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What to do in Manchester: 10 unforgettable experiences for travelers

Manchester, a city steeped in history and culture, offers a bunch of unique experiences for travellers to do in Manchester. From indulging in local culinary delights to immersing yourself in the vibrant arts scene, here are 10 things you can’t afford to miss during your visit to Manchester.

At our core, we don’t travel in a typical touristic way; we prefer to savour cities from an inhabitant perspective, seeking authentic experiences. With this ethos in mind, here are 10 unmissable encounters that reveal the heart of Manchester based on our last visit to the city to do in Manchester in January 2024.

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Sunday Roast Delight

Sunday roast at Ducie Street Warehouse, a must to do in Manchester

Kick off your Manchester adventure with a quintessentially British experience – the Sunday roast. Head to a restaurant like Ducie Street Warehouse, and savour a hearty meal of roast meats, Yorkshire pudding, and all the trimmings. It’s a culinary tradition that provides a delicious introduction to Manchester’s food culture to do in Manchester.

Culinary Delights at a Mackie Mayor

For a more eclectic culinary experience, make your way to Mackie Mayor. This vibrant food hall housed in a former market offers a diverse range of eateries, making it the perfect spot to sample an array of flavours and dishes in Manchester.

Literary Escape at John Rylands Library

Delve into Manchester’s rich literary history at the John Rylands Library. Marvel at the architecture and explore the extensive collection of rare books and manuscripts. It’s a haven for book lovers and a glimpse into the city’s intellectual legacy to do in Manchester.

Canal Stroll and Canalside Pub

Take a stroll along Manchester’s picturesque canals, discovering hidden gems along the way. Wrap up your walk with a visit to The Wharf or another canalside pub, where you can enjoy homemade pub food and soak in the charming waterside atmosphere to do in Manchester.

Embrace Diversity at Gay Village

Experience the vibrant and inclusive atmosphere of Manchester’s Gay Village. Whether it’s exploring unique shops, enjoying a meal, or soaking in the lively nightlife, this district celebrates diversity and offers a welcoming environment for all to do in Manchester.

Street Art Safari in the Northern Quarter

Embark on a self-guided tour through the Northern Quarter to witness Manchester’s street art scene. Murals, graffiti, and urban artworks transform the area into a dynamic and unconventional outdoor gallery, showcasing the city’s creative spirit in Manchester.

Literary Gems in the City

For book enthusiasts, Manchester has a lot to offer. Explore Waterstones, the largest bookstore in North England, and discover hidden treasures at independent bookshops like House of Books and Friends. Engage with queer literature at dedicated outlets, enriching your literary journey in Manchester.

Chapter One Books: Where Literature Meets Coffee

Immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of Chapter One Books. This quirky independent bookstore not only boasts a diverse selection of literature but also features a cosy café. Sip on a cup of coffee while surrounded by books, creating a delightful and literary-inspired experience to do in Manchester.

Craft Beer Exploration

No visit to Manchester is complete without indulging in the local craft beer scene. Take a beer-tasting tour and discover the unique flavours brewed locally. Alphabet Brewing Company is a great starting point, providing insights into Manchester’s rich brewing traditions to do in Manchester. We had the chance to enjoy the Winter Beer Festival at GRUB.

Architectural Marvels and Cultural Strolls

Discover Manchester’s Architectural Tapestry: From the historic Manchester Town Hall to modern marvels like Beetham Tower, each structure tells the city’s story. Wander through districts like Castlefield, where traditional and contemporary architecture harmonize. Engage with local culture at landmarks such as the Manchester Art Gallery, and explore narrow alleys with quaint cafes, revealing the heart of the city’s dynamic urban landscape in a single stroll to do in Manchester.

Other activities to do in Manchester


Manchester, with its blend of history, culture, and contemporary flair, offers an unforgettable journey for every traveller. From culinary delights to literary havens and artistic adventures, these 10 experiences capture the essence of this vibrant city. Make the most of your visit and let Manchester’s diverse offerings leave a lasting impression on your to-do list to do in Manchester.

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