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Three days is the ideal amount of time to make the most of everything that Manchester has to offer. This guide has been organised by location so that you don’t miss a thing or waste time travelling between sights. Day one explores Manchester city centre, giving you an insight into the history and culture of the city; day two ventures south-east towards the university neighbourhood, Old Trafford stadium and MediaCityUK — some of the city’s most famous landmarks — and day three focuses north to explore the largest municipal park in Europe, and then back full circle to the city centre to conclude your trip in true 'Mancunian' style.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nightlife Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • LGBT
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

15 Places

4 City Tips

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15 Places

Day 1

Manchester Town Hall

Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings

Castlefield Urban Heritage Park

Historic Sites

John Rylands Library

Speciality Museums

People's History Museum

History Museums

Manchester Cathedral

Religious Sites, Architectural Buildings

The Old Wellington

Restaurants

Day 2

The Manchester Museum

Speciality Museums

Whitworth Art Gallery

Art Museums

Victoria Baths

Historic Sites

Old Trafford

Arenas & Stadiums

MediaCityUK

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Day 3

Heaton Park

Parks

Chetham's Library

Libraries

Manchester Art Gallery

Art Galleries

Gay Village

Neighbourhoods

Jessica B's City Tips

  • The best way to get around the city is via tram and train. Invest in a travel card to save money if you're making multiple journeys.
  • You must buy your ticket before boarding the train or tram, otherwise you could face a hefty fine. Bus tickets can be bought from the driver.
  • It is customary to tip 10% in restaurants. In pubs this is not necessary, but feel free to tell the bar staff to “keep the change”.
  • Manchester’s weather is quite unpredictable, so always bring a jacket with you, especially in the evenings.
    Day 1
  • Save
    Manchester Town Hall
    Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Located right in the centre of the city, this iconic Victorian-era building is a must see as the architecture is stunning both inside and out. You can join a guided tour of the whole building or just wander through the ground floor corridors by yourself.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • On a clear day you can climb the clock tower, and for a small fee, you can stand directly behind the giant clock face and enjoy great views of the city.
    • Behind the building is Albert Square; look out for the impressive Albert Memorial.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #18 of 320 things to do in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Manchester Town Hall 28/06/2015
    • beautiful building 24/06/2015
    • Manchester Town Hall
    Address:
    Lloyd St
    Manchester M60 2LA
    United Kingdom
    Phone:
    0161 827 7661
    Other:
  • Save
    Castlefield Urban Heritage Park
    Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Castlefield is unlike any other park you’ve visited — there is no playground or duck pond, but rather the ruins of a Roman amphitheatre and a series of canals from Industrial Revolution era Britain.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • This is the perfect place to stop for a picnic lunch: there are picnic benches just outside the Museum of Science and Industry.
    • There are many restaurants and pubs in Catalan Square, with terraces overlooking the canal.
    • You'll see signposts that explain the canals' importance in Manchester’s history.
    • The canal is very deep and in some areas there are no railings so take care, especially if you are travelling with young children.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #32 of 320 things to do in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fascinating area 10/06/2015
    • fascinating 06/06/2015
    • Castlefield Urban Heritage Park
    Address:
    Beaufort Street
    Manchester
    United Kingdom
    Other:
  • Save
    John Rylands Library
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    The library is not only famous for its collection of books and manuscripts, which date back five millennia, but also for its architecture. The building’s interior is spectacular and well worth visiting in its own right.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The library’s cafe is an ideal place to stop for a tea or coffee. They also sell a wide range of light meals.
    • There is a shop within the library; the perfect place to pick up an original souvenir.
    • The library hosts free events throughout the year; check what’s on before you go.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 320 things to do in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Amazing! 30/06/2015
    • Fasinating 29/06/2015
    • John Rylands Library
    Address:
    150 Deansgate
    Manchester M3 3EH
    United Kingdom
    Phone:
    0161 306 0555
    Hours:
    Sun - Mon
    12:00 - 22:00
    Tue - Sat
    10:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    People's History Museum
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    The People's History Museum explores the last 200 years of life in Manchester, right up to the present day. As it focuses on the history of ordinary people, it is a great place to learn more about what has made Manchester so special and the important role it has played in the creation of modern British society.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • Don’t miss the exhibit on the top floor which explores World War II to the present day; a guaranteed trip down memory lane for those of a certain age.
    • There is a cafe on the ground floor of this museum.
