One Day in Manchester Itinerary What To See Do and Eat by

One Day in Manchester Itinerary

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Manchester, which ranks as the third largest city in the United Kingdom, is a bustling metropolis. The city is brimming with things to do – from discovering its industrial upbringing to exploring the vibrant culture to experiencing its legendary football clubs. We are highlighting the best of the city – from iconic landmarks to eclectic districts – in a jam-packed One Day in Manchester Itinerary.

Our 1-day trip plan squeezes in the top things to do in Manchester, UK and a few hidden gems, too. This 1-Day Manchester Itinerary moves at a fast pace and covers a lot of ground – and we share our top travel tips throughout.


One Day in Manchester: What To Do FAQs

Planning one day in Manchester, England is no easy feat. The thriving city offers a multitude of exciting attractions for visitors, but we outline the best in our 1-Day Itinerary for Manchester. Before we get started, however, we want to answer a few of the frequently asked questions about Manchester.


Is it Possible to Plan a Day Trip to Manchester from London?

Located nearly 200 miles from London in northwestern England, Manchester is not often thought of as a day trip destination. However, trains can transport passengers between the two cities in just about 2.5 hours – making it possible to plan a long day trip from London to Manchester, UK.

That said, we recommend spending at least 24 hours in Manchester. We share recommendations for the best places to stay below in the Manchester Travel Tips section.


Are There Things To Do in Manchester with Kids?

Absolutely! Manchester is a very family-friendly city with numerous kid-focused museums and outdoor spaces, as well.

While our list of what to see in Manchester in one day is not specifically designed for family travel, we feature several attractions that rank as Top Things To Do with Kids in Manchester.


Can I Plan a Manchester Itinerary on a Budget?

Of course! There are ample free things to do, so travelers on a budget can plan cheap days out in Manchester.

Our One Day Itinerary Manchester is filled with free attractions and district exploration, which is always free of charge.


Does this Manchester Itinerary feature Football?

Football – or soccer, as it’s called in the US – is legendary in Manchester. The area is home to two famous football clubs: Manchester United (one of the most successful and recognizable teams of all-time) and Manchester City (currently dominating the English Premier League).

Football fans visiting Manchester can opt to attend a match or take a stadium tour. However, we do not specifically highlight either in our Manchester 1-Day Itinerary. Instead, we focus on sightseeing – which does include a visit to the National Football Museum.

Travelers who would like to carve out time in their 1 Day in Manchester Trip Plan to visit a stadium will need to eliminate some of the attractions that we include in our list.


How is this 1 Day Manchester Itinerary Organized?

This Manchester In One Day Itinerary is organized as a self-guided walking tour of Manchester – we even include a Manchester map of attractions to make it easy to get around.

Do note that the route is inclusive of several museums – and you can determine which ones to visit based on time and personal preference.

This One Day Trip Plan for Manchester allows visitors to move at their own pace and see the sights that are of most interest to them.

That said, travelers who would rather have a Manchester tourist guide lead the way can join a Manchester walking tour – find info here!  Visitors can also join one of the free Manchester walking tours, but bear in mind that the guides do work for tips.


Is Manchester Worth Visiting?

Yes! The city boasts incredible sights and hip neighborhoods, making it well-worth planning a day out in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Whether visiting on a day trip or as part of a longer England or United Kingdom Itinerary, Manchester is most certainly worth a day!


Is One Day in Manchester Enough?

Many visitors wonder, How Many Days in Manchester is enough? Can I see everything on a Manchester day trip? Or should I spend a weekend in Manchester?

We understand the angst – and we, too, grappled with how long to spend in Manchester. Ultimately, we ended up with about 36 hours in Manchester, which allowed us to spend a bit more time exploring the city.

While our 1-Day Itinerary for Manchester highlights the top attractions, there are more things to see in Manchester, England that we simply could not squeeze into a one-day trip plan.

Therefore, we share alternate Manchester Itineraries for 2 and 3 days later in the article (which feature sights like The Quays, football stadium visits and day trip options).


