Whitworth Gallery, Manchester
Located on the busy Oxford Road, Whitworth Gallery is the best cultural hideaway if you want to stay clear of all the buses for a short while. With year-round permanent and temporary exhibitions, the Whitworth offers both historical and modern displays and information concerning local prints, textiles and fine art pieces. Special events are also organized, so you are very likely to find a surprise waiting for you whenever you decide to visit. Sabina
Imperial War Museum North, Manchester
The Salford Quays probably offer the most impressive architectural scenery in Manchester, and one of the buildings mainly responsible for this is home to the Imperial War Museum North. Beside the stunning aspect of the building and its location, you can access information about recent history and case studies concerning England’s involvement in the wars, all services free of charge. Sabina
I had heard about the Barton Swing Aqueduct but seeing it in action was well worth the visit. Barton Swing Aqueduct still stands as a magnificent piece of Victorian engineering and serves as an example of the amazing and pioneering history of the industrial North in Victorian England. Located in Chapel Place, Barton, the aqueduct is a must for fans of engineering and English history and I highly recommend it. Cam Khaoson
I was lucky enough to visit Bridgewater Hall during a night time performance and although the show was fantastic it was the view of the building from the outside that was simply stunning. The hall is constructed of a number of glass walls which, when theatrically lit up at night, make a vivid impression on the surrounding area. I recommend seeing a performance but if that is not possible then taking a tour will suffice. Cam Khaoson
Located in St. Peter’s Square, Manchester Central Library is unmissable and not just because of the vast collection of books inside but also because the building is an incredible piece of architecture. Before stepping inside I was eager to walk around the building, designed in a neoclassical style, to have a look at the finer details. Once inside though, I found the library’s resources to be equally impressive. Cam Khaoson
Holy Name of Jesus
Built almost 140 years ago, the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus is a must see attraction. It is located on Oxford Road and is situated within Manchester University campus, which I found to be worth a look around too. The architecture of the church is remarkable and the building is now unsurprisingly considered to be Grade One Listed. I would recommend visiting this church for anyone interested in old architecture. Cam Khaoson
Manchester Town Hall
Manchester has a range of wonderful Victorian buildings to see but Manchester Town Hall is one of the best. I visited at the weekend and I was happily greeted with free entry. Whilst inside the building, finished in 1877, I learnt a great deal about the interesting history of the building and its purpose. This is a must see for anybody interested in the history of Manchester and it is located in Albert Square. Cam Khaoson
Portico Library and Gallery
The Portico Library and Gallery is now over 200 years old and contains a massive collection of over 25,000 books. Of all the historical Manchester building I found this one to be one of the most intriguing, both inside and out. Whilst inside I discovered the gallery frequently hosts exhibitions. The building was easy to find on 57 Mosley Street and when contacted on 0161 236 6785 they were very helpful. Cam Khaoson
St Ann’s Church
As I am so interested in the history of Manchester I realised that a visit to St Ann’s Church was an absolute must. The church is now almost 300 years old and serves as a link to Manchester’s more rural past before the industrial revolution turned it into the city it is today. The architecture is worth the visit alone and I would recommend this site to any tourist. Cam Khaoson
St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church
Located on Mulberry Street, St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church is believed to be the oldest post-Reformation Catholic Church in England. As I toured the church I discovered its enduring importance to the city of Manchester since its foundation in 1794. For those interested in design, architecture and history I would highly recommend a visit. I found the interior design of the church to be the most spectacular part. Cam Khaoson
Stockport Art Gallery
I decided to visit this art gallery because after visiting so many examples of fantastic Victorian Manchester architecture I felt I needed a change of scene. However when I arrived I was once again taken aback by the impressive architecture of the stone building that housed the gallery. The gallery itself was very interesting and holds frequent exhibitions. It is situated on Wellington Road in Stockport. Cam Khaoson
The Lowry, situated on the Salford Quays, is one of the most spectacular pieces of modern architecture in Manchester. I was blown away by its incredibly modern design and cutting edge style. The Lowry promises to deliver some of the best visual and performing arts and I found it more than lived up to its promise. The breathtaking building no doubt serves as inspiration to those who perform within it. Cam Khaoson
Whitworth Park, Manchester
Oxford Road is said to be the busiest bus route in Europe, so it is no wonder that many people choose to retreat in the Whitworth park throughout the day and escape the city noise for a while. While maintaining a wild aspect with squirrels running around (once I actually managed to photograph one in detail!), it is also the perfect location for a picnic, a friendly football match or taking the kids out to play on its very own well equipped playground. Sabina
