Modern apartments on both side of river Irwell passing through Manchester city center, UK.

Manchester: Travel tips from a local

cities

Manchester is one of the best UK city break destinations, and much cheaper than London! So if you ever find yourself in England, make sure to plan in a couple of days to visit Manchester. Here are some things to know about Manchester before you visit.

Manchester is a football city

With two of the best football teams in the UK, Manchester is big on football. During the football season, there are a lot of games on - a perfect opportunity for those who want to watch Manchester City or Manchester United. But you can also visit the Football Museum, or get some football merch at any corner of the street.

If you’re not a football fan, it’s best to check whether there is a game on before you visit. The city gets incredibly busy when one of the teams is playing, and hotel prices skyrocket!

You (most likely) won’t need public transport

Manchester city centre is relatively small for the number of people who live there. If you’re visiting for a day or two and you’re in Manchester to see the main sights, you probably won’t have to use any public transport. The city is very walkable. If you do want to visit some sights that are further away, there are tons of busses and trams that can take you to your destination.

There are lots of independent shops

Especially in the Northern Quarter and Ancoats, you can find tons of independent shops, coffee shops, and restaurants. Manchester loves its independent businesses and it makes the city centre so fun to explore. It still has the regular Mainstreet shops, but there are so many unique places to browse through.

The Northern Quarter in Manchester

Go to the Curry Mile for the best curries

Just outside the city centre, in Rusholme, you can find the famous Curry Mile. This part of Wilmslow Road is filled with the best curry houses in the city (some even say the best in the country!). Since it’s near the student districts, most restaurants are very cheap, too! The perfect place for a lovely dinner.

Look for the worker bee

Manchester’s mascot is the worker bee. Since the city used to be an industrial city, Manchester has a strong link with the hard-working insect. But even nowadays, you can find this little icon everywhere! It got a lot of attention after the horrible bombing in 2017 when many people got the bee tattooed in solidarity with the victims.

The worker bee emblem in Manchester

Dress for the rain

Manchester is also known as rain city. As the name suggests, Manchester gets a lot of rain. And not just in the spring and autumn, it rains all year long. While you can definitely get lucky and enjoy Manchester in the sun, it’s best to be prepared and dress appropriately! Or at least bring an umbrella.

Most museums and galleries are free

There are a ton of great museums and art galleries in Manchester, and most of them are completely free to visit. Some of the best ones include the Museum of Science and Industry, the People’s History Museum, the Manchester Art Gallery, the Manchester Museum, and the National Football Museum.

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Nele van Hout

Author - Nele van Hout

Nele van Hout from The Navigatio moved to Manchester in 2014 and has lived there ever since. She works as a freelance writer and SEO editor while sharing free travel guides for the best UK and European city breaks and Japan on her website.

Last Updated October 2, 2021

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