Planning a Manchester Trip

By outlining how to spend a day in Manchester, UK, we have made it as easy as possible for you to plan your trip! However, it still takes a bit of effort to ensure your day goes according to plan. We share Manchester Travel details – like how to get there and what to eat – at the end of the article.

Additionally, international visitors traveling from abroad might find it helpful to read some of our tips on UK travel – as well as our Guide to Planning a European Vacation


Travel Plan Organization

As you plan what to visit in Manchester in one day, organization is key! Your trip is much more likely to be enjoyable if you are organized. We recommend using a Printable Travel Planner – to stay on top of all the details of your vacation!

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Manchester in One Day

View from the Castlefield District, Manchester, England, UK

Our Manchester 1 Day Itinerary showcases the absolute best of the city! The trip plan winds through the heart of town, featuring top points of interest and hidden gems.

Save, Pin or Bookmark our Manchester Travel Guide to plan your trip to the UK!


#1 National Football Museum

Exterior of the National Football Museum, Manchester, UK

We are kicking off our One Day Trip Manchester plan with one of the city’s biggest attractions: the National Football Museum. The comprehensive museum covers the historic moments of the game, features interactive exhibits and displays epic memorabilia.

Tickets are required and it is best to purchase tickets in advance.

Top Travel Tip: Visitors should plan to spend a minimum of 1.5 hours at the Manchester National Football Museum (but fanatics could easily spend the entire day viewing the exhibits!).


#2 Manchester Cathedral

Exterior of the Manchester Cathedral, UK

Everyone spending a day in Manchester should make a point of visiting the magnificent cathedral. The history of the Gothic church can be traced to the 7th century – and it is gorgeous both inside and out.

The interior of the cathedral is decorated with statues, stained-glass windows and a beautiful organ, which is mounted over the pulpitum at the entrance to the choir.

View of the Organ at the Cathedral, Manchester, UK

It is free to enter the Manchester Cathedral, but donations are appreciated.

Pro Tip: Check the website for opening hours and special events – like the free lunchtime organ concert!


#3 Shambles Square

View of Shambles Square, Manchester, UK

A salvaged historic square tucked into the busy shopping district, Shambles Square is a quaint little corner of Manchester. The square is centered on The Old Wellington Inn, which was built in the year 1552 (and is the birthplace of English poet John Byrom).

The Old Wellington Inn, a half-timbered Tudor house, is flanked by two other historic buildings. The Mitre Hotel (dating to 1815) and Sinclair’s Oysters Bar (built in 1807 – and selling oysters since 1845).

Interesting Fact: The buildings on Shambles Square are not in their original location. They were dismantled, moved and rebuilt in 1999 to accommodate for the expansion of the mall.


#4 Shopping in Manchester, UK

New Cathedral Street, Shopping in Manchester, UK

Built in the 1970s (and renovated several times since), the Arndale Center is one of the best shopping areas in Manchester (and also one of the largest city-center shopping malls in all of Europe).

Bounded to the south by Market Street, to the west by Deansgate and New Exchange Square to the north, this district has served as a hub of commercial activity since the 1850s. Hosting recognizable brand retailers, departments stores (Selfridges is not to be missed), and a highly rated eateries, the area has something for everyone.

Selfridges at Arndale Market Shopping Mall, Manchester, UK

Controversy has surrounded the property’s size and style over the years, but today is seems most are happily moving on with plenty of retail therapy.

Good To Know: The Manchester Arndale Shopping Center is a good place to find free public restrooms in the city center.


#5 Royal Exchange Building and Theatre

Entrance to Royal Exchange Building and Theatre, Manchester, UK

Built in the 1860s, the Royal Exchange was the center of trade for Manchester’s cotton industry. Once ranked as the largest trading hall in England, the Manchester Royal Exchange Building currently operates as a shopping center and theater.

The Royal Exchange Theatre was opened in 1973 and features a circular style stage that is completely surrounded by seats. One of the interesting things to do Manchester, UK is to attend a performance.

Pro Tip: Can’t make it to a show? Visitors can still go inside to see the grandiose architecture of the building interior.


