Known as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, Manchester is one of the most dynamic and cosmopolitan cities in the UK, with a unique character all of its own. Manchester welcomes visitors with its fine traditions of culture, music, sport and top class events. The city's vitality is expressed through its fascinating history, interactive attractions, magnificent architecture and most of all, the spirit of its people, ensuring that there’s always something to do in the Greater Manchester region.
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The Guardian — www.theguardian.com
Manchester Evening News — www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk
Manchester Metro News (free) — metro.co.uk/tag/manchester
Shops are usually open Mon–Fri 10am–8pm, Sat 9am–7pm, Sun 11am–5pm.
Urban area: 2.8 million
Manchester Visitor Information Center
Manchester Central Library, St Peter's Square
Open Mon–Fri 9am–5pm
Manchester is one of the UK’s most dynamic, cosmopolitan, and welcoming cities. With its fine traditions of culture, music, sport, and top-class events, there’s something for everyone across the whole Greater Manchester region.
From football to cricket to cycling as well as a year-round programme of sports events, Manchester is packed with activities and entertainment to keep sports fans amused even when the games finish.
From music and art to theatre and architecture, Manchester’s culture is known for its energy and excellence.
Birthplace of the computer, the football league and Top of the Pops, Manchester’s heritage is rich and diverse. Take in the history at SIM, housed in the world’s first passenger railway station, or at Chethams Library, the oldest public library in the English-speaking world.
Manchester is the shopping capital of the North, offering a range of shopping experiences from high end to high street, from local to independents.
FOOD & DRINK
From high-end restaurants and renowned chefs setting up camp here to independent good value eateries, global cuisine and also locally produced grub on offer, Manchester has cemented itself as a culinary city.
A visit to Manchester would not be complete without a night out exploring the city’s bars, pubs, and clubs. Each area of the city boasts its own unique style and collection of places to choose from.
Manchester has music in its soul. Mancunian exports include The Smiths, Take That, and Oasis, who have contributed some of the most important rock and pop music of all time. Today, you can enjoy an array of music from classical to jazz to rock and pop in a wide range of different venues.
Greater Manchester has miles of inspiring countryside, crisscrossed by historical waterways and dotted with picturesque towns and fascinating attractions that make for a great day out of the hustle and bustle of the city.
Explore the city like a local and discover the top things to do and see in Manchester, as well as the best restaurants, bars, nightclubs, cafes, and hotels the city has to offer, with our comprehensive, up-to-date, and free Manchester travel guide.
Manchester is perhaps best known internationally for two things: music and football. Huge musical acts, including The Hollies, The Bee Gees, New Order, Oasis, Take That, Simply Red, and many more, have hailed from Manchester. And the yearly "In The City" music festival has launched many to international stardom.
Football fans will want to visit the legendary Old Trafford stadium, museum and megastore. But Manchester has a lot more to offer than just music and sports. It is a young and creative city, with outstanding museums, food and nightlife, crisscrossed by canals, which give it a unique atmosphere. And one of the greatest pleasures about visiting Manchester is exploring the various districts on foot.
The dining scene in Manchester is more interesting and varied by the day. All manner of new restaurants, gastropubs and bars keep popping up around the city, which now ranks among the country's best and most diverse culinary destinations. A local speciality is the Manchester Egg, the city's take on the Scotch egg, which is wrapped in black pudding and sausage, then breaded and deep-fried, and should not be missed.
Manchester has historically been overrun with big chain coffee shops, but a new wave of independent, high-quality, and often quirky cafes and tea houses has been taking over the city, offering more diverse alternatives and more original products. Give these cafes a try, support local entrepreneurs, and while you're at it, enjoy a truly delicious cup of coffee.
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Hey Little Cupcake
Manchester boasts one of the UK's strongest and most diverse nightlife scenes, offering plenty of alternatives for drinking, partying, and catching world-class concerts and performances. Hacienda was once perhaps Europe's most famous club (back in the 'Madchester' days), and though it is no longer in operation, the adventurous spirit of the city's nightlife remains intact in the numerous venues in the Northern Quarter, Castlefield, and Gay Village.
Here's a list of the best bars and nightclubs for a fun night out in Manchester:
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Hard Rock/Marketing Manchester
Band on the Wall/Marketing Manchester
The Deaf Institute/Marketing Manchester
Gorilla Manchester/Marketing Manchester
Junkyard Golf/Marketing Manchester
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Manchester is bursting with activities for families and adults. From walking trails to urban crazy golf and escape rooms to adventure courses, there's plenty to keep you entertained in Manchester.
From music and art to theatre and architecture, Manchester's culture is known for its energy and excellence. The UNESCO City of Literature is awash with new and refurbished cultural venues, and Manchester is preparing for the opening of The Factory, the new permanent home for the Manchester International Festival.
