Manchester Must See and Do
I’m sure we’ve all heard of the city of Manchester, haven’t we? If you’re a sports fan, then you’re more likely to be familiar with the English city. Manchester is known for their music, culture, sports, and amazing sights and sounds- no wonder it’s the third most visited city in the United Kingdom.
It was a little over after a month after that very sad bombing incident that I landed in Manchester. It was a hot Sunday and as I drove in, it felt so quiet and “dead”. I thought to myself, is this the effect of the bombing? But then, I realized, it was a Sunday and a rest day, yes, most of the shops were closed.
Come Monday, Manchester showed me how lively it is to be there.
Must See and DO:
Museum of Science and Industry
This museum is a large one, devoted to the fields of science and technology- perfect for STEM enthusiasts. They’re open every day from 10AM to 5PM, and it’s free, they have shows like Manchester Revolution or How to make cotton or how things are working in the mill. Quite interesting for both adults and for children. It sits in the very heart of Manchester, so don’t miss it.
John Ryland’s Library
The impressive library hosts a wide array of different books. The neo-Gothic styled building is a favorite spot for tourists, which looks more so like a church or a cathedral than it does a library. The ambience is an utter delight; feel free to visit at any time seeing as how it’s open every day. (It closes at 5PM however, so get there early)Free also, the reading room is really nice reminds me of Harry Potter.
Like many of the structures in the city of Manchester, the town hall also boasts a Victorian, neo-Gothic architectural design. Given its picturesque design, it’s no wonder so many films use it as a backdrop for their scenes! Your hands will immediately itch for a picture, so bring along a camera if you can. Not to mention, they have an on-site café where you can indulge in a cup of delicious cream tea.
If you’re an information junkie, then Manchester’s Central Library might just turn into one of your favorite spots. They have archives full of all sorts of things, be it about history, culture- anything you can think of on the top of your head. It is open daily from 9 to 5PM, meaning you’ll be able to take your time, sit back and relax as you browse through the books they have to offer.
Manchester Art Gallery
If you’re an avid fan of art and creative hobbies, the Manchester Art Galley better be on your radar. They’re free and open to all, seven days a week. It is the home to local and international artworks, such as pieces by William Etty and William Hunt. Try and get there early, however, because it tends to get quite crowded especially during tourist season.
Chinese Ark and China Town
Manchester’s Chinatown is the second largest in the United Kingdom as well as the third largest in the entirety of Europe. If you want to get a taste of Manchester’s spin on ethnic cuisine, then head over as soon as you can. Walking through the streets feels as if you’ve stepped right into Asia, what with the large red signages and buildings. You’ll also be able to score some great deals on souvenirs to bring home.
Lay out at Picadilly gardens.
I love how during summer time, people are just bathing in the fountain.
Go thrift shopping in the Northern Quarters.
You will find the best finds. Try the charity foundations. I bought in the cancer research and proceeds go to cancer patients so I don’t feel so bad. It feels like shopping for a cause. There is Oxfam too who does the same thing. I was able to score a Top Shop Parka for 19 pounds, a top man jacket for 10 and other things for hella cheap and in good condition.
Go street art searching all over the northern quarter.
If you love street art, you will go crazy; they have a lot in Manchester. And most are found around the Northern Quarters.
Go around the Affeck building you will find a lot there. One of the famous one is the one that says
Go to Faraday and Port street there are also cool art there
Drop by Barton Arcade
The building is Victorian and it’s really pretty. It has a really cool barber shop and a café. You’ll be able to get some clothes and souvenir shopping there, too.
Shop in Arndale.
Arndale Centre is one of the largest malls available in Manchester. You can find practically everything you need inside, be it clothes, makeup, shoes, food and technology. If you’re looking for a place to shop till you drop, there’s no better place than here.
Enjoy a drink at the Shambles Square
Shambles Square is a location in Manchester filled to the brim with various pubs and bars. One of the most popular is the Old Wellington and Sinclairs Oyster Bar, where you can have a frothing and refreshing mug of the drink of your preference.
Enjoy outdoor sitting drinks at Castle field Area.
