Saturday, 3 November 2018

City Guide: Manchester

Untitled


The guide that's been a long time coming. Mainly because I've lived here for almost five years and trying to narrow down a list of things to see, do and eat is way tougher than what I thought. But here goes, my ultimate guide to the great city that is, Manchester.



Untitled


GETTING AROUND


Manchester is easily walkable. That's my first point. You can easily get from one side of town to the other in 30 minutes. But, there's areas you may want to hop on and off transport to, so here are my top tips. Believe it or not, there is actually free transport across the city. The metroshuttle is Manchester's free bus. There's three routes taking you to key parts of the centre. Traffic can be bad but it's free so you can hardly complain. There's plenty of train stations across the centre too. Aside from that, the most obvious way of getting around is the tram AKA the Metrolink. It covers literally everywhere you want to get to and is really frequent and affordable too. Trams run until 11pm-ish (check the site for full details). Other than that, there's plenty of taxis, and Uber but the fares can sting you with unexpected pricing so bear that in mind.


Untitled


TAKE IN THE VIEW AT


20 STORIES


Whilst Manchester has few vantage points, the new kid on the block, 20 Stories ticks that box for sure. It's a restaurant and bar with the highest outside point in the city, so expect to queue to get in if you're just going for a drink. And for those worried about the cold Manchester weather, don't panic, there's outdoor heaters too. You can get two drinks for around £12, so it's not overly expensive for a place this nice. 



Untitled


Untitled


SEE SOME OF THE CITY'S MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE PLACES


SUNSET BY AUSTRALASIA


The go-to place to sip on cocktails is Sunset by Australasia, and I think you'll be able to see from the photos just why. It's pink, it's floral, and it's pretty. There's table service and heaters in case you get cold on the terrace. I've rounded up all the other Instagrammable places to check out in Manchester here



Untitled


Untitled


Untitled

EAT OUT AT


ALL THESE PLACES


Solita for a treat day (their halloumi fries are incredible) and Grand Pacific or Rosso for somewhere fancy. The Botanist for a nice homely dish (their hanging kebabs are famous), Gasworks for the best hot dog in town and Rudys for pizza. Oh and make time for a visit to Mackie Mayor, a beautiful venue with various food and drink businesses to choose from. It's not the cheapest, but worth popping to every so often. Home also do an amazing four cheese pizza worth checking out! If you're hungry but not wanting a whole meal, Crazy Pedros sell pizza by the slice for as little as £2, so it won't break the bank either. If cheap eats are your thing, I've got an article on that too here.



IMG_5443


BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH AT


THE REFINERY


If you're into your bottomless brunch, this is the place to book. It's that popular, it gets booked up weeks in advance, so get it in the diary. It's around £30 for food and bottomless mimosas for two hours. It's easiest the best bottomless brunch in town. My other bottomless brunch recommendations I rounded up here


FORGET ABOUT THE KCALS AT


NORTHERN SOUL


For less than a fiver, you can treat yourself to the best grilled cheese in Manchester at Northern Soul. If it's okay weather, sit on the street tables outside or take it to go.


Untitled

Untitled

DISCOVER THE HIPSTER PART OF THE CITY


THE NQ


Manchester is full of quirky neighbourhoods and the Northern Quarter AKA the NQ, is one to put on your visit list. There's monthly makers markets, cute streets, independent retailers, coffee houses and quaint cafes. It's worth spending a whole afternoon seeing what this area has to offer. A few places to see are Home Sweet Home for Eggs Benedict and the best Oreo Milkshake, Takk for coffee, Tariff and Dale, Cottonopolis and Northern Monk Refectory. NMR is the new take on the old Kosomonaut, and luckily they've not overhauled the venue too much. Plus, there's a photobooth with a dangerous contactless option...



Untitled


BRUNCH AT


EZRA & GIL 


The best full english and best breakfast generally in town. Located in the NQ, whilst you can't book here, it's well worth the wait and a perfect place for answering emails and people watching too. I fully recommend the 'Classic E&G breakfast.' Other than Ezra, I've wrote about the best places to brunch in Manchester here. And if fry ups are your thing, I've got a list of those here too.



