Manchester Travel Guide for First Timers on a Budget (or Not)
Manchester is a city straight out of Renaissance fantasy mixed with a contemporary vibe and eclectic lifestyle. It’s an ideal place for the solo traveller, family holiday trippers, lovers, or friends looking for that one-of-a-kind experience.
Where to stay. Regardless of your point of origin, you’ll find a great selection of awesome central apartments on Airbnb. The best areas to stay are the North Central and East Central, which covers the majority of the city centre, so you’ll be within walking distance of all the cool dining and shopping that the city offers. Make sure to get a Manchester airport car hire ahead of time, so you’ll have an easier time shopping around for rental homes.
Attractions to visit. I’m a bit of a nerd, so let’s start with the museums. You’ll find a lot of free galleries and museums, such as the Football Museum and The Museum of Science and Industry as well as Football Museum. And don’t forget to visit the incredible John Rylands Library, which is a late Victorian Neo-Gothic building on Deansgate.
You may also visit The Manchester Art Gallery that has some awesome permanent and temporary exhibitions as well as The Whitworth Gallery is also worth a swing up Oxford Road.
Here are the top destinations in Manchester:
• Manchester Cathedral
• Chetham's Hospital and Library
• Manchester Town Hall
• People’s History Museum
• Heaton Park
• Platt Hall
• University of Manchester
Where to go out. You’ll get a bit tired after all that exploring and heck, Manchester is famous for its selection of great bars to indulge in. And as long as you avoid the hen parties at The Printworks, you’ll have a night to remember, for all the right reasons.
If you’re still a student, you should head for Fallowfield and other great student bars on Oxford Road, but if you want to avoid the students, you’re better off visiting The Northern Quarter, where awesome bars, such as The Fitzgerald, a classy place – accessed through a hidden entrance on Little Lever Street. Enjoy a tasty cocktail in luxurious surroundings.
Go to the Common Bar for happy hours, wacky DJ’s, and ever changing décor and top notch falafel snack. Next, visit The Frog and Bucket in the Northern Quarter to experience one of the UK’s greatest comedy venues, where the entrance fee and drinks are so reasonable you’ll laugh. Around the corner is a favourite Mancunian boozer, The Castle, which was established in 1776 and has a high place in Manchester’s musical heritage.
Where to eat. There’s an abundance of budget-friendly options to enjoy proper Mancunian food. Go to Panchos Burrito in The Arndale food market to get a full tummy and a wallet full of change. You’ll get a 15% discount if you’re a student and a lavish collection of Mexican craft beers.
Check out The Nexus Art café for a friendly community space that’s perfect for lunch and the abundance of shops in The Northern Quarter. The next door Junk Shop has a good selection of cool vintage wares and nearby Vinyl Exchange and Piccadilly Records have awesome finds.
Most of these locations are a bit far each other, but that’s no problem if you have a personal transportation. Consider a Manchester airport car hire to get around each area fast and without hitch. You wouldn’t want to spend your limited vacation looking for cabs, right?
That’s it! I’m sure you’ll discover other fine Manchester destinations as you drive on its wide streets filled with quick directions. Enjoy your trip!