The top 10 most unusual places to visit in Manchester

Sep 05,2013

Today's modern Manchester is unrecognisable with its redeveloped areas which were once an industrial landscape. In Manchester you will uncover a city of culture, vibrancy and entertainment. To experience the city's culture scene, visit the museums housing historic collections and the contemporary galleries showcasing the finest arts. With many cool bars and eateries, boutiques and notable landscapes, this is a city with plenty to experience!

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels know what makes a good holiday, which is why we have compiled a list of the top 10 most unusual places to visit in Manchester. After all, why would you want to stick to the standard tourist destinations when you can uncover the alternative and interesting, too?

1. The Northern Quarter

Situated just off Piccadilly Gardens, an idyllic green space in the city centre, is the Northern Quarter. Follow the labyrinth that leads to a number of quirky shops, bars and eateries and uncover the bohemian cluster of wonderful finds. Contrasting from the nearby high street, you will find vintage shops, alternative record and book stores as well as cafes and bars with a distinct difference. The independent creative industries also call this home, with many designers, agencies and art galleries found here. Consider this a district worth a visit if you're the type who likes to discover the unconventional.

2. The Shopping Experience: Afflecks

Although Afflecks is situated in the Northern Quarter, it deserves a mention all of its own. This eclectic cavern of treasures was a former department store. Rooms are full of a variety of wares, appealing to many tastes. This indoor marketplace has a number of small trader stalls selling anything from fancy dress, skateboard garments, boutique items and quirky pieces of jewellery and accessories. With a display of unique wares, this bazaar is worth a perusal.

3. On Cloud 23...

You will be happy to know that the above was not an error on our part and even more elated when you arrive at Cloud 23. Located in the Beetham Tower, the tallest building in Manchester, this contemporary bar can be found on the 23rd floor. Revel in the stunning views from the floor-to-ceiling windows and take in the changing skyline of the city, allowing you to see Manchester from a different perspective. Cloud 23 has an indulgent environment perfect for sharing with a partner, friends or family for any occasion.

4. Arts & Culture: The Lowry

No list would be complete without mentioning The Lowry, the ultramodern gallery and theatre space housing the works of famous northern artist L.S. Lowry. Situated at Salford Quays, this stainless steel and glass waterside landmark shows an impressive programme of visual and performing arts, theatre sculpture, photography and painting amongst much more. Embracing both creativity and community, The Lowry is one of Manchester's architectural assets.

5. Significant Landmarks

There are a staggering number of historical landmarks, with their awe-inspiring architecture, here in Manchester. From the 16th century Manchester Cathedral to the Georgian Town Hall of Manchester, the city certainly shows that its focal point is its heritage. Although these aren't the most unusual places to visit, Mancunians certainly have a unique city and we encourage you to find out more for yourself.

6. People's History Museum

Learn a little more about the fascinating past, present and future of the people from this city. The People's Museum is dedicated to bringing the 200-year history of democracy to life. Having gone through a £12.5 million development, it reopened in 2012 boasting interactive exhibits, covers 1384 square meters of exhibition space and enlightens visitors with a clear look at British political history. What's more, the Left Bank cafe bar offers visitors with the chance to sample a local ale or a cup of tea on Manchester's sunniest riverside terrace.

7. Accommodation

A trip to Manchester may be possible in just a day, but to really uncover the true magnificence of a place a longer stay is certainly encouraged. Staying at either the Copthorne Hotel Manchester or the Copthorne Hotel Birmingham is a great choice offering both comfort and luxury

8. Football Stadium & Museum

While we did promise this would be a list of unusual places to visit in Manchester, no list would be complete without mentioning football. After all, that is what Manchester is known so well for. Whether you are a Manchester United or Manchester City fan, why not make your trip complete with walk on the hallowed pitch of your favourite team? Fans can take a behind-the-scenes tour, visit the National Football Museums to brush-up on your knowledge of the beautiful game and, of course, pop to the club shop for that essential souvenir.

9. LGBT Manchester

Manchester's Canal Street is a popular destination for gay and lesbian visitors from all over the world. With a number of bars, restaurants and clubs located in what is known as 'Manchester's Gay Village', it is the definitive area of acceptance. Home to annual events, such as Manchester Pride, this LGBT centre offers a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

10. Stargaze from the Godlee Observatory

Set your sights on a visit to the Godlee Observatory whilst in Manchester and experience the wondrous, majestic sights of the sky. Keen astronomers will love this little secret spot where they can witness the ever-changing composition of our galaxy from the roof of Manchester University. The Manchester Astronomical Society welcomes both new and seasoned observers, so why not schedule a visit to one of their events, tours or weekly meetings? This may be one of the most unusual, yet interesting places in town.


Insider’s Tips on Planning the Perfect City Break