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Things to do in Manchester

Things to do in  Manchester

Welcome to Manchester

Affectionately known as the Venice of the North, Manchester is a thriving metropolis famed for its nightlife, sporting culture, and historic canal network. Sports fans are enticed by Old Trafford, the colossal stadium home to Manchester United FC; a plethora of gig venues and concert halls are evidence of the northern England city’s illustrious music scene; and the close proximity of the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales means travelers looking to get in touch with nature don’t have far to go. Ideal for families, Manchester offers an abundance of museums, parks, and restaurants to entertain children and adults alike.

Top 13 attractions in Manchester

Peak District National Park

The Peak District became Britain’s first national park in 1951 and remains one of its most popular outdoor destinations. From fertile farmland and stately homes to towering peaks and underground caves, there’s much to explore across the 143,700-hectare park, including the beginning of Britain’s best-known trail, the Pennine Way.More

Etihad Stadium (City of Manchester Stadium)

The mighty Etihad, also known as the City of Manchester Stadium, is the home of Manchester City Football Club. Built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the award-winning venue is among the UK’s largest with seating for more than 55,000. In addition to football games, the stadium hosts live concerts, other sports matches, and stadium tours.More

Old Trafford

With a capacity of nearly 75,000, Old Trafford is the UK’s second-largest football (soccer) stadium and home of Manchester United since 1910. Beside Premier League fixtures, the venue has hosted Olympic games, rugby league finals, and several international cup matches. The on-site museum houses the team’s famous continental treble trophy.More

John Rylands Library

Also known as the University of Manchester Library, the John Rylands Library is widely considered one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. Built in 1900 and celebrated for its Victorian, neo-Gothic architecture—which includes a soaring, vaulted entryway and ornamental carvings—the landmark houses a vast collection of rare books.More

Manchester Cathedral

The Grade I listed Manchester Cathedral is one of the city’s oldest and most important religious landmarks. With origins dating back to 1421, the soaring cathedral was constructed in the English Gothic style, and later renovated during the Victorian period, and following World War II. Today, the landmark is celebrated for its striking interior.More

Science and Industry Museum

Delve into Manchester’s inventive and industrial heritage at the Science and Industry Museum. Housed in a building that served as the world’s first passenger railway station, the museum includes a wide collection of vintage vehicles, historical machinery, hands-on exhibitions, and other engaging offerings.More

Imperial War Museum North

The Imperial War Museum North—one of five branches of the Imperial War Museum throughout England—is housed in a Daniel Libeskind–designed building meant to resemble a globe split into shards. The museum houses a collection of more than 2,000 objects that relate to global conflict and show how the specter of war changes lives forever.More

Manchester Art Gallery

One of Manchester’s premier museums, the Manchester Art Gallery was founded in the early 19th century and boasts a collection of more than 25,000 objects. It’s particularly renowned for its Victorian-era artworks (including multiple Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces) and places a strong focus on the decorative arts.More

Manchester Museum

Owned by the University of Manchester and housed in a striking, neo-Gothic building, the Manchester Museum has a vast collection that spans natural history, anthropology, and archaeology. Collection highlights include everything from a fossilized Tyrannosaurus Rex (nicknamed "Stan") to ancient Egyptian artifacts.More

People's History Museum

The People’s History Museum tells the story of democracy in the U.K., and collects, studies, and displays materials related to the lives of working people. Housed in a Grade II listed former hydraulic pumping station that has since been given a striking architectural makeover, the museum underwent a major renovation in 2010.More

The Lowry

Consistently one of Manchester’s most-visited attractions, the Lowry is a visual and performing arts center that houses three theaters, plus galleries and other public spaces. Opened in 2000 and dedicated by the Queen of England, the Lowry has played a significant role in the regeneration of the city’s Salford Quays area.More
SEA LIFE® Manchester

SEA LIFE® Manchester

Spend an educational day exploring the underwater world without getting too wet: participate in a feeding demo, attend a talk, or stroke a starfish. At SEA LIFE® Manchester, 30 display tanks, including an immersive ocean tunnel, house more than 5,000 sea creatures—everything from jellyfish to sea turtles, spider crabs to sharks.More
LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre, Manchester

LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre, Manchester

One of only two in the United Kingdom, LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Manchester promises an exciting family-friendly day out. Let your imagination run riot at LEGO® workshops, ride Kingdom Quest, check out the 4D cinema, and marvel over miniatures. Then, stop by the play area before buying bricks of your own in the LEGO shop.More
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Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Manchester

How to Spend 2 Days in Manchester

Top activities in Manchester

The Manchester City Stadium Tour

The Manchester City Stadium Tour

Manchester Afternoon Walking Tour

Manchester Afternoon Walking Tour

Full-Day North Wales Sightseeing Adventure from Manchester
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Snowdonia & Chester Day Tour from Manchester Including Admission
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City River Tour
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City River Tour

MANCHESTER: Lake District Adventure - Sightseeing Day Trip Tour
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Manchester's Music Scene
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Manchester's Music Scene

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Half-Day Manchester Food Tour with Lunch
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All about Manchester

When to visit

Summer in Manchester was made for music lovers, with open-air concerts and festivals almost every weekend, as well as one of the UK’s biggest Pride parades and the biennial Manchester International Festival. Whenever you decide to visit, don’t forget your umbrella—Manchester’s drizzly weather is notorious and even the sunniest days can start off with grey skies and showers.

People Also Ask

What is Manchester famous for?

Often described as the "capital of the north," Manchester is one of England's biggest and most dynamic cities. It is known for its industrial heritage, striking Victorian architecture, and football (soccer) teams like Manchester United and Manchester City. It's also beloved for its alternative spirit and place in music history.

What is there to do in Manchester?

Manchester's museums—including the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester Art Gallery, and National Football Museum—are always popular. Seeing a football (soccer) game at Old Trafford or Etihad Stadium is a must-do. It's also worth walking Manchester's canals, visiting the Northern Quarter, and discovering its historic pubs and craft breweries.

Is Manchester worth visiting?

Yes. Manchester is one of England's largest, most dynamic cities. Culture lovers come to browse its museums and explore hip neighborhoods like the Northern Quarter and Ancoats, while its pubs and restaurants are popular. Visitors also flock here to shop, see a football (soccer) game, or attend a gig.

How can I have fun in Manchester?

Yes. There is plenty of fun to be had in Manchester. Weekend crowds take advantage of its thriving pub scene, browse cool boutiques in the Northern Quarter, or flock to its stadiums to see football (soccer) matches. Its nightlife scene—from hip restaurants to sceney music venues—keeps the party going late.

What can I do for free in Manchester?

Manchester has a number of free museums, including the Science and Industry Museum, the People's History Museum, Manchester Art Gallery, and the Whitworth art gallery. Neighborhoods such as Chinatown and the Northern Quarter are worth exploring on foot, as are Manchester's network of canals.

What do locals do in Manchester?

Locals flock to the city's vibrant Northern Quarter to explore its shops, galleries, tattoo parlors, and cafes. Up-and-coming Ancoats is a destination for trendy restaurants, and the city's music venues are ever popular. Most Mancunians avow undying loyalty to either Manchester United or Manchester City, and wouldn't miss a game.


Manchester information

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Frequently Asked Questions
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