Manchester Museum, Manchester
The Museum of Manchester is a family-friendly place with free admittance where you can drop by anytime and learn a thing or two about the natural world or history. Some of the best displays are the Ancient Egypt wing with its mummies and the local weapon collection, as well as interactive nature displays for the little ones. Sabina
Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester
The main mental landmark for Manchester city dwellers, the Piccadilly Gardens are one of the busiest transport hub in town and the preferred meeting spot for any occasion. Great in the summertime due to the pedestrian accessible fountains, the Gardens are also great for relaxing with a book and some excellent take-out from one of the restaurants in the area. Sabina
Aquatics Centre, Manchester
Water sports lovers have a perfect venue in Manchester, and that is the Aquatics Centre. Built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the Aquatics Centre offers a fully equipped 50-metre swimming pool, fitness and leisure areas, as well as a children’s pool and special water aerobic classes. So if you’re just looking for some aquatic relaxation or you want to swim professionally, the Aquatics Centre is the right place for you. Sabina
Islington Mill, Manchester
Located in the northwestern part of the city, in Salford, Islington Mill is a good example for the new trends in gallery and studio spaces around the world. A former cotton mill, the venue has now become home for more than 50 artists, who use the space as a studio, gallery, party and workshop location. Islington Mill is also well worth checking out if you are looking for some networking in the art world, as most people there are very open to any new projects. Sabina
The Cube, Manchester
Located on Portland Street, very close to Manchester City Centre, The Cube is the city’s most important hub for urban awareness, design and architecture. It hosts conferences, debates and exhibitions underlying the theme of the urban environment, and it is also home to RIBA, one of the best bookshops in town. Sabina
The Footage, Manchester
The Footage is a legendary Manchester venue, located in the heart of the Manchester Metropolitan University campus. Thriving week-round with student activity, the place offers karaoke nights and food happy hours every day, and is an excellent location for watching live sports events on one of the many giant screens they have installed especially for this. Sabina
Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester
The Museum of Science and Industry (or MOSI) is one of those places you are glad to have discovered and that makes you feel like a little explorer once you leave it. Located on Liverpool Road in Castlefield, it offers free entrance in the good tradition of most Manchester museums and lots of experiences to go through (4D shows with moving seats, walks through Victorian sewers and more…). Sabina
Manchester Academy, Manchester
The Manchester Academy is run by the University of Manchester Student Union and is one of the most successful concert venues in the city. Student management means excellent student services and gigs, so expect to see the best and hottest bands at decent prices throughout the year at the Manchester Academy. Sabina
Noise Lab, Manchester
The Noise Lab on Market Street is the ultimate location for exploring and playing with sound and visual projects. The friendly collective there will welcome you every day with lots of gadgets and experimental equipment for you to play with, while also hosting some of the best performances and events related to urban culture and artistic projects. Just drop by any time to leave your visual and acoustic signature, the Noise Lab will process it for you. Sabina
Manchester Cathedral, Manchester
Old gothic buildings are always liable to impress us, and when they have a religious destination and are as imposing as the Manchester Cathedral, you are very likely to be blown away. The best part about it is that it organizes several interactive projects so you can literally become part of that space and turn it into something meaningful that goes beyond its inherent beauty. Sabina
Manchester Art Gallery
Located right in the centre of town, Manchester Art Gallery is most renowned for its vast collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings. It also houses British and European art from the last six centuries as well as fascinating temporary exhibitions of modern art. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and there are lots of interactive elements for kids too – making it perfect for art lovers and families alike. Joseph Reaney
Imperial War Museum North
When you're in Salford Quays, you shouldn't miss the Imperial War Museum North. In fact, it's almost impossible to. Housed in a non-too-subtle futuristic silver hanger on the quayside, the award-winning museum recounts the true stories of people whose lives have been and are being shaped by war and conflict. There are also temporary exhibitions on the lesser-seen sides of various conflicts. Joseph Reaney
John Rylands Library
A masterpiece of Victorian Gothic architecture, John Ryland's Library was built to commemorate the life of one of Manchester's most celebrated industrialists. Now it is one of the city's best attractions: not only for its incredible architecture but also for its collection of rare books and religious texts - ranging from early editions of Darwin's Origin of the Species to the amazing Gutenberg Bible.
