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Places to Visit in Manchester

Updated on January 21, 2020
raymondphilippe profile image

I have a soft spot for Europe. I love to travel and visit interesting places.

Manchester Town Hall
Manchester Town Hall | Source

Is Manchester a nice place to visit? I think so!

Many people know this big city in England for its world-famous football clubs Manchester City & Manchester United. But this university city has more to offer. There is plenty to find in this lively city, especially in the fields of:

  • culture
  • architecture
  • music
  • scientific innovations

The range of hotels, B & B's, and excellent restaurants is extensive. Diversity is one of the main characteristics of its nightlife. A weekend break or city trip to Manchester will quickly give you a good idea of this lively English city full of museums, architecture and cozy pubs.

Are you wondering what to do when you are visiting Manchester? To give you some inspiration, here is a list of several places you might like to visit in Manchester.

The fountain in Albert Square, erected for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria
The fountain in Albert Square, erected for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria | Source

Albert Square

The beating heart of Manchester is Albert Square, the largest square in the city. It is also the most beautiful and important square in Manchester. It is a popular place among residents and tourists alike because there is a lot to see and do. Large Victorian buildings surround it. It is a regular venue for events, food festivals, and concerts. The best event of the year? In December, Albert Square turns into a big, bustling Christmas market. At the Manchester Christmas Market, you can warm yourself with glühwein and shop under the Christmas tree.

The most impressive building on Albert Square is the Manchester Town Hall. You can also find some monuments and statues on the square, including the one for Prince Albert. The fountain was placed in honor of his wife, Queen Victoria. Albert Square was built between 1863 and 1867.

The Roman fort
The Roman fort | Source

Castlefield

The Castlefield neighborhood is also known as the cradle of Manchester. It's now a protected area in Manchester. This place is actually the birthplace of the city. The name originates from castle-in-the-field. There used to be a Roman fort here called Mamucium. Now you can still see parts of it. There's even a reconstructed part on display. The area around it Castlefield was mainly an industrial area with a lot of trade. You'll now find the legacy of a bustling industrial city there.

Castlefield is a lively place with lots of industrial architecture, several nice bars, street art and the Museum of Science and Industry. You can see Roman remains, but also wander past old factory buildings and get a glimpse of Manchester's rich past.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaton_Park#/media/File:Heaton_Park.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaton_Park#/media/File:Heaton_Park.jpg | Source

Heaton Park en Peel Park

Manchester's two most famous parks are Heaton Park and Peel Park. Heaton Park is the largest of the two and even ranks among one of the largest city parks in Europe. What especially attracts attention is the 18th-century country house 'Heaton Hall, ' which is now open to the public. They decorated the rooms in their original state. These decorations give you a glimpse into the life of the wealthy Egerton family who once lived there. The park also has an 18-hole golf course, playground, petting zoo, ornamental gardens, and an observatory. Peel Park has more sports fields and a playground for children aged between four and fourteen. The park is also home to the Salford Museum and Art Gallery.

Legoland Discovery Centre

If you're visiting Manchester with children, make sure you stop by the Legoland Discovery Centre. This is where Manchester's main attractions are recreated with Lego bricks, but there's so much more to do. This cheerful play paradise is insanely fun for children between the ages of 3 and 10, because everything here revolves around Lego. There are several attractions suitable for the whole family, and you can ,of course, build things yourself to your heart's content.

The Lowry main entrance
The Lowry main entrance | Source

The Lowry

During a trip to Manchester, most likely, no one will pass this building without wondering what it is. It is situated in a beautiful location bordering the canalside. This piece of high-quality architecture was designed by Michael Wilford. The Lowry building, consisting mainly of glass and steel, houses two theatres, a studio, 2000 m² of exhibition space, and an art gallery.

