England’s northern powerhouse, Manchester offers world-class museums, historic architecture, a wealth of culture, and plenty of sport. One day provides enough time for a whirlwind tour around town. Here are the essential stops to make on your day in Manchester.
If you only have one day in town, then a hop-on hop-off bus tour provides an efficient way to kick off your Manchester excursion. The bus offers the perfect vantage point for admiring the city’s distinctive, neo-Gothic architecture. Hop on board at any of the numerous stops in central Manchester and zip past attractions ranging from the Manchester Town Hall and National Football Museum to the Museum of Science and Industry and Old Trafford Stadium. As you go, audio guides fill you in on the stories behind the sights.
Speaking of Old Trafford: Manchester is a town that’s ruled by soccer—though they call it football here—and Manchester United is a big deal around these parts. Pay tribute to the Red Devils when you embark on a tour of Old Trafford. Learn about the team’s history in the on-site museum, see changing rooms and areas where the public is normally prohibited from entering, and even walk right out onto the field. Alternatively, venture to the nearby Lowry for a dose of arts and culture (or head east to Etihad Stadium, if your allegiances are with Manchester City).
Manchester may be a sporty city, but it’s also celebrated for its vibrant music scene (this is the city that gave the world Oasis, Joy Division, and The Smiths, after all). In the evening, grab a bite in the city center before enjoying a dose of live music at one of the city’s top venues. For another entertaining option, live comedy shows are a nightlife staple and offer the chance to catch a range of up-and-coming comedians as they perfect their craft.