#6 Deansgate Shopping Street and Barton Arcade

Shops at Barton Arcade, Manchester, UK

Even if you are not interested in shopping in Manchester, it is worth spending a little bit of time strolling along Deansgate. A thoroughfare in the city since Roman times, Deansgate is a north-south route through downtown that extends more than a mile.

A worthwhile detour off Deansgate is the historic Barton Arcade. The Victorian arcade, which was built in 1871, features glass and iron construction.

Top Tip: A few other places to seek out in the vicinity are the 18th-century St. Ann’s Church, Parsonage Gardens and Castle Fine Art Gallery on King Street.


#7 John Rylands Library

Interior of John Rylands Library, Manchester, UK

The next stop on your Itinerary for One Day in Manchester is the John Rylands Research Institute and Library. Opened to the public in 1900, the library hosts an extensive collection of books, letters and manuscripts – and the design is utterly exquisite.

The library was established by Enriqueta Rylands in her husband’s memory – and since 1972, it has been part of the University of Manchester. The Historic Reading Room, which resembles a church, is a must-see Manchester attraction.

The library is free to enter.

Top Travel Tip: While at the John Rylands Library, pop into the ground floor toilets – which are original and unchanged since 1900.


#8 Abraham Lincoln Statue and Manchester Peace Garden

View of the Manchester Peace Garden and Lincoln Statue, England, UK

Not many Manchester visitors know that there is a connection between the City of Manchester and Abraham Lincoln. Yet, it’s a telling story of the history of the city and, today, a towering statue of Lincoln graces the Peace Garden in a hidden courtyard (aptly called Lincoln Square).

The link between the city and the US President can be traced to cotton. By the 1860s, Manchester was thriving on the cotton industry – turning the raw material from the USA into woven cloth. When cotton from the southern states faced an embargo due to their use of slave labor, workers in Manchester suffered.

However, rather than supporting the US Confederacy (in an effort to continue business), they turned their support to Lincoln and the abolishment of slavery.

In January of 1863 – two years before slavery was abolished in America – Lincoln wrote a letter to the working men of Manchester, thanking them for their support. Portions of the letter are inscribed at the base of the statue.

Pro Tip: Two nearby sights to seek out are the St. Mary’s RC Church (which was built in 1794 and stands today as Manchester’s oldest Catholic church) and the Frederic Chopin Piano statue on Deansgate.


#9 People’s History Museum

Display at the People’s History Museum, Manchester, UK

Housed in a former hydraulic pumping station, the People’s History Museum in Manchester shares the stories of working people in the United Kingdom.

Covering political topics that span 200 years, such as worker’s rights, trade unions and the suffrage movement, the exhibits are engaging and well-displayed.

The museum is free to enter.

Travel Tip: If you are planning to visit Manchester in one day, you will not likely have time to visit all of the museums listed in our itinerary. We recommend choosing which museums to enter based on your personal interests.


#10 Manchester Bridges and the River Irwell

View of Manchester Bridges and the River Irwell, UK

The Irwell River is a tributary that defines the boundary between Manchester and Salford. The narrow river is lined with historic buildings and is crossed by numerous bridges, making it one of the picturesque places in Manchester.

Two of the bridges that cross the river are located just behind the People’s History Museum: Albert Bridge and Irwell Footpath.

Travel Tip: For the best views, cross over Albert first and then cross back at the Irwell Pedestrian Bridge.


#11 Iconic Manchester Architecture on Quay Street

Buildings on Quay Street, Manchester, UK

During your one day in Manchester, England, it would be impossible not to notice the mishmash of architectural styles that decorate the landscape. Warehouses from the Industrial Revolution, Georgian gems and stylish Art Deco buildings all line the streets of Manchester.

Quay Street, in particular, hosts a fascinating array of design styles – from the Classical Opera House (built in 1912) to the Art Deco Sunlight House (dating to 1932).

Great Northern Railway Company’s Goods Warehouse, Manchester, England, UK

The Great Northern Railway Company’s Goods Warehouse is a massive brick structure that was completed in 1899 and is now a popular entertainment and shopping complex.