There are several restaurants like the Wharf and more and it’s just a cool area to hang out. On a good summer day, everyone is just laying out by the canals.
Walk by the canals
The canals in Manchester aren’t like any old canals you can find in other places. Walking past them is always relaxing, and you’ll be able to catch a view of the Victorian-styled buildings reflected against the clear waters.
Manchester Cathedral may not be the biggest, but it certainly is beautiful and is more than worth a visit. The stained glass walls and choir stalls are quite nice to look at, as well. The location really gives out the very essence of Manchester’s old roots.
Right across the Manchester Cathedral is the Chatham’s Library where Karl Marx and Engels used to read — the birth of their philosophies. It is also a music school so although the tour is free, it is timed.
Watch a football game
Of course, what’s Manchester culture without football? Head out to a live football pub or sports bar and see just how excited the locals can get over a game concerning their home team. Grab a beer and join in along with the fun and adrenaline-pumping excitement.
Go to Football Museum
Happen to be a football fan? Even if you aren’t, the National Football Museum is still a must-visit when in Manchester. Doors open at 10 in the morning and close at 5, so try and get there between those times. The Football Museum is home to many stories about individuals concerned with the sport, and even if you aren’t a fan you might still find their backstories interesting.
Where to Eat
- Everlyn – Want to head out and get a taste of Manchester cuisine? Everlyn’s got your back. It’s a Café and bar, as well as a restaurant all in one so you can head there no matter what you’re craving. It’s open from 9AM to a rather late 11PM, perfect for a late night dinner. The fan-favorites of this popular restaurant are their brunch as well as international dishes, such as the Korean chicken.
- Grindsmith – Manchester, like the rest of England, is known for their wonderful tea- but that doesn’t mean they can’t make great coffee, too. Grindsmith specializes in coffees and cakes. It’s open from 8AM to 8PM, making it a perfect place to stop by for breakfast. They have delicious salmon bagel in a really cool, modern co-working space.
- Fig + Sparrow – Another Manchester restaurant which serves great British food is the Fig + Sparrow, a place with a simplistic and homely atmosphere reminiscent of traditional English homes. They have great brunch assortments as well as cakes, bread and sweets that’ll satisfy your sugar craving. They’re only open from 9AM to 6PM, however, so make sure you’re on time.
- The Moon Under Water – Sometimes, eating out all the time tends to get expensive. If you want to get a quality meal without breaking the bank, visit The Moon Under Water, a pub that serves cheap burgers and wings. You’ll be able to visit any time of the day, given that they’re open from 7AM up till 2AM. This makes it a great spot for late night drinks with friends or family.
- Unfamous diner – English food is amazing and all, but what if you’re craving for good ol’ American cuisine? Don’t worry, Manchester has that for you too. Their cheeseburgers and milkshakes are great, so be sure to try those out. Their opening time is 10AM, and they close at 10PM.
- Blue Pig – When you’re in a city like Manchester, there’s never a low supply of quality bars. The Blue Pig is another great example. Not only do they have a wide array of drinks on the menu, but they also have delicious French and local meals such as Sunday roast and Yorkshire pudding. This is a restaurant more suited for evening people, because it opens at 12AM and closes at 12PM.
- Tusk – Tusk is another good cocktail bar and eatery open from 12PM to a late 3AM. They have a nice, well-lit and elegant atmosphere which make social drinking all the more enjoyable.
- Independent Book Store
There is a free bus that goes around but also I walked the whole time I was in Manchester. The furthest distance from one point to another is 30 minutes.
Tip: Download Gett, It’s an app on your phone or Uber. And if you are a first time user, then they have promos for you When I was there, they had 5 pounds less per ride. I usually just walked from one end to another, but on days where I absolutely need to, like when I had a big bag, I used Gett and only paid 2 pounds. What a deal.
Manchester and York were one of my cheaper cities in UK. I paid 35 pounds for 4 days in an all girls room with private bathroom in Manchester YHA. The location of YHA was also fantastic, plus I met 3 of the coolest girls who stayed there for about the same time I did, so we really got to bond.