If you're only visiting Manchester for a quick weekend break or on a day out, want to see all the amazing sights this city has to offer but don’t want the price tag or running commentary of the guided bus tours then this is the travel hack for you! Our local Tanja has put together a guide to seeing the best of Manchester in a day like a local!
Unlike in many other big cities, in Manchester you don’t have to go underground in order to quickly get to the many fabulous sights this city has to offer. Thanks to the continually growing Metrolink tram network you get a mini tour of the city from as little as £5 - you get unlimited travel within the Metrolink network for a day which allows you to hop on and off as many times as you like!
Board the Media City UK tram from Piccadilly Gardens to… you guessed it, the impressive Salford Quays and Media City area which is home to the BBC and ITV studios among many other businesses.Take a short walk by the waterside and across the Media City Footbridge to the nearby Imperial War Museum North which is one of the cities architectural gems by architect Daniel Libeskind and represents a shattered globe. It offers many impressive collection pieces including tanks and planes as well as a number of temporary exhibitions.
Photo credit: youtube.com
Alternatively, enjoy a show at The Lowry, a theatre and gallery complex which hosts various events from theatre to film as well as contemporary exhibitions. Right next door is the Lowry Outlet for those in need of some retail therapy. Hop back on the tram heading toward Cornbrook where you can change to the East Didsbury tram taking you to Trafford Bar. From here it’s just a short walk to Manchester United's Old Trafford where you can join one of the various guided tours around the grounds and learn about the club’s history. (Alternatively, Manchester City supporters should take the Ashton under Lyne tram to admire the impressive Etihad Stadium). By now you will be ready for some lunch so get back onto the East Didsbury tram heading to the Didsbury Village stop. The area is known for its coffee culture, independent shops and many bars and restaurant where you can sample some local delicacies.
Photo credit: visitnorthwest.com - The Lowry Theatre
On the way back towards the city centre make a quick stop at Deansgate and visit the nearby Museum of Science and Industry on Liverpool Road, go for a stroll around the Castlefield Basin or have a quick drink at Cloud 23 which is located on the 23rd floor of Manchester’s iconic Beetham Tower and offers spectacular views of the city.
Photo credit: manchestereveningnews.co.uk
Back on the tram (any tram going towards the city centre) head to the newly refurbished St. Peter Square stop. From here you can wander over to the Manchester Art Gallery on Mosley Street which hosts a collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings, sculptures, glass ware as well as a variety of temporary exhibitions. Alternatively venture into China Town just around the corner off Faulkner Street or carry on along Mosley Street to admire the gothic architecture of the Town Hall or the Central Library.
Photo credit: orangesmile.com - Manchester Art Gallery
Take the Bury or Oldham/Rochdale tram to the Market Street stop which is a hot spot for shopaholics who want to indulge in the many shops located along the street as well as the Arndale shopping centre or the luxurious Selfridges and Harvey Nichols on Cathedral Approach at the bottom of Market Street.