Pro Travel Tip: At this point in your Manchester One Day Trip, you are probably getting hungry for lunch. There are numerous eateries within the vicinity of the Quay Street and Deansgate intersection. For a quick (and classic) British lunch, pop into Pieminister for a savory pie (Moo and Blue is our favorite!). Eat it there or – if the weather is nice – get it to-go and dine al fresco in St. John’s Gardens.


#12 Science and Industry Museum Manchester

Entrance to the Science + Industry Museum Manchester, UK

The Science and Industry Museum is a 1-Day in Manchester must-see sight! An airy museum (located in a former train station), it features displays on innovation, as well as interactive science exhibits.

One of the best exhibits is the massive cotton display, which details the Manchester textile industry. The upper level is dedicated to science and features fun and challenging tasks that are backed by scientific information.

Displays at the Science and Industry Museum Manchester, UK

The museum is free to visit and guests could easily spend a few hours here!

Travel Tip: The museum also hosts special talks (which are free) and special exhibitions (which cost a nominal fee). Inquire at the main desk about what events are taking place during your visit.


#13 Castlefield District

View from the Manchester Castlefield District, England, UK

The origins of Manchester can be traced to the Castlefield District, as it was the site of the Mancunium Roman Fort in the 1st century AD. Parts of the Roman granary and fort are preserved, but they aren’t the only reason to visit the conservation area.

In addition to the ancient ruins, Castlefield features other historic highlights. The Bridgewater Canal was built in 1764 and served as the first industrial canal in the world. The Castlefield Viaduct – a 1,000-foot-long elevated railway – dates to 1892 and has recently been converted into an urban outdoor space

View of the The Castlefield Viaduct, Manchester, UK

The Rochdale Canal was linked to the Castlefield Basin in early 1800s – and historic brick warehouses still line the waterways.

Top Travel Tip: Hop on the Rochdale Canal Tow Path to the west of Deansgate Tunnel (map) and walk east along the canal to Oxford Road. If you are lucky you may catch the long, narrow boats navigating the locks.


#14 Oxford Road

Kimpton Tower, Oxford Road, Manchester, UK

From the city center, Oxford Road leads south, passing right through the humming University District. The area is home to Manchester University, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Royal Northern College of Music (or RNCM). Plus, the street is lined with heaps of music venues, eateries and the city’s top museum, The Manchester Museum (which we discuss next on our list of Things To Do Manchester).

The street features opulent architecture (like the red-brick Kimpton Clocktower that opened in 1890 as the Refuge Assurance Company) and historic gems (like the Grosvenor Picture Palace; now The Footage).

Top Tip: The Manchester Curry Mile – a stretch of street dedicated to Indian food and shops – sits on the south end of Oxford Road, where the name changes to Wilmslow Road.


#15 Manchester Museum

Galleries at the Manchester Museum, UK

Hosting an incredible collection of exhibits from around the world, the Manchester Museum is a fascinating place to visit. Run by The University of Manchester, it has been in operation for more than 130 years.

The museum focuses on natural history, as well as cultural influences. From dinosaur fossils to Egyptian mummies to live amphibians, the displays are varied and well-presented. 

Yellow and Black Frog at Manchester Museum, UK

Entry to the Manchester Museum is free.

In Our Option: Of all the museums that we highlight in our Manchester in a Day Itinerary, the Manchester Museum ranks as our favorite!


#16 The University of Manchester

Impressive Buildings at the Old Quadrangle, University of Manchester, England, UK

The history of The University of Manchester dates to the year 1824, when it was established as an Institute of Science and Technology. The institution moved to Oxford Road in the 1870s and the university’s most iconic buildings – now called the Old Quadrangle – were built in 1902.

Visitors are free to step into the Old Quad courtyard that is encircled by the Whitworth Building, John Owens Building and Beyer Building – all of which feature sumptuous Gothic architecture. At the foot of the ivy-covered Beyer Building, look for the giant boulder that dates from the Ice Age.

