Explore Manchester



Whether you know Manchester for our football, music or something else – you’ll have some idea of what Manchester is about, but it’s not until you explore for yourself that you start to understand what the city stands for. This is a city that marches forward; a city that celebrates diversity; a city that lives and loves; and a city that opens its arms to all.

The city is set against a backdrop of intriguing heritage and history, with innovation and invention its backbone. The industrial revolution, which was instigated by Manchester’s first steam-powered mill, shaped the world’s economy. Manchester continued to be a city of firsts; being birthplace of the first passenger railway, first computer and votes for women. The city has a story to tell.

Manchester is the third most visited city in the UK, welcoming more visitors from around the world than ever before, looking to discover the thriving culture, energy and spirit of the city.

Today, Manchester is one of Europe’s most vibrant city break destinations and according to Lonely Planet it is one of the top 10 world cities to visit. The region offers everything from ground-breaking arts & culture, diverse shopping, renowned food, drink and nightlife to stunning countryside, stately homes and gardens.

Energetic, diverse and individual, Manchester is a city with true character. When you choose Manchester as your next destination, it will surprise, delight and embrace you in a way that only Mancunians know how.



Worker Bee 

Symbolising industry, work ethic and co-operation, the humble worker bee has been a symbol of Manchester since the 1800s. Today the bee can be seen all over the city – in our city crest, street art and on lampposts and bins.



Votes for Women

It’s been a hundred years since women were given the right to vote, thanks to the UK Suffragette Movement. It was born in Manchester, when Emmeline Pankhurst held the first meeting of the Women’s Social and Political Union at her home in 1903. Today, the house is the Pankhurst Centre, a museum that keeps the history of the Pankhurst family alive.



Industrial Revolution

Manchester was the world’s first industrial city. It was classed as the cotton-making capital of the world in the 18th century and dubbed “Cottonopolis” and the “Warehouse City” during the Victorian era. This proud heritage can be seen through the city’s stunning architecture and is on display at its museums and galleries.


Manchester’s Baby

The first modern computer was built at the University of Manchester. Called “Baby” it was built using the technology developed for WWII communications equipment and rant the world’s first stored program in 1948. A replica can be seen at the Museum of Science & Industry.


Rolls Royce

In 1904 Frederick Royce produced the first car at his factory. He soon attracted the attention of Charles Rolls and following a meeting at The Midland Hotel, they set up the world-famous car manufacturing company.




Manchester is a UNESCO City of Literature, where leading novelists Anthony Burgess and Elizabeth Gaskell called home. It is where the legacy of the Bee Gees, Joy Division, The Smiths, Oasis and the “Madchester” music scene stands proud. Today, Manchester enjoys a thriving cultural scene with everything from national museums, acclaimed music, stand-out exhibitions and ground-breaking theatre and events.


Known the world over for its football, Manchester also offers international events and fixtures as well as sports-themed activities for those who want to get involved in the action.

A trip to Manchester wouldn’t be the same without a visit to either (or both) the homes of 2017/18 Premier League Champions Manchester City FC and Manchester United, offering behind-the-scenes tours.


Manchester’s food and drink scene has undergone a renaissance over the past few years, with every cuisine represented for all budgets and tastes. Every district of the city has a different offering whether it’s local independents, established chains, street food or high-end-dining.



1. Explore Manchester history

Just a stone’s throw away from the Convention Complex, you’ll find the Manchester Central Library, Britain’s second largest public lending library. Constructed between the years of 1930 and 1934, this longstanding building’s architecture pays homage to the Parthenon in Athens, and the library remains open to visitors between 09:00 and 20:00 Monday-Thursday and between 09:00 and 17:00 Friday and Saturday.

Located less than 15 minutes from the Convention Complex on foot, the Science and Industry Museum offers a glimpse into the city’s industrial past and is located on the site of the oldest surviving passenger railway station. The museum is open from 10:00 to 17:00 daily, and entrance is free of charge, but donations are welcome.

Also situated close to the Convention Complex is the People’s History Museum, aka Britain’s national museum of democracy. The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 to 17:00, with free entry but a suggested donation of £5.

A little further afield, you’ll find the National Football Museum, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in July 2022. Football fans will find more than 2,500 world-class objects on display at any one time, as well as interactive features and temporary exhibitions that link football to a diverse range of topics such as fashion, history and art.

Last but certainly not least is the Manchester Cathedral, located right across from the National Football Museum. Also known as the Collegiate Church of St Mary, St Denys and St George in Manchester, this historical cathedral celebrated its 600th anniversary in 2021, and is open to visitors daily from 09:30 to 16:00.


