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Visit Manchester: Your travel guide

New Order, The Bee Gees, Oasis, the list goes on. Manchester’s musical back catalogue is filled with hits, leaving a legacy of top talent matched only by its sport stars. Birthplace of the computer, today’s Manchester is quirky, edgy, innovative … and did we mention the food?

Things to do in Manchester

Canal Street
Known for fun and revelry, Canal Street was the filming location for TV’s ‘Queer as Folk’. A clutch of clubs and bars cater to every imaginable subculture – plus a few new ones. Whether you’re flying the rainbow flag for Pride, a drag queen in search of a feather boa, or a group of friends out on the town, you’ll be welcomed with open arms whatever your persuasion.
Canal Street, M1 3WD
Check website for details.
Manchester Town Hall
“The finest example of Neo-Gothic architecture in the world”, so experts say – Manchester’s town hall bell tower is the city’s pride and joy. The clock bell, Great Abel (like Westminster’s, Big Ben), is inscribed with an admonishment from the poet Tennyson: “Ring out the false, ring in the true”. Counting out the hours since 1879, if this doesn’t move you, you have no soul.
Albert Square, M2 5RT
Manchester Central Library
Inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, the city library is now a classic in its own right. After four years of restoration, at a cost of £50 million, this circular, neoclassical gem reopened in 2014. Settle yourself in one of the comfy chairs and make a start on the library’s two million books – and when you fancy a breath of fresh air, cross St Peter’s Square to the war memorial.
St. Peter's Square, M2 5PD
Open Monday–Thursday 09:00–20:00, Friday–Saturday 09:00–17:00
Deansgate
Deansgate is Manchester’s good-time central. It’s one of Manchester’s most popular areas in the evening (especially after work on Fridays), and at weekends. 250+ bars, restaurants and cafes are in and around the street and Deansgate Locks (aka ‘party town’). Business casual, gussied up or jeans and a tee, if you really want to let your hair down, this is the place to be.
Deansgate, M3 3NW
The River Irwell
The lifeblood of the city, the history of the River Irwell is as deep as the water itself – and remains a traditional icon for the city. Marking the natural boundary between Manchester and Salford, its banks are dotted with waterside bars, restaurants and spots to picnic, fish, swim or just watch the world float by.
City of Manchester 'Etihad' Stadium
Until recently, Manchester City were considered the poor relations of city rivals, Manchester United. The arrival of Sheikh Mansour changed all that. These days, you can see the world’s brightest soccer stars shine at the Etihad Stadium. And if you can’t get a match ticket, opt for a stadium tour instead and see the home of the Premier League champions close up.
Ashton New Road, M11 3FF
Open Monday–Saturday 09:00–17:00, Sunday 10:00–16:00
Old Trafford
The “Theatre of Dreams” has been making fans dreams a reality here for years. Manchester United has become one of the most popular football clubs in the world, and their titles and trophies are held at an onsite museum. Whether you’re planning to see a match or simply take a stadium tour, a visit here is an absolute must (unless you’re a Manchester City fan!).
Sir Matt Busby Way, M16 0RA
Open Monday-Saturday 09:30–17:00, Sunday 10:00-16:00. Check website for details.
Salford Quays
Both the BBC and Britain’s independent broadcaster, ITV, are based here. And where you have journalists and TV types, can the city’s best eateries and watering holes be far away? Go at the end of the day to see the reflections of the modern office blocks light up the waterfront and you never know who you might bump into having an after-work pint in one of the locals.
Salford Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ
Check website for details.
Heaton Park
Over 240 hectares of historic estate, Heaton Park is one of the largest green spaces in Europe. There’s no better place for golf, strolling in the woods, boating on the lake during the day … and stargazing at night. Festivals, feasts and fun-runs are held here throughout the year and the Animal Centre is always a children’s favourite – just keep them at arms length.
Heaton Park, M25 2SW
Open Monday-Sunday 08:00-16:30. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Trafford Centre
The Queen shops at Harrods. Everyone else shops at the Trafford Centre. If you fancy yourself a retail prince or princess, browse around this giant mall beneath its Romanesque arches. Among your royal subjects – Selfridges, Debenhams, John Lewis, Apple, Omega and Topman, Europe’s largest food court, the 20-screen Odeon cinema, mini-golf, bowling alleys and more.
intu Trafford Centre, M17 8AA
Open Monday–Friday 10:00–22:00, Saturday 10:00-21:00, Sunday 12:00–18:00
Market Street