Beyer Building, The University of Manchester, UK

Travel Tip: The Whitworth Art Gallery, which is part of the University of Manchester, houses artworks by masters. The gallery sits on the south end of Oxford Road, right next to Whitworth Park (one of the city’s best green spaces!).


#17 Sackville Garden and Alan Turing Memorial

Sackville Garden, Manchester, UK

The next stop on your Manchester One Day Tour is Sackville Gardens, a city-center park in Manchester’s Gay Village. The park was designed in 1900 – and today it hosts several monuments: The Turing Memorial, the Beacon of Hope, The Tree of Life and the LGBT Queen Bee.

The Alan Turing Memorial, Manchester, England, UK

The Turing Memorial is a statue dedicated to Alan Turing, who is known as the ‘Father of Modern Computing’ for his work and discoveries as a mathematician and computer scientist. A brief story of his life is inscribed on an adjacent plaque.

On the north end of the park, The Beacon of Hope stands in remembrance of those who have died from AIDS and as a tribute to those who live with HIV.

Canal Street, Gay Village, Manchester, UK

Top Tip: After visiting Sackville Gardens, take a moment to walk along pedestrian Canal Street that runs alongside the Rochdale Canal just to the north of the park. The colorful street is lined with lively bars in the heart of the Manchester LGBTQ+ District.


#18 Manchester Chinatown and Archway

Visit Manchester Chinatown and See the Archway, MRC, England, UK

The Chinatown District in Manchester is vibrant and buzzing. The enclave of Chinese (and other Asian) restaurants, shops and bakeries ranks as one of the largest Chinatown districts in all of Europe.

A large, ornamental gate straddles Faulkner Street – and is a must-see Manchester attraction. The paifang, which was gifted to the Chinese community from the Manchester City Council, is painted red and gold with dragon decorations.

Top Tip: By this point in your Manchester One Day Itinerary, you have clocked some miles! If you need an afternoon pick-me-up or a moment to rest your weary feet, stop by one of the Chinatown tea shops – like Ohayo Tea, where they serve an array of freshly brewed fruit teas and bubble tea concoctions.


#19 Manchester Art Gallery

Statue at Manchester Art Gallery, England

The Manchester Art Gallery houses an excellent collection of artworks – including paintings, sculptures and objects – that span six centuries. In addition to the permanent collection, the gallery hosts rotating exhibits, as well.

Painting at Manchester Art Gallery, UK

Entrance to the Manchester Art Gallery and exhibitions is free.

Travel Tip: The space is bright and airy – with plenty of comfortable chairs and benches for guests to sit while admiring and contemplating the art.


#20 St. Peter’s Square Manchester

View of the Manchester Cenotaph, England, UK

Walking through St. Peter’s Square is a must during your one day in Manchester. The square marks the city’s Civic Quarter – and is home to the historic Town Hall (built in 1938), the grand Midland Hotel (dating to 1898), the Manchester Central Library (1934) and the Manchester Cenotaph (a WWI memorial). Since 1992, the square has also hosted a tram station.

Inside the Manchester Central Library Reading Room, UK

If time allows, step inside the grand Central Library (the round building that resembles the Pantheon in Rome). Use the main Shakespeare Hall entrance, walk through the domed Great Hall Wolfson Reading Room and visit the current art exhibit.

Pro Tip: Also not to be missed is Albert Square, which sits on the western end of the Gothic Town Hall building. The dazzling square hosts the Manchester Christmas Market.


#21 Northern Quarter

Wholesale Fish Market Arches, Northern Quarter, Manchester, UK

The Manchester Northern Quarter – better known as NQ – boasts a bohemian and creative culture. The lively district is one of the Manchester must-see places (and the best place for dinner and drinks, in our opinion!).

NQ is known for its independent shops, intriguing street art, vinyl record stores, vintage retailers, hip eateries and cool bars.

Shops at Afflecks, Manchester, England, UK

Visitors looking for alternative things to do in Manchester should look no further than Afflecks – an eclectic retail destination of more than 60 independently owned shops. Seeking out street art and playing retro arcade games at NQ64 are two other unique Manchester NQ things to do.

