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Often named the Capital of the North, Manchester is one of the most dynamic and lively cities in Europe. From Chinatown to Canal Street, the Northern Quarter to Spinningfields, this is definitely a city worth visiting. And, with trains to Manchester from Leeds and Preston taking less than an hour and around 2 and half hours from Newcastle, it’s easy to explore for a day, a weekend or longer.
All TransPennine Express services stop at Manchester Victoria, Manchester Piccadilly or Manchester Oxford Road. You can continue your journey on free city centre buses that operate outside Manchester train stations on a regular basis. In addition, Manchester Plusbus offers unlimited bus travel around the city and can be bought with your train ticket for £3.90 (£2.60 with a Railcard). The Metrolink tram system runs through Manchester city centre and beyond, with an interchange at Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria stations.
An amazing, arty swarm of Manchester Bee sculptures will be landing in Summer 2018 as part of #BeeintheCity - an event not to be missed! If you want the chance to lift the Premier League trophy, make tracks to The National Football Museum. Pre-Raphaelite paintings more your thing? Manchester Art Gallery has an outstanding mix of classical and contemporary art, as well as the family friendly Clore Art Studio. Finally, explore a history of conflict through powerful exhibitions and interactive displays at the Imperial War Museum North – it’s free and just taking in this striking, modern building is one of most-inspiring things to do in Manchester.
Manchester now seems to have more restaurants than people, and the biggest challenge will be deciding where to try. Veggies and vegans head to
The 8th Day or their fantastic breakfast, lunch and tea, they even have vegan beers and wines. The stunning interior of Manchester House is not to be missed, it’s a bit posh and pricey but they do a lunchtime menu for £30. They also have a cocktail bar with a terrace for when it turns balmy. For traditional cuisine, you can’t go wrong at time-warp dining room Mr Thomas’s Chop House. Then there's Almost Famous, which has put the dirty burger on the map. For after dinner entertainment the intimate and ambient La Gitane Jazz Club underneath café Istanbul hits the note. They host a variety of live music bands and singers, it’s a hidden gem.
Manchester’s Gay Village centres on Canal Street. A haven of bars and restaurants, this is the place to put on your glad rags and let your hair down. The free Museum of Science + Industry is packed with hands-on exhibitions and a huge collection of vintage engines of all types. For an alternative action-packed day, try out the Manchester Climbing Centre. This huge space is housed in an old church, complete with massive stained glass windows and amazing views once you hit the top of the wall. Don’t worry if you’ve never climbed before, the centre chalks up a range of activities for everyone, regardless of age or ability. With retail outlets, river cruises, music venues and restaurants, The Quays is Manchester's waterfront destination. Just 15 minutes by tram from the city centre, it's an ideal destination for a day out.
Manchester Arndale is one of the UK's largest inner-city shopping complexes and it has almost everything you need under one roof. However, if you want a little bit more, opposite Manchester Arndale on Exchange Square you’ll find Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. Explore the Northern Quarter for some truly unique independent shops. At the Craft & Design Centre you’ll find it full of independent makers selling clothing, textiles, ceramics and accessories.
For more ideas of what to do in Manchester, check out Visit Manchester.