Best Manchester Attractions
Students on a budget will enjoy these top 20 Manchester attractions, many of which are free, unless otherwise stated!
1. Manchester on the trams
Enjoy a day of fun on the trams, visiting the best Manchester attractions with a £5 off-peak Metrolink tram travelcard for the city, leading to a wealth of places to visit for students! For details and booking go to www.metrolink.co.uk.
2. Levenshulme Market
Arguably the best market in the city, Levenshulme Market on Stockport Road (www.levymarket.com) is open on Saturdays, March to December, with over 50 stalls selling virtually everything. It’s one of the best Manchester attractions for students, with a great local atmosphere.
3. Museum of Science and Industry
Located on Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4FP and totally devoted to science, technology and industry, the museum highlights the city’s achievements and more. Further details are on www.msimanchester.org.uk.
4. The John Rylands library
At 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH, this library’s architecturally stunning and ideal for students as it’s home to an astonishing collection of historic manuscripts and books. Even if you don’t intend to study there, it’s worth going for the peace and magnificence after a hard night partying. More details are on www.library.manchester.ac.uk/rylands/.
5. Walk along the canal
Rochdale Canal’s an integral part of Manchester, so a walk from the Lock Keeper’s Cottage, 9 Century Street, Manchester M3 4QL takes you through the best parts of the city including the Village, Piccadilly and Ancoats.
6. Affleck’s Palace
This Aladdin’s cave is one of the best Manchester attractions for students, with many diverse delights. The shops are great for alternative indie fashion hunters, jewellery lovers, vintage enthusiasts and psychic fans. There’s also a great café offering a traditional fry-up. It’s on 52 Church Street, Manchester, M4 1PW, website www.afflecks.com.
7. Manchester Museum
Located at the university on Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, this museum’s popular for all, with exhibitions and displays of world-wide ancient relics, including stuffed animals and a reptilian/amphibian vivarium. See www.museum.manchester.ac.uk.
8. Manchester City Art Gallery
This world famous historic gallery’s home to a Pre-Raphaelite collection of paintings and 25,000 objects of fine art spanning 200 years. See the website www.manchesterartgallery.org for what’s on and visit the excellent café when you go.
9. Richmond Tea Rooms
Take a trip into the gay village to the Richmond Tea Rooms and bar, with its quintessential Victorian Englishness that’ll impress most parents. Visit www.richmondtearooms.com.
10. Salford Quays – Lowry Theatre, Imperial War Museum North and Media City
Salford Quays (www.thequays.org.uk) is a short tram ride from the city centre and home to Media City
11. Cloud 23
Beetham Tower’s the tallest building in Manchester, with 23 floors and the very trendy Cloud 23 bar (www.cloud23bar.com) at the top, with stunning views making it one of the best Manchester attractions. The cocktails are superb and the surroundings chic. Book a table then you can contemplate which part of the city you’d like to live in as it unfolds before you. Then, visit Mistoria Estate Agents (mistoriaestateagents.co.uk/salford), to see if they’ve a property match for you!
12. Band on the Wall
This venue dates back to the 1930’s and was a former Victorian pub, now playing jazz and world music in the heart of the bohemian Northern Quarter of Manchester. Renovated, this venue’s a well-established part of the city’s music scene, so one of the best places to visit for students. Gig ticket prices vary and the venue’s located on Shudehill High Street, Manchester M4 2AF (www.bandonthewall.org).
13. The Blackdog Ballroom
If you’re still energetic after a night out, the Blackdog Ballroom at Barclay House, Suite 303, Manchester M1 5NG, is open until 5am, with a diner, pool room, roof terrace, basement bar and Xolo nightclub with its Mexican drinking den. See www.blackdogballroom.co.uk.
14. King Bee Records Located at 519 Wilbraham Road, Manchester M21 0UF (www.kingbeerecords.co.uk), this shop’s existed since 1987 and is best known for selling vinyl and CDs across every genre. It’s a mecca for music fans and Manchester’s very own Johnny Marr has signed copies of his music in the store.
15. The Police Museum In Manchester’s Northern Quarter at 57a Newton Street, Manchester M1 1ET, enjoy a tour of the history of policing and crime in the old police station. Visit the real cells and meet the volunteer ex-policemen with their stories of past decades. See www.gmpmuseum.co.uk for more information.
16. Paramount Bookshop Near the Printworks at 25-27 Shudehill, Manchester M4 2AF, this wonderful bookshop (www.paramountbooks.co.uk) dates from 1965. With a jazz or classical music ambience, they sell every type of book imaginable and it’s a must for all book enthusiasts.
18. Fletcher Moss Park
Outside the city, on Wilmslow Rd, M20 2SW, lies Fletcher Moss Park and Parsonage Gardens (www.fletchermossgardens.org.uk). Calm, tranquil and green, with luscious trees and flowers, this venue’s ideal to escape the urban jungle, especially on a lovely summer’s day.
Castlefield, in South-West Manchester (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castlefield), represents the city’s industrial past and is built on an old Roman fort, Mamucium (or Mancunium), from which Manchester got its name. Admire the red-brick warehouses and metal bridges over the canals. There’s some great night-life here, making it a top place for students to visit.
20. Royal Exchange Theatre
In the city centre by St. Ann’s square, the Royal Exchange Theatre (www.royalexchange.co.uk) is part of the 18th century Royal Exchange building, including a trendy shopping centre, dating back to the 18th century when it hosted international trade in spun yarn. Theatre ticket prices vary but there are some superb productions, well worth seeing.