Pro Tip: Some of our favorite Manchester restaurants and craft beer bars in located in NQ. Coming up, we share our list of the top establishments in the Manchester Food and Drink Section!


#22 Ancoats District

View of Cutting Room Square, Manchester, UK

Established as an industrial district in the 1800s, Ancoats is flush with re-purposed brick warehouses and old factories that are separated by narrow cobblestone lanes.

At the center of Ancoats is Cutting Room Square, which features artwork dedicated to the textile history, which was the prominent industry in the area. The square is also home to Seven Brothers Beerhouse, which is a great place to end your One Day Tour of Manchester!

Canals at New Islington, Manchester, UK

Pro Travel Tip: If you still have time and energy on your Manchester One Day Trip, set off to explore New Islington and Cotton Field Park. Use the New Islington Marina Promenade, a pedestrian-only walkway along the waterside, to get there from Ancoats.

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More Itineraries for Manchester

View and Best Itineraries for Manchester, England, UK

We have shared our top tips for what to do in Manchester in one day, but what if you have plans to stay for the weekend? No worries – we’ve got it covered with a sample Manchester itinerary for 2 and 3 days in the city.


2 Days in Manchester, UK: Trip Planning Tips

Manchester is a thriving city – and there is so much more to see! Visitors with two days in Manchester can plan to visit Manchester sights beyond the city center.


Manchester Itinerary 2 Days

On the first day of your trip, use our above outline for how to spend One Day in Manchester, UK. Then, on the second day of your Manchester 2-Day Itinerary, spend the morning touring a famous football stadium and, in the afternoon, go to Salford Quays, another one of the top Manchester sights.

As we already mentioned, there are two football clubs in Manchester – and they play in different stadiums.

Manchester United plays at Old Trafford (which is southwest of the city center), while Manchester City holds matches at Etihad Stadium (to the east of downtown Manchester).

Tours at both stadiums welcome guests to walk through the tunnel to the pitch, tour the stadium (including the dressing rooms and dugouts) and view memorabilia. It is highly recommended to check availability and purchase tickets in advance. Find out if there is availability at Old Trafford or Etihad Stadium during your Manchester visit.

In the afternoon, head for Salford Quays – a modern hub for shopping and entertainment on the waterfront. In addition to the shops and water activities, top things to do in Manchester Quays District are visiting the Imperial War Museum, setting sail on a River Cruise and crossing the Millennium Bridge.


3 Days in Manchester

Travelers who plan to stay in Manchester for 3 days have ample options on how to spend their time. However, our best recommendation is to take a 1 Day Trip from Manchester to see more of the region.


Manchester Itinerary 3 Days

The best way to plan a 3-Day Manchester Itinerary is to use our tips directly above in our sample 2 Days in Manchester Itinerary – then on Day 3, embark on a Manchester day tour.

There are numerous Manchester day trips that you can add to your trip plan. Which tour you choose should be based on your personal interests – but we are highlighting 3 of the top picks.


One Day Trip to Lake District from Manchester

On a small-group tour, visit the famed Lake District – including the biggest lake in England, Windermere. Find out more!


Day Trip from Manchester to Derbyshire

Join a popular tour from Manchester to Derbyshire in the Peak District that includes hidden caves and local treats. Get the details!


Manchester Day Trip to North Wales

Travel with a tour group from Manchester to North Wales. Tour highlights include visiting an ancient castle, soaking up nature at Snowdonia National Park and seeing the seaside. Find out if seats are available!


What and Where to Eat in Manchester

Interior view of Mackie Mayor, Manchester, UK

One of the fun things about Manchester, England is the many hip eateries and fabulous bars. We are highlighting a few of the top places to eat in Manchester – and sharing a few of the best bars for craft beer, too.


Breakfast and Cafes

Start your day in Manchester off right with a delicious and filling breakfast.


