Attractions in Manchester

Historic Attractions

Manchester jaunts shouldn’t be without a trip to the Grade 1 listed Manchester Town Hall in Albert Square. This magnificent example of Victorian architecture, with its gothic spires and menacing gargoyles, is one of the most visited attractions in Manchester. Little wonder it’s a regular feature film backdrop, including a major setting in 2009’s Sherlock Holmes movie starring Jude Law and Robert Downey Junior.

Other popular free attractions include:

  • Museum of Science and Industry, Liverpool Road: A fun place to learn about Manchester’s impressive industrial heritage. The Museum of Science and Industry is housed in five listed buildings on the site of the UK’s first passenger railway station.
  • The Manchester Museum, Oxford Road: Houses some of the most notable ancient Egyptian artefacts in the UK. Other popular exhibits include the Lindow man, an iron age Briton discovered naturally preserved in a peat bog.
  • Manchester Cathedral, Victoria Street: Manchester’s striking gothic Cathedral also includes a visitor centre documenting Manchester’s medieval past.

Manchester Shopping

Manchester is the shopping Mecca for the North of England, especially for fashion, clothes, designer and lifestyle shops. Visitors flock to Manchester to sample its funky boutiques, impressive department stores and shopping malls offering the very best of British urban chic.

Manchester clothes shops like Primark, H&M, and Top Shop in Manchester Piccadilly combine style and low prices but if you visit Manchester for shopping you will discover big international designer labels like Hugo Boss on King Street and up-and-coming independent Manchester labels like ZuZu Couture on Thomas Street are all equally at home here.

Prestige Manchester clothes shops include Vivienne Westwood’s store and the Armani designer wear store, Armani Collezioni both on King Street in Manchester city centre.

Manchester Football Tours

Manchester United, Old Trafford Tour: Tickets are not often available for Man Utd games on match days but many visitors prefer instead to enjoy an Old Trafford stadium tour and a look around the Manchester Utd FC museum and Manchester United shop. Why not try out Manchester United star’s Wayne Rooney’s changing room seat for size and take a peek at some of the most coveted trophies in club football? The Old Trafford tour is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Manchester.

Manchester City, Etihad StadiumTour: The Etihad Stadium tour is another popular Manchester tours attraction. Manchester City FC is among the best supported football clubs in the UK, Man City is now the richest football club in the world, courtesy of billionaire owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games the Etihad Stadium is among the most advanced in England so much so it was chosen to host the 2008 UEFA cup final.

Manchester Clubs

Manchester has more superclubs and truly innovative underground clubs than you can shake a stick at. Citizens of other major cities can only look on with envy. The celebrated club scene in Manchester’s Gay Village is just for starters, centred around Chorlton Street and Canal Street, it attracts visitors from all over the world. Popular gay village clubs like Glam and Manto on Canal Street are just a two minute walk from the Pendulum Hotel.

Here’s a sample of other popular night clubs in Manchester city centre, all within a short walk of the Pendulum Hotel:

  • Paradise Factory, Princess Street: This fashionable warehouse club is the former HQ of Factory Records, record label for influential Manchester bands such as Joy Division and New Order. It was featured in the film 24 Hour Party People
  • Sankeys Soap, Jersey Street:  An important dance venue in the Manchester clubs and Manchester music scene. The vast red brick interior of this former warehouse oozes cool. The sound system is just as good
  • Funkademia, One Central Street: Old school funk, northern soul and disco compete with the best of the modern dance scene in this small stylish Manchester club.
  • The Warehouse Project, Store Street: Clubbers visit Manchester from all over the UK to party beneath the arches at the Warehouse Project. Live acts and Djs compete for your attention.

Manchester Art

Urbis at Cathedral Gardens is a good example of the new futuristic architecture Manchester is becoming famous for. This gleaming angular structure provides a startling contrast to the red brick buildings surrounding it. Inside you will find exhibitions celebrating city life; especially street art, urban music, photography and design.

Other recommended Manchester art galleries include The Whitworth Art Gallery on Oxford Road. The Whitworth is a gallery in a park and one of the best fine art spaces in Manchester. The Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, is one of the city’s major tourist attractions, housing an internationally famous collection.

Manchester Music Venues

Manchester music venues proliferate all around the city centre. While stadium gigs take place at Old Trafford, Lancashire Cricket Club and the Etihad Stadium here’s a sample of some of the city’s favourite indoor gig venues of all sizes:

  • Manchester Apollo, Aardwick Green: A much loved concert venue by Manchester music fans due to its legendary atmosphere. Maybe that’s why big stars like Neil Young and Bob Dylan like to play here
  • Phones4U Arena,Victoria Station: Manchester’s 20,000 seater indoor arena is the place to see concerts by the biggest names in popular music. Everyone from Madonna, Simon & Garfunkel, Radiohead, Take That, Kylie Minogue and the Rolling Stones have performed at the Phones4U Arena in recent years
  • Night and Day Café, Oldham Street: A café by day and a Manchester music venue by night. The special ambience ensures this is an ideal place to see some of Manchester’s new musical talent; as well as live performances by new and established UK and international acts
  • Bridgewater Hall – Lower Mosley Street – Classical, folk, blues, jazz and rock artists, including Ray Davis, Christy Moore and the Hallé Orchestra play at this Manchester concert venue. Audiences benefit from the fantastic acoustics in the custom built auditorium
  • Manchester Academy, Oxford Road: Manchester University’s Academy comprises four concert venues of differing sizes. The Academy is an ideal place to sample alternative rock, folk and dance bands and soak up the famous Manchester gig going experience.

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