Once the industrial powerhouse city of the north, Manchester’s gritty reputation has been shod in favour for the slick and sophisticated metropolis it has become. It is a city known for its passionate love of football and its dueling district clubs, for birthing the cult British band Oasis, and its friendly no-nonsense locals.
Its rich history and Victorian architecture ensures that it has one foot in the past, but this town affectionately known as the Capital of the North has its eyes firmly on the future; becoming a growing centre for the arts, British radio, and new music.
Things to do in Manchester, England
If this is your first time visiting the city, you must start in Castlefield, designated as an ‘Urban Heritage Park’ this is where you can find the roots of the city. The district is lined with stately Victorian houses, and is anchored by the Bridgewater Canal where many shops, restaurants and hotels now call this part of town home.
You can hop on a boat tour to get a feel for this Castlefield, and then hop out to explore the fascinating (and reconstructed) Roman Fort, catch a show at the Bridgewater Hall, or tour the Castlefield Art Gallery for a chance at seeing contemporary art exhibitions.
If you can, make time also for the Museum of Science and Industry, as in this city famous for its industrial heritage, it is a great way to feel seated in Manchester’s soul. This excellent museum charts the city’s growth from Roman Times, right through to the Industrial Revolution and onto present day.
Architecture buffs should visit the neo-Gothic Town Hall and the medieval Manchester Cathedral, and for an especial point of interest, a stop to the Chetham’s Hospital and Library, one of the oldest of its kind in England having been established as a library in 1422.
If it is sunny, head on down to Heaton Park, which boasts over 600 acres worth of greenery, you can stroll through. History hawks can spend their time admiring the façade of Heaton Hall, families can head to the animal farm, couples to the woodlands and sports enthusiasts to the tennis courts, or the 18-hole golf course.
Best time to visit Manchester, England
- The summer months (June-August) in the UK are the most reliable for sunny weather and high temperatures. Expect a pleasant average of 19-20°C.
- You’ll find the shoulder seasons drop about 5-8 degrees, but come with events, such as the Manchester Comedy Festival and the Food and Drink Festival, both in the autumn months.
- Winters are very cold, with day time averages generally not moving past about 6°C.
Best time to book
- Ideally you will want to book a trip to Manchester about 15 weeks in advance.
Expect to pay
- Great British Pound (GBP).
- A coffee in the city will run you about 2.50 ($4.65).
Arriving to the Manchester, England by plane
- Manchester Airport (MAN) is the main air facility of the city. Airline carriers that fly to this hub are Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, American Airlines, British Airways, Air Canada and Delta.
- You’ll find Manchester Airport is located roughly 14km outside of the city. There are a good variety of amenities available for travelling passengers, such as ATMs, currency exchange, duty-free shops and restaurants.
- Flights to Manchester from Australia will involve at least one or two stopovers, usually in Singapore (SIN), Doha (DOH) or Dubai (DXB).
- If you are an Australian citizen, then you do not need a visa to travel to the UK if you are staying under 6 months. Please double check your requirements with the UK immigration and visa site closer to your travel date to ensure the rules remain the same.
Transportation to city centre
- A taxi journey from the airport into downtown Manchester should cost approx. 26GBP ($48), or you can book an airport transfer with Skyscanner before you land.
- There are a few public transportation options, such as the Metrolink, public buses and a rail service.
- For car hire, arrange a vehicle with our car hire tool or at the airport.
Where to stay on the Manchester, England?
- North Central is traffic free and home to a lot of the heritage architecture of the city. There are famous pubs and bars all over this section, and beautiful high-end hotels in Victorian buildings.
- East Central is home to the important Northern Quarter and the busier nightlife scene. There are luxury hotels here, but more mid-range and budget options.
Useful tips before you go
- Tipping is not a big part of British culture and is certainly not expected, though it is very appreciated when given.
- Pick up a ‘get me there’ smart card run by system one travel if you plan to use the public transport a lot during your stay in Manchester.
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Airports near Manchester
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