Ezra and Gill for a Leisurely Manchester Breakfast

A lively Manchester restaurant for breakfast and brunch, Ezra and Gill serves up large portions of French toast and eggs benedict – and the menu features vegetarian and vegan options, too!


Fig and Sparrow for Coffee and Light Breakfast

A friendly and welcoming Manchester café offering specialty coffee drinks and simple breakfast options – including cakes, toasts and eggs.


Gregg’s for a Manchester Budget Breakfast

Budget travelers and visitors on the move can grab a quick breakfast to go from Gregg’s – a staple of Britain breakfast foods. The sausage rolls are cheap, tasty and filling.


Lunch Restaurants in Manchester

When touring Manchester in a day, you will surely need mid-day sustenance. We have a few top picks for where to eat lunch in the city.


20 Stories for Fine Dining in Manchester

A high-class affair, 20 Stories is a posh, elevated establishment offering superb views and excellent local fare. Voted Best Manchester Restaurant in 2023, it’s wise to make a reservation (and heed the dress code).


Pieminister for a Classic British Lunch

We already mentioned Pieminister as one of the best places for lunch during your One Day Manchester trip – and we’ll say it again (because it is really that good!). Plus, they offer a weekday Express Lunch deal.


Budget Lunch in Manchester

Travelers on a budget – and those who don’t want to spend time sitting in a restaurant – can eat a budget lunch from one of the local supermarkets. Tesco, Co-op and Sainsbury’s all offer ready-made meal deals that include a choice of sandwich (or other main meal options), chips and a drink for a low price.


Where To Eat Dinner in Manchester

We love the dining options in Manchester – especially the hip restaurants in NQ – but there are phenomenal options for dinner all around the city.


Classic British Fare

For a classic pub meal in Manchester, we recommend dining at The Old Wellington. Alternatively, for upscale British eats, make a reservation at The Ivy Spinningfields.


Hip Eateries in NQ

The number of places to dine in NQ seems endless! That said, our personal top picks are Almost Famous (for delicious burgers…and try the mac-and-cheese balls) and Liquor and Burn (for tacos and burritos).


Manchester Food Halls

Hosting multiple food vendors under one roof, the food halls in Manchester are a fantastic option for dining – and there are several to choose from.

Housed in the old Smithfield Market building, Mackie Mayor is one of the best food halls in Manchester with nine eateries, seating on two levels and small garden.

Corn Exchange and Society MCR are two other top food halls that excel in the Manchester street food scene.


Indian Food in Manchester

Indian fare is a popular throughout the United Kingdom – and Manchester is no exception.

The Wilmslow Road Curry Mile is a hub of Indian restaurants. Both Ziya and Mughli Charcoal Pit are top places to eat Indian food in Manchester.

For something closer to the city, however, try your luck getting a table at Dishoom – a wildly popular Indian street food restaurant with locations across the UK. The Manchester Dishoom is located just around the corner from the John Rylands Library.


Best Craft Beer Bars in Manchester

Seven Brothers Craft Brewery, Manchester, UK

We love sampling beers from local UK breweries – and there are plenty of Manchester bars where you can get a taste!

Fierce, Northern Monk Refectory, Seven Brothers and BrewDog Doghouse (which has a rooftop bar) are all excellent taprooms pouring delectable craft brews.

Pelican Bar, Port Street Beer House and Cafe Beermoth are a few of the Manchester craft beer bars that have numerous taps dedicated to local brews.


Manchester Map

Use this link to Google Maps for an interactive version of our map of Manchester, UK.

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Manchester: What To See in One Day Travel Tips

Tips for Manchester in One Day, England, UK

Now that we have shared what to see in Manchester – and where to eat and drink – we have a few more Manchester travel tips that will help you plan your best trip!


When To Go to Manchester U.K.

Figuring out the best time to go to Manchester will largely depend on your interests. That said, we think there are good reasons to visit Manchester in every season.

While the summer months provide the best opportunity for sunshine and warm days, the spring and autumn can also be quite nice. Many visitors avoid Manchester in the wintertime, but the Christmas Market is a festive event – and it can be a good time to score deals on hotel rooms.