Bookended by department stores, Market Street bustles with bargain hunters and fashionistas from dawn until dusk. Manchester’s main shopping street runs from St Ann’s Square to Piccadilly Gardens, bordered along one side by the vast Arndale Centre. If you’re peckish, there’s even an escalator to whisk you directly from ground level to the Arndale food court.
Arndale Centre
Occupying a huge swathe of central Manchester, the Arndale Centre is part of the fabric of the city. You can find a whole host of high-street names under one roof, while a covered walkway connects to flagship branches of Selfridges and Marks & Spencer, keeping shoppers safely sheltered from the Mancunian weather.
King Street
Once the seat of Manchester’s financial sector, this city-centre street connects Cross Street and Deansgate. Today fashionistas flock to King Street’s upscale boutiques and swanky eateries, many housed in listed buildings. High-end labels making their home here include Calvin Klein, Emporio Armani and DKNY.
Kendal's
Known affectionately as “Kendal’s”, this venerable department store started life as Kendal Milne over 180 years ago. Its beautiful Art Deco building is a Deansgate landmark that’s now run by the House of Fraser chain. Mancunian shoppers still flock here faithfully to browse the best in beauty, fashion and homeware brands.
Cross Street
Cross Street cuts neatly through Manchester city centre, linking up King Street’s designer boutiques with the flagship Harvey Nichols and Selfridges stores. Along the way, you’ll find the high-street hustle and bustle of the Arndale Centre and Market Street, while specialist shops fill the arcades and alleys around St. Anne’s Square.
Northern Quarter
Manchester’s Northern Quarter is a magnet for shoppers seeking all things alternative, from second-hand books to vintage clothes and vinyl records. You can snap up one-of-a-kind jewellery, ceramics and artworks directly from local artisans in the Manchester Craft and Design Centre, or browse Afflecks for weird and wonderful gift ideas.
The Trafford Centre
All white marble floors, towering palm trees and gleaming gold-leaf columns, this flashy fashion palace is one of the UK’s largest shopping centres. The Trafford Centre houses hundreds of high-street retailers and designer names, as well as dozens of trendy bars and restaurants set around a grand ocean liner-themed food court.
High Street/Thomas Street Crossroads
This intersection is the epicentre of the Northern Quarter’s bar scene. On any given evening – and especially at the weekend – it’s wall-to-wall revelry here. Take your pick from Bluu Manchester, Apotheca, Odd Bar and Almost Famous… or just bar-hop between all four! And from there, who knows where the night could lead?
Tib Street
Tib Street cuts Manchester’s lively Northern Quarter down the middle. There’s plenty of fun to be had here, particularly in the blocks between Warwick Street and Dale Street. Grab dinner at Simple Kitchen before a round or two in the Tib Street Tavern. Then finish off at the Black Dog Ballroom, a New York-inspired speakeasy and pool hall.
Spinningfields
The Spinningfields area buzzes with shoppers and businesspeople during the day – at nightfall, the revellers descend. There are Caribbean vibes galore at Revolución de Cuba bar, swanky Japanese sophistication abounds at Tattu and Alchemist lives up to its name with magical cocktail concoctions to delight your taste buds.
The Locks
The Locks is the name given to a series of ten railway arches on Whitworth West Street. These arches shelter some of Manchester’s most popular bars. Knott Bar is the place to go for top-quality ales, and Sakura caters to the discerning cocktail barfly, with a mix of Japanese and international glitz. For romantic Manchester panoramas, whizz up twenty-three floors to stylish Cloud 23.
Band On The Wall
This iconic Northern Quarter venue is named for the miniscule stage high up on the wall where musicians used to perform. In the 1970s, the Band On The Wall was the beating heart of Manchester’s punk scene, playing host to Joy Division, Buzzcocks and The Fall, and today it’s a platform for everything from local up-and-comers to jazz legends and cult DJs.
Albert Hall
Albert Hall’s transformation from abandoned chapel to modern temple of music is one of Manchester’s greatest success stories. This atmospheric venue lay empty for 40 years but now boasts a packed calendar of live shows and club nights, with an underground Bavarian beer hall catering for pre-show drinks and after-parties alike.
Gorilla
Gorilla’s location under the Whitworth Street West railway arches gives this pint-sized venue a bunker-like feel. Alongside intimate gigs and DJ sets, this eclectic space houses a grill restaurant, a trendy bar and a mezzanine gin parlour that’s perfect for a post-show tipple.
The Ritz
The Beatles, R.E.M., Arctic Monkeys and The Smiths are just some of the artists to have graced the stage at The Ritz over the decades. This listed building has been a city centre stalwart since 1927 and still hosts regular concerts and weekend club nights under its modern name of O2 Ritz Manchester.
Antwerp Mansion
