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Manchester Travel Guide

Our Manchester Travel Guide includes recommended places to visit and things to do, accommodation options, tips and more for this popular northern city. Everything you need to plan your visit and essential reading for any visitor to Manchester!

Manchester Travel Guide

Situated in the North West of England, Manchester is well known, not just for its famous sporting achievements but also for its culture and its rich history. Considered also as one of the birthplaces of the industrial revolution and the centre of the UK textile industry.

Manchester boasts a vibrant and diverse image that attracts visitors worldwide to experience and embrace the city’s extensive history in sciences, politics, music and the arts.

Manchester also features in the 2023 Lonely Planet’s Best of Travel list and National Geographic’s Best of World list of must-see places to visit.

For visitors of all ages, there is an extensive range of restaurants, art galleries, bars, venues and of course the university which attracts students from around the globe.

Manchester is ideally located to explore so much of the North West of England and North Wales as well as the city itself which really does have something for everyone.

Plan your visit to Manchester – FAQs

When is the best time of year to visit Manchester?

From May to September when the weather is generally milder and sunnier, there are many outdoor events and festivals taking place around the city and surrounding areas.

Summertime also brings lighter evenings with daylight until after 9 pm.

Manchester is also a year-round destination, and there is always something to see and do, regardless of the season. Even in winter when the Christmas markets are a popular must-see attraction.

Also, the city has many events and festivals which take place throughout the year.  Some of the most popular events include the Manchester International Festival, Manchester Pride, and the Manchester Food and Drink Festival.

How many days do you need in or around Manchester?

Manchester itself can easily keep you busy for a day or two or longer if you wish to explore the stunning surrounding areas and national parks from a base in or around the city.

What is the best way to explore Manchester?

Manchester has really good public transport systems that are straightforward to navigate and also are reasonably priced. These include buses, trams, and trains, making it easy to get around the city. 

Manchester International Airport also has good train and bus links into the city.  

There are various walking tours such as this Northern Quarter Street Art Walking Tour, Salford Quays Guided Walking Tour, Food and Drinks Walking Tour or if you prefer there is a Manchester Sightseeing bus tour available.

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How to travel from Manchester Airport to Manchester

How to travel to Manchester from London

By train

The train is the easiest way to get to Manchester from London, taking around 2 hours direct from London Euston on the West Coast Mainline.

The price of tickets are variable depending on day/time of travel and type of ticket purchased and how soon in advance of travel. National railcards options and rail passes are also available. Read our guide to saving money while travelling the UK by rail.

By car

It is around 4 hour’s drive between London and Manchester though this will depend on start and end locations within the very large cities.

Takes approximately 4 hours to drive the 200 miles.

By private transfer

Click here to book your London to Manchester private transfer (Land Rover Discover)

By coach

National Express coaches from London Victoria coach station take around 5 hours. The cost is around £11 per person.

Best tours & tickets in Manchester

Our Top 3 Picks: Best tours in Manchester


Manchester United ground

Old Trafford: Manchester United Museum and Stadium Tour
✔️ Walk through the tunnel to the pitch
✔️ Sit in the home team dressing room
✔️ See a variety of memorabilia

↳ Book Now


Coronation Street

The Coronation Street Experience
✔️ 1.5 hour tour
✔️ Tour of Coronation Street, Rosamund Street and Victoria Street
✔️ Learn about the history of the street

↳ Book Now


Manchester City ground 1

Etihad Stadium: The Manchester City Stadium Tour
✔️ Behind the scenes tour
✔️ Visit the home team dressing room
✔️ Experience the interactive exhibition area

↳ Book Now

🎟 More tours and tickets in Manchester

Best trips & tours from Manchester

Attractions and things to do in Manchester

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With so much to see and do within the Manchester area, it is difficult to list them all.  Some of the must-sees are:

  • Museum of Science and Industry – Learn all about Manchester’s industrial heritage. Good also with kids, and also:
    • LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
    • Play Factore – Entertainment Centre
  • Northern Quarter A fashionable and popular location with independent shops and bars.
  • John Rylands Library Visit the beautiful neo-Gothic library with a vast collection of books and manuscripts.
  • Manchester Art Gallery –  Collection of contemporary art.
  • Manchester Cathedral  – An impressive mediaeval church in the heart of the city.
  • Heaton ParkTake a leisurely stroll around the beautiful park with lakes, gardens, and a zoo.
  • ChinatownExplore the area with traditional Chinese architecture and restaurants.
  • Great Shopping CentreVisit the Trafford Visitor Centre, the Arndale Shopping Centre or the Jewellery Quarter.
  • Castlefields Railway Viaduct with Roman Fort

Accommodation in Manchester

There is every kind of accommodation option available in the Greater Manchester area and beyond. These include budget and luxury hotels with family-friendly options and bed & breakfasts. Also on offer are self-catering, camping and eco-friendly accommodation alternatives if you choose.

Some of the most popular places to stay are Deansgate and the Northern Quarter.

More special stays – Accommodation Guide for England