Are you thinking about taking a trip to Manchester anytime soon? You’re certainly in for a treat. Manchester is an exciting city filled with spots that are quickly putting it on the map for trendy restaurants, amazing attractions and even more great shops for you to try out. As one of the biggest cities in the North of England, Manchester is an exciting place to be no matter what reason you decide to visit.
The city has its own culture with a lot of rich history and an atmosphere that’s an eclectic mix of student life and metropolitan. Whether you’re traveling to Manchester for leisure or business, you’ll need to know about all the best activities, places to eat, and, of course, where to stay. In this guide, we’ll give you all the must-sees and dos in Manchester so that you can make the most of your time in the exciting English city.
A Brief History of Manchester
Manchester etched its name in British history as it was born from the Industrial Revolution, and pioneered the UK’s progress on a global scale. Renowned as the leading producer of cotton and textiles, it was the world’s first industrialized urban center. In 1761, Manchester launched the UK’s first working canal, while the world’s first railway line emerged in Manchester in 1830. Manchester embodies a remarkable blend of historical significance and cutting-edge innovation.
Why Are There Worker Bees Everywhere?
When you’re walking around Manchester, you may come across the worker bee emblem on dustbins, the sides of buildings, or benches. The symbol of the worker bee bears great significance in Manchester. The emblem has represented Manchester for over 250 years as a reminder of the hard work and dedication to innovation the residents of the city have displayed throughout history.
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Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes
Let’s kick off with one of the most up-and-coming scenes in Manchester – the food scene. With the city becoming a popular spot for trendy restaurants, street food, bars, and hip coffee shops, there are a few places in Manchester you have to visit to give you a good idea of what the Manchester food scene is all about.
If you’re in the area, you need to pay a visit to the very popular Pollen Bakery. They are most famous for the cruffin, which is a delightful creation, marrying the flakiness of a croissant with the indulgence of a muffin, filled with delectable curd or crème patissière.
Another thing that Manchester is developing its name in is its street food reputation. We all know how great a pizza, burger or toastie tastes when you’re just craving those savory sensations. If you are a fan of Italian food, then you have to take a turn past Nell’s New York Pizza & Bar. The restaurant is so much more than your neighborhood pizza joint, instead, it’s a hub of innovation when it comes to everyone’s favorite cheesy meal.
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Manchester is certainly the place to be when you’re in need of a little retail therapy. Shopping is one of the things that the city is famous for, and it certainly does not disappoint when it comes to the variety of fashion available from designer outlets. When you’re in the city, take the opportunity to explore the shopping meccas of Manchester Arndale, The Trafford Centre, Exchange Square, and Market Street, showcasing a plethora of renowned department stores including John Lewis, Selfridges, House of Fraser, and M&S.
For a touch of exclusivity, venture to King Street, Spinningfields, and New Cathedral Street, which are homes to chic designer boutiques. If you prefer the charm of one-of-a-kind independents and handmade treasures, Manchester’s creative hub, The Northern Quarter, has loads of vintage shops, record stores, and a lively mix of cafes, bars, and restaurants.
If you’re on the hunt for amazing bargains and designer labels, Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet has over 145 boutiques in a sprawling quarter-million-square-foot retail space. And don’t forget Manchester’s thriving Jewellery Quarter, where you’ll discover everything from exquisite timepieces to vintage gems and contemporary jewelry.
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A Night On The Town
Having a night out in Manchester is an incredible experience. Drinks will certainly cost you a lot less than if you were out and about in London. It’s also ideal as most of the places to go are close together, meaning you can walk around if you fancy a bit of a bar hop. Where you end up entirely depends on your preferences and what sort of activity you want to get up to.
One of the more unique experiences you can choose when on a night out in Manchester is a club called Impossible. The club has curated an immersive experience for guests to enjoy, entertaining you with an array of performances from professional dancers to world-class DJs. For a quieter evening in Manchester, consider catching a show at one of the theaters, grabbing dinner at one of the many restaurants beforehand.
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Places to Stay
There is definitely no shortage of accommodation in Manchester, however, you may find that some spots are better than others. There are hotels and BnBs to suit any budget, however, for a truly fantastic time in the city, serviced apartments are certainly your best option. Serviced apartments are self-catering, and give you a lot more freedom than hotel stays. You’ll be able to come in and out of your apartment as much as you like, and your meal times are not determined by the Hotel’s schedule. Apartments have all the comforts of home, with the added benefit of domestic chores being done for you.
Some of the best areas of Manchester to stay in are the City Centre, the Northern Quarter, Salford Quays, and Old Trafford. These places are close to everything whether you want to visit Manchester to explore its incredible food scene or shop til you drop. If you can get a serviced apartment in one of these areas, you’ll be able to walk to most of the attractions the city has to offer.
After reading this guide to Manchester, hopefully, your interest has been piqued and you’re already looking at what you want to book and planning your itinerary for your time in the city. Manchester might not be on our list of best places to visit in Europe but there’s no doubt you will have a great time when you’re there.