Manchester will surprise you. It’s far from being ‘grim’ up North!

Topics covered in this article (table of contents)

    Mention Manchester to a lot of people and they will either talk about one of the two great football teams there or about the rain. Squeezing this great northern city down to just these though is to miss out on many great things. Manchester definitely is a top destination to visit in the UK.

    Most visitors to the United Kingdom head down south to London. But those that do a little research in advance will discover that Manchester has a great deal to offer. You just need to be prepared to look for it. Book a cheap flight and check out the affordable accommodation options as we'll show you the fun and exitement of Manchester.


    Whether it is the Etihad Stadium or Old Trafford, there is no doubt that some of the best football in the world is played at these great stadiums. Tickets can be hard to come by though. If a trip is planned well in advance, it may be possible to get tickets in time. This may prove to be hard work, but the chances to see these legends in action is one not to be missed.

    For those that wish to delve deeper into football’s past, the city is also host to the National Football Museum which houses many artefacts and archives making it a ‘must visit’ for any football fanatic.

    Old Trafford in Manchester
    Old Trafford: a must-see for football fans


    Lowry is by far the best-known artist from this region. The city is also the home of the Manchester Art Gallery. This is one of the best galleries in the United Kingdom outside of the more famous London ones. The art displayed ranges from the old masters through to modern artists such as Antony Gormley and Grayson Perry. It is possible to spend a long time browsing through the fascinating art that is on display. For instance, if you happen to catch the city on one of its rainy days.


    Most well known perhaps for it’s ‘Madchester’ era when the likes of the Happy Mondays took the UK music scene by storm. Music still plays a very important role in the life of the city, especially for the younger generation. As well as destinations such as the Arena where the better-known bands play. There are a large amount of smaller clubs and live venues such as Kraak where a huge range of diverse music is played by local and visiting artists. By the way, Kraak also houses a small art gallery.


    During July, the city is host to a renowned international festival where art and culture mix. It isn't just live music. There are also many plays and performances put on throughout the city providing fulfilment and entertainment for all.

    Food & craft beer (pub life)

    After the football, galleries and live music, you are going to be hungry and there is no better place to eat than in the city's Chinatown area which is home to some of the best Chinese restaurants in the North West of the UK. Whether you like your food nice and spicy or prefer a more standard chop-suey, you will be sure to find just what you are looking for here.

    Pub life in Manchester
    Perfect day for a pint and some pub grub at Rain Bar in Manchester

    Note: This blog post was posted between 2010 and 2015 when we were called DIY-OE. As we’re still happy with the quality, it was published again on our new blog Travel.Geek.NZ

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    Travel Geek

    We Travel. We Enjoy Life. We Share Stories. There's never a dull moment on the Travel.Geek.NZ travel blog. Our articles are about combining travelling with things like craft beer, live music, tasting local food and the geeky side of life.

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