Top 10 things to see and do in Manchester, United Kingdom


Where is Manchester? Manchester, located in the northwest of England, is one of the major cities of the country. It’s also known to be the first industrial city, which was a result of the Industrial Revolution that took place within 1760-1840.

Article by Kinga’s Corner

Manchester is known for its warehouses, cotton mills, railway viaducts and canals. Its iconic architecture is spread around the entire city from the Beetham Tower and the Town Hall to the Lowry in Salford and the Imperial War Museum.

Geography of Manchester and its surroundings

Geographically Manchester is surrounded by the Pennines in East, West Pennines Moors and coalfields to the West. There are 3 major rivers that run through the county boundaries – Mersey, Irwell and Tame.
Black Chew Head is the highest point of Manchester rises 542 meters above the sea level. Greater Manchester has a very strong central business district, which is formed by Manchester City Centre, Salford and Trafford.
With a population of 510k (in 2011) Manchester is one of the largest metropolitan areas of the UK, being composed by 10 metropolitan areas.

Fun fact, as you approach Manchester, you will see A LOT of bees! These are the symbol of the city which symbolizes community, brightness and personal power. So don’t be alarmed if you see them literally everywhere.

10 fun things to do in Manchester

1. Manchester Town Hall

This gorgeous building is considered to be one of the most iconic landmarks in Manchester. Also known as one of the finest Neo-Gothic architecture from the UK. The original construction was built in 1822, plans for a new town hall have bagan in 1863 followed by the full completion in 1877 – which is what you can see today.

Later on (1938) a detached extension was completed and connected by 2 bridges over Lloyd Street.
The Clock Tower is actually a bell tower that’s 85m high which houses a carillon (musical instrument) of 24 bells. The clock mechanism was started on New Year’s Day in 1879. There’s also a massive space in front of the Town Hall, which makes it a great place to host seasonal events or festivals and concerts, including Manchester Christmas Market.

2. Manchester Cathedral

Manchester Cathedral or formerly known as the Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Mary, St Denys and St George (that’s a really long name) is the city’s Parish Church.
Another Gothic building, but this time you’ll find the Perpendicular Gothic style (originally from France), built between 1421–1882. Even if you are not a massive fan of churches, you should definitely visit just for the sake of the architecture.

3. ChinaTown is a good spot to visit in Manchester, UK

Chinatown is an ethnic enclave in Manchester’s city centre. With other words is small area that houses many Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Nepali, Vietnamese, Singaporean and Malaysian restaurants, shops, bakeries and supermarkets. Manchester’s Chinatown is the 2nd largest in the UK and the 3rd in Europe, so you most certainly have what to see here.

4. Visit Trafford Shopping Centre in Manchester, UK

Not exactly in the city centre, it’s 20-30 minutes away by car or bus. But it’s most certainly a place to add to your bucket list.
It’s a massive indoor shopping centre that on the outside may not look as glamorous, but the inside can take your breath away.

It’s divided by zones, each with its own design and architecture from all around the world, including China, New Orleans, Egypt, Italy, America and Morocco. You’ll also find many sculptures and statues (around 100 pieces) in different styles such as Greek, Roman or Art Nouveau. It houses The Orient which is Europe’s largest food court with a capacity of 1600 seats and 31 restaurants, bars and coffee shops.

5. Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden, Manchester, UK

Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden is a huge park with an alpine rock garden, lots of woodworks and nature reservation. Besides its botanical and wildlife, it also offers many recreational facilities such as tennis courts, rugby, football pitches, and places to eat.

6. Heaton Park is a must visit in Manchester, UK

Heaton Park is a massive (600 acres) municipal park in Manchester. It’s full of landmarks and features such as towers, houses and temples. This park is also great for families as it features a children’s play area, animal centre, boating lake, land train and many others. You’ll also be able to participate in numerous events in the park such as concerts, theatre and sports.

7. Greater Manchester Police Museum & Archives

The Police Museum is a former Police Station converted into a Museum. The Station was opened in 1879 and houses the original cells, charge office and Magistrate’s Court.
You’ll also find Police material culture such as objects, official and personal archive material, and images.

The archive holds information that affected Police over the course of 150 years.

8. John Rylands Library in Manchester, United Kingdom

Another stunning late-Victorian Neo-Gothic building, which was opened to the public in 1900. Back then the library had a collection of 70k books and less than 100 manuscripts. By 2012, the collection has grown to more than 250k printed volumes and over one million manuscripts and archival items.

It also includes papyrus fragments known as the Rylands Papyri and documents from North Africa.

9. Manchester Ship Canal

Manchester Ship Canal is a 58 km waterway linking Manchester to the Irish Sea. It starts at Eastham Locks and ends at Salford Quays. As Manchester was an industrial city, the community needed to find a way to transport the goods.

That’s why rivers Mersey and Irwell were made navigable in the early 18th century. All these then lead to the ship canal being built over the course of 6 years. When it opened (in 1894) it was the largest river navigation canal in the entire world.

10. Manchester Three Rivers Gin Experience

Do you love gin? If so, this is the perfect experience for you. Manchester’s Three Rivers Gin Distillery offers its visitors a unique and fun experience. Throughout this tour you’ll be able to learn about gin’s history, you’ll get free drinks and the chance to create your own bottle of gin (with the help of experts), which you can take home!


About the author

Malika Bowling

Malika is the author of several books including Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! and the founder of Roamilicious. She is also a Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant. Follow us @Roamilicious on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for the content not shared on the blog. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter (subscribe box below) and never miss a contest, giveaway or the latest must visit restaurant!