    • The museum is free to enter but consider leaving a small donation if you have enjoyed your visit.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #15 of 320 things to do in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Very interesting indeed 22/06/2015
    • From Industrial revolution to today. 20/06/2015
    • People's History Museum
    Address:
    Bridge St.
    Manchester M3 3ER
    United Kingdom
    Phone:
    44 161 839 6061
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Manchester Cathedral
    Religious Sites, Architectural Buildings
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    This medieval cathedral is part of the Church of England and has undergone many restoration projects throughout the years to preserve it and restore it to its former glory.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The Cathedral may be closed to visitors during special services and mass so check in advance of your visit.
    • The Hanging Bridge dates back to 1421 and can be seen from the basement of the Cathedral’s Visitor Centre.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #29 of 320 things to do in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Simply Beautiful 29/06/2015
    • Impressive space 28/06/2015
    • Manchester Cathedral
    Address:
    Victoria St, north end of Deansgate
    Manchester M3 1SX
    United Kingdom
    Phone:
    44 161 833 2220
    Other:
  • Save
    The Old Wellington
    Restaurants (British, Pub)
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    The Old Wellington is a traditional British pub full of character. Set in one of the oldest buildings in the city (built in 1552), it is the perfect place to recuperate with a cold beer and a hot meal after a full day’s sightseeing.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Try one of the "real ales" on offer here.
    • On a nice day you can sit out in the beer garden.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #221 of 1,433 restaurants in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • quirky olde english pub 28/06/2015
    • Fish n chips ...amazing 28/06/2015
    • The Old Wellington
    Address:
    4 Cathedral Gates
    Manchester M3 1SW
    United Kingdom
    Phone:
    0161 839 5179
    Price range:
    $13 - $24
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 - 3:30
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 - 4:00
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Save
    The Manchester Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    The Manchester Museum has everything that you'd want from a Natural History museum and then some. From complete dinosaur skeletons to the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in the UK, there is something for everyone. The museum also boasts a newly installed vivarium where you can see some of the planet’s most endangered amphibians and reptiles.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The museum is served very well by the local bus services and is located a 10-15 minute walk from Oxford Road train station.
    • There is a cafe and an indoor picnic area within the museum.
    • There is a special section for under five's called the Nature Discovery Centre. This makes a great family day out.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #14 of 320 things to do in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Excellent museum 29/06/2015
    • Just right 28/06/2015
    • The Manchester Museum
    Address:
    Oxford Road
    The University of Manchester
    Manchester M13 9PL
    United Kingdom
    Phone:
    0161 275 2648
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Whitworth Art Gallery
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Located just down the road from the Manchester Museum and often overlooked due to the popularity of the Manchester Art Gallery, Whitworth is a hidden gem for art lovers. After a £15 million refurbishment, the gallery now houses twice as many exhibits as it used to.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Take some time to explore Whitworth park as well as the gallery.
    • Located in the heart of the university district, there is no shortage of cheap eateries nearby.
    • The building itself has its own special charm; located inside the tranquil Whitworth park, you’ll feel a world away from the busy, bustling city.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #80 of 320 things to do in Manchester
    • A grand day out! 30/06/2015
    • Amazing Gallery 29/06/2015
    • Whitworth Art Gallery
    Address:
    University of Manchester
    Oxford Road
    Manchester M15 6ER
    United Kingdom
    Phone:
    +44 161 275 7450
    Other:
  • Save
    Victoria Baths
    Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    This Victorian era swimming pool and Turkish baths has reopened following its closure in 1993. The building was left derelict, and little by little, is being restored to its former glory. Although the baths are not yet fully functional, they do not disappoint. Look out for the beautiful stained glass windows.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • It is not currently possible to swim in the baths, but the restoration project hopes to restore at least one swimming pool for public use in the future.
    • The building is only open to the public between April and October.
    • The Baths is a popular location for events and art exhibitions, and many TV shows have been filmed here including the Antiques Roadshow and Life on Mars.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #41 of 320 things to do in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Sunday Afternoon Time Well Spent 28/06/2015
    • Wedding Reception 15/06/2015
    • Victoria Baths
    Address:
    Hathersage Road
    Chorlton-on-Medlock
    Manchester M13 0FE
    United Kingdom
    Phone:
    0161 224 2020
    Other:
  • Save
    Old Trafford
    Arenas & Stadiums
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Manchester United is arguably one of the things that has put Manchester on the map, and so a visit to its stadium — Old Trafford (nicknamed 'the stadium of dreams') — is a must for any football fan.

