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Located in Manchester City Centre, this spa hotel is steps away from Manchester Central Library, Deansgate and St. Peter's Square. Albert Square and The Gay ...
£70 per night for 2 guestsThe Midland - Manchester£70
Located in Manchester City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is steps away from Bridgewater Hall and Deansgate. Albert Square and The Gay Village are also within ...
£53 per night for 2 guestsJurys Inn Manchester City Centre£53
Located in Manchester City Centre, this romantic hotel is steps away from Canal Street and The Gay Village. Manchester Art Gallery and St. Peter's Square are ...
£57 per night for 2 guestsTownhouse Hotel Manchester£57
Energetic, diverse and with a buzz all of its own, Manchester is a fantastic place for a city break. Its rich history is writ large across the cityscape, while it’s staunchly independent streak – and strong desire to do things ‘the Mancunian way’ – is there for all to see in a thriving arts scene, pop-up bars and restaurants, and great choice of music venues. There are two world-class football teams, too.
The city centre is compact and easily covered on foot. If you do want to go further afield and out to Salford Quays, for instance, or Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, the Metrolink tram system is the best way to get there.
As you’d expect from a great city, there’s an excellent range of hotels to suit all tastes and budgets. At the higher end, The Midland is an ornate red-brick and terracotta edifice near St Peter’s Square that’s impossible to miss. It’s a four-star spa hotel that’s also home to The French, constantly one of the city’s top restaurants.
At the other side of the city centre, Roomzzz Manchester Corn Exchange offers a range of apartments, all with free Wifi, and there’s a 24-hour fitness centre. Other popular city centre hotels include Jurys Inn Manchester City Centre, which has the option of connecting rooms, and the Princess St Hotel on the edge of China Town.
Manchester is a great destination for a family break, and surprisingly it’s a trio of museums that could catch youngsters’ imaginations.
In the Millennium Quarter, close to the city’s impressive cathedral, the futuristic-looking National Football Museum traces the history of the beautiful game and there’s also the chance to test your skills in the Football Plus Zone.
Also in the city centre is the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), which takes you through a whirlwind tour of discovery, from steam engines to the first computers, before bringing you bang up to date with a virtual reality space mission.
The trio is completed by the Imperial War Museum North, and a trip out to Salford Quays and the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal. An undoubted highlight are the regular Big Picture Shows, when images are projected on to the walls of the main exhibition hall, reflecting a different aspect of war.
Also at The Quays is the Lowry, another great space for the arts that’s home a huge collection of Lowry paintings, as well as two theatres with a varied programme of shows for all the family.
Cultural highs back in the city centre include HOME, with its mix of theatres, cinemas and bars, and the Royal Exchange, a theatre that fits perfectly in the heart of Manchester’s ornate, old cotton exchange.
The City Art Gallery, with its stunning portico entrance, has an excellent collection of art, most notably Pre-Raphaelites such as Holman Hunt and Rossetti. Diagonally opposite sits the Central Library, worth a visit just to see the great circular reading room.
Other architectural gems include Manchester Town Hall on Albert Square, a neo-Gothic masterpiece built as a symbol of the city’s wealth and power during the Industrial Revolution. Even older is Chetham’s Library, which was founded in 1653 and is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world.
From the Bee Gees to The Smiths and New Order, Manchester has a rich musical heritage, too. The city centre is dotted with small venues such as the legendary Band on the Wall, while larger bands head for the Manchester Arena. For classical, the Bridgwater Hall is home to the world-famous Hallé Orchestra.
Ten years ago, the area to the north of the city centre was run down and unloved. Today, the Northern Quarter is home to many of Manchester’s best bars and cafés, as well as a smattering of independent boutiques and Mancunian institution Affleck’s Palace, with its second-hand vinyl and retro fashions.
There’s more mainstream shopping to be had in the Arndale Centre, and high-end shops around Spinningfields and Exchange Square, which is also good for bars and restaurants.