Tucked away behind Fallowfield’s famous Curry Mile, this venerable Victorian townhouse has been spruced up and turned into a community-run creative hub. Its cavernous rooms fill up for art exhibitions, club nights and eclectic gigs, with all proceeds ploughed straight back into preserving the historic house.
The Ruby Lounge
Hidden behind an unassuming entrance on High Street, this roomy basement venue has long won favour for its intimate atmosphere and pin-drop acoustics. The Ruby Lounge hosts live music almost daily, as well as regular club nights, making it one of the Northern Quarter’s most popular nightspots.
The Footage Bar
This converted cinema makes an ideal setting for dramatic cup finals and nail-biting penalty shootouts. Situated on Manchester’s student-centric Oxford Road, The Footage has dozens of TVs showing multiple matches at once, including two humongous projection screens. Add to this the hearty pub food and vast selection of local ales and you’re onto a winner.
Tib Street Tavern
Tib Street Tavern is the stand-out sports bar of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Its four HD screens promise views of the match from every angle, while the bar serves up homemade burgers and a wide range of local and international beers. The Tavern treats all teams equally and stays strictly impartial, so no football shirts are allowed inside.
Old Trafford Stadium
The “Theatre of Dreams” has been making fans dreams a reality here for years. Manchester United has become one of the most popular football clubs in the world, and their titles and trophies are held at an onsite museum. Whether you’re planning to see a match or simply take a stadium tour, a visit here is an absolute must (unless you’re a Manchester City fan!).
Etihad Stadium
Until recently, Manchester City were considered the poor relations of city rivals, Manchester United. The arrival of Sheikh Mansour changed all that. These days, you can see the world’s brightest soccer stars shine at the Etihad Stadium. And if you can’t get a match ticket, opt for a stadium tour instead and see the home of the Premier League champions close up.
Altrincham Market House
A Grade II listed building, Altrincham Market House is more than your ordinary food hall. Trendy stalls sell an array of foods from behind vintage-style shopfronts – with wood-fired pizza, pies, burgers and baked goods just some of the delights on offer. To wash it all down, try a beer from one of the North’s best microbreweries or grab yourself a cup of house-roasted coffee.
Tattu Restaurant and Bar
Situated in trendy Spinningfields, Tattu’s exquisitely designed interior and cleverly-named cocktails find inspiration in the long history of body art. This unique locale fuses traditional Asian flavours to create carefully-plated, contemporary Chinese dishes. Sample bite-sized dim sum, or treat your palate to mains like soy-glazed wagyu fillet and black cod in saffron miso.
The French restaurant
Find this fine dining delight tucked within the Midland Hotel. Created from ingredients grown on The French’s very own farms, the menu bursts with seasonal flavour. In the historic dining room, you’ll marvel at the restaurant’s modern twist on the traditional – both in the decor and the carefully crafted dishes on your plate.
Manchester House restaurant
Contemporary meets industrial chic in this quirky venue. Offering impressive 10 and 14-course tasting menus alongside creative à la carte, there’s plenty to keep your taste buds amused. For an even finer dining experience, request a table in the private dining room, which can seat up to eight people.
Mr. Cooper's House & Garden
Famous Manchester folk of the 1800s, the Coopers would frequently open their gardens to the public for picnicking. Bringing this concept to the modern day, Mr. Cooper’s House and Garden offers three different dining areas: the book-clad ‘Library’, leather-finished ‘Study’ and the botanical ‘Garden’ – complete with outdoor furniture and a 30-foot tree. As for the food itself, it’s delicious, fuss-free, yet fancy.
The Kitchens
The variety of the Manchester street food scene finds a single destination at The Kitchens. A project designed to encourage experimentation and growth, this Spinningfields-area delight houses culinary creatives such as the Hip Hop Chip Shop, Bangers and Bacon and Dim Sum Su – each putting their spin on favourites from all over the world.
Islington Mill
This former cotton factory downed tools to become one of Salford’s leading creative hubs, featuring a gallery, workshop spaces and a concert venue. As well as hosting epic club nights, eclectic live gigs and performance art, Islington Mill is also the home of the annual Sounds From The Other City Festival.
The National Football Museum
The stars, the stadia, the silverware. They’re all covered in this fascinating celebration of “the beautiful game”. With 140,000 items of memorabilia on display, the National Football Museum traces the sport’s history, from its muddy 19th-century origins to the glamourous global game it is today. Think you can play a bit? Step up and test your soccer skills on the interactive simulators.

