Manchester has a fabulous live music scene, but there’s a whole lot more to the capital of the North than guitars and bands. From classic concerts in ancient meeting houses, history lessons at the city’s famous museums, a visit to the world’s oldest public library, skimming through stacks of vinyl or even petting a furry friend or two because dogs are just a thing there. The list goes on and on.
So, in this post I’ll take you through the places we visited in our short-stay there and give you a list of all other things you could do whenever you find yourself in the city. For starters, the Northern Quarter is the place to grab a cocktail, and is full of vintage shops. This is where we were staying. I wrote about it in my previous post; you can see it here.
Moving on….where Salford and Trafford meet is what they call the Quays. Earlier they formed a busy dockland but now it is a leisure destination. With the wonderful waterside location just 15 min away from the city, where the Lowry, the Imperial War Museum, Media City and Old Trafford Stadium are all walking distance from each other, it has a lot of places to relax. So culture lovers, sport fans and shopaholics get a look in.
Speaking of stadiums, two of the biggest football teams in the world can be found in Manchester – the reds of Manchester United and the blues of Manchester City. The teams, and fans, share a long, fierce rivalry and an illustrious history. They offer tours where you can live up to hosting a press conference or sit in your favorite star’s seat in the home changing room.
For shopping needs, you’ll find all your high street favorites in the Trafford Centre – which also has a cinema and a Sea Life Centre. It is five miles out of the City Centre, but you can drive, get the bus, train or tram there. While if you’re staying central, the Arndale Centre has more than 200 shops. Also visit Affleck’s Palace, on Church Street, which has tattooists, vintage clothing, vinyl records, jewelry and even a cereal café among its stores.
Piccadilly Gardens keeps changing all the time. It’s a major public space in the city where live concerts and events are hosted, particularly in the summer. It has fountains as well as grassy areas to sit and have a picnic on, and is surrounded by cafés and restaurants. Every weekend, you will find market pop ups and they always have interesting and artsy things.
As for the night life, there are lots of clubs where you can enjoy all types of music. We first had cocktails at Turtle Bay then went to a club called Dive because the DJ knows how to turn a crowd the f* up and they play afrobeats. Like whaaaaaaaat!!!??
This city…no, UK in general, can easily burn a hole in even the tightest of pockets lol. However, there are plenty of ways to spend time in the city without spending any money at all. Most of these art galleries, museums, libraries and parks have no admission fees. If it’s your cup of tea, you can get free gigs at Matt & Phreds’ jazz club and film screenings at the Central Library.
Other places to visit:
- National Football Museum
- Manchester Art Gallery
- Heaton Park
- Museum of Science and Industry
- Whitworth Art Gallery
- Whitworth Park
- Stamford Park
- Dive club
- Dean’s Gate
- Madison Club
Quote of the day: Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. – Ernest Hemingway