Is Manchester worth visiting? Top 10 reasons to visit fun-filled Manchester!

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Is Manchester worth visiting? Top 10 reasons to visit fun-filled Manchester!

Manchester is a dynamic and culturally rich city with a unique identity shaped by its industrial heritage, music legacy and sporting achievements. It’s a fascinating city that will captivate you with its Northern charm and down to Earth people – including yours truly! 😉 Not to mention there is absolutely tonnes of things to see and do! So, is Manchester worth visiting? Here are my top 10 reasons to visit fun-filled Manchester!

Check out hotels in Manchester for an epic weekender!

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1) The fascinating industrial history

Manchester’s fascinating industrial history makes it a top destination for history enthusiasts and curious travellers alike! And as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, Manchester played a pivotal role in shaping the modern world as we know it.

Visitors can delve into the city’s industrial past by exploring iconic landmarks such as the Museum of Science and Industry. Which offers immersive exhibits and showcases Manchester’s contributions to innovation and technology.

From its cotton mills and textile factories to its canals and warehouses, Manchester’s industrial heritage is woven into the fabric of the city, providing a glimpse into its vibrant past and the pioneering spirit that continues to drive it forward today.

To find out more about Manchester’s fascinating history, I recommend going on a Manchester Walking Tour in order to fully immerse yourself in the city. With the help of a local guide you’ll discover Manchester’s roots in the Roman Empire and the centuries of turbulent history after that have shaped Manchester into the incredible place you see today.

Book tickets for the Manchester Walking Tour.

Manchester's Historic Victorian Town Hall

2) The awesome Foodie scene!

When people have asked me in the past: “Is Manchester worth visiting?”, the first thing I think about is food! 😂 Manchester is a foodie paradise no matter what your dietary requirements are. It’s well-worth the visit for food experiences alone!

There’s every kind of global cuisine you can think of in Manchester thanks to its wonderfully multicultural residents. You’re completely spoiled for choice!

Manchester also has an endless choice of independent and family run restaurants so you’re always trying something new. It’s known for being super vegan and vegetarian friendly too!

If you’d like to discover more of Manchester’s amazing foodie scene, I recommend going on a Manchester Food & Drink Tour. You visit 10 stops with a guide at some of Manchester’s quirkiest foodie hotspots, whilst learning all about the city!

But if you’d rather go with the flow whilst visiting Manchester, here are some of my top local eatery recommendations:

  • Purezza – the BEST vegan pizza you’ll find anywhere and 100% plant-based!
  • Vegan Shack – offers great vegan junk food classics such as plant-based burgers, loaded fries and delicious vegan milkshakes!
  • Bundobust – an awesome underground Indian street food tapas restaurant serving all your favourite Indian dishes with a twist. Despite being a vegetarian restaurant, most of the menu is in fact vegan (and tasty AF!).
  • Wholesome Food Junkies – another great place for vegan fast food. Try their KFC burger with crispy cauliflower and Sriracha sauce – it’s to die for! 
  • The Koffee Pot – the best vegan brunch options in town! Offering a full English with tofu scrambled egg and vegan bacon and vegan pancake stacks.

Book tickets to the Manchester Food & Drink Tour.

Mel holding up a delicious pizza in Purezza wearing a white t-shirt and red dress

3) Amazing Nightlife and music scene

Manchester has a reputation for having one of the best night’s out in the UK. With hundreds of bars, pubs and night clubs that would give Ibiza a run for its money – you’re sure to have the time of your life in Manchester!

Manchester is renowned for its vibrant music scene too and pulses with the rhythm of live music echoing from its eclectic array of venues, from intimate pubs to legendary clubs. It’s also the birthplace of iconic bands like The Smiths, Oasis, and The Stone Roses!

Find out more about Manchester’s legendary music scene by going on a Manchester Music-themed City Walking Tour.

With a diverse lineup of DJs, live bands, and underground acts performing every night of the week, Manchester’s music scene is as dynamic and electrifying as the city itself, offering a feast for the senses that will leave you craving more! 😉

If you want a taste of Manchester’s nightlife along with some top ales, I recommend a Craft Beer Tour around Manchester. A local guide takes the guesswork out of choosing where to drink, so you’re sure to have nothing but great beer at four hand-picked watering holes. Try English and imported beer you may never have heard of whilst making new friends!