When to go to Manchester

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Traveller's reviews and photos

8
Very good
Manchester is a vibrant multicultural city, love the place, but something seriously needs doing about people just sleeping anywhere in the streets and a lot of younger ones jumping on the bandwagon of the seriously unfortunate poor souls and begging.
Ray
United Kingdom
17 September 2017
6
Review score
The day after we arrived we had to spend all day in a laundromat washing everything we owned in hot water to get rid of the bedbug infestation we got from the Victoria Park Hotel. The laundromat was nice, though!
Debra
USA
17 September 2017
8
Very good
A diverse city with much to offer, particularly for cricket and soccer fans. It has a lively arts scene and lots of bars and restaurants.
James
Australia
16 September 2017
8
Very good
People are generally friendly. Mobile data internet is not very strong or stable throuoght the city.
Tarik
Sri Lanka
17 September 2017
10
Exceptional
Good real ale pubs with a good selection of museums with a large selection of restaurants.
Tracey
United Kingdom
17 September 2017

Accommodation and hotels in Manchester

Motel One Manchester-Piccadilly

9.2 Superb

Score from 10,889 reviews

£69

Average price per night
  • location was great”
    1128 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    1084 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    877 related reviews
Jurys Inn Manchester City Centre

8.4 Very good

Score from 3,773 reviews

£63

Average price per night
  • location was great”
    665 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    629 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    301 related reviews
The Principal Manchester

8.9 Fabulous

Score from 2,608 reviews

£104

Average price per night
  • “beautiful building”
    460 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    333 related reviews
  • location was great”
    287 related reviews
Holiday Inn Express Manchester City Centre

8.2 Very good

Score from 2,129 reviews

£80

Average price per night
  • location was great”
    312 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    260 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    217 related reviews
The Midland - QHotels

9 Superb

Score from 3,620 reviews

£82

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    643 related reviews
  • location was great”
    375 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    319 related reviews
Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester

8.9 Fabulous

Score from 3,535 reviews

£104

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    596 related reviews
  • location was great”
    312 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    203 related reviews
Holiday Inn Express Manchester City Centre Arena

8.5 Very good

Score from 3,275 reviews

£68

Average price per night
  • location was great”
    581 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    422 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    414 related reviews
The Lowry Hotel

9.2 Superb

Score from 2,805 reviews

£107

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    475 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    208 related reviews
  • location was great”
    186 related reviews
Macdonald Manchester Hotel

8.1 Very good

Score from 4,772 reviews

£72

Average price per night
  • “very clean and tidy”
    615 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    578 related reviews
  • location was great”
    477 related reviews
Discover Manchester

Popular neighbourhoods in Manchester

Manchester City Centre

130 properties

Amid the welcoming bustle of the city centre, Piccadilly Gardens is a green space with a difference. Redesigned by a Japanese architect, these 21st-century gardens are cool, modernistic and controversial. Take a bird’s-eye view from the Manchester Wheel, then steady the vertigo with a real ale at the KRO Bar.

