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Places to Visit if it's Your First Time in Manchester

17 April 2021 Simon Banks Read time: 3 min
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Simon Banks

So you’ve just moved to Manchester and are all settled into your new place. Now it’s time to explore this great northern city and see everything it has to offer. And, boy, oh boy, does it have some stuff to offer. From historical sites to top-notch restaurants, and from world-class sporting stadiums to some of the best nightlife in the UK, Manchester is a place that welcomes everyone with open arms and is full of fun things to see and do. Here are our suggestions.

Science and Industry Museum

Get your knowledge on at the Science and Industry Museum, which traces the development of science, technology and industry with an emphasis on Manchester. The museum showcases a rich legacy of world-changing innovations and scientific discoveries and is a great day out for all ages. 

Address: Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4FP

The Lowry

Located in the regenerated Salford Quays neighbourhood, The Lowry is a theatre and gallery complex where you can view exhibitions and watch live entertainment. Better yet, it enjoys a riverside location and features Pier 8, an upmarket restaurant with modern British cuisine. 

Address: The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ

Manchester Cathedral

Soak up some culture with a visit to the refurbished Manchester Cathedral, which has a wealth of history waiting behind its doors. There are remnants from the early Saxon years, plus the £2.9m visitors centre that our very own Queen opened in 2002. 

Address: Victoria St, Manchester M3 1SX

Old Trafford

The Old Trafford stadium is the home of Manchester United, one of the most famous – and successful – football clubs in the world. If you’re lucky enough to snag yourself a ticket, you can join 78,000 other fans rooting on the Red Devils as they take on other heavyweights in the Premier League. 

Address: Sir Matt Busby Way, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester M16 0RA

National Football Museum

Still looking for a football fix? Then get yourself down to the National Football Museum and take part in the interactive exhibits where you can test your skills as a striker or goalkeeper with the Penalty Shootout and Shot-Stopper. You can also commentate on a football game and explore the wider museum, where you’ll find the 1966 Jules Rimet World Cup Trophy. 

Address: Urbis Building Cathedral Gardens, Todd St, Manchester M4 3BG

Manchester nightclubs

Manchester is arguably the best places to go in the UK for nightlife, and you won't be disappointed with the venues on offer. Whether you're dancing the night away in the early hours at Lola Lo Manchester or sipping back on classy cocktails at Chinawhite, there's are a range of great places to enjoy a fantastic night out. 

Adam Reid at The French

One of Manchester’s best restaurantsAdam Reid at The French brings delectable delights from a varied menu. It was also awarded by the BBC’s Great British Menu in 2016 and 2019. In fact, it’s one of the most accredited restaurants in the UK yet to receive a Michelin Star.

Address: 16 Peter St, Manchester M60 2DS

Etihad Stadium

If supporting Manchester United doesn’t take your fancy, visit the Etihad Stadium to watch arch-rivals Manchester City play some scintillating football. Led by world-class manager Pep Guardiola, The Cityzens have stars like Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling lighting up the Etihad weekly, whether in the Premier League or Champions League.

Address: Ashton New Rd, Manchester M11 3FF

Visit the Northern Quarter

Manchester’s Northern Quarter is full of buzz and vibrancy and is the place to go for some of the best bars in town. It’s synonymous with the city’s creative spirit with its mix of architectural styles. You’ll find everything here, from record labels and fashion designers to art galleries and old vinyl shops. And let’s not forget the DJs playing the latest tunes in rooftop bars and beer gardens.

Great Northern Warehouse

Located in Deansgate, The Great Northern Warehouse is a Grade II listed building and former railway goods distribution warehouse. Today, it’s a bustling leisure and shopping development with bars, restaurants, shops, a cinema, casino, bowling alley and health shop. There’s also a landscaped public square where you soak up the sun in the warmer months of the year. 

Address: Management Suite, 235 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN

Arndale Shopping Centre

While it might be getting on a bit in age, the Arndale Shopping Centre is an iconic landmark in Manchester and a place to do some serious shopping. Once you’ve finished browsing the shops at the centre, head to nearby Selfridges and Harvey Nichols to continue your retail therapy. The Trafford Centre also gets an honourable mention. 

Address: New Cannon Street Mall, Manchester M4 3AQ


There’s a bit of everything at HOME, from galleries to screens and cafe bars to bookshops. This contemporary arts centre is a popular spot, and Manchester's official home to theatre, film and visual art. Also, look out for Homeground, a 400-seat socially distanced theatre space opening on the site next door to HOME.  

Address: 2 Tony Wilson Pl, Manchester M15 4FN

Manchester markets

There’s more than 100 years’ worth of markets in Manchester, including the Church Street Market and Picadilly Gardens. They sell everything from clothes to fruit and veg, and there’s always tasty street food to try. Head to one of the markets at Christmas time to make it extra special.

Address: various

Places to visit in Manchester

Where are you off to on your first Manchester journey? One of the destinations on our list, or do you already have somewhere in mind? No matter which place you plump for, the city of Manchester is a fantastic place to live and is always ready to throw up a surprise and something exciting to do. 

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