Book tickets:

Check out hotels in Manchester for an epic weekender!

Skyline of Manchester at sunset from Cloud 23 bar in the Hilton Hotel with Mel holding up an orange cocktail

4) cool street art

I am a huge fan of street art and find myself seeking it out wherever I travel to! If you’re the same – you’ll LOVE Manchester’s endless streets of graffiti art. It has a thriving creative industry and reputation for being a hub for artists!

Every corner has its own story to tell and you really get to know the city through the artists’ expression. From colourful murals adorning building facades to intricate graffiti pieces hidden in alleyways, Manchester is a canvas for creativity and self-expression!

The city’s street art tells stories of its rich cultural heritage, social issues, and community spirit, offering a unique insight into Manchester’s character.

You can embark on a Manchester Street Art Tour to discover iconic artworks and delve deeper into the stories behind the art, which I really recommend!

Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of the city centre or wandering through the eclectic neighbourhoods of the Northern Quarter and Ancoats, Manchester’s street art adds a sense of vibrancy and energy to every corner of the city. You’ll just LOVE it!

Book tickets for a Manchester Street Art Tour.

Street art in Manchester featuring bees (the symbol of Manchester) and hands making a heart sign

5) football achievements and sporting heritage

Manchester’s sporting achievements and heritage make it a must-visit destination for sports enthusiasts from around the globe, with football taking centre stage in the city’s cultural landscape.

As the proud home of two iconic football clubs, Manchester United and Manchester City, the city boasts a rich footballing heritage that spans generations!

Visitors can immerse themselves in the passion and excitement of the beautiful game by attending matches at Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium, where they can witness the skill and athleticism of some of the world’s top footballers. Or take a guided tour of the legendary stadiums including, Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.

Additionally, Manchester is home to the National Football Museum, a treasure trove of football memorabilia and interactive exhibits that celebrate the sport’s illustrious history.

Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or simply appreciate the thrill of live sporting events, Manchester offers an unforgettable experience that pays homage to its sporting legacy and celebrates the enduring spirit of competition.

Book tickets:

Outside the Manchester United stadium with the footballer statue in the foreground

6) Cultural diversity and inclusivity

Visiting Manchester offers a vibrant and enriching experience thanks to its profound cultural diversity and unwavering commitment to inclusivity!

As a melting pot of cultures, Manchester embraces people from all walks of life, creating a welcoming atmosphere that celebrates differences and fosters unity.

Explore the bustling streets of Chinatown, where you can savour authentic Asian cuisine and immerse yourself in colourful festivities during Chinese New Year. Or delve into the vibrant Curry Mile, where the aromas of Indian, Pakistani, and Middle Eastern spices fill the air, offering an amazing culinary experience!

Beyond its culinary delights, Manchester’s diverse communities contribute to its thriving arts scene, with multicultural festivals, performances, and exhibitions showcasing the richness of global cultures.

The city is also home to a thriving LGBTQ+ community with a world-famous gay village in the Canal Street area. From AWESOME drag shows to electric dance floors, Manchester’s gay village offers a warm and welcoming environment where everyone can feel accepted and embraced.

You can learn more about Manchester’s LGBTQ+ scene and history on the fabulous LGBT+ Walking Tour!

Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally, a visit to Manchester’s gay village promises an unforgettable experience. Filled with love, acceptance, and celebration of diversity! It’s even been named one of the “most successful gay villages in Europe” and the “gay capital of the north”. It’s that f*cking epic!

From its welcoming neighbourhoods to its inclusive events and initiatives, Manchester exemplifies the spirit of unity and acceptance, inviting visitors to embrace diversity and celebrate the beauty of multiculturalism.

We love you Manchester! ❤️🌈

Book tickets for a LGBT+ Manchester Walking Tour.

Mel stood outside Manchester's Gay Village sign on Canal Street


Manchester’s charm extends beyond its historic landmarks and stunning landscapes; it lies in the warmth and hospitality of its people.

