What to see in Manchester in 3 days

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Manchester is one of the most important cities in England, which over time has also become a well-known cultural center for hosting the most important English university and for having given birth to English pop music, slowly leaving behind its past as an exclusively industrial city. Those who decide to visit Manchester will be able to enjoy numerous nightclubs, large libraries and a rich sporting history (it is also known as the cradle of football thanks to the legendary Manchester United team), against the backdrop of which the typical skyline of a metropolitan city rises. So let's find out a guide about the city founded in the distant 79 BC by the Romans: what to see in Manchester in 3 days.


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. How much does a weekend in Manchester cost
  5. User questions and comments

1 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Manchester Cathedral, Science and Industry Museum

After sipping great coffee at Grindsmith Pod spending £ 6.00 (approx € 7,00) for a full breakfast, you will find yourself in Greengate Square from which you will reach Manchester Cathedral in a minute's walk, mother church of the Anglican diocese of Manchester. Access is free, from Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 17:30, on weekends from 8:30 to 18:30. Observing it, you cannot fail to notice its distinctly Gothic style, the interior furnishings are of great value and made of wood (designed by Stanley), the large bell tower is in neo-Gothic style; in the center there is a clock above which there are bells.

Go by public transport (St Bridge stop with bus n ° 8) towards the Science and Industry Museum, which collects various themes from transport, to energy, to the history of Manchester, up to information technology, in particular retraces all the scientific stages of history. Admission is totally free, accessible every day from 10:00 to 17:00 (excluding December 24-26 and January 1)

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Albert Square, Manchester Town Hall, Old Trafford

It's time for lunch and we recommend you enjoy a great bacon cheeseburger at Red's True Barbecue (£ 9,00 - € 10,00); a few steps on foot you are in Albert Square at the center of which is theAlbert Memorial, a monument dedicated to Prince Albert, the consort of the famous Queen Victoria. During different times of the year the surrounding area is a focal point for many events, you will find for example parties related to food and drinks also offered for free, as well as the typical Christmas markets. On the south side of the square there is the William Gladstone Statue, statue erected in honor of Prime Minister Gladstone who held several speeches in the Mancunian city; but the building that dominates the square is Manchester Town Hall, which can be visited for free. Also known as the home of Manchester City Council, its Gothic style was commissioned to architect Alfred Waterhouse and only completed in 1877, the other professionals who collaborated in the creation of this monumental work are Ford Madox Brown with his impressive murals representing events in the city, Gillet and Bland have devised the clock mechanism located in the tower which has 173 steps inside.

Before dinner, go to the legendary Old Trafford, the stadium which is also the "home" of the legendary Manchester United team, you can take an interesting journey that retraces all the personalities who have contributed to its success: the players, managers and fans. The museum has the following hours: from 09:30 to 17:00 from Monday to Saturday and from 10:00 to 16:00 on Sunday (subject to change) and is closed on all days when games are obviously held . The prices to access it are € 38,50 for adults and the stop will be Old Trafford, to reach it from the center it will take about 20 minutes by bus or tram.

3 - Evening: Dinner, Sankeys

Returning to the center using the bus n ° 255 stop Chinatown, have dinner at No 1 Canal Street spending at least £ 15,00 (€ 16,00) per person per dish. To complete this first day in Manchester, we recommend going to Sankeys, just 10 minutes away on foot, the most important in the city of Manchester. Every weekend we organize evenings with very famous guests of the caliber of Darius Syrossian, Steve Lawler, Carl Cox and many others. (the admission price varies according to the artist, in any case you will not spend less than € 20,00)

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 3,2 km / 43 min
  • Places visited: Manchester Cathedral (free), Science and Industry Museum (free), Albert Square, Manchester Town Hall (free), Old Trafford (paid)
  • Breakfast at Grindsmith Pod (Get Directions), Lunch at Red's True Barbecue, Dinner at No 1 Canal Street (Get Directions)

2 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Manchester Museum

Have breakfast at Friska University Green with the famous Full English Beakfast Box which includes eggs, bacon, beans, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and sausage, a typical English breakfast for £ 5,95 (€ 7,00).

In just 3 minutes on foot you will arrive at Manchester Museum: access is free and is located in the context of the Mancunian University, and can be visited from Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00. The collection preserved here truly spans millennia of history and just over four million objects. You will learn the history from Darwin to Alan Turing, take a long excursus of natural history and technology, with fossilized dinosaurs and even Egyptian mummies.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Whitworth Art Gallery

Have lunch at Christie's Bistro, a hidden jewel in Manchester built way back in 1890 as an education center, the Christies Library was a gift from historian and bibliophile Richard Copley Christie and initially housed the university's main science library. After a hundred years it has been converted into a bistro with portraits of former vice-chancellors on the walls and rows of original books and documents, truly unique and particular. Here you can get a soup of the day from £ 5,95 (€ 7,00).

