With a large variety in types of tickets available on our coaches, travel to the great northern city has never been so affordable and attractive. If you can book from three days in advance and are flexible with journey and travel times, you can take advantage of Coachcards for further discounts.
Scroll down for our affordable Manchester sightseeing suggestions that won’t hurt your wallet.
Whether you’re visiting the jewel of the north to check out one of the two footballing powerhouses in the city, or to enjoy its nightlife and culture, you’ll find no shortage of things to do during your stay.
Indeed, Manchester’s museums enjoy a reputation as some of the finest in the UK – from modern art to historic classics, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy.
Below you can find our recommendations for how to satisfy your food and culture cravings.
Pig out at Pieminister
The stereotype of Northern cuisine is pies. This is especially true in Manchester, so when a place is considered the best pie in Manchester, know what weight that title carries. With a lovely décor and friendly staff, this is the home of the great Manchester pie.
Manchester has one of the biggest Chinatowns in the UK. Stepping through the picturesque gates into the district transports you into an authentic and surprisingly non-touristy slice of China.
A quick wander around China Town will provide you with a large amount of eateries, massage places and more. If you are craving some Asian food, there’s nowhere else better suited short of flying to a different continent.
Despite an unassuming exterior, Cask Bar (opposite the Science & Industry Museum) is one of Manchester’s premium bars. The extensive range of foreign import beers can cater to anyone and everyone’s tastes, providing a very casual night out.
Wander Around the Northern Quarter
The Northern Quarter is one of the quintessentially cooler places in Manchester, although it is becoming more and more mainstream by the year. Any quick wander around the area will reveal some amazing bars and cafés to settle down in. An extended exploration is sure to turn up some amazing, little known gems that you can brag to your friends about.
Market Street in Manchester city centre is pretty self-explanatory. It is a bustling pedestrian market in the middle of the city, packed with shoppers and street traders and entertainers.
The legendary Arndale shopping centre is located in the heart of Manchester. With over 200 shops, cafes and bars, the Centre is home to many high street names, alongside a host of unique independent stores. Trust us, if shopping’s your thing, there’s really nothing you won’t find here.
Museum of Science and Industry
Manchester is an incredibly important city in the fields of science and industry, a trait that dates back to the Industrial Revolution. The Museum of Science and Industry is a monument to these feats and the larger advances made in the respective fields. It provides a fun, interactive and educational day out that lets you appreciate the advancements made in Manchester alongside the technology that surrounds us today.
National Football Museum
Manchester is one of the biggest cities in the world for football fans. With two of the world’s biggest clubs mere minutes from each other, there is more than enough to keep even the most fanatic football nut entertained. Apart from the two obvious stadium tours, the National Football Museum is a place that cannot be missed by history lovers and football fans alike. Located in the home and birthplace of football, this is the best place in the world to learn and explore the history of the global game, with fun interactive elements and skill testing simulators.
Gawp at the John Rylands Library
Built by the wife of the man for whom it is named, the John Rylands library is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Manchester. While some may baulk at the idea of voluntarily visiting a library, the jaw dropping architecture and artwork on display here makes this a must see attraction.
Let them loose at a Legoland Discovery Centre
Forget Legoland Windsor, the Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester is one of the best destinations to bring your child to in the UK; after all, the Danish toy has been a staple in every family’s home for decades. The Legoland Discovery centre provides a space for kids and adults alike to get hands on with the famous brick, making it a great family day out for all.
See how CBBC is made with Studio Tour
Let your kids see how the shows that they know and love get made. The tour around the beloved TV studio lets your kids learn how television gets made, all while having fun little interactions with popular shows, like Blue Peter and Horrible Histories. Hiding the education behind the fun makes this tour something that your kids will remember for a long time.
Experience the Imperial War Museum North
Ever since the First World War, the Imperial War Museum (IWM) has been entrusted to ensure that the stories of those who fought for Great Britain and the Commonwealth are not forgotten. Inside is a stunning collection of intensely personal and humanising stories from the conflicts fought by Britain and the Commonwealth. The IWM also contains one of the world’s largest collections of historic war relics.
Exploring all of Manchester in just one day may seem a daunting task but, rest assured, it can be done. While you cannot see everything there is to see in the one day, if you follow our top recommendations for a day out in Manchester, you’ll have the best chance of making the most of this northern powerhouse.
Visit the Imperial War Museum
Already mentioned within our family recommendations section above, the Imperial War Museum of the North is impossible to omit from any must-visit Manchester list. Being located a little outside of Manchester city, it is best to tackle this museum early in the day. The Imperial War Museum lets you experience some of the wars fought by British and Commonwealth soldiers like never before. It is an experience that, for kids, will let them expel some of that morning energy and, for adults, allow you to spend the rest of the day in the City proper.
Go to an exhibit
Manchester has one of the most diverse and enriching collections of museums and art galleries in the world, primarily owing to the city’s uniquely rich and vibrant history. In particular, we recommend the Lowry Museum which regularly hosts new exhibits that will take your breath away. A case in point is ‘humansbeingdigital’, a cutting edge exhibit running between November and February. It examines the relationship between humanity and our digital lives, with sculptures, paintings, music pieces and even live performance being employed to tell the story.
Nip out for the evening
The legendary Haçienda may be gone from Manchester’s night time scene, but where raving once ruled, a beer-friendly northern capital has freshly arisen. As well as a thriving food scene, craft ale and beer can be found in the trendy Northern quarter. Check out Seven Brothers’ recently opened bar in Ancoats for live music and great craft beer, or student favourite The Font in the unofficial ‘University Quarter’. Gay or not, many of the bars in Manchester’s village offer a different scene altogether – just don’t be offended if you’re turned away.
If you wander around Manchester, you may notice some peculiar little spyholes hidden in some old buildings. Stop and look through any of them to find a lovely glimpse into the rich industrial past of the city.
Sculpture Hall Café
Within Manchester’s Town Hall, this little café features some jaw-dropping architecture and sculptures to examine as you grab a coffee and some lovely food.
St. Mary’s Church
One of the oldest Catholic churches in the UK; the paintings of the Stations of the Cross contained inside are awe inspiring to say the least.
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