Mancunian people are some of the most down to Earth and friendliest people I have met on my travels. Not to mention hilarious and such great fun to hang out with! As someone who has lived in Manchester for 15 years, I can vouch for this wholeheartedly!

Manchester’s residents take pride in their city and are delighted to share its history, culture, and hidden gems with visitors. Whether you’re chatting with a bartender over locally brewed beer, browsing the stalls at a bustling market, or seeking recommendations from a friendly shopkeeper, you’ll feel the warmth and sincerity of Northern hospitality everywhere!

You’ll find out more about Mancunian culture, past and present, from the perspective of a local on the Manchester Walking Tour.

Mel looking up at a sign that says "...And on the sixth day, God created Manchester" wearing a black jacket, bobble hat and black umbrella

8) It’s a gateway to the beautiful peak district (plus, Yorkshire, the Lake District and North Wales!)

A great reason to visit Manchester is that it serves as a perfect gateway to the beautiful Peak District National Park! Making it an ideal city break for nature lovers, hikers AND city dwellers.

Located just a stone’s throw away from the city, the Peak District offers a stunning landscape of rolling hills, picturesque villages, and scenic trails to explore!

Visitors can embark on hiking adventures along the Pennine Way, marvel at the dramatic rock formations of Stanage Edge, or enjoy leisurely walks through lush valleys and meadows. Some of my favourite hiking spots from Manchester include, Mam Tor, Kinder Scout, Dovestones and Grindleford.

If you’d like to get more of a guided day out in the nearby Peak District, I highly recommend booking a Derbyshire and Peak District Day Trip. For only £52 per person you’ll get the chance to explore Castleton, Monsal Head, Bakewell, Poole’s Cavern, and more, all in one day from Manchester!

Whether you’re seeking adventure in the great outdoors or a taste of city life, Manchester offers the best of both worlds. Inviting travellers to experience the diverse charms of the Peak District and the cosmopolitan energy of the city!

Book tickets for a Derbyshire and Peak District Day Trip.

Mel on the top of a cliff edge in the Peak District overlooking the green fields and peaks wearing a red jumper and sunglasses
Hiking at the top of Grindleford in the Peak District

Other day trips from Manchester:

Mel looking back from over her shoulder sat in front of lakes a mountain peeks at the top of Snowdon in Wales
Hiking to the top of Snowdon in North Wales

9) World-class museums and art galleries

One of the biggest reasons to visit Manchester is its world-class museums and art galleries. They offer an exciting cultural experience for visitors of all interests!

From the stunning collections of the Manchester Art Gallery to the thought-provoking exhibitions at the Museum of Science and Industry and natural history exhibits at the Manchester Museum, the city’s cultural institutions showcase a diverse range of art, history, and innovation.

Whether you’re a history buff, art enthusiast, or simply curious about the world around you, Manchester’s museums and galleries promise both inspirational and educational experiences!

Check out hotels in Manchester for an epic weekender!

Mel wearing a top hat, pretending to read a historic book in the John Rylands library

10) All the shopping

Manchester is a shopper’s paradise, boasting a diverse and eclectic retail scene that caters to every taste and budget! From high-end department stores to quirky independent shops, the city offers a wealth of shopping opportunities.

Discover the latest fashion trends at Manchester Arndale, browse for unique finds in the bohemian Northern Quarter, or hunt for bargains at Afflecks Palace.

Don’t forget Manchester’s Trafford Centre! It’s one of Europe’s largest and most iconic shopping destinations, offering an unparalleled retail experience. With its vast array of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, all just 30 minutes by tram from Manchester city centre.

With its mix of big-name brands and hidden gems, Manchester promises a shopping experience like no other!

Check out hotels in Manchester for an epic weekender!

Inside the Arndale Centre with crowds shopping

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Is Manchester worth visiting? Hell YEAH! I hope you have a great time in Manchester! 😉

Quick FYI guys – this post contains affiliate links to some tours I recommend. I will receive a small commission for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support on this “Is Manchester worth visiting?” post!

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