Manchester England, Did You Say? I'm Madferit.
London might be England's capital (and my beloved home away from home), but Manchester has that unusual blend of down-to-earth edginess that makes it the British city not to be missed on your UK tour. It’s the home of Corrie (that’s Coronation Street - the classic English soap opera - for the uninitiated), two of the world's most renowned football teams, and arguably one of the best arts and culture scenes that Britain has to offer. All of this makes it the perfect addition to your British travel itinerary or the ideal destination for a short city break.
But if you’re planning a trip to Manchester, it’s imperative you do it right. Follow these five simple tricks, and you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable break in Britain’s darling of the North.
First Things First, Prepare For Rain
Ok, so the clichés about Manchester’s weather, much like the rest of the UK, are probably a bit exaggerated. But you still don’t want to suffer a washout. Whilst there’s no need to pack like you would for backpacking around the globe, a suitable rain jacket is key. Don’t leave the city with the flu as your most memorable souvenir. There are plenty of indoor attractions if you’re hit with rain showers, but better to be safe than sorry. With a fashionable rain jacket in tow, you’ll be set for undiluted fun whatever the weather and you'll be ready for your quintessential British Insta-pic.
Pick the Right Neighbourhood
As any experienced traveller will know, it's helpful to base your accommodation in the part of town you're interested in exploring most. Whilst Manchester's public transport facilities are good, you'll want to find a Manchester hotel in the right neighbourhood for you. This will save you time and money in the long run, as you'll be in walking distance of most of your top sights. The choice between Didsbury, the Green Quarter and others comes down to your taste and the time you'll spend in the city. But if you like your travel with a dash of hipster, I’d highly recommend the Northern Quarter. If your style is more sleek and sophisticated, consider Didsbury instead.
Have a Laugh
Manchester is heralded for its all-star comedy scene. There’s no better way to experience it first-hand than at the Comedy Store Manchester. Aside from attracting the very biggest names in the business, the audience atmosphere is second to none. This is the perfect way to start your night about town, before hitting a few hotspots in Manchester’s renowned club scene. And thanks to the city’s eclectic mix, you’re guaranteed to find a venue that suits your musical tastes. If you feel like staying up really late and partying with the cool kids, consider heading to Lola Lo, Gorilla or Antwerp Mansion.
Shop Till You Drop
A city break always calls for a little retail therapy. And Manchester is no exception. The city’s famous Trafford Centre and Arndale Centre are absolute musts if you’re after a spot of shopping in the city. Whether you’re treating yourself to a hip souvenir or picking up something to bring back to your loved ones, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for. And when you’re ready to rest your feet, there are plenty of chic restaurants and cafes on hand for you too.
Catch A Football Match
Whether or not you’re a footy fan, it’s hard to escape Manchester's football mania. Old Trafford and the Etihad are the two stadiums worth visiting, but the National Football Museum is based in the city too. If you're not a diehard and the thought of paying big money for a ticket doesn’t appeal, go on a stadium tour or support the women’s teams instead. But if you're ever so slightly inclined, consider giving a men's match a go because Manchester really is the city for a once-in-a-lifetime footy experience.
Of course, I'm only scratching the surface of what Manchester has to offer. The city's galleries and art scene are pretty epic too. Consider spending a cultural afternoon at the Manchester Art Gallery or the Whitworth Art Gallery.
However you decide to fill your time in the Manchester, hopefully these travel tips will make for the perfect (quintessential) British city break.