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Between the trophy cabinets of the National Football Museum, the old Victorian depots of the Northern Quarter and the bustling shopping drags of Market Street, it's possible to unearth a few truly immersive and cheap hostels in Manchester. Some will even channel a little of the city's industrial-era charm. They shoulder above babbling canals, have redbrick walls or sit inside historic warehouses. Of course, prices are always low compared to traditional hotel stays. That's because sleeping arrangements are typically in the dorm style, with four-, six-, and 10-bed rooms the norm. You're likely to be sharing a bathroom, though there's often plenty of shower units and sinks to go around. And when you're ready for the night? How about hitting that on-site bar for a bout of craft English ale, a game of pool, and some live Brit-rock music?
The self-proclaimed capital of the North is a fine incubator of off-beat and nuanced places to stay. Hostels in Manchester are a case in point. They are lively and energetic spots to be, filled with travellers from all over the world. Common spaces are usually brimming with backpackers sharing tales of their adventures, and there are sometimes even adjoining pubs where happy hour deals and quiz nights are added to the mix. The upshot is that hostels in Manchester can satisfy a medley of different sorts of people, too. Avid sightseers can look forward to cheap and cheerful beds in central locations – think the Northern Quarter or down on the wharfs of Spinningfields. Party people get pub crawls and affordable pint prices. Groups can book beds in the same dorm and enjoy a low-key, laid-back atmosphere.
There's a real edge of the bohemian-chic about the hostels in Manchester. Once you delve inside, get ready for pool tables and games rooms, pizza kitchens and colourful lounges. Some have even harnessed the old industrial feel of the city to create spacious sleeping quarters with vaulted ceilings and a minimalist vibe. Service in Manchester hostels might be on the no-frills side, but it still takes care of some important aspects of a city break. It's common to have tour and ticketing services at reception – just in case you're eager to see a Manchester United showdown at Old Trafford. There are breakfast buffets to fuel sightseeing jaunts along the Salford Quays. And you can sometimes rent bikes or join walking tours to boot.
Not only should hostels in Manchester leave plenty more pennies for dancing bouts in the rollicking venues of the Northern Quarter, but they can also help to take your urban adventures to the next level. Consider the Hatters Hostel Manchester. Perched just on the edge of the buzzing nightlife hub of town, it's a fine base for hitting blues and jazz bars. But it's also within striking distance of both the Etihad Stadium and the National Football Museum for avid sports fans. The YHA Manchester takes you to the other side of the city, down by the canals and the River Irwell. There, you can seek out industrial depots and unravel tales of the Industrial Revolution in the museums, all before retail therapy up shop-fringed Deansgate.