City Guide

Things to Do in Manchester

Ben Maples  · Aug 14th 2020
River Irwell in Manchester with modern buildings

“Whatever Manchester does today, the rest of the world does tomorrow”. One of the most famous quotes describing one of the country’s most famous cities. Manchester is one fo the most popular student cities in Europe and we’ve compiled this guide to show you the various things to do in Manchester.

Things to do in Manchester


One of the most heavily populated areas in the UK with a reported figure of 2,550,000 people living in the city. The city is reported to date back as far as 79 AD and is one of the oldest recorded settlements in the UK. The city is also one of the most popular cities in the UK for students to go to study.

Things to do in Manchester

The city of Manchester is awash with things to do, and the nightlife is one of the many examples of that! You can check out some of the amazing things to do in Manchester below as we’ve compiled a list of three places that we think could be right up your street, we recommend that you check them out.

First up we have Sankeys, one of the most popular clubs in the whole of Manchester, with it’s exclusive live acts, wonderful atmosphere, amazing music, great drinks and friendly staff, you’ll want to be coming back time and time again to strut your stuff on the dancefloor. We recommend this one very highly! Secondly, we have The Milton Club, the club that has the true VIP experience, you’ll feel like a real celebrity as you try some of the best cocktails, VIP areas, DJ sets and photography that money can offer! You’re going to be talking about this club for some time! And finally, coming with it’s own shisha aera is the nightclub The Bijou Club, the club that has everything you need! Lowlights can be off-putting for some, but not here; everything here glows in the dark and the whole club is something out of this world! It has to be seen to be believed.

The city of Manchester has a very long history and the city takes the history very seriously and you can tell just by looking around all of the museums that they have littered around the city. Some of the museums include; the National Football Museum, the Imperial War Museum North and Manchester Art Gallery, all of which are affordable and accessible to all members of the public.

There are a number of cinemas in the city too which show the latest in Hollywood films right now, including; Odeon (with its own IMAX Screen too), AMC 16 Cinema and Showcase Cinemas, however, those looking to see more independent features should join one of the city’s many film societies.

The city has a number of things that they do to keep the community together, but the main activity that is run is that of the Manchester International Arts Festival, which has before featured some of the best in upcoming opera (Such as Damon Albarn’s Dr. Dee) or some of the best from film and various other events. Grab your tickets right now; you’ll love this festival!

Things to do with kids in Manchester


The transport in Manchester is very impressive and has a number of unique transportation links.

Manchester’s bus services are considered to be one of the most extensive bus services in the country outside of London. Manchester has over 50 different bus companies operating in the city, with over 80% of the city’s transport being provided by bus. The city has a Metroshuttle bus service, which allows people to travel to and from work, with other, more pedestrian and suburban bus services being provided elsewhere.

Manchester is unique in that it is one of the only major cities in the UK today that operates a tram system. In 1992, the city became the first city in the UK to use a modern light rail system. The tramline is known as Manchester Metrolink and has eight lines and ninety-nine different stops.

The city also has very good railway connections. The Manchester Liverpool Road was the world’s first ever purpose-built passenger and good railway station and was a huge part of the two city’s transportation infrastructure. The main train station in the city is Piccadilly station.

The city also has a major international airports as well, the Manchester Airport and is the busiest airport in the country outside of London, making it the third busiest in the country. The airport flies internationally, regionally and commercially. There is a smaller airport in the city as well, City Airport Manchester, which is generally used for private use.

Universities in the City

There are three universities in the city.

The main university in the city is the University of Manchester, which was established in 1824 as the Manchester Mechanics' Institute, after various rebrands over its lifetime, it eventually was handed university status in 1994 and rebranded one final time in 2004 as the University of Manchester. The university is part of the coveted Russell Group of Universities.

The student body of the University of Manchester is represented by the University of Manchester Students’ Union. The union was actually formed as a result of a merger between UMIST Students' Association and University of Manchester Union, the union is quite different from other student unions in that the union does not actually have a president.