Northern Quarter

35 properties

Don’t dismiss Manchester’s most “alternative” quarter as merely a hipster’s paradise. Sample a dizzying range of beers – locally brewed and from all parts of the world – in Port Street Beer House. Then soak up the brews with a chewy, cheesy, crispy pizza in “Dough”. There’s lots to do in this night-owl’s hotspot.

Salford

30 properties

Salford has arrived at last! Investment life-blood has transformed this urban wasteland into urbane sophisticate. The theatres and art galleries of the Lowry Centre – named for Salford’s most famed “matchstick men” painter – ensure that the area is beyond cool. And the presence of ITV and the BBC ensure the city’s role as MediaCity UK.

Castlefield

14 properties

Tradition meets inner-city calm. That’s what you’ll find in Castlefield, another area which proudly demonstrates the proud canal based history of the city. Recent redevelopments have not detracted from the charming character of this part of the city, with the Bridgewater Canal and the red brick bridges in particular worth a special visit.

Didsbury

8 properties

The streets of the outer suburb of Didsbury are peppered with Victorian mansions, homes of the mill owners who prospered there in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This district’s gracious, old-village atmosphere makes it the ideal place for quieter nights out in stylish surroundings. Pop in to the village for a choice selection of restaurants.

Old Trafford

5 properties

Manchester United. For many, they are the only reason they have even heard of the city. The stadium stands like a sporting skyscraper, with upwards of 70,000 people regularly packing into the arena, turning the surrounding streets into a sea of red. Hungry on match day? Stop at one of the fish and chip shops for an English tradition.

Fallowfield

2 properties

With a large student population, there’s always something afoot in Fallowfield. Local bars and restaurants specialise in catering for champagne lifestyles on lemonade wages. It's worth venturing here if only for is fabulous comedy club XS Malarkey. The atmosphere is young and lively but you don’t have to be a student to get a kick out of this area.

Local tips for Manchester

Band on The Wall
Sam by Sam

After 4 years studying in Manchester, Sam now lives in London but still maintains his Northern Soul.

This legendary live music venue has been part of Manchester’s history for over 200 years – the unusual name comes from the height of the original stage. I have great memories of Luv Dub reggae nights here, and now regular sessions include Mr Scruff and the Craig Charles Funk and Soul club.

Home Sweet Home
Amanda by Amanda

Mum-of-two Amanda lives just outside the city and has been working in Manchester for 15 years.

This welcoming milk bar/kitchen is located in the bohemian Northern Quarter and serves an amazing array of American-style breakfasts – the eggs Benedict and peanut butter malt milkshake are my personal favourites. It’s always busy so you may have to wait for a table, but it’s so worth it!

  • 49-51 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1 HW
  • homesweethomenq.com
  • Open Monday–Saturday 09:00–22:00, Sunday 09:00-21:00.
Lounge on 12
Nicola by Nicola

As a huge Man United fan, local girl Nicola can often be found at Old Trafford on match days.

Lounge on 12 is located in Manchester House, right in the heart of Spinningfields. It’s an amazing place to enjoy indulgent cocktails whilst experiencing panoramic views of Manchester's skyline. You’ve also got a great chance of spotting a celebrity here!

Revolución De Cuba
Caroline by Caroline

Scottish-born Caroline loves Manchester’s ever-changing atmosphere and amazing restaurants and bars.

As the name suggests, it’s a Cuban bar that has a massive choice of rums and often hosts live acoustic music. The delicious tapas-style food and mojito royale (that’s a mojito topped with champagne) are too good to miss out on. You might even spot the Booking.com Manchester crew here!

  • 11 Peter St, Manchester, M2 5QR
  • www.revoluciondecuba.com
  • Open Sunday-Wednesday 11:00-02:00, Thursday-Saturday 11:00-03:00
Manchester Academy 1,2,3.
Tristan by Tristan

Tristan studied in nearby Lancaster and often ventured into Manchester for its live music scene.

The Manchester Academies on Oxford Road consistently have a choice of great bands and up-and-coming artists. Academy 1 holds 2600 people and offers the chance to experience well-known acts, while Academy 3 is much smaller – perfect for getting up close to your favourite singer-songwriters.

  • Manchester University Students Union, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PR
  • www.manchesteracademy.net
  • Check website for details.
Christmas Markets
Lauren by Lauren

Lauren grew up in the countryside near Manchester and has since lived in Ireland, Spain and Mexico.

