Manchester is one of the most culturally rich cities in all of Europe. The city’s extensive history dates back to the era of Roman settlement. Today, it is regarded for its massive football and music culture. It is also known for the myriad of activities and experiences that it offers.
Year by year, this special city continues to evolve. In 2002, Manchester hosted the XVII Commonwealth Games, an international multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. Since then, it has continued to grow, with heaps of new businesses and establishments popping up daily.
The architecture is one of the most distinguishing factors of Manchester. This city is unique because both modern and historic buildings exist. As you walk around, you’ll notice a blend of old and new artifacts.
If you’re planning a trip to this renowned city, you’re going to want to create a detailed itinerary. There are countless things to do in Manchester; maximize your time by planning activities ahead of time.
You should also plan on finding luggage storage in Manchester Piccadilly. Worrying about the safety of your luggage is a surefire way to ruin a vacation. Avoid this scenario by using a storage service.
With proper planning, your trip to Manchester will be an unforgettable experience. Continue reading below to discover the most unique things to do in Manchester!
National Football Museum
Manchester locals love football - and that is an understatement! When it comes to this sacred sport, Mancunians are divided; on the east, you’ll find the blue half of the city, while the west houses the red half of the city. The blue half represents Manchester City and the red half represents Manchester United.
Both of these teams have a long history of success, both on the national and international stage. When you look at the trophy cabinets of these two organizations, you’ll find dozens of awards. As you would imagine, these two teams share a fierce rivalry.
The feeling of attending a Manchester City vs. Manchester United match is one-of-a-kind. The intensity is palpable. Whether you like football or not, going to a game is a great way of experiencing the city’s culture.
Explore The City’s Music History
In the 1980’s and 90’s, Manchester was widely known as “Madchester.” This nickname paid homage to the city’s vibrant music culture. During this time, many people viewed Manchester as the nation’s capital of music.
Legendary names arose from this time period, like the famous music label, Factory Records, as well as the wildly popular venue, Hacienda Nightclub. Without a doubt, this was the golden age of Manchester’s music scene.
Today, Manchester is still very much a music city. All around the city, you’ll hear music from the stalwart bands that rose to prominence at the time, such as The Stone Roses, The Smiths, The Charlatans, and New Order.
Many of these bands paved the way for the Britpop era, with household names like The Verve, Oasis, and The Chemical Brothers carrying the ’90s. If you’re looking for a true piece of music history to experience, visit the Salford Lads’ Club! This is where the band, The Smiths played.
The Northern Quarter is a trendy neighborhood in Manchester, known for its colorful street art, bohemian bars, and independent record stores. This neighborhood also is home to many popular restaurants and music venues.
A lot of people visit the Northern Quarter to shop for vinyls. There are few neighborhoods in Britain that have as many quality vinyl shops as this one. There are a few shops in Afflecks Palace, but the best ones are in the Northern Quarter. Some reputable ones include Vinyl Exchange and Piccadilly Records.
The Pankhurst Center
The Pankhurst Center is where the Suffragette movement began. In 1867, it was called the Manchester Society for Women’s Suffrage. The current center is named in honor of Emmeline Pankhurst who was a major contributor to the movement and an important figure in British politics.
Because of this movement, every woman has the right to vote and participate in British politics. The Pankhurst Center helps tell the story of the courageous individuals who fought the status-quo.
If you’re a fan of flea markets and thrift stores, you’ll love Affleck’s Palace. This is one of the most unique marketplaces in the entire world. Compared to other marketplaces, the selection of items is unmatched.
Here, you’ll find a collection of quirky indie stores, selling items like paintings, smoking paraphernalia, body art, vintage clothing, and antiques. Anything unusual you can imagine, this place has it.
Manchester Museum is one of the most distinct museums in the world. It is one of the only museums that combine a multitude of different studies, such as archeology, anthropology, natural history, and more.
Exhibits of all different kinds can be found in this one museum. In one room, you’ll find dinosaur fossils, thousands of years old. In the next room over, you’ll find ancient Egyptian museums. This kind of variety is unheard of for most museums.
Manchester Museum is found in Manchester University. However, it is open to the public. The best part about this museum is that entry is 100% free. Keep in mind though that the museum is closed for renovations until late 2022.
This is another free activity to do. If you’re a fan of reading, you have to visit Chetham’s Library. This library was founded in 1653, making it the oldest remaining public library in the English speaking world.
Just like it was hundreds of years ago, this library is an amazing source of knowledge for the public. Chetham’s houses nearly 60,000 books published before 1851, including titles like “Tractatus de Nigromancia,” which is basically a necromancer’s handbook.
The only caveat to this library is that visitation times are restricted. Therefore, it is best to contact the library before you visit. Events are commonly held at this library, such as poet’s corners, group talks, and even weddings.