With over three million people living here, Manchester is a bustling city full of charm and atmosphere. There’s so much currently going on in Manchester that, if you’re a visitor to the city, you may struggle to fit everything in. Whether you’re here with family, friends or are on a solo expedition, there’s something fun for everyone to enjoy, so here are some of the best things to do in Manchester during your visit.
John Rylands Library
A great place to spend an hour or so if it’s raining, John Rylands library is well worth a visit if you’re a fan of architecture, history and books. With its impressive gothic building and beautiful interior, spend some time taking in the moulded ceilings and walls, stained glass windows and old stone staircases. The reading rooms are still in use and are a quiet get-away for busy students and workers. If the typical Manchester weather is still in full swing when you finish, pop into the on-site cafe for a pot of tea and a slice of homemade cake.
For the more adventurous types, why not pencil in a visit to Chill Factore during your time in Manchester? Just 15 minutes from the city centre and easily accessible by car, bus or taxi, the UK’s longest indoor snow slope is nestled right next to the Trafford Centre. There are several snow-based activities to choose from that are perfect for all the family, from snowboarding, skiing, sledging and even Mini-Moose Land for younger children. Keep in mind, however, that you will need to book any sessions in advance before your visit. If you don’t fancy taking part in the activities, there is an upstairs bar where you can sit out and watch the skiers come down the slope and there are plenty of shops and restaurants to keep you busy for the day.
One of Manchester’s newest restaurant, 20 Stories is fast becoming a firm favourite with food fans in the city. The restaurant overlooks all of Manchester from its prime location in Spinningfields and all the food served here is sourced no more than 50 miles from Manchester. Full of atmosphere, if you’re only in the city for the day this is the place to come to enjoy great food and even better views. Make sure to check out the cod cheek and rump of Herdwick lamb.
The Manchester Museum
A short walk down Oxford Road will take you to the Manchester Museum. If you’re visiting Manchester with children in tow, then this is a brilliant place to bring them. The museum often has plenty of activities going on to keep children busy, especially during the summer, and they frequently hold events and special exhibitions throughout the museum. Children (and parents) are sure to love learning about Egyptian mummies, being amazing by the animals in The Vivarium and, if you make it to the end of the museum trail, be sure to spend time meeting “Stan” the tyrannosaurus rex!
If you’ve spent some time exploring Manchester’s much loved Northern Quarter, then a drink at The Fitzgerald is a must. Named after the author F. Scott Fitzgerald, this 1920s style bar is hidden away down a side alley. Sat above some much wilder bars and clubs, you’d be forgiven for missing the bar’s location. The Fitzgerald focuses on the Prohibition era and encompasses the imagination and creativity from that time within the bar. Expect great cocktails in crystal glasses, one of the largest gin collections in Manchester and, if you time it right, live jazz music. If you’re heading home on the train, a visit here before you leave should be on your list, as it is located just 5 minutes from Manchester Piccadilly train station.