I know Christmas is almost here when the markets open up in mid-November. They’re spread all over the city but the best atmosphere is outside the town hall in Albert Square. Stalls sell food, drinks and gifts from all over Europe – great for Christmas shopping while sipping mulled wine!

The Comedy Store
Derin by Derin

Originally from Istanbul, Derin loves Manchester's multicultural people and witty northern humour.

The Comedy Store Manchester is one of the best places in the UK to see stand-up comedy. It hosts weekly shows from Thursday to Sunday, with a mix of big names and up-and-coming comedians. It’s great to be able to have a meal and a drink while watching live comedy!

  • Arches 3 and 4, Deansgate Locks, Whitworth Street West, M1 5LH
  • thecomedystore.co.uk
  • Check website for details.
Manchester Museum
Karl by Karl

Born near Manchester, Karl now lives in London and is getting to grips with life in the south.

Part of the University of Manchester, Manchester Museum is fascinating for visitors of any age and best of all, it’s free. Its 4 floors of galleries contain everything from Egyptian mummies to a giant Japanese spider crab, but the most famous inhabitant is a fossilised T-Rex named Stan.

Dogs n Dough
Dee by Dee

Born and raised nearby, Dee has lived in cities all over Europe but says Manchester beats them all.

I love going for food and cocktails at Dogs N Dough. It’s hidden away near Albert Square, and serves the best hotdogs and pizzas in the city. There are always great deals, including half-price cocktails midweek. They also do the best milkshakes ever, and the dessert pizza is to die for!

  • Bow Lane, M2 4JW
  • www.dogsndough.com
  • Open Monday–Thursday 16:00–22:00, Friday–Saturday 12:30–23:00, Sunday 12:00–21:00
Read our FAQ on this destination >

Recommendations for Manchester

The Alpine cafe in the park at Didsbury for snacks and lunch. The Royal Exchange theatre bar and restaurant.

Yes. We went to the Royal Exchange Theatre which is always very good.

Yes, Northern Quarter full of independent shops and restaurants

shopping and numerous eating out places to suit all tastes

Relaxed atmosphere on the streets and when shopping.

Off the beaten track locations

Booking.com asked travellers...

Why would you recommend Manchester for food?

there's so much choice!

Mrs brown,s boys

Transport

Manchester transport

Air - Manchester Airport

Follow signs for The Station to reach Manchester Airport’s central rail, tram and bus interchange. It’s a 20-minute train journey to Piccadilly Station (every 10 minutes from 05:30–23:30, less frequently overnight). Buy a ticket from the machines or booth for GBP 4.30. Metrolink trams leave every 12 minutes and cost GBP 4.20 – look out for the yellow ticket machines on the platform. It’s a 45-minute ride to Cornbrook, where you can change lines for the city centre.

Air - Liverpool John Lennon Airport

Liverpool John Lennon Airport is a hub for budget airlines and is just a 50-minute drive from central Manchester. Terravision buses leave from right outside Arrivals approximately once an hour from 05:00–23:50, stopping at Manchester Sackville Street (next to the main coach station) and Shudehill Interchange. Tickets cost GBP 8 single or GBP 12 return: buy them online, at the airport’s Terravision desk, or from Terravision representatives at the bus stops in Manchester.

Train

Manchester Piccadilly is a large modern station offering regional and cross-country services, including frequent connections to Manchester Airport and high-speed trains to London. It’s remarkably easy to navigate and has a good range of restaurants, cafés and shops. The smaller, more old-fashioned Manchester Victoria offers local services around the north-west of England. Free Metroshuttle buses link the two stations from 07:00–19:00 (Sundays 10:00–18:00).

Bus

Manchester’s main bus stations are at Piccadilly Gardens and Shudehill Interchange – from there, routes criss-cross the city and fan out to surrounding towns. Bus companies include Stagecoach, Arriva and First: all offer day passes for around GBP 4, available to buy from the driver. Free Metroshuttle buses also connect the city’s main train stations and shopping areas from 07:00–19:00 (Sundays 10:00–18:00). Night buses are mainly limited to the Oxford Road corridor.