Manchester Art Gallery Mosley Street.
Manchester Art Gallery Mosley Street. | Source

Manchester Art Gallery

In the magnificent building of the Manchester Art Gallery, an extraordinarily extensive collection of art is displayed in a very innovative and creative way. At least six centuries of British art can be admired, for example, but other European works are also on display. In addition to the permanent collection, special exhibitions are regularly organized. I can highly recommend a visit!

Exterior of the museum's Air and Space Hall
Exterior of the museum's Air and Space Hall | Source

Museum of Science and Industry

There are several interesting museums in Manchester, but you should definitely visit the Museum of Science and Industry. (M.O.S.I.) In this science museum, you can walk around for hours and marvel at the many interactive exhibitions.


Because of its large and varied collection, they spread this museum out over several buildings. The museum is spacious and has regularly changing exhibitions on subjects related to technology and inventions. Especially the themes on transport take up a lot of space. For science, there are collections of, among other things, X-ray equipment and textile machines. At the M.O.S.I. you can also learn a lot about the industrial revolution and the textile industry in Manchester.

Cathedral church of SS Mary, Denys and George, Manchester, England
Cathedral church of SS Mary, Denys and George, Manchester, England | Source

Manchester Cathedral

Manchester Cathedral is not very impressive in size and therefore does not stand out in the public eye. Still, it's a lovely place to take a look inside because as soon as you step over the doorstep, you'll be amazed by its beauty.

The stained-glass windows and gothic elements are breathtaking, and you have to put in some decent effort to have a good look at everything. If you like to learn more about the history of the church, you can join a guided tour by one of its volunteers.

A
Manchester Deansgate:
Deansgate, Manchester M3, UK

get directions

Deansgate Locks, Castlefield and the Beetham Tower lies at one end and the National Football Museum and Victoria Station at the other.

Etihad Stadium
Etihad Stadium | Source

National Football Museum and Stadium Tours

Football fans are unlikely to leave Manchester without visiting one of the stadiums of the Premier League teams Manchester United and Manchester City. Naturally, true football fans will have bought a ticket for a Manchester United or Manchester City game. But even if you've been less successful in that respect, you can still immerse yourself in the football madness. At both Manchester United and Manchester City, you can get a guided tour of the stadium to take a look at the catacombs, dressing rooms, and the turf. An experienced guide can answer all your questions, and in the meantime, you'll have plenty of opportunities to take photos. You can then visit the interactive National Football Museum, which focuses on the history of English football.

Manchester City Or Manchester United

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"Manchester’s got everything except a beach."

Ian Brown

Albert Square, overlooked by Manchester Town Hall
Albert Square, overlooked by Manchester Town Hall | Source

Town Hall

One of the most prominent landmarks in Manchester is the Town Hall. Several local government services are brought together in the town hall built in Victorian style. The building was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, who also designed the Manchester Museum and Manchester Assisen Courts.

This Victorian building can be found at Albert Square and is at least as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. The building of the Town Hall was completed in 1877. Very impressive murals, magnificent mosaic floors, vaulted ceilings, and large chandeliers adorn the inside of this beautiful old Town Hall.

Trafford Centre & Barton Square from above. Image taken of Trafford Centre, J9 M60, near Manchester
Trafford Centre & Barton Square from above. Image taken of Trafford Centre, J9 M60, near Manchester | Source

The Trafford Centre & More Shopping Opportunities

Greater Manchester is the home of a huge indoor shopping center. It even belongs to one of the biggest in the United Kingdom. More than 10,000 parking spaces indicate how many visitors it attracts daily. The food court, with room for 1,600 guests, is particularly exceptional. Besides the many shops and food outlets, you will also find a cinema, Adventure Golf, a bowling alley, laser games, bumper cars, and a game center.

If you want to shop in the Manchester center itself, then you will undoubtedly like the indoor Arndale Centre. This shopping center is one of the largest malls in Europe and, therefore, the ideal retreat for a rainy day. Besides finding a lot of famous fashion brands, you'll also have the opportunity to go shopping all afternoon. Are you mainly looking for local designers and small boutiques? Then you'd better head for (the side streets of) Deansgate, Manchester's main shopping street.