    Good for
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • There are no tours on match days.
    • It is possible to take a guided tour of the stadium. The tour also takes in the Old Trafford Museum which is a treasure trove of Manchester United memorabilia.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 320 things to do in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The theatre of dreams 28/06/2015
    • Huge place, shopping heaven! 28/06/2015
    • Old Trafford
    Address:
    Sir Matt Busby Way
    Manchester M16 0RA
    United Kingdom
    Phone:
    +44 (0) 161 868 8000
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    8:00 - 1:00
    Sat - Sun
    9:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    MediaCityUK
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    MediaCityUK is one of Manchester’s most up and coming areas. It is home to some of the BBC and ITV television studios as well as the Lowry Outlet Mall, the Lowry Theatre, the Imperial War Museum and tons of cafes and restaurants.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Stay for sunset and watch the buildings light up with their reflections in the quays; a spectacular sight.
    • MediaCity is very well connected to the city centre by bus and tram.
    • Check out the Blue Peter garden.
    • For a great view over the area, consider climbing to the top of the shard in the Imperial War Museum.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 37 things to do in Salford
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • MediaCity UK 27/06/2015
    • Concrete City... 27/06/2015
    • MediaCityUK
    Address:
    The Quays
    M50 2EQ
    United Kingdom
    Phone:
    441618865300
    Other:
  • Day 3
  • Save
    Heaton Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    This park is the largest municipal park in Europe and boasts an animal farm, a boating lake, an 18th century manor house, woodlands and an 18-hole golf course. There is something for everyone to enjoy here; it's not to be missed.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If you love plants, don’t miss a trip to the traditional nursery.
    • The park has several cafes and a traditional tea-room, which overlooks the boating lake. The deli serves honey made by the bees in the park.
    • The park is colossal in scale; to explore all it has to offer you can hop on the volunteer-run tram system or hire a Segway.
    • There are many light hiking trails throughout the park suitable for all levels.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #53 of 320 things to do in Manchester
    • Lovely place for a family day out 30/06/2015
    • Lovely especially for kids 23/06/2015
    • Heaton Park
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 - 3:30
    Mon - Thu
    12:00 - 4:00
    Fri - Sat
    12:00 - 5:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Chetham's Library
    Libraries
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Founded in 1653, this is the oldest library in the English-speaking world. If that isn’t enough to tempt you, it is also the home to many first editions including Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica (1689), a large number of beautiful glass lantern slides, and the desk where Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels met to study together.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • As the library houses such an impressive collection, it is impossible to have everything on permanent display. The displays change weekly.
    • The library is free to enter but it is recommended to leave a small donation to help towards the upkeep of the exhibits.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 320 things to do in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Rude staff on gate 23/06/2015
    • Wonderfully Atmospheric 14/06/2015
    • Chetham's Library
    Address:
    Long Millgate
    Manchester M3 1SB
    United Kingdom
    Phone:
    0161 834 7961
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    9:00 - 17:30
    13:30 - 21:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Manchester Art Gallery
    Art Galleries
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Considered one of the top art museums in the UK, Manchester Art Gallery is a treasure-trove of artwork, which spans over six centuries. The 19th century British paintings are particularly impressive.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • There is a large cafe on the ground floor of the building as well as a shop that sells unique souvenirs.
    • The gallery is free to enter.
    • Late night openings are offered on Thursdays until 9pm.
    • Many of the displays change quite frequently; if you want to see something in particular it may be worth phoning in advance to check what is on display.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 320 things to do in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Go and have a look 28/06/2015
    • Infrequent visitor 25/06/2015
    • Manchester Art Gallery
    Address:
    Mosley Street
    Manchester M2 3JL
    United Kingdom
    Phone:
    0161 235 8888
    Hours:
    Tue - Fri
    11:00 - 23:00
    Sat
    11:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Gay Village
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Set along the Rochester Canal, this is the perfect place to end your trip to Manchester. The Gay Village is a lively neighbourhood full of bars and restaurants and offers a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere to everyone; gay or straight, young or old.

    Good for
    • LGBT
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Canal Street is an ideal place for an early-evening stroll and people watching. In the summer the bars set out terraced seating on the street.
    • Look out for the rainbow tiles, which were installed to celebrate the neighbourhood’s LGBT history.
    • From around 9pm the area comes to life; recommended for party-goers only.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #69 of 320 things to do in Manchester
    • nice place 29/06/2015
    • Gay time on Canal Street 29/06/2015
    • Gay Village
    Address:
    Chorlton & Canal Sts
    Manchester
    United Kingdom
    Other:
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