Manchester’s attractions and entertainment venues, and its extensive calendar of events make it a top choice for a city break. The city centre’s mix of themed cultural, shopping and dining quarters will appeal to all. Like it bohemian – head to the Northern Quarter around Vintage mecca Afflecks Palace with its fabulous vintage boutiques, quirky gift shop and best vegetarian restaurants and cafes. Manchester’s Chinatown around Mosley Street is not to be missed or try the city’s Comedy Store attracting internationally acclaimed comedians.
Manchester has a wide range of shops, restaurants, bars and pubs in the centre and in top outer dining areas like top UK curry quarter Rusholme – home of ‘The Curry Mile’. a variety of cutting edge sports venues from two of the world’s highest profile football stadiums to Old Trafford Cricket Ground are here in Manchester! A selection of Manchester’s best sports venues like The National Cycling Centre and Regional Tennis Centre at Sportcity plus the Manchester Aquatics Centre on Oxford Road are a great legacy of the Commonwealth Games held in the city in 2002.
Popular events in Manchester’s calendar include the Manchester Christmas Markets centred around the Town Hall. They’re the perfect reason to visit the city, as the streets are lined with cabins and stalls selling Christmas presents and goodies. You can buy hog roast sandwiches, German sausages, mulled wine and beers to enjoy in traditional log cabin pubs!
Manchester’s a bustling hub at any time of the year. Its Gay Village is a popular attraction, and the Manchester Pride Festival takes place in August each year, drawing crowds in their tens of thousands for events lasting over a week. The city also comes alive for the Chinese New Year, with Chinatown celebrations including the Golden Dragon Parade. Manchester is known for its nightlife, catering to a wide range of people with clubs and bars for all music genres.
Family fun hotspots in Manchester include great interactive museums like the Museum of Science and Industry and outstanding family friendly must visits like the People’s History Museum and the National Football Museum. All these family fun museums are free entry and will easily keep the kids entertained across a weekend city break!
On the outskirts of the city sit premier attractions like one of Britain’s top shopping centres The Trafford Centre with not only the best of flagship fashion and department stores but also a fun ‘ship shaped’ dining area. Tops for family attractions, the Trafford Centre includes the Sea Life Centre and Legoland plus soft play centres, a huge choice of toilets, baby changing facilities and family friendly/ pushchair friendly stores dotted around this mammoth shopping village.
Stylish and modern Manchester has retained its industrial architecture, now put to new use housing chic bars down on the canalside around Castlefield or a brand new hotel or apartment converted from heritage mill buildings around Ancoats.
From unmissable hidden gems like the Chinese Arts Centre with on-site art exhibitions and gift shop to Oxford Road’s wonderful Whitworth Art Gallery offering a mixed display of textiles and fine arts, Manchester’s art galleries and centres are impressive. Find them in and around the city centre from the Manchester Art Gallery to The Lowry on Salford Quays where you can see one of the country’s definitive Lowry painting collections, a changing programme of exhibitions and a great mix of musical shows and drama in the Lowry Theatre.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.