Civil Justice Centre
Located in Spinningfields, the Civil Justice Centre is one of the most radical and groundbreaking pieces of architecture in Manchester. It was constructed in 2007 and boasts the largest suspended glass wall in Europe – measuring an incredible 11,000-metres-square – as well as a number of unique 'fingers' which are quite unlike any other building in Britain. Unmissable for fans of modern art.
Old Trafford Football Stadium
As the home of Manchester United – the most supported football club in the world – Old Trafford is a UEFA five-star rated ground with space for over 76,000 spectators. The Theatre of Dreams, as it is commonly known, offers guided tours of the pitch, changing rooms and corporate areas... and you can also see the free Munich Air Disaster Exhibition. Going to a game will cost between L27 and L49. Joseph Reaney
Old Trafford Cricket Ground
If you're looking for a quintessentially English day out, why not take in a game at Old Trafford Cricket Ground? Home to Lancashire County Cricket Club for almost 150 years, Old Trafford also hosts several international cricket fixtures - from test matches (several days) to Twenty20 games (4 hours). Joseph Reaney
If you want a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, there's nowhere better than Heaton Park. Located just five miles from the city centre, this 650-acre green space houses the 18th century Heaton Hall. You'll can also entertainment like rowing, angling, bowls, croquet, football and golf. Joseph Reaney
The Wheel of Manchester
For a thoroughly unique perspective on the city of Manchester, take a trip on The Wheel. Consisting of 42 capsules which seat up to eight people each, the wheel takes you a full sixty metres in the sky to give you a stunning view over one of the fastest changing urban landscapes in all of Europe.
Manchester United Museum and Tours
Manchester United Museum and Tours gives you the chance to take a look back at the history of one of the most famous football clubs in the UK to date. The tours are intriguing and awe inspiring at the same time. The exhibitions are informative and will capture the imagination of every visitor, if you weren’t a fan of football when you arrived, you will be when you leave. Mac Wheeler
MEN Arena, Manchester
Stunning indoor concert venue that can accommodate more than 20.000 people, the MEN Arena has been the most accessible way to the best gigs in town since 1996. And by accessible I mean literally very easy to reach, as it is located just behind Victoria train station. All the biggest names in the entertainment industry have performed at the MEN Arena and chances are that you’ll catch an amazing concert anytime you visit the city. Sabina
Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
The theatre in the Royal Exchange building has one of the most unconventional designs that I’ve ever seen in a theatre, with seven glass walls and three levels built inside the Royal Exchange Hall. Performances here will exceed all the expectations raised by the architectural environment, and the venue also offers alternative shows in The Studio. Students have amazing discounts, especially on Mondays. Sabina
The Royal Exchange is located in St. Ann’s Square and is yet another example of the wonderful Victorian architecture in Manchester. I found the shopping complex within the building to be excellent with a range of trendy shops. However it was the Royal Exchange Theatre which was truly mesmerising. There were a number of shows to watch that would appeal to any drama fans, like me. Cam Khaoson
The Printworks, Manchester
The Printworks is the biggest entertainment complex in Manchester city centre – and this says it all. Cinemas, clubs, restaurants (my top favorites: Wasabi and Chiquito) and even a health and fitness club with a 20-metre swimming pool – you just name it and The Printworks has it. One more teaser: out of the four Hard Rock Café’s in the UK, The Printworks has its very own! Sabina
FAC251 is one of the most popular student venues in the city, which means very busy nights, low prices and some of the best indie music you can hear in Manchester. The unique venue, located on the corner of Princess and Charles St, is now home to great 6-day-a-week partying, and if all this info was not enough, I’ll just tell you that one of the DJs you can expect to find here is Mani, former Rolling Stone bassist and current member of Primal Scream. Hooked? Sabina
The Cornerhouse, Manchester
An all-time favorite for film and art lovers, The Cornerhouse on Oxford Road is a small space that accommodates three screening rooms, a bookshop, two floors of food and drinks and three floors of gallery spaces. One not to be missed for those interested in art films, contemporary performances and unique cinema and art-related books! Sabina
Manchester Opera House
Located on Quay Street right in the centre of Manchester, the magnificent Opera House opened its doors almost 100 years ago. It plays host to a number of touring shows, from plays and musicals to ballets and concerts, and is particularly renowned for its Christmas pantomime. Not to be missed!
