Manchester tourist attractions

Top Manchester sights

Manchester is changing so fast it’s sometimes hard to keep up. And with lots of change, comes plenty of fantastic attractions. From quality museums to interesting art galleries and vibrant nightlife, Manchester is a much-loved city of the north.

  1. Explore Old Trafford Stadium
  2. Discover the Museum of Science and Industry
  3. Marvel at the fantastic artworks of Whitworth Art Gallery
  4. Head to the Lowry Centre
  5. Listen to some live music
  6. Visit the set of Coronation Street
  7. Enjoy Manchester's nightlife
  8. Get arty at Manchester’s Craft and Design Centre

Manchester has heaps of appeal. From discovering fantastic museums to exploring brilliant art galleries and enjoying the city’s buzzing nightlife, Manchester has a wonderful charm.

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. Explore Old Trafford Stadium

One of Manchester’s most famous attractions is Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United Football Club. The ground was built in 1909 for the sum of £60,000. Today it has changed beyond recognition and has evolved into what is one of the world’s great sporting arenas. There is a club museum for you to explore, too. Alternatively, if you’re a Manchester City FC fan, head to the Etihad stadium and book onto a stadium tour to learn about the incredible history of the club.

Best for: Man Utd fans

While you're there: If you’re a true fan, join a stadium tour. They’re available everyday.

2. Discover the Museum of Science and Industry

Manchester has a treasure trove of first-class museums and galleries. One of the most popular is the Museum of Science and Industry, an award-winning museum with full working machinery, including historical mill equipment and gas engines. It also holds some splendid examples of transport memorabilia, ranging from steam locomotives to aeroplanes.

Best for: One of the top Manchester attractions

While you're there: There are plenty of hands-on and interactive displays to get involved with. Great if you’re travelling with kids who are budding scientists!

3. Marvel at the fantastic artworks of Whitworth Art Gallery

If you’re looking for fantastic Manchester tourist attractions, the Whitworth Art Gallery is a great contender. Part of the University of Manchester since 1889, the gallery in Whitworth Park has been the subject of a £15 million redevelopment to showcase its collection of some 55,000 artworks. There is an impressive collection of modern art, including works by Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Picasso and Jacob Epstein.

Best for: Art fans

While you're there: Looking for Manchester holidays? We suggest booking ahead if you’re looking for a city centre location.

4. Head to the Lowry Centre

The Quays have become synonymous with culture, sport, art and drama, as well as a mecca for shoppers. One vibrant example is the multimedia Lowry Centre, which has the world’s largest collection of paintings by local artist l.S. lowry (1887-1976), including those commonly referred to as “matchstick” men.

Best for: Local art

While you're there: Opposite the centre, on the opposite side of the canal, a stunning modern building designed by American architect Daniel Libeskind houses the Imperial War Museum North.

5. Listen to some live music

The city's “Madchester” music scene has produced bands including Joy Division, Morrissey and The Smiths, the Stone Roses, the Happy Mondays, James, and The Fall. And who could forget a certain Liam and Noel Gallagher of Oasis? Today, the city remains a hotspot for live music. The Northern Quarter is the best place to experience this.

Best for: Music

While you're there: Head to Matt & Phreds for live jazz music.

6. Visit the set of Coronation Street

Ready to walk the streets of your favourite stars? One of the most unique Manchester tourist attractions is to visit the set of Corrie. The Coronation Street tour gives you the opportunity to walk around Weatherfield, the fictional town based in Manchester. See the exterior sets of the world’s longest-running TV soap. Enjoy walking around and spotting all the buildings on the program such as Mr Kabin newsagents. And who could forget The Rovers Return Inn?

Best for: Coronation Street fans

While you're there: The tours take place on selected weekend days. Check the website for further details.

7. Enjoy Manchester's nightlife

Manchester has a buzzing nightlife scene. With several universities based in Manchester, there are vibrant clubs aplenty. But there’s much more to Manchester than clubbing. There are hipster bars, cosy pubs, glamorous theatre venues and comedy clubs. Whatever you’re looking for, Manchester is a great night out.

Best for: Evening entertainment

While you're there: The Northern Quarter is an exciting hub for nightlife.

8. Get arty at Manchester’s Craft and Design Centre

This may not be one of the most obvious Manchester sightseeing spots, but if you’re interested in arts and crafts, then this is the place for you! The Manchester Craft and Design Centre offers plenty of opportunities to get artsy. Think screen printing lessons, jewellery making and delicate watercolour paintings. It’s also a great place to pick up a souvenir.

Best for: Arts and crafts

While you're there: Head to the lifestyle shop, Form. They offer workshops on calligraphy.

Find your perfect destination