Getting to grips with Manchester on a brief visit is much like going to any other major city like Liverpool, London, York or Bournemouth. You’re not really going to understand your way around perfectly on the first visit and you won’t fit everything in that you wanted to see and do either.
In many ways, it is a better idea to take your time and pare down your list of things to do to their bare essentials so that the must-do activities actually get done. Let the other tasks fall by the wayside until the next trip.
Here are some of our best tips when visiting Manchester:
1. Know what you want to do first
When you live in a small town or city, the size of Manchester will be imposing. The one-way systems will be confusing and it’ll take time to get through the rush-hour traffic to the different places that you wish to visit. The best idea to deal with this is to travel at off-peak times to cut down time lost in traffic and plan your journeys with an itinerary. If you have a list of 10 things that you wish to see and do, group them by area so that the first five get visited on the first day and the other five on the second day.
2. Choose inexpensive places to visit
John Rylands Library at 150 Deansgate is a great place to start. Enriqueta Rylands built the library in tribute to her tycoon husband. The monastic style building is visually impressive. A first edition of Shakespeare’s sonnets and a fragment of the New Testament, the earliest surviving fragment, is on display there.
3. Eating out doesn’t need to break the bank
Damson’s in the Orange Building at Media City UK in Salford just outside of Manchester is the place to find creative British cooking at its finest. There is a set menu with two-courses for under twenty pounds. The salads are divine with one including eggs, lentils, potatoes, and truffles in an interesting concoction. There is an engaging view from Damson’s of the Media City building structure and the Manchester Ship Canal. You can also have a look at Manchester restaurant offers to see if any catch your eye.
4. Don’t Miss The Northern Quarter
Anyone who doesn’t enjoy the sameness of the shopping malls with seemingly the same brands in every place will be pleased to learn about the Northern Quarter. This is the place to go for independent shops within Manchester which haven’t lost any of their charm or distinctiveness. There are record shops like Vinyl Revival with its classic memorabilia and Mancunian music, and Vinyl Exchange where it can be fun to scour the shop for second-hand gems.
5. Reserve yourself a good parking spot
Parking is a bit difficult to find in Manchester the closer you go into the centre of the city. It is a good idea to do a little planning, either by booking parking in Manchester or downloading the Manchester parking app. Before this though plan your itinerary and the locations you will be travelling to. This will help suggest what part of the city to stay in and where a good parking spot near your accommodation will be.
Visiting Manchester is a lot of fun for anyone who hasn’t already been there and an interesting repeat visit for anyone who’s already taken in this northern city with its ever-changing delights.