Whitworth Art Gallery
Whitworth Art Gallery | Source

Whitworth Art Gallery

South of the Manchester University campus lies the Whitworth art gallery, which you can find in a park bearing the same name. Thanks to a donation from Sir Joseph Whitworth, it was possible to open this museum. Joseph Whitworth was known as an engineer, philanthropist, inventor, and entrepreneur. Another part of his capital was donated to Christie Hospital and several philanthropic projects. The unique art collection includes sculptures, paintings, textiles, and the marble statue of Sir Jacob Epstein 'Genesis'.

Liverpool or Manchester. What's your favorite city to visit.

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Round-up

These are only a handful of sights you might want to visit during your stay in Manchester. I stayed in Manchester for two weeks several years ago. And even then, I felt short of time. Mind you; I did most of the sightseeing on foot — a great way to get a feel for the atmosphere of a city.

My personal favorite is the Manchester Art Gallery. I spent many hours there. As a fan of Manchester City, I visited the Etihad stadium several times too. I also love the Waterstones bookstore at Deansgate. Whenever I visit Manchester, I'll pay it a visit (or two).
I do hope you visit and enjoy this city if you are in its neighborhood.

Are there any exciting sights you think I forgot to mention in this article? Please refer to them below in the comments section. Readers will be thankful for doing that.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Raymond Philippe

Comments

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    • raymondphilippe profile imageAUTHOR

      Raymond Philippe 

      4 weeks ago from The Netherlands

      Thank you Prantika and MG for your comments on Places to Visit in Manchester. MG I do hope you enjoy your summer visit to Manchester!

    • Prantika Samanta profile image

      Prantika Samanta 

      5 weeks ago from Kolkata, India

      Thank you for being our virtual guide. I would love to visit the city, and it is in my list now. It is a well written article with stunning photographs.

    • emge profile image

      MG Singh 

      5 weeks ago from Singapore

      I have been to Manchester where one of my friends works in a school. Its a wonderful place and I will be there again this summer.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I never visited Manchester when I lived in the UK and now I'll probably never have a chance to see it. I appreciated learning about the city by reading your article very much. It sounds like it has a lot to offer visitors.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 weeks ago from USA

      I didn't get to visit Manchester on previous trips to England, but I'd like to visit. Thanks for sharing this information. I'm definitely planning another trip, as my daughter is staying the summer in the country this year.

    • raymondphilippe profile imageAUTHOR

      Raymond Philippe 

      5 weeks ago from The Netherlands

      Thanks Liz. Our son moved to Manchester several years ago. So I expect to see more of it and its surroundings in years to come.

    • raymondphilippe profile imageAUTHOR

      Raymond Philippe 

      5 weeks ago from The Netherlands

      I love Liverpool too! It has so much to offer. And I bet Liverpool will finally win the premier league.

    • raymondphilippe profile imageAUTHOR

      Raymond Philippe 

      5 weeks ago from The Netherlands

      Thanks Eric. Manchester is becoming more and more popular as a tourist destination. (Including us Dutch)

    • raymondphilippe profile imageAUTHOR

      Raymond Philippe 

      5 weeks ago from The Netherlands

      Hi Kathryn, I agree. But Oxford is quite nice too, isn’t it.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      5 weeks ago from UK

      You have really put Manchester on the map in this article. Having been born in Manchester and brought up near there, I have appreciated revisiting familiar places in this very well-illustrated and well-organised hub.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I like to visit Liverpool stadium my favorite English Team. Informative and interesting hub and I learned a lot from about Manchester.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Really nice piece of work here. Makes me want to go back and visit again.

      Just the architecture seems worth the time. Thanks

    • Kathryn Worthington profile image

      Kathryn Worthington 

      5 weeks ago from Oxford, UK

      Manchester is a great city! There are a few places I haven't visited here - I'll have to add them to my list for next time!

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