Manchester has become northern England's shopping capital, offering variety, quality, and bargains. From large shopping centres like Manchester Arndale and the Trafford Centre to the pedestrian boutique districts and markets dotting the city to the unique items found at the Manchester Craft and Design Centre, shoppers will be spoilt for choice with everything from designer fashion to local handicrafts on offer.
As one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in the UK, there’s always something on in Manchester. With a rolling calendar of events, festivals, exhibitions, concerts and theatre you’ll never be stuck for world-class entertainment.
Manchester Beer Week/Marketing Manchester
Manchester Craft Beer Festival (July)
Manchester International Festival/Marketing Manchester
Manchester International Festival (July)
Manchester Film Festival/Marketing Manchester
Manchester Film Festival (March)
Manchester Jazz Festival (May)
Manchester Pride (August)
Just So Festival/Wild Rumpus
Just So Festival (August)
Lanterns & Light at Chester Zoo (November & December)
M.V. Photography / Shutterstock.com
Manchester Airport (MAN)
With three terminals handling over 23 million passengers each year, Manchester Airport is the UK’s Global Gateway for the North. Sixty-five airlines ensure Manchester Airport is directly connected to over 200 destinations, and no more than one-stop away from anywhere in the world.
The airport has a combined railway and bus station, with departures to Manchester and the rest of the country. The train to Manchester Piccadilly takes about 20 minutes. Airport buses to Manchester depart every half hour. Taxis and car hire companies are also available at the airport.
Direct trams link the airport to the city centre and Victoria station — your gateway to national rail services — every 12-15 minutes. Remember to purchase tickets from the machines on all platforms prior to boarding or tap in using your contactless card or device, making sure to tap out when you finish your journey. For weekend trips, multiple destinations, or family travel, consider a Travelcard for great value.
Phone: +44 808 169 7030
Thanks to an integrated transport network Manchester is one of the most accessible cities in the UK for both national and international visitors. As England's Gateway to the North, travel around Northern England is easy too, and Manchester Airport is easily accessible from Manchester city centre.
Getting around the city and surrounding areas is easy once you’re here thanks to the fleet of buses, trams and trains available. The compact nature of the city centre also makes walking a popular choice. If you're driving into the city, there are a number of car parks available, or if you're wanting to explore the wider region, car hire is a popular choice for travellers. And for those on a flying visit, there are a number of secure places to leave your luggage.
CitySpareSpace Luggage Storage
Need luggage storage in Manchester? Whether you need a few hours or a few days, City Spare Space makes it easy to book affordable luggage storage in local businesses in Manchester.
Stasher have locations across Manchester where you can store your bag. Enjoy the most of your day without having to lug your bags around with you! Their locations are trusted hotels and shops who safely store your bags.
You must book online — hosts cannot accept payment in store.
Manchester’s largest fleet of iconic black cabs with 300 professional, uniformed drivers and over 50 years’ experience. You can be confident that Mantax will get you from A to B as quickly as possible. Mantax pride themselves on customer service, high standards and safety; all of their journeys are GPS tracked and can even be booked and tracked live on their iPhone or Android App and Web Booker. All of their taxis accept credit and debit card payments (including Amex), are wheelchair accessible and seat 5 or 6 with plenty of room for luggage.
Their rates are set and regulated by Manchester City Council. Mantax offer black cab quality at private hire rates so call for your personal quote today.
You can book by phone, order a cab in their free iPhone or Android application, or via their website. Mantax specialise in corporate & personal accounts and can offer a bespoke service for all your travel needs.
Address: 1-3 West Street, Manchester
Phone: +44 161 230 3333
Postage stamps are available across Manchester at post offices, newsagents and supermarkets. To post a package or small souvenirs, drop into a post office — you can find your nearest branch on their official website. Post offices are generally open Monday–Friday from 9 am to 5:30 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 12:30 pm.
Address: Manchester Post Office, 26 Spring Gardens, Manchester
Phone: +44 345 722 3344
Whether you need to buy over-the-counter medication or collect a prescription, there are plenty of pharmacies all over the capital. Boots and Superdrug are two big chemist chains. You will also find pharmaceutical products at some of the larger supermarket branches.
Address: Cameolord Pharmacy, 7 Oxford Street, Manchester
Phone: +44 161 236 1445
Country code: +44
Area code: 0161
Electrical appliances are connected to the UK mains supply using a three-pin plug known as plug type G. The sockets come with on-and-off switches, unlike in many other countries.
The average voltage of a UK power socket is 230v or slightly higher, so check the voltage of your device before plugging it in.