Untitled


GET YOUR GAME ON


JUNKYARD GOLF/2022/DOGBOWL


If you're after an activity, check out Junkyard Golf, 2022 or Dogbowl. Junkyard Golf's courses are amazingly themed and are less than a tenner. Just search on Instagram and you'll see why it's so popular. 2022 is an underground bar, music venue and a hall of ping pong tables. It gets busy at the weekend so either book or be prepared to wait for one to free up. And if bowling's your thing, Dogbowl near Oxford Road means you can bowl late into the night with a cocktail in hand.



Untitled


Untitled



TAKE A STROLL TO 


MEDIA CITY


Home to the BBC, ITV and Coronation Street, the area is a 15 minute tram ride out of the centre, and once you're there you feel miles away. Surrounded by the ship canal and cute bars and eateries, it's worth stretching your legs on the way there, walking through Castlefield on the canal, to earn that well deserved wine at the end. My recommendation? A roast dinner at The Botanist and then a cocktail on the terrace at The Alchemist.





HAVE BOTTOMLESS PIZZA AT


TARIFF AND DALE

Friday afternoon sees Tariff and Dale's bottomless pizza with a drink offer. And if that doesn't sell it to you, I don't know what will. It's less than £15 depending if you opt for a cocktail, wine, beer or soft drink, so hardly breaks the bank and the pizza is amazing. 




Untitled



GRAB A DRINK AT


REFUGE

Set in the Principal hotel lies the Refuge. A restaurant, bar, lounge, winter garden and games room. So basically something for everyone. They have DJs at the weekends, a glass of prosecco is less than a fiver and the winter garden is gorgeous. The games room also houses one of the few free pool tables in the city centre. You can easily lose hours in here and it's one of my go-to places to get some blogging work done too.





SHOP AT


OKLAHOMA


Located on 'High Street' sits Oklahoma, an adorable and quirky gift shop filled with things for kids and adults alike. Think cute cards, retro games, neon signs and notebooks you'll love but never want to actually write in. If you're ever stuck on what to get them, head here.



Untitled

GET LOST IN


HEATON PARK


Hop on the tram for 20 minutes out to Heaton Park, 600 acres of greenery and pretty architecture. It annually hosts the city's Parklife festival but for the rest of the year is a stunning place for a walk no matter the season. There's a small farmyard for kids and a boating lake open in summer that's hugely popular.

CATCH SOME LIVE MUSIC AT


THE OAST HOUSE


Recently renovated with fire pits, new bars and a huge outdoor space with a stage too, the Oast House in Spinningfields is your go-to place to catch some amazing live music, all for free. Come summer, it's one of the best beer gardens around, they screen films here and at Christmas time, their famous teepee goes up which is beautiful to have a mulled wine, or three in. The Botanist also hold live music sessions and Alberts Schloss has daily acts on too. 


Untitled

SEE SOME ART AT


A GALLERY


The city has a few galleries and museums worth a visit - first off, the Manchester Art Gallery which had a great Vogue exhibition a few years ago. Secondly you have The Whitworth, a stunning venue set in a small park, and thirdly, the Manchester Museum. If you've got time, go to all three. The science and industry museum is also worth a stop by, it's super central and always has interesting exhibitions on. 


DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY AT


TERRACE/ALBERTS SCHLOSS


Two very different venues in two different parts of the city. First up, Alberts Schloss. A German themed restaurant come bar and live music venue, it has stunning interiors and a programme of daily events. It has a free photobooth and dancing on the benches is actively encouraged which does say it all really. Secondly a smaller venue is Terrace in the Northern Quarter. It fills up quickly, but its intimate setting makes for a great night out with some fab tunes. Another new kid on the block is YES, just off Oxford Road. Housing four floors of fun, with a different vibe on each, it's a perfect place for day or play. Plus you can buy pizza by the slice, which is handy if you fancy a nibble whilst you're out. 



Untitled


Untitled


WANDER AROUND


MANCHESTER CENTRAL LIBRARY


Whilst it's not open on a Sunday, every other day it is, and it's well worth a visit. You don't have to be a library member to stroll around it's grandeur. With floors of books, cafes, music rooms and stunning interior, I recommend checking this one out.


And for now, that's my guide. I do intend on adding to this all of the time as I may have forgotten somewhere and I'm regularly reviewing new corners of the city, so keep your eyes peeled!
SHARE:

No comments

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

Blogger Template Created by pipdig