding fayres and theatrical performances.
Victoria Baths, Hathersage Rd, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, +44 161 224 2020
This ancient building attached to the music school is rumoured to be haunted, a fact that you’ll easily believe when you step into its stalls. Literature, music and architecture lovers will delight in a visit to this prestigious library which is actually the oldest of its kind in the English speaking world.
Chetham’s Library, Long Millgate, Manchester, +44 161 834 7961
Located by Shudehill bus station, you’ll likely hear the classical music blaring from its outdoor speakers before you actually see Paramount Bookshop. Inside, this haphazard second-hand store is a melting pot of literature with a particular focus on comics and sci-fi. If you see something you like, settle down on one of the sofas and get stuck into a good book.
Paramount Bookshop, 25-27 Shudehill, Manchester, +44 161 834 9509
Soak in the best views of the city from the 23rd floor of the Hilton Hotel on Deansgate. The panoramic windows of the city’s most luxurious bar aren’t the only pull. The inventive cocktails here are exceptional and you may even catch a glimpse of a local celebrity or footballer.
Cloud 23, Beetham Tower, 303 Deansgate, Manchester, +44 161 870 1670
Manchester may be currently lacking a Michelin-star eatery, but Manchester House certainly comes close with its impressive surroundings and delectable tasting menu. After dinner, take a gin and tonic out onto the glamorous balcony to admire the views of the city.
Manchester House, 18-22 Bridge St, Manchester, +44 161 835 2557