Taxi

Manchester has both London-style black cabs and private taxis. Black cabs can be flagged down in the street, found at a taxi rank or pre-booked. The metered fares are standardised and all vehicles are wheelchair accessible. Private taxis are either white or silver, with yellow number plates and a yellow sticker indicating the name of the company. They can’t be flagged down and need to be pre-booked. Fares vary but should always be displayed clearly inside the taxi.

Tram

Metrolink’s 6 lines radiate outwards from the city centre through the suburbs, reaching nearby towns such as Bury, Rochdale, Altrincham and Ashton-under-Lyne. A new service also links Manchester Airport to Cornbrook, where you can change to other lines. Tickets cost between GBP 1.40 and GBP 4.70 depending on the journey – buy before you travel from the yellow ticket machines on the platform. Trams are surprisingly quiet so take care when crossing roads in the city centre!

Car

Driving in Manchester city centre is relatively straightforward – just look out for bus lanes, as driving in them is heavily fined. EU driving licences are valid in the UK, while non-EU citizens can use their foreign licence for up to 12 months. City-centre parking is very pricey: NCP car parks charge GBP 8 to GBP 12 for up to 4 hours, or GBP 13 to GBP 18 for 24 hours. Alternatively, there are free park-and-ride sites next to most train and tram stations on the outskirts of the city.

Food in Manchester

Top restaurants in Manchester

High-end dining
European
Michael Caines at Abode
  • Abode, 107 Piccadilly, M1 2DB
  • Open Tuesday–Saturday 12:00–14:30 and 18:00–22:00
  • 0044 1612477744
Cheap 'n' tasty
Caribbean
Soup Kitchen
Cheap 'n' tasty
British
Pieminister
  • 53 Church Street, M4 1PD
  • Open Monday–Saturday 11:00–22:00, Sunday 12:00–17:00
  • 0044 161 819 1279
Good value
Tex-mex
El Capo
Cheap 'n' tasty
Vietnamese
I Am Pho
Cheap 'n' tasty
British
Pie and Ale
Cheap 'n' tasty
Italian
Solita
Cheap 'n' tasty
International
Common
Good value
International
Panama Hattys
Cheap 'n' tasty
Desserts
Richmond Tea Rooms
Cheap 'n' tasty
International
Walrus
  • 78-88 High St, M4 1ES
  • Open Sunday–Wednesday 12:00–00:00, Thursday 12:00–01:00, Friday–Saturday 12:00–02:00
  • www.walrus.com
  • 0044 1618288700
Good value
Tex-mex
Luck Lust Liquor and Burn
Good value
Italian
Dough Pizza Kitchen
High-end dining
Brazilian
Bem Brasil
Good value
European
Tea 42
  • 58 High Street, M4 1EF
  • Open Monday–Friday 10:00–20:00, Saturday 09:00–23:00, Sunday 09:00–20:00
  • 0044 800 0434242
Good value
Grill
The Blue Pig
Good value
British
Beef & Pudding
  • 37 Booth Street, M2 4AA
  • Open Monday–Friday 12:00–22:00, Saturday–Sunday 10:00–22:00
  • 0044 161 2373733
High-end dining
Chinese
Yang Sing
High-end dining
British
The French Restaurant, Midland Hotel
Good value
European
The Botanist
  • 78 Deansgate, M3 2FW
  • Open Sunday–Wednesday 12:00–00:00, Thursday 12:00–01:00, Friday–Saturday 12:00–02:00
  • 0044 1618331878
Cheap 'n' tasty
Caribbean
Turtle Bay
Good value
American
Red's True Barbeque
  • Albert Square, 22 Lloyd St, M2 5WA
  • Open Monday–Thursday 12:00–23:00, Friday 12:00–01:00, Saturday 09:00–01:00, Sunday 09:00–22:00
  • truebarbecue.com
  • 0044 1618209140
Good value
Spanish
La Vina
Good value
Australian
Australasia
High-end dining
Indian
East Z East
  • Blackfriars Street, M3 5BQ
  • Open Monday–Thursday 17:00–23:30, Friday–Saturday 17:00–00:00, Sunday 14:00–22:30
  • eastzeast.com
  • 0044 161 8343500
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