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7 best ways to explore Manchester

Content provided by Manchester and Beyond

Manchester, the birthplace of the industrial revolution, is most commonly known as a hotspot for sporting giants. However, if you take the time to look a little deeper there are many secrets to unfold. The youthful and diverse city is bursting with character and is the perfect destination for your next weekend getaway. Discover some of the best experiences to add to your list when you visit Manchester. 

With restrictions easing across England, please continue to follow government guidance and remember to plan ahead and check attraction websites before travelling. Take a look at our top tips on how to escape the everyday responsibly to see how you can make the most out of your day trips and breaks. 

1

Eat the city

Manchester

Mackie Mayor, a food court in Manchester

Whether you’re a fan of Brunch, a pizza officionado or love discovering local flavours there is a way to explore the city and indulge in your love of food. The Mancunian word for food is Scran, which is where Scranchester get their name, explore the city’s neighbourhoods and find out what makes this foodie city.  For those who prefer a morning meal you can indulge on the city’s first Brunch tour, run by Manchester Craft Beer Tour.

Find more food and drink experiences in Manchester
2

Try a drink or two

Manchester

As the name suggests, Craft Beer Tour Manchester run tours weaving through the city streets to uncover secrets, discover hidden gems, and taste some fabulous beers along the way. And for fans of wine they will now also be hitting the best places to indulge and taste the best wines there are on their new Wine Tour of Manchester.

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3

Discover sporting heritage

National Football Museum, Manchester

The National Football Museum in Manchester.

It wouldn’t be a visit to Manchester without experiencing sport of some kind. From cricket to cycling, and of course football, Manchester has it all. Delve into the social history of the game at the National Football Museum, and why not try your hand, or foot, at penalty shoot-out to beat the high scorers.

Find more sporting activities in Manchester
4

Shop your heart out

Northern Quarter, Manchester

Spend a day living in the lap of luxury by booking a personal shopping experience at one of the city’s luxury department stores. For people who prefer finding something unique, you can explore the independent shopping hub that is the Northern Quarter. Affleck’s is a must visit, the ‘emporium of eclecticism’ has become a Manchester icon. If staying under one roof sounds more like your thing head out to the Trafford Centre, where more than just shopping is on offer. Families can enjoy Legoland Discover Centre and SeaLife, whilst there are restaurants galore for foodies to enjoy.  

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5

Experience the city from the road

Manchester

A bus tour in Manchester.

If you’re unable to walk the city streets, or fancy something a little different, you can take a unique tour of the city with Manchester Taxi Tours. Uncover some of the city’s secrets with Manchester’s only Green Badge Tour Guide and Taxi Driver. If you’re travelling with a larger group hop onto the Sightseeing Manchester tour bus. With multiple stops around the city and out to Salford Quays you can explore at your own pace, with commentary delving into the city’s history from Lost and Lord of the Rings star Dominic Monaghan along the way.

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6

Indulge your passions

The Spirit of Manchester Distillery

Manchester is now home to three fabulous distilleries, with experiences for everyone to enjoy. At The Spirit of Manchester Distillery guests can enjoy a tour of the distilling process, enjoy a guided gin tasting, take part in the Gin School, or simply sit back, relax and enjoy a meal or cocktail in Three Little Words, the adjacent bar & restaurant. For home cooks classes across the city will help to widen your at-home repertoire and make for a wonderfully unique experience. At Food Sorcery visitors of all abilities and interests can enjoy one of their experiences, from coffee lovers’ barista class, to Cooking Together a half-cookery-class-half-restaurant experience.  

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7

Get off the beaten track

Northern Quarter, Manchester

Dovestone Reservoir near Manchester, England.

Explore the city’s hidden gems and overlooked street corners with a Skyliner Street Art Tour.  Specialising in the alternative side of the city with their Northern Quarter Street Art Tour, Skyliner will identify lesser known heritage sites and highlight how modern art movements in Manchester hope to continue to drive creativity within this unique neighbourhood. If you prefer a slower pace of life, escape the city for an afternoon to explore the wild countryside of Greater Manchester. Hop on a train or tram from the city centre and be amidst nature within 30 minutes. From Dovestones and access to the Peak District near Oldham, to Rivington Pike near Bolton.

Find more walking tours in Manchester
19 May 2021(last updated)

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    Manchester

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    Manchester

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    National Football Museum, Manchester

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    Northern Quarter, Manchester

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    Manchester

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    The Spirit of Manchester Distillery

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    Northern Quarter, Manchester

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