2. Wander around the artsy NQ

Located just off Piccadilly Gardens (northeast of the Convention Centre), the Northern Quarter – called ‘NQ’ by locals – is the city’s artistic centre, with numerous shops, galleries, cafes, bars and a general boho vibe. The neighbourhood is a great option for those who want to do some sightseeing, grab a bite or buy some souvenirs in between sessions. To discover what’s on in the Northern Quarter during your visit, check out this website, which offers up-to-date information on the happenings (and happy hours!) in the NQ.


3. Take a boat tour and enjoy the river breeze

No list of Manchester outings would be complete without mentioning the boat tours through Manchester’s rivers and canals! There are various companies offering tours with different routes, durations, and price points, so it’s a good idea to browse through and pick out the one best suited to your schedule.

If a boat tour isn’t exactly your cup of tea but you’d still like to enjoy the river breeze, you can also take the tram from Manchester to the Quays. Full of waterfront shopping, dining and entertainment options, the Quays is a destination that promises something for everyone.



Getting around the city and surrounding areas is easy once you’re here thanks to the fleet of buses, trams and trains available. The compact nature of the city centre also makes walking a popular choice.

Please click here to view and download the Manchester city centre map (pdf) showing tourist attractions, city centre neighbourhoods and Greater Manchester districts.


Journey Planning

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is the official public transport body for the city. Its website has a wealth of information and a number of journey planning tools to take the stress out of travelling. (www.tfgm.com)


Free Bus

Within the city centre, free bus (formerly Metroshuttle) provides a free ‘hop on, hop off’ service linking all of the main rail stations, shopping districts and business areas. There are  services which operate on circular routes. (www.tfgm.com/public-transport/bus/free-bus)

Please click HERE to view and download the free bus route map (pdf).




Commercial bus services run right across Greater Manchester helping you get out and about. (www.tfgm.com/buses)



The Metrolink network is one of the most successful light railway systems in the UK. With frequent services there’s no need to worry about a timetable, just head to your nearest stop and the next tram won’t be far away. Metrolink can transport you to popular venues and attractions across the region and, if you’re planning on sightseeing, Travelcards offer unlimited travel across the network. (www.metrolink.co.uk)

You need to purchase the ticket from the on-stop ticket machines before boarding.

Please click here to view and download the Metrolink route map.




In addition to the inter-city links, the rail network connects you to the neighbouring towns and districts of Greater Manchester including Ashton-under-Lyne, Bolton, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport and Wigan. (www.tfgm.com/trains)


System One

Want to travel on any bus? Or a combination of bus, train and tram? The System One Travelcard combines the local bus, train and tram travel while allowing you to transfer seamlessly from bus to bus or from one transport mode to the other as many times as you like. (www.systemonetravelcards.co.uk)


Cycle routes

Manchester is a bike-friendly city with many marked cycle lanes and dedicated routes throughout the city centre and beyond. You may visit the Transport for Greater Manchester cycling website (www.tfgm.com/cycling) for everything you need to know about cycling in Greater Manchester, from maps and route planning to local events and news. 


Manchester on foot

Manchester is easily explored on foot, with a city centre that you can navigate within 20 minutes. City Hosts are dotted around the centre to guide you with directions, public transport information and details on events taking place.



Manchester’s free wifi networks, "_freebee" on the streets, "_busybee" in council owned buildings and "MetrolinkWiFi" on the Metrolink tram network, give you free internet access in locations across the city. You can browse the internet, access services, use social networks and search for local businesses and destinations while on the move.

"_FreebeeMcr" is the on-street network - it's free for the first 30 minutes, then £3 for the rest of the day.

"_BusybeeMcr" is the network in many of our public buildings, and is free all day.

"MetrolinkWiFi" is the network on the Metrolink tram system and is free and unlimited after registration.

"_FreebeeMcr" and "_BusybeeMcr" networks also allow unlimited, free access to the below websites of:

Visit Manchester website
Manchester City Council website
Manchester Evening News
Transport for Greater Manchester 



Greater Manchester is made up of ten unique districts all offering a rich heritage, stunning countryside and hidden gems to discover. Easily accessible by tram, train or bus, exploration is recommended for those who want to delve deeper into the city-region’s history and natural beauty.

Please click HERE to view and download a map of Greater Manchester (pdf).



With Manchester’s position in the heart of the UK, it’s the perfect gateway to the North of England and Wales. The region offers a diverse combination of stunning national parks, historic cities and cosmopolitan destinations. All can be done in a day or overnight from Manchester by rail or road.

Manchester is a perfect gateway to the North, with inspiring cities, including Liverpool, Chester and York and the natural beauty of Lake District, Peak District and Wales, all a stone’s throw away.


For further information about Manchester please visit www.visitmanchester.com

Organised By

Kenes Group, Office: Kenes M+