It’s no secret that many people now plan their travels based around Instagram – whether that means spending a little time researching their destination on the popular photo app, or planning their trip around where they can take the most Instagrammable snaps. If you’re thinking about visiting Manchester anytime soon, here are 10 spots in the city centre where you’re sure to find the perfect photo opportunity.
Housed inside the beautifully grand Principle hotel on Oxford Road, the Refuge is one of Manchester’s most stylish hangouts. The clientele ranges from touring rock stars to local fashion bloggers, all sipping on delicious cocktails and relaxing among the beautiful décor. If you want to really nail that Instagram shot, take a seat in the winter garden and ask your companion to photograph you beside one of the fairy-light lit trees.
The Refuge, Oxford St, Manchester, UK, +44 0161 233 5151
The Northern Quarter is filled with interesting street art to discover with plenty of photo opportunities around every corner but if you want to ensure a winning shot, head straight for Stevenson Square. In the centre of the street you’ll find a selection of the most photographed graffiti in the neighbourhood, all by a collective known as Outhouse MCR. Over the past year, David Bowie, Sloth from The Goonies and an extremely poignant Manchester bee design have all graced this wall.
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Have you even visited Manchester if you haven’t shared a photograph of the mosaic sign outside Affleck’s? The iconic sign reading ‘and on the sixth day, God created Manchester’ is surely one of the most popular photos of Manchester city centre on Instagram with many tourists and locals flocking to Short Street to admire the piece of art.
I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world. John 16:33 • • • • • • #manchester #manchesterunited #manchesterpride #manchestergram #ilovemanchester #unitedkingdom #england #UK #landscape #ig_uk #igersuk #journalism #journalist #news #streetdreamsmag #vscocamera #streetscape #signs #streetphotography #cityscape #cityview #vsco #vscocam #onthesixthday
Owned by the team behind the incredibly successful Altrincham market, Mackie Mayor may be a newcomer to the Northern Quarter but it’s already so popular that you’ll struggle to get a seat at weekends. Instead, why not visit in the evening on a weekday or rock up for breakfast before the crowds appear? Whether you choose to sit up on the mezzanine and photograph the view or get up close and personal and document your dinner, this is the place to be seen.
Fig + Sparrow
Situated on Oldham Street in the heart of the Northern Quarter, Fig + Sparrow’s café has proven so popular that their dining space has recently expanded, taking over the area that used to be populated with gifts. There are still a few small gift ideas and a selection of stylish cards and gift wrap to peruse as you indulge in a delicious cup of coffee out of one of their instantly recognisable red and yellow cups. To secure the perfect photo, take the window seat to shoot your steaming brew against the fogged up glass.
Fig + Sparrow, 20 Oldham St, Manchester, UK, +44 161 228 1843
Inside may be snug and cosy with hearty American-diner inspired food, but it’s the mural that graces the outside of the Koffee Pot that is just begging to be photographed. Be respectful, as this beautiful piece of street art is a memorial to the victims of the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert, but it’s also a reminder of Manchester’s sense of community, demonstrated through the worker bee emblem.
You may wonder why we’re recommending a store that is essentially a stationers, but Fred Aldous is one of the most interesting and photogenic shops in Manchester. The beautifully laid out three floors are filled with everything from coloured card to balls of wool, stylish journals and intriguing gift ideas. Oh, and did we mention that there’s an old school photo booth?
Fred Aldous, 37 Lever St, Manchester, UK, +44 161 236 4224
I love old photo-booths like this one. Going behind the curtain. Capturing four little moments in time with a special someone, a strip of photos to treasure forever. In Manchester we are lucky that there are several booths dotted around the city, but if you’re ever in Berlin there are loads! They are called photoautomat over there. Say cheese! 📸
Surely one of the most stylish coffee shops in the entire country, Foundation is an Instagrammer’s dream. Even the bathrooms are worthy of a photograph in this impeccably designed café that focuses on a slick black, white and wooden interior. You’ll want to snap everything from the sleek booths to the perfectly designed menu, monochrome floor tiles and steaming cups of coffee that arrive on wooden trays.
Foundation Coffee, Sevendale House, Lever St, Manchester, UK, +44 161 238 8633
Home Sweet Home
This cosy café on Edge Street in the Northern Quarter is known for its snug interior, quirky detailing and incredible-looking cakes. If you’re looking for sweet treats to photograph, you’ll find it hard to select just one cake from their selection, so it’s a good idea to bring a couple of friends with you. And don’t get too stuck into photographing the food that you forget to capture all of the eclectic details, such as their neon pink signs.
Home Sweet Home, 49-51 Edge St, Manchester, UK, +44 161 244 9424
Evelyn’s Café Bar
Evelyn’s is frequented by Manchester’s most stylish crowd – you might even spot a local blogger taking photos by the iconic window. Thanks in part to its delectable food and great coffee, but mainly down to its industrial chic décor, this is a place to be seen in the Northern Quarter. The bare brick walls, abundance of hanging plants and wooden window seat are all pure Instagram fodder.
Evelyn’s Cafe Bar, G18 Tib St, Manchester, UK, +44 161 834 3303
We went to see Father John Misty last night, and oh my.. he did not disappoint. Such an incredible performance 🙌🏻 we've got a bit more time today to explore Manchester, I've got a list of cafes and independent shops I want to visit – is there anything we definitely shouldn't miss? Loved the decor in @evelynscafebar yesterday 💕