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Top 15 attractions and things to do in Manchester

Known as the UK's "second city", there are hundreds of incredible places to eat, districts to explore, drinks to taste and things to do in Manchester. Here we have come up with our top 15.

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1. Get cultured at Manchester Art Gallery

While there are many beautiful galleries to visit in Manchester, the Manchester Art Gallery should be top of this list. Founded in 1824, part of the gallery is housed in a beautiful Grade 1 Listed Building. The gallery is home to both local and internationally acclaimed art pieces and there are always new and interesting temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

Opening times: Daily, 10am – 5pm

Location: Mosley Street, Manchester

Price: Entry is free

2. Go clubbing in Manchester’s Warehouse Project

You can’t travel to Manchester and not have a few mad nights out. Outside of London, Manchester has the best clubbing scene in the UK and some of the top spots in Europe. The Manchester Warehouse Project, unlike most clubbing scenes, is seasonal with club nights only running between September and New Year’s Eve, with some Bank Holiday weekend parties added in. The location of each season also changes, with different clubs and venues around the city playing host. The 2017 season will kick off in September with a total of 31 shows taking place throughout the rest of the year.

Opening times: September – December

Location: Store Street

Price: €42

READ: Top 10 Clubbing Cities in Europe

3. Attend a festival

They say Manchester plays host to more festivals than most festival-obsessed European villages, and the likelihood of a festival taking place during your visit is highly likely. The Visit Manchester site has a comprehensive list of festivals through the year, with the city organising International Festivals on a more local level. Some of the festival highlights include the Manchester Jazz Festival, Oktoberfest, Caribbean Carnival and the Manchester Pride Festival. More quirky festivals include the annual Black Pudding Throwing Championships and La Tomatina – a tomato showing festival originally from Spain!

4.Take a tour of Old Trafford Stadium

Even if you’re not a football fan, or simply not a fan of Manchester United, you still can’t visit Manchester and not pay a visit to Old Trafford Stadium. Home to Manchester United FC, Old Trafford os one pf the most famous stadiums in the world. Be it a stadium tour or an actual game day, visiting this impressive stadium is guaranteed to be a great day out. Tickets can be punched here.

Opening times: Tours daily, every 10 minutes

Location: Old Trafford

Price: €20 for adults, €14 for children

5.Explore the Manchester Museum

Easily accessible from the city centre, this museum is one of the top attractions in Manchester and well worth a visit. Besides the permanent exhibits focusing on ethnography and natural history, there are always lots of interesting temporary exhibits on display, be it rare birds or scientific experiments, changing every couple of weeks.

Opening times: Daily, 10am – 5pm

Location: The University Of Manchester, Oxford Rd.

Price: Free

6. Drink and bop at Disco Brunch

This is by far one of the most quirky things to do in Manchester, but a great way to spend your Sunday. Disco Brunch at Gorilla involves a fun party involving bottomless drinks, breakfast plates and upbeat 80’s pop tunes to finish the weekend in style.

Location: 54-56 Whitworth St W, Manchester

Price: €35 per person

7. Do a canal cruise

A canal cruise is a fun way to see Manchester from a whole new angle. Depending on which cruise company you opt to go with, there are day cruise, night cruise dinner cruises and even party cruises. Cruises take you down the historic Ship Quay, giving you a panoramic view of the Manchester skyline, and past some of the city’s most historic bridges and districts.

Price: Prices vary per cruise

8. Beer and board games at Brewdog

Are you a craft beer lover? Fancy a game of Jenga or Connect Four while enjoying a cold pint? Brew dog Manchester is a popular Craft Beer pub, with a nice mix of both locals and tourists. They have a great selection of board games for a rainy day. The pub is part of a chain, that started in Scotland, and includes interesting guest beers and hearty bar food – try the burgers!

Want more Pub grub? Where to eat and drink in Manchester

9. Europe’s largest Chinatown

Chinatown in Manchester is said to be one of Europe’s largest Chinatowns and is a fun place to visit both day and night, with lots of great photo opportunities and mouth-watering food to be tasted. The atmosphere at night is unique to this area and there are also some great shopping opportunities, depending what you’re looking for.

10. Visit the National Football Museum

It’s Manchester, one football related item was never going to be enough! Chances are if you’re visiting this football-obsessed city, you too might be a fan, so a visit to the National Football Museum is a great afternoon activity. Complete with Football Wall of Fame and an impressive collection of football memorabilia and photographs, this is a must-visit attraction for football lovers.

Opening times: Daily 10am – 5pm

Location: Cathedral Gardens, Todd St, Manchester

Price: Free

11. Go for Afternoon Tea

Manchester is full of cool and quirky cafes to stop in for a coffee or some afternoon tea. One of our favourites in Sugar Junction, a 50’s style themed cafe that serves up some of the best pastries and cakes in the city – complete with retro furniture and vintage crockery. If you’re looking for a taste of America in Manchester, or just something a little different, Home Sweet Home, serves up delicious milkshakes and typical American dishes all day long.

Opening times: Daily, 9am – 6pm

Location: Sugar Junction, 60 Tib St, Manchester

12. Visit Chetham’s Library

Founded in 1653, Chetham’s library is the oldest building in Manchester and the oldest public library in the United Kingdom. The building itself dates back to 1421 and has been in continuous use as a public library for over 350 years. The library is open to the public from Monday to Friday but you have to book a specific time slot, with entry allowed just six times a day. Entry is free but donations are expected.

Opening times: Monday – Friday, 10am – 4.30pm

Location: Long Millgate, Manchester

Price: Donation based

13. Fine dining at The French

One of the top restaurants in the city and run by Manchester-born chef Adam Reid, The French is the perfect place to treat yourself to an unforgettable dinner while in Manchester. Both International Presidents and members of the Royal Family have eaten here, and local (and now world famous) celebrities David and Victoria Beckham had their first date here.

Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm – 1.30pm and 6.30pm – 9pm

Location: The Midland Hotel, Peter St, Manchester

14. Take a tour of Manchester’s Underworld

Want to see a part of Manchester few tourists have seen, and do something truly unique while visiting Manchester? These Underworld tours take visitors into the city’s WWII air-raid shelter, located under the city of Manchester. This mysterious world, that lies under your feet deep below the city, is off limits to the public and a tour is the only way to see this historic part of the city and learn about the city’s past.

Price: Most walks are €10

15. Go on a shopping spree

Manchester is a top shopping destination in the UK, and is a great reason to travel to the city. With the Euro currently strong against the Pound, its also means that shopping sprees in the UK won’t break the bank the way they used to. Top shopping districts include Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet, Arndale Market and Manchester Art and Design Centre.

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