#Innsider’s guide: things to do in Manchester

Manchester, the uncrowned capital of England’s north. Steeped in intriguing history, it gave rise to both capitalism and communism (it was here that Marx cooked up the Communist Manifesto, after all). Luckily, Manchester knows a thing or two about reinvention and today it is a mix up of old and uber-trendy, with historic and modern architecture mingling oh so well. Partly due to the premier league footballers that can be spotted here, it also has a reputation for glamour, and its nightlife is known as legendary. Experience the city like a local with our top #Innsider picks on things to do in Manchester below.


Get down to street level

Slap bang in the city center, the bohemian neighborhood known as the Northern Quarter is packed with trendy bars and independent boutiques guaranteed to satisfy every customer. The main pursuits here are eating, drinking (both coffee and something stronger after dark), and vintage shopping. It’s no biggie if you get lost within its winding streets; the redbrick alleys are full of old and grand warehouses to discover (long before it became hip and happening, it was a place for mill workers and textile weavers to put in some hard work).

Guide to Manchester: Northern Quarter

© Alastair Wallace / Shutterstock.com

Eat and drink

Scores of drinkers and revelers can be found hopping between its many pubs, top-notch cocktail bars and speakeasies after-hours. On the #Innsider’s list are Trof NQ, Soup Kitchen and Dusk til Pawn. If you’re not one to be tempted by a fruity cocktail, sample a pint of Boddingtons Bitter (or Boddies to the locals), it’s been ‘the pride of Manchester’ since 1778.

Nerd out

Arguably one of the most beautiful libraries in Britain, the John Rylands Library on Deansgate is an incredible example of Victorian gothic architecture and well worth a visit when in the area. Complete with high-vaulted ceilings, stained-glass windows, intricate stonework and ornate bookcases, it speaks volumes (get it?) about Manchester’s booming industrial past. The real show-stopper is the Reading Room, #Innsiders ask one of the library’s guardians if you can see the upper part of this impressive room and you may well get a private tour. Entry is free!

Manchester John Rylands Library

© Alastair Wallace / Shutterstock.com

Party hard

Manchester knows how to throw a good party and its nightlife is second to none. Stemming from an enviable musical heritage (scene-defining bands such as the Smiths, New Order, Stone Roses and Oasis all hail from this city), its obsession with live music is still alive and well.

If you’re in Manchester during the Autumn/Winter season, #Innsiders know The Warehouse Project offers up underground parties of epic proportions. Housed in a disused bomb shelter beneath Piccadilly Station, it mixes top-name DJs with a ‘secret’ warehouse vibe. Running for just 12 weeks from September to New Year’s Day, it’s a limited affair so book tickets early.

Football fever

Home to one of the world’s most famous clubs, Manchester United F.C, the Old Trafford stadium is a shrine for its millions of fans worldwide, many of whom come to the ground to see some of the world’s top footballers in action. Just £18 will get you a full stadium tour, so you can soak up the atmosphere from the dressing room, take the manager’s seat in the dugout and follow in the footsteps of Manchester footballing greats down the tunnel.

Guide to Manchester: Old Trafford Stadium

No devoted fan should miss out on a trip to the National Football Museum. Located in the striking Urbis building in the city centre, it’s packed full with the world’s most extensive FIFA and FA collections, footballing memorabilia, trophies and other keepsakes, including the sacred ball that was used in that 1966 World Cup final, when England won its solitary star on the shirt.

A place to stay

Our Park Inn by Radisson Manchester City Centre Hotel is within walking distance from the top city center attractions. Nestled in the award-winning Green Quarter, this hotel enjoys a premium location where lush greenery complements streamlined high-rises.

Park Inn by Radisson Manchester City Centre restaurant

Park Inn by Radisson Manchester City Centre

What are your favorite things to do in Manchester? Tweet your #Innsider tips @parkinn to help others when planning a visit.


Want to discover more destinations? Take a look at some other #Innsider guides, like things to do in Berlin.