If going on a Manchester trip for football, check the schedule (for matches and stadium tours) far in advance. If planning on taking a tour, buy your tickets in advance for either Trafford or Etihad.

For those interested in visiting museums should also check opening hours ahead of time. Some Manchester museums are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays.


Getting To Manchester

Travelers can get to Manchester, UK by plane, train, bus or car. For our short trip to Manchester, we arrived by bus from Glasgow and departed by plane to Madeira.


Manchester Airport

The airport in Manchester (MAN) is served by both major airlines and low-cost carriers. Use our tips for getting the Best Flights for Cheap and then hop over to Skyscanner to book that trip!

The Manchester Airport is about 9 miles south of the city center. It takes at least 30 minutes to get from the airport to the city center by rental car, taxi or pre-booked private transfer

Additionally, there are trains that run from Manchester Airport to Manchester Piccadilly, as well as trams and buses.


Manchester Train and Bus Stations

There are several train stations in Manchester city center. The main train station in Manchester is Piccadilly, but some lines terminate at Victoria, Oxford Road or Deansgate.

Likewise, buses may terminate at one of the several bus stations in the city. However, most routes end at the Manchester Coach Station or Shudehill Bus Station.


Getting Around Manchester

View of St Peter's Square Tram Station, Manchester, UK

Getting around in Manchester is fairly simple – especially when spending a full day in the city center. The city is flat and easy to navigate on foot. That said, there are also buses and trams that can help visitors get to where they are going.

In addition to the paid public transport services, there are two free Manchester bus lines that loop around the city center. 


Where to Stay: Manchester Accommodations

Exterior of the Midland Hotel, Manchester, UK

As we mentioned, we think it is best to spend at least one night in Manchester in order to fully experience the city (but staying a few days longer would be even better!).

The best place to stay in Manchester is the city center – and there are ample choices from posh hotels to budget hostels. For our top tips on getting great rates, read Finding the Best Hotels at Cheap Prices.


The Abel Heywood Boutique Manchester Hotel

For our two-night stay in Manchester, UK, we opted to stay at The Abel Heywood. The mid-range hotel offers clean and stylish rooms with an optional breakfast at affordable prices. Plus, the location is right in the center of the buzzing NQ district (yet the rooms are quiet). Check if there is availability for your stay in Manchester!


What To Pack For Manchester, UK

Manchester Bee Street Art, England, UK

Whether you are planning a day trip in Manchester or staying longer, there are a few things you will want to be sure you pack for your trip. Don’t forget your FREE Packing Checklist!

Fun Fact: The worker bee is the symbol of Manchester for it’s unity and strong work ethic!


Comfortable Travel Shoes

Travelers following our Manchester 1-Day Itinerary will certainly clock some miles. We racked up more than 10 miles on our full day exploring the city! Be sure to wear comfortable shoes for your trip.

We share our top tips on the Best Travel Shoes to help you choose the right pair! 


UK Weather Gear

Manchester, England weather can be finicky. Rain can ruin a trip, but only if you are unprepared. It’s best to pack a light rain jacket and a travel umbrella to ensure you stay dry while sightseeing.

Additionally, in the warm summer months, it is wise to wear sunscreen or a wide-brimmed travel hat to avoid getting sunburnt.


Travel Camera

Manchester is a historic and colorful city! We recommend using a real camera to capture the sights. We use a DSLR Canon Rebel with an 18-135mm lens on our travels.

The Rebel is easy to use and takes high–quality photos – plus it ranks as one of our top picks for Best Budget Travel Cameras.


UK Travel Insurance

Trips don’t always go as planned – and when things go awry, insurance may help recoup some of the costs incurred. If you haven’t already purchased travel insurance, check the affordable rates and coverage at World Nomads.


Manchester Trip Planner

Of course, don’t forget to pack your travel essentials – like your passport, hotel details and your trip planner! We stow our most important documents in a zippered travel organizer so that we can easily locate the items we need.


Start planning your trip to the UK! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning Page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides Page!


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