Symbolised by the worker bee for the industrious nature of the City and its people, Manchester is far from short of things to do to keep you as busy as a bee all year round. With vibes of youth, diversity and warm energy, Manchester is one of the most exciting places to visit in the UK offering a wide range of cultural attractions and cuisines anyone would find hard to resist.
Whether you are in Europe already or planning a trip to the UK, Manchester is extremely accessible, built up of numerous modes of transport making it the perfect place to bring your backpack and explore. As well as one of UKs busiest airports (Manchester Airport), the City offers a widespread network rail as well as a high frequency tram system called Metrolink and an extensive bus network making transporting around the city quick, easy and affordable. Once you are in town, most attractions are within walking distance of each other.
Hostels & Budget Hotels
When it comes to a cheap place to stay in Manchester, there is no end to your options. There is a huge range of hostels and hotels in the city which means that whatever your budget, you’ll never have trouble finding a great deal. The cheapest accommodation is situated around Piccadilly train station averaging at around £11 a night.
Hatters on Newton Street is Manchester’s most popular hostel that offers free WiFi and activities as well as a free food night on Tuesdays making it the perfect retreat for a backpacker’s short stay. The bar is a great place to meet other backpackers, as well as a games room and outside courtyard for socialising. Dorm rooms are available in various sizes including female-only rooms.
The City is also filled with cheap hotels that range from £28 – £50 per night depending on your budget and luxurious preference – these include The Premier Inn and The Easy Hotel which offer comfortable rooms and breakfast as well as coffee making facilities to fuel your busy day.
To Do List:
- Manchester offers an abundance of unique restaurants, bars, pubs, shops, museums, galleries and places to stay as well as a calendar packed with events and festivals not forgetting a magical Christmas Market and array of festive menus, making it the perfect City for a backpackers.
- Not a week goes by where a new restaurant or bar isn’t opened, or a gig performed, making it very easy to fritter away your cash. But there are plenty of things to do in the City that won’t cost you a penny. You’ll be happy to know that much of what you can do in Manchester is free including Manchester Art Gallery, the Museum of Science and Industry, and Imperial War Museum. The Lowry showcases a collection of paintings and drawings as well as three performance spaces where you can enjoy musicals and comedy shows. You can also visit The John Rylands Library for a taste of Victorian Gothic architecture.
- See a free concert. Chetham’s School of Music hosts regular free lunchtime concerts where visitors can watch its talented students perform. The free concert is typically held at 1.30pm and lasts around 45 minutes. While there, take a look at the oldest public library which dates back to 1653.
- For a true taste of Manchester, a Discover Manchester Tour talks you through historic events, beautiful architecture and famous landmarks. There is no need to book this tour, you can simply walk to the meet up outside the Central Library and pay a small, well worth it fee of £8 per person.
- Manchester wouldn’t be Manchester without its two major football teams. Both United and City grounds offer tours and behind-the-scene opportunities as well as a merchandise shop you can purchase your very own shirts, a great souvenir to take away with you on your travels.
No two places are the same when it comes to Manchester’s restaurant and bar scene. Not only is Gorilla a bar and kitchen offering a range of affordable food, by night it transforms into a live venue or club where you can watch your favourite bands and DJ’s. For an on-the-go cheaper alternative, Northern Soul offers a menu of grilled cheese snacks and sandwiches where prices start from £4.50. Located at Manchester Piccadilly Station, this is the perfect place to grab an affordable yet tasty snack.
Arndale’s food market is home to a variety of delicious street food. You can choose from a selection of food from all over the world including La Bandera, a Spanish street food serving dishes for just £5.
The City is also Vegan friendly offering a wide range of vegan food such as the Earth Café which provides a menu full of delicious vegan treats such as curry, pie, salads, smoothies and desserts.
You may not know that Manchester produces some of the best craft beers in the world. So, whilst stopping in Manchester, be sure to sample some of the City’s finest beer which can be found in quirky bars around the centre. Port Street Beer House offers an extensive selection of beer and the best garden in town- perfect for a sunny day.
Manchester also holds Europe’s largest Chinatown with a collection of excellent restaurants where you can enjoy a taste of authentic Chinese, Japanese and Thai food.
Away from the hustle and the bustle of the City centre, Manchester also has several outstanding walking routes if you prefer something a little more tranquil. These are just three amongst many of the walks you can find in Manchester.
Saddleworth Circuit – This is a great walk for those who want a challenge. It has some strenuous hills, but the beautiful scenery is rewarding.
The South Pennine Water Trail – This route is perfect if you would rather more of a stroll whilst enjoying the beautiful views.