You’ve probably heard about the Northern Quarter, the creative hub in the centre of the city boasting colourful street art, independent shops and plenty of bars selling craft beer. This hipster haven isn’t the only cool neighbourhood in the city, however. Right next door you’ll find up-and-coming Ancoats, filled with great places to eat and drink and touted for great things by the international press. Hop on a tram and you can explore the bohemian suburb of Chorlton, bustling West Didsbury and foodie-favourite Altrincham.
Manchester really comes to life at night, and if you’re looking for a party you can’t go wrong with a Saturday night out in the city centre. Head to the Northern Quarter for craft beer or cocktails in the hippest bars, or over to Spinningfields if you prefer a more elegant atmosphere.
Mancunians seem to love their food with no end of choices when it comes to eating out in the city centre. Whether you fancy Italian, Indian or Chinese, Manchester’s restaurant scene is thriving, with a variety of street food markets popping up all across the city for a more relaxed atmosphere. Make sure you pop over to Altrincham market to experience one of the best food markets in the entire country.
If you get sick of the city streets, Manchester’s unique location places it as the perfect base for exploring vast moors, towering mountains, beautiful coastlines and green forests. The Peak District, Pennines, Yorkshire Dales, Lake District and North Wales are all within a short drive of the city centre, offering endless opportunities for walking and exploring.
It’s true what they say, Northerners are a friendly and welcoming bunch and Mancunians are no exception. You’ll find a warm community who are more than willing to offer directions, share recommendations and chat to you on the bus. Just don’t ask your new friends if they support United or City.
Whether or not you support Manchester United, you have to admit that they are probably the most famous football team in the entire world. Wherever you travel, as soon as you mention you are from Manchester it is the first thing people bring up. If you’re interested at all in football, a visit to Old Trafford stadium isn’t the only attraction that awaits you in Manchester. The National Football Museum recently relocated to the city centre and is a must-visit for all fans of the beautiful game.
Think you have to head to the capital to wander around a top-class gallery? Think again! Not only does Manchester have an interesting scattering of independent galleries, open studio tours and pop-up exhibitions, it’s also home to the award-winning Whitworth Gallery. Located in the middle of a park on the Oxford Road corridor, this recently reopened gallery hosts a rotating series of exhibitions by iconic artists such as Andy Warhol and Cornelia Parker.
Those with their heads stuck firmly in the past should flock to Manchester to visit the iconic Salford Lad’s Club or to wander past the site of the Hacienda. Anyone more interested in the current music scene will find delight in Manchester’s many music venues, ranging from huge arenas to beautifully restored music halls (such as The Albert Hall and The Deaf Institute) and small local-favourites such as The Castle Hotel.
If you want to get into the festive spirit, there’s no better place in the UK than Manchester’s Christmas markets. Now spanning all across the city, the markets may be overpriced and crowded but it’s all about grabbing a seat and spending a weekend afternoon sipping mulled wine, eating strudel and feeling festive.
Whether you prefer designer department stores, high street stores or independent boutiques, Manchester has something for everyone. If you manage to tire of all the shops in the city centre, pop over to the Trafford Centre for fresh scenery or branch out in the suburbs to discover an intriguing array of independently owned boutiques.