Affectionately known as 'The Grand Old Lady of Oxford Street', the Palace Theatre on Oxford Street was opened all the way back in 1891. In the last 120 years it has played host to Gracie Fields, Noel Coward, Laurel and Hardy and more, and now it’s the perfect venue for enjoying big budget theatre.
Matt & Phreds
For jazz lovers, there's nowhere better than Matt & Phreds. Literally, in fact... as it's the only club in Northern England dedicated exclusively to live jazz music. They promise "the finest musical talent at least 6 nights a week", covering everything from blues funk-rock to Latin-infused jazz fusion. Smooth!
- Joseph Reaney
Royal Northern College of Music
The RNCM on Oxford Road is one of the most renowned and prestigious music schools in the world... and they love to show off their skills to the public! The arts centre there hosts regular live events covering a wide variety of music genres - from pop to opera - and high-quality is always guaranteed!
- Joseph Reaney
If you love the intimacy of a small music venue but don't want to miss out the high-quality acoustics of a large stadium, why not opt for the perfect middle ground - the Manchester Apollo. With a total capacity of 3,500 people, it attracts all the big name artists, past and present, but also ensures you'll get a great view from wherever you are. They even have regular live comedy events too!
- Joseph Reaney
The Comedy Store
Situated in Deansgate Locks, this fantastic comedy club hosts comedians from Britain, Australia, America... in fact, from all over the world! As an off-shoot of London's famous Comedy Store (home to the renowned Comedy Store Players) there are also regular open mic nights that feature the club's famous comedy gong!
- Joseph Reaney
Peveril of the Peak
If you're looking for a real Manchester pub during your trip to the city, look no further than the Peveril of the Peak. Nearly two centuries old, the Peveril is a Grade II listed building and one of Britain's most visited pubs - making it the perfect place to enjoy Real Ale and traditional live music.
- Joseph Reaney
Canal Street is the best night out in Manchester! At the epicentre of the 'Gay Village', you'll find both gay and heterosexual people here every night enjoying the plethora of great pubs and nightclubs. Come on a sunny day and you'll see a different side too, as it's lined with European-style street cafes.
Cloud 23, Manchester
Looking for one of those unique experiences Manchester has to offer? Then step into the Hilton hotel lobby at the Beetham Tower and take the left hand elevator all the way to floor 23, where a small, but classy cocktail bar awaits you. Cloud 23 is open daily form 5 PM and it not only offers great drinks, but probably the best view of Manchester you can get unless you’re in a helicopter! Sabina
Contact Theatre, Manchester
Standing proof for the thriving cultural life that Manchester youth supports, the Contact Theatre is a modernist venue that offers all kinds of entertainment, from conventional theatre shows and performances, to poetry nights and various workshops, allowing you to go behind the curtain and explore what it’s like to be working in a theatre. Moreover, if you feel you have a talent you can drop by Contact Theatre on Oxford Road anytime and you are sure to make some contacts. The name itself guarantees it. Sabina
New York Street, Piccadilly, Manchester
Appearance wise, this place is stunning, with everything finished to a high spec. I like my Spanish Tapas, and had high expectations, but unfortunately the portions, whilst being very tasty, were so small I was still hungry on leaving. The staff were very nice, both friendly and knowledgeable, but overall my visit was a disappointing experience. Gary Tomlinson
The Warehouse Project, Manchester
The number one clubbing destination in Manchester, the Warehouse Project is located just beneath the Piccadilly train station. Offering an unique setting with crazy volumes to keep your head spinning for the whole week, some of the names the WHP has lined up for the remainder of 2010 are Pete Tong, John Digweed, Dillinja, High Contrast, Ian Brown and David Guetta, so if they don’t convince you, nothing will. Sabina
The Curry Mile, Manchester
For all of you Asian food lovers visiting Manchester, there is one destination not to be missed: the part from Oxford Road known as the Curry Mile. Just passing through the street along the Curry Mile will have your senses go wild with all the aromas in the air, and you can always choose from tens of restaurants with Asian cuisine, all at student prices! Sabina
Chester Street, (off Oxford Road), Manchester
First impression of Zouk is spectacular, with its fabulous entrance and open kitchen area in full view of the customers. Unfortunately, the whole experience doesn't maintain such splendour. The food was a bit of a let down; in particular, I was very disappointed to receive my naan bread after I'd finished my meal! The place was very busy, so obviously doing something right, but for me it just didn't happen. Gary Tomlinson
East Z East IBIS Hotel
If you're looking for somewhere a little more up-market than the Curry Mile then try East Z East. Located right in the heart of Manchester on Princess Street, this elegant and beautiful restaurant serves the very best traditional Indian fare. It was voted Manchester Restaurant of the Year in 2006!