The sporting culture of the university is represented by the athletics union. The university actually takes part in the annual Christie Cup. The Christie Cup is a cup that takes place annually and is a competition that is competed in by the cities of Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. In fact, the Christie Cup is one of the oldest university rivalries after the rivalry between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.

The second university in the city is Manchester Metropolitan University. Manchester Metropolitan University was established in 1824 as the Manchester Mechanics' Institution, eventually, after a number of rebrands and after receiving university status in 1992, the institute finally rebranded as the Manchester Metropolitan University.

There is a student union at the university, The Union MMU. The union represents a number of clubs and societies around the university and also covers the university’s student media outlets. MMU’s student radio station is known as Hive Radio and is supported by the union.

The third university in the city is the Royal Northern College of Music. Though not technically a university, the college is still considered to be one of the city’s foremost higher education providers.

Things to do with family in Manchester


The settlement of what is now known as Manchester was not immediately found. The region was originally under the rule of the Brigantes, a major Celtic tribe (something you may learn about on a Celtic Studies degree), who ruled over a number of different areas in the North of England. However, when the Romans eventually conquered the country, the country was split into multiple sectors, eventually with Manchester being formed under the name Mamucium in 79 AD.

The Romans were around until the 3rd century, when they ostensibly left the UK, and Manchester became much a civilian domain. The North of England, and by extension, Manchester, was laid to waste in the Harrying of the North.

This meant that when the Domesday book was recorded, Manchester was known under the peninsular borough of Salford and remained that way for some time. Eventually, Manchester succeeded from Salford and became its own town, with a thriving market. The town also saw an influx of Flemish weavers, who helped with the production of textiles in the region as well.

The town heavily favoured the Parliamentary interests of the English Civil War, which allowed them to elect their own MP.

The Industrial Revolution eventually brought about a change in the town’s fortunes and the city began to focus rather intently on the manufacture of textiles and the city eventually became the largest marketplace for cotton goods in the world! The population of the town began to increase, so too did it’s fortunes. The railway system began to be added to the city, resulting in commuting and material transportation as well. The city gained city status on the 29th March 1853.

By the time the Second World War broke out, Manchester had established itself as one of the most prominent cities in the country, and had prompted the age-old adage “Whatever Manchester does today, the rest of the world does tomorrow”. However, the war itself took a devastating toll on the city. The worst attack on the city is generally considered to be the Christmas Blitz, where it is thought that over 470 tonnes of high explosives were used and over 37,000 bombs. The bombing was so bad, that it took the better part of twenty years to fully restore the Manchester Cathedral.


There is an extensive array of sports in the city, however, the main sporting focus of the city is mainly on football.

The city’s two main football clubs are Manchester United and Manchester City. Both of whom play in and have won the Premier League. Manchester United play at Old Trafford, in Salford and are considered to be one of the greatest football clubs in football history and are one of the most successful teams in the country’s history. Their local rivals, Manchester City, play at the Etihad Stadium. Manchester City were usually a midtable club, until they were bought out by the Abu Dhabi Investment Group, which saw their fortunes turn for the better. The two regularly compete against each other in the hotly contested Manchester Derby.

The city also has five of its own Rugby Union clubs, the Manchester Rugby Club, Burnage Rugby Club, Broughton Park Rugby Union F.C, Didsbury Toc-H Rugby (Union) Club and Old Bedians Rugby (Union) Club. There are also Manchester Village Spartans RUFC and the University of Manchester Rugby Club as well, though they are not considered the same way as the others.

Though Old Trafford is mainly known as the stadium of Manchester United, there is also Old Trafford Cricket Ground and is the home of the Manchester Cricket Club and is also home to the Lancashire County Cricket Club as well.

Who’s from Liverpool?

There are a number of famous people from Manchester including; Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, Shaun Ryder, Bernard Hill, Ian Mcshane and Lisa Cross.

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