Our guide to the best attractions in Manchester
With so many exciting attractions in and around Manchester, it can be so hard to decide what to do first. To give you a helping hand, here are our top 5 attractions for visitors to the city.
Built with the help of lottery funding for the turn of the millennium, the Lowry is dedicated to the work of the famous northern artist L.S. Lowry. The impressive building has quickly become the home of avant-garde performances and exhibitions including thought-provoking pieces that often push against artistic boundaries. As it’s only a short tram journey from the centre of town and surrounded by the bustling restaurants and shops of the Salford waterfront, a visit to the Lowry is a fantastic family-friendly day out.
Best described as Manchester’s Greenwich Village, the Northern Quarter is a bohemian mecca for all things creative – from street art to comic books to the boutique stalls of artisans. Simply wandering around the streets and drinking in the irresistible atmosphere is a great way to spend a couple of hours but if you want a true Northern Quarter experience you’ll want to take the time to explore every hidden store (many of which can be found down stairs or tucked at the back of alleys). If you only have time for one stop in the Northern Quarter be sure to visit Afflecks, an indoor market spread across several floors of an old apartment block where you can find hundreds of unique arts, crafts and keepsakes.
Calling back to Manchester’s heritage as an industrial powerhouse, the Science & Industry museum combines the history of Manchester, including the original terminus for the world’s first inter-city railway, with the recent trend of innovation in the city. There’s plenty of exhibitions to enjoy on every aspect of science, making connections between historic discoveries and contemporary science. Children can not only learn about famous discoveries but also see how they were applied to the real world. This is the perfect day out for inquisitive young minds and even adults are sure to find a lot to enjoy.
One for the adults, the Printworks was originally home to one of Manchester’s top newspapers, however, after sustaining some damage in an attack from the IRA it was transformed into one of Manchester’s top entertainment hubs. Wandering through the unique building you’ll find an IMAX cinema, a range of top-class restaurants and several nightclubs. This is the perfect place to spend a night in the city and it’s sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.
A shopping centre in the style of Mount Olympus boasting a Titanic-themed food court, its own Chinatown and a New Orleans quarter. To say that the Trafford Centre offers a unique shopping experience would be an understatement. The centre has over 200 shops which attract more than 30 million customers every year – making it an absolute must for shopaholics everywhere. It even has a miniature Lego Land, Sea Life centre, Cinema and arcade built in, as well as an indoor ski slope within walking distance, so there’s more than enough for the little ones to enjoy while Mum and Dad stock up on treats for themselves. If you can only get to visit one attraction in the city it should be the Trafford Centre.