Genghis Khan's Mongolian Grill
There's nowhere else in Manchester quite like Genghis Khan's on Chorlton Street. Forget the usual menus and waiter service - you simply pick your ingredients from a buffet of raw meat, fish and vegetables and then hand it over to the chefs to cook on the barbecue. It's unique, fun and tasty too!
Mr Thomas's Chop House
Fancy some traditional English fare? Then take a trip to Mr Thomas's Chop House on Cross Street – right in the heart of the city. Opened in 1867 and lauded by The New York Times as "Manchester's most venerable pub", Mr Thomas's offers high-quality English cuisine like fish and chips and steak and kidney pudding.
Many people take a trip to the suburban area of Chorlton-cum-Hardy for the huge range of unique restaurants and bars... and one of the best of both has to be Pi. This fantastic gastro pub specialises in (you guessed it) pies with mash, mushy peas and gravy... and you can still walk away with change from a tenner (L10)
Arndale Shopping Centre, Manchester
Designed as the heart of Manchster’s most busy shopping area, Arndale Shopping Centre is the city’s very own mall, equipped with an independently accessible food court and an incredible range of shops you can choose from. Besides the complete shopping opportunities Arndale offers, you can expect surprise performances, competitions or amazing one-time discounts with any visit. Sabina
Market Street, Manchester
Manchester has its very own respectable and quite large pedestrian shopping area located in the city centre, and that is Market Street! You will find all the top brands here, including some specialized shops and thriving street life, with vivid statues and street concerts happening all the time. This place is always extremely busy, so it’s best to take extra care of your belongings. Sabina
Vintage Fashion Market, Manchester
As of September 2010, fashion geeks in Manchester have one new favorite destination on their maps: the Vintage Fashion Market on Church Street. Open every third Saturday of the month, it brings together those well known local Manchester design flavors in the same place, so you can choose the perfect outfit to make you stand out in any crowd. Sabina
Great Northern, Manchester
Located just outside the Beetham tower on Deansgate, the Great Northern is a major entertainment and leisure destination in Manchester that can cater for the most expensive tastes. It has enough to keep you going for a whole day, from cinemas, restaurants and shops, and will best suit corporate customers, who can try their luck at the MANCH235TER Casino – all in one place: the Great Northern. Sabina
TIB Fashion Market, Manchester
One good reason to get up on Saturdays and leave your hangover in bed is the fashion market on TIB Street in the Northern Quarter. This part of the city is well known for its vintage shops and designer boutiques, so the TIB Fashion Market is the perfect place where it all comes together in the form of jewelry, accessories, custom made clothes and chic one-of-a-kind shoes! Sabina
Trafford Centre, Manchester
Located on the outskirts of Manchester, but easily accessible by bus from the Piccadilly Gardens, the Trafford Centre is one of the biggest entertainment venues in Europe. Perfect for a family Sunday with an IMAX movie, shopping and some family games or for a night out with your friends in one of the many bars and restaurants, you are sure to love the atmosphere and buzz of the Trafford Centre – available daily, all year round! Sabina
Afflecks, which is right in the middle of the Northern Quarter, is one of the most unique shopping centres in the whole UK! Once a fashionable hang-out for the 'Madchester' crowd, this busy indoor market still houses hundreds of small shops and independent stalls to suit the most eclectic of tastes!
When it comes to Barton Arcade, the old adage 'size isn't everything' always springs to mind. Built in 1871, the tiny Victorian shopping haven still retains much of its original style and feel but now houses 15 high-end shops and boutiques... making it possibly the best shopping experience in Manchester.
If you're planning a quick shopping trip outside of the city, Bury Market is not to be missed! It is the largest and (in my opinion) best traditional market in Greater Manchester... and it's a great place to find all kinds of fresh food (including Bury Black Pudding), jewellery, toys, fashion, household items and so much more.