Photograph courtesy of Hotel Football

For history lovers: Great John Street Hotel

Located in a red-brick Victorian schoolhouse, the Great John Street Hotel is close to the city centre. Its luxurious accommodations include crystal-chandeliered suites and former classrooms transformed into stylish stays, complete with clawfoot bathtubs. Don’t miss the old rooftop playground that is now a bar.

For football fans: Hotel Football 

With a prime location near Manchester United’s legendary Old Trafford stadium, Hotel Football is co-owned by former players and its contemporary rooms are handy for crashing after a Premier League match. The Old Trafford Supporters Club, its basement bar, is perfect for enjoying a drink with fans.

For music mavens: Cow Hollow Hotel

Music venues abound in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, making the trendy Cow Hollow Hotel an ideal hub for nightlife devotees. Located inside of a former textile warehouse, this hotel features quirky art, industrial-chic steel staircases, rooms with rock-tiled walls and beds made from upcycled railway ties

For budget travellers: Abel Heywood Hotel

Located in the heart of Manchester’s city centre, the 15-room Abel Heywood Hotel offers the kind of artsy decor and exposed brick accents typically found in pricier boutique properties. The downstairs pub serves locally brewed cask ales, has a range of gins and offers tempting food specials, including a pie and pint night.

Things to Do

Photograph by Gerardnoonan/Alamy

For history lovers: Explore the Science and Industry Museum

The free Science and Industry Museum bristles with reminders of Manchester’s tough-as-nails past. Its galleries explore everything from yesteryear factory conditions to piston-pumping steam engines in full working order. It is also home to the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station.

For football fans: Visit the National Football Museum

Aficionados of the beautiful game will drool over the National Football Museum’s storied artifacts, including vintage shirts and century-old cup-winners’ medals. Visitors can also lift “virtual trophies” and show off their shoot-out skills. Extra time? Manchester United and Manchester City offer stadium tours.

For music mavens: Dive into Manchester’s music scene

With homegrown bands that include Oasis, New Order and the Smiths, this city is a known for its musical talent. Browse the vinyl selection at Piccadilly Records for some amazing finds, take a guided bus tour through the city with Manchester Music Tours and catch a show at legendary venue Band on the Wall.

For budget travellers: Check out free art galleries 

While Mancunians love the free admission at both the Whitworth Art Gallery and the Manchester Art Gallery, don’t miss The Lowry in the Salford Quays area. This complex showcases the folk-art “matchstick men” paintings of L.S. Lowry, who was known for depicting the everyday lives of bygone locals.

Places to Eat

Mackie Mayor, photograph by Howard Harrison/Alamy

For history lovers: Mackie Mayor

Located in the once- gritty-but-now-hip Northern Quarter, Mackie Mayor is a former 1850s glass-and-ironwork meat market that has been repurposed into a lively contemporary food hall. Here you’ll find independent vendors serving fish tacos, pizzas, Sunday roasts and other delicious food items.

For football fans: Tib Street Tavern

If you can’t get tickets, watch the game on the television at the Tib Street Tavern, a friendly city-centre pub serving craft ales and hearty burgers (be sure to try the stilton-layered Blue Burger). All-manner of additional top-flight sporting action lights up the screens here, from rugby and cricket to American NFL games.

For music mavens: Gorilla

Located underneath Whitworth Street’s railway arches, Gorilla is a hip club and live-music joint with a bar and restaurant. Slide into one of the canteen-like wooden tables to enjoy elevated comfort dishes—think Reuben bagels and fried chicken with waffles—before working off those calories on the dance floor.

For budget travellers: This & That Café

There are dozens of budget-friendly and delicious Indian eateries in the city. But the family-run, no-frills This & That Café, located in the North Quarter, is a must. Choose from three curry options (rice included), then snag a sought-after bench seat. Vegetarian options abound and the most you’ll pay is £7.

This article appears in the May 2020 issue of WestJet Magazine