Manchester travel guide

Manchester - Home of Brit cool

Learn all about Manchester from its unique landmarks like Old Trafford and Curry Mile to its rich cultural hotspots like Lowry Centre and Urbis.

Memory of Manchester

“Manchester has and will always have a place in my heart – this vibrant, cosmopolitan city has such a unique character and can-do attitude, you might never want to leave!”

Emma, New York

A cool, contemporary metropolis

Manchester United FC Stadium Source:© Camelia TWU (Flickr)Manchester, in England's North Country, is one of Britain's coolest cities. This once industrial city has reinvented itself as a truly contemporary metropolis, with modern landmark buildings such as the Lowry Centre, a thriving art and culture scene, and world-class sport - its home to the world famous Manchester United Football Club. It’s often cited as the world’s first industrialised city, and elements of Manchester’s industrial past can be found as you travel throughout the city. It’s this dramatic mix of old and new that gives Manchester its unique character.

Culture & heritage

Manchester is now a thriving metropolis, but it’s not hard to spot Manchester’s past. Central Library, inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, is the largest municipal library in the world; and the magnificent Royal Exchange Theatre , formerly the Cotton Exchange, now houses the world’s largest theatre-in-the-round.


The Lowry Gallery, Manchester, England Source:© Britainonview / Pawel LiberaThe city’s attractions – from the museums and galleries, to sports stadiums and music venues – offer something for everyone. Most of Manchester’s 90 or so museums are free, including the galleries at the world-famous The Lowry Centre. If you don’t know where to start exploring Manchester, try an open bus tour from St Peter’s Square.

Top rated attractions

We've told you lots about the best things to see and do in Manchester, now it's your turn! Here are the attractions that travellers like you on TripAdvisor rated the highest.

  • Points of Interest
  • Accommodation
  • Attractions
  • Events

Top daytime must-do's

Top night time must-do's

Let your inner culture vulture loose at the Manchester Art Gallery .

Take in a dance, theatre or family show at the The Lowry Centre.

Go behind the scenes at Old Trafford with the Manchester United Museum & Tour .

Watch your favourite big-name star perform at the MEN Arena .

…or show your support for Manchester City – the Manchester City Experience .

Enjoy a delicious curry at the Rusholme Curry Mile .

Discover all there is to know about city life at the Urbis exhibition centre.

Find out where to see the hottest new bands with out guide to music in Manchester

Shop till you drop at the Trafford Centre – home to over 230 shops


Food & drink

Manchester’s diverse culture mix mean’s there’s a great range of places to eat and drink. From award-winning restaurants to cosy gastropubs, you’ll find something to suit every taste in every corner of the city. And if you want to pick up some great local produce to take home, there are plenty of farmers and produce markets around.

Top-Rated Restaurants

We've told you lots about the best places to eat out in Britain, now it's your turn! Here are the restaurants in London that travellers like you on TripAdvisor rated the highest.


Arndale Centre, Manchester Source:© -nathan (Flickr)Manchester is a shopping destination in its own right, even rivalling the reputation of London. Manchester Fashion Market is the first dedicated fashion market in the North West; King Street is destination designer labels; the Arndale Centre is full of high street bargains; and Affleck’s Palace is a labyrinth of independent boutiques.


When it comes to sport, Manchester is top of the league. Football is the city’s big sport – the 2 local Premiership teams are Manchester City and Manchester United, one of the world’s most successful football clubs. World-class sporting facilities were built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, including the City of Manchester Stadium and the Manchester Aquatics Centre.

Music & nightlife

Three friends enjoying a night out together in Manchester's Northern Quarter Source:© Britainonview / Simon WinnallThe Manchester music scene is one of the world’s most innovative, original and exciting places for both making music and going out to listen to it. The city is full of intimate music venues for live music fans, and if you want to experience Manchester’s clubs and bars, head to the Northern Quarter, Deansgate and Castlefield.

Buy before you fly

To make your trip to Manchester easier, you can buy tickets to attractions, travel passes, and much more at our online shop, and avoid the queues! The BritRail GB Flexi Pass allows you to explore the country at your own pace, and the Great British Heritage Pass gives you free entry to nearly 600 of Britain’s finest historic houses, gardens and monuments. For more great offers, go to VisitBritain Shop .

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England's North Country
Closest airport
Manchester Airport
Football clubs
Manchester United, Manchester City
Famous locals
Oasis, Morrissey, Emmeline Pankhurst
Local food
Manchester Tart, Barm Cakes
Nearest towns / cities
Liverpool, Leeds, Huddersfield,...

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MP3 Walking Tours Manchester...

A fascinating walking tour revealing the story of the Trafford area of Manchester

MP3 Walking Tours Manchester...
MP3 Walking Tour - Manchester

Stroll through Manchester past and present on this revealing and informative audio tour

MP3 Walking Tour - Manchester
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Within 3 miles

Things to do
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      Heart of England by car

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      North England by car

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  • Sightseeing
    • Canterbury Cathedral Source:Spiterman
      Canterbury Cathedral

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    • Kew Gardens, London Source:Roger Quayle
      Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

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      Robin Hood

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    • Blenheim Palace Source:Chris Guise
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      The birthplace of Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace near Oxford is a perfectly preserved 18th-century residence set in a 2,100-acre park...

  • Events
    • Minack theatre on the coast of Porthcurno, Cornwall Source:Eve Saint-Simmons
      The Minack Theatre

      The Minack Theatre showcases a summer season of 18 plays in Britain’s most beautiful and original theatre.

    • 'Night Glows': hot air balloons at night Source:Nic Wise
      Bristol Balloon Fiesta

      From 6-8 August, the small market town of Brecon in Wales plays host to the world-famous Brecon Jazz Festival.

    • Notting Hill Carnival participant wearing a spectacular red and gold feathered costume, Notting Hill, London © Britainonview / Jon Spaull
      Notting Hill Carnival

      Enjoy Latin flavours at Festinho 2010; a laid-back Brazilian music festival in the Oxfordshire countryside from 27-29 August.

    • Brazil Brazil performing onstage Source:Andy Philipson Copyright:2010
      Festival Brazil

      Festival Brazil brings a dynamic programme of music, visual arts, dance, literature, debate and performance to London.

    • Main stage at the festival Source:Tom Bamber
      Music festivals

      With the summer festival season well underway, it's time to pack the tent, put on your denim shorts and wellies and MAKE SOME NOOOOISE!