Dedicate your afternoon to Whitworth Art Gallery: it is a very rich exhibition of works of art with 60.000 works of international level, including paintings by William Blake, Cezanne, Manet and Renoire, but also a huge textile collection and tons of modern sculptures. Here too, admission is totally free. It is possible to visit the Gallery from Monday to Wednesday and from Friday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00, on Thursdays from 10:00 to 21:00.

3 - Evening: Dinner, Mint

Go, in 18 minutes by public transport (Portland Street / Dickinson Street stop) to Almost Famous to taste, for example, a tasty Famous Burger for € 8,50.

Here you are in one of the trendiest areas of Manchester, then complete your evening at Mint, one of the most famous clubs in the city that offers the best dance music of the moment.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 4,5 km / 57 min
  • Places visited: Manchester Museum (free), Whitworth Art Gallery (free)
  • Breakfast at Friska University Green (Get Directions), Lunch at Christie's Bistro (Get Directions), Dinner at Almost Famous (Get Directions)

3 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, National Football Museum, Manchester Arena

Arriving on the third and last day of your stay in this beautiful English city, after having breakfast at the Starbucks Coffee at Arndale Center (starting from € 4,50 per person), go to the National Football Museum: admission is free and can be visited from Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00. This museum it is one of the most important in England and manages to attract visitors of all kinds every year, from football fans to families with children. You will be able to retrace the history and culture of this beloved sport who had great luck in Manchester with the teams of Manchester United and Manchester City.

Also, within a very short walk, you can see the famous Manchester Arena, huge location where many world-famous artists perform every year, so large that it can accommodate up to 21 thousand people! It might be interesting to plan your vacation to coincide with one of the many concerts held here weekly!

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, The John Rylands Library, Manchester Arndale

Walk for 10 minutes along Cross Street to the southwest and, after having lunch at Bill's Manchester Restaurant with for example a portion of Soup, Salad and 1/2 Sandwich for £ 8,95 (€ 10,00), do a jump to the famous The John Rylands Library (from free admission), one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world whose exterior is just as spectacular with its neo-gothic features. It contains a huge collection of books, maps, manuscripts and works of art and is divided into several parts: the historic reading room that looks like a church (you will feel like you are inside one of the Harry Potter films ), the Crowford Room, the Spencer Room and the Rylands Gallery.

Spend the rest of the afternoon shopping at the largest mall in the city, the Manchester Arndale (just 7 minutes walk along Deansgate), and in one of the corners you can find Exchange Square, the famous square with the Ferris wheel that is very reminiscent of the London Eye.

3 - Evening: Dinner, Warehouse Project

Dine at El Capo with portions starting at £ 4,00 (€ 5,00) each, then finish your trip to Manchester with an evening at Warehouse Project which attracts more than 3.000 people every evening and you will pay for any drinks (starting from € 10,00). Music culture reached its peak in the 80s with discos and alternative rock which transformed Manchester into "Madchester", the so-called city of madness.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 4,5 km / 57 min
  • Places visited: National Footbal Museum (free), Manchester Arena (free), The John Rylands Library (free), Manchester Arndale
  • Breakfast at Starbucks Coffee at Arndale Shopping Center, Lunch at Bill's Manchester Restaurant (Get directions), Dinner at El Capo (Get directions)

How much does a weekend in Manchester cost

Manchester is not exactly a cheap city, the higher cost will surely have the meals you consume; however, this metropolis offers a free transport service that will surely reduce the total cost of visiting the famous Mancunian center. The prices of flights to Manchester start from € 50,00 (one way), a price that rises dramatically in the summer.

  • Costs to eat: about € 35,00 per day per person (including breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Costs for museums and attractions: € 38,00 following the itinerary we suggest
  • Transportation: about € 20,00 per person (indicates costs for public transport, any taxis and transfers to and from the airport)
  • Hotels, accommodation and b & b: Hotel and b & b starting from € 45,00 per room -
  • Fun: from € 30,00 per person per day (including snacks, coffee, aperitifs, drinks, ...)
  • Total cost of a weekend in Manchester: from € 400,00 per person flights excluded

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Manchester: the best time is summer, the days will be sunnier, the climate mild even if it will not be difficult for some short rains to surprise you during your city tour - find out more
  • by plane, at Manchester International Airport which is located just 14 km (25 min) from the city center, reachable by train with the TransPennine Express and Northern companies that connect the airport to Piccadilly station (ticket cost £ 3,00, 3,40 - about € 3,00); by tram with Metrolink companies (ticket cost £ 3,40 - approximately € 3,50); by bus, with Bus National Express, Bus Manchester Community Transport or Bus Stagecoach Manchester (ticket cost £ 4,00 - approximately € 50,00). Flights starting from € -
  • if you want to fully enjoy the attractions of Manchester, we recommend that you stay in the central area of ​​Piccadilly, however the surrounding areas are not far behind and are equally well connected thanks to efficient public transport. Hotel and b & b starting from € 45,00 per room -
  • Getting around: by public transport. Manchester is well stocked with free buses operated by the First Manchester company which connect all the main attractions of the city. Another way to get around is the tram, managed by the Metrolink company, a ride is around £ 3,00 - 4,00 (about € 3,50 - € 4,50) - find out more

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