UK & Ireland

Best things to do in Manchester: your local experiences bucket list

From a food crawl and a street art tour to exploring the Theatre of Dreams, Manchester has a diverse and exciting range of attractions to experience

Despite having lived in Manchester since birth, I’m still constantly discovering new things about the city, whether that be a secret about its fascinating past, a just-opened street food market, or a new family-friendly attraction. It’s a place that loves a night out but is also passionate about its libraries, and where you can enjoy the heady buzz in a world-famous football stadium on match-day, or retreat to its leafy suburbs to relax.

No matter if you live here or are just visiting the city for a weekend, there are so many things to do in Manchester that you may struggle to do everything at once. To help you to experience Manchester local life, here are some brilliant activities that you shouldn`t miss there!

1. Discover Manchester`s history through its food and top experiences

You can learn a lot about a city through its food and, on an Eat the City tour, the knowledgeable guide, Rob, will show you interesting spots to eat while weaving in lesser-known facts about Manchester’s culinary history.

Expect around eight stops with a diverse range of food options – think everything from ice-cream to poke – and to leave the tour with a full stomach and some city secrets. You’ll find out the location of some hidden beehives in the city centre, plus where the ice-cream cone was invented and

2. Have a fun day out with the family to present new perspectives to the kids

Children will love seeing Manchester from the water on a Manchester city river tour. The one-hour return trip aboard Princess Katherine travels from the city centre to Salford Quays where all of the family can admire the futuristic, angular buildings of The Lowry arts centre and The Imperial War Museum North, plus MediaCityUK where the BBC and ITV are based.

Mini football fans will get excited as you catch a glimpse of Old Trafford Stadium, while the whole family will smile as you glide past Gnome Island, a concrete island that is inhabited by a cheerful group of colourful figurines. And, as you travel up the River Irwell and beyond, there’s commentary teaching you more about Manchester’s history.

3. Raining or not, enjoy the best indoor activities in Manchester

Whether you’re a football fan or simply want to see Old Trafford, one of the most famous places in the city, up close, a Manchester United Museum and Stadium tour will be a fun and memorable part of your city break.

On a tour, you can take a selfie sitting in your favourite player’s seat in the dressing room, pose as the manager in the dugout, pretend to be a journalist in the press room, and run down the players’ tunnel towards the pitch (some parts of the tour may currently be closed due to updates). You can also brush up on Manchester United’s history in the museum.

4. Go for a nice walk to explore Manchesters`s great outdoors

Whatever has drawn you to Manchester – culture, football, hip hangouts – start you trip in style with a personalised tour of the city. You will find many beautiful and interesting places – and experience the local life and great outdoor activities.

A friendly local guide will meet you at your accommodation, or another central location, and then you can delve deeper into your chosen topic. You could focus on the top dining or drinking spots, L.S. Lowry, secret sights or diverse neighbourhoods – Manchester is your oyster.

5. Have a hotel experience and find a place to remember

King Street Townhouse is a place to unwind and indulge in Manchester – either for a staycation or a city break. And what better way to relax than by wallowing in the hotel’s infinity spa pool on the seventh floor? From here you can look out over the city skyline – the spires and clock of the neo-Gothic Town Hall are opposite.

Completing the indulgent break, the hotel also has a private cinema in its cellar that can be booked for private screenings. Not bad, right?