Manchester City Centre Is Full Of Great Things To Do!
Valentine’s day is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate it than a romantic city break. Chris and I did just that this week. As we were busy Valentines weekend we decided to make the time to spend a bit of time away together as a pre valentines treat. But there are so many things to do in Manchester any time of year.
We booked our break with Superbreak and opted for a Manchester theatre and hotel stay. We decided to go midweek, we usually go away at the weekend, but why? Cities are always so much busier then, midweek in Manchester City Centre was wonderful still enough people to create a buzz, but not manic.
Where to stay In Manchester City Centre
The choice of hotels in Manchester is huge, hotels to suit every budget. We stayed in the Townhouse Hotel on Portland Street, it is a fantastic contemporary boutique hotel. Which is within walking distance on the Palace Theatre, shops, bars and museums; the hotel was spotlessly clean, modern, a great location and very friendly.
What To Do In Manchester
Top of my list is most definitely to see a show in Manchester
We have been to many shows at the palace theatre and most national tours of West End shows stop here. This week we were lucky enough to see Mary Poppins, as my all time favourite Disney Movie, I will be honest I was nervous. What if the show didn’t meet my expectations?
I needn’t have worried; the show was for me the perfect translation on one of my favourite stories of all time. The colours, the staging, the cast, it was perfect. I would 100% recommend Mary Poppins, it is just wonderful.
Seeing is show is one of my favourite fun things to do in Manchester as a couple.
There are so many exciting shows coming up at the Palace, Mama Mia, Dirty Dancing, Sister Act, The Commitments, Footloose and Joseph to name a few.
Visit Chetham’s Library in Manchester
The library was founded in 1653 and is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. It is like walking into a different era, the Library is one of the many free things to do in Manchester, but donations are welcomed. I was lucky enough to get a tour and hear a bit about the history of Chetham’s it not only is incredibly beautiful, but very interesting.
I actually felt like I was in Hogwarts, and apparently lots of people ask if Harry Potter was filmed in the corridors.
Marvel at Manchester Cathedral
The Cathedral is just behind Chetham’s, we hadn’t actually intended on visiting, but I stopped to take some photos of the magnificent building and decided why not. And wow what a stunning building it is, we were given a tour and who knew stained glass windows had such a story behind them.
The Chaplain that gave the tour made the history of the cathedral so real and vibrant he was a joy to listen to. And did you know a previous church warden many years ago was actually rumoured to be a spy and used the code 007. But you will have to visit the Cathedral to find out more.
Museums in Manchester
Check out all the football greats at the Football Museum
I am not a fan of football at all, but this museum is impressive. This is a free attraction that just asks for a donation. It tracks football throughout history, but yet meets the needs of all who visit. This is one of my favourite things to do with kids in Manchester.
For me I loved the historical aspect of the Museum, where I just know when I take the boys they will love all the modern history of the games, and display celebration great footballers the time. This is a must visit attraction for families.
Visit the Manchester Art Gallery
I did not visit at the best time as a lot of exhibitions had finished. However the Museum was full of activity and preparation for forthcoming events, one I am particularly excited about is the Fashion and Freedom Exhibition that starts in May.
However as a first time visitor I was still blown away by the structure and mix of modern and traditional features of the Gallery, and the Modern Japanese Design exhibition was worth visiting for.
Retail Therapy-Shopping In Manchester
You cannot visit Manchester City Centre and not shop, Manchester has everything you need, and suits every budget. Shopping in Manchester is actually a day in itself. Filled with all the best show and luxury stores for me Manchester is shopping heaven.
Look out for special events In Manchester
There is always something going on in Manchester. Christmas Markets, Summer Events, and school holiday activities. This week was no exception with Manchester preparing for Chinese New Year, there are events planned all over the city, from martial arts displays, street food, and a giant dragon. Manchester promises to be exciting over the New Year celebrations.
Where to Eat In Manchester
Manchester has so many incredible restaurants, cafe’s and street food options I wanted to share where we visited.
Turtle Bay is the most wonderful Jamaican Jerk Restaurant, the atmosphere is just electric. The styling is colourful and has the Jamaican vibe just perfect. The food was fab, reasonably priced great tasting food, and excellent friendly service.
On the other side of the scale is Albert Square Chop House, such a cool but very traditional environment, yet modern. The only way I can describe it is I felt like I was sat in Winston Churchill’s lounge, surrounded by bowler hats and typewriters.
The Albert Square Chop House is somewhere you could pass hours chilled in one of the huge sofas, and the team are the friendliest loveliest people.
So there you have it, what to do in 48 hours in Manchester. Such a wonderful city with so much to see and do. Manchester is a place you can visit again and again and have a different experience every time. I can’t wait until our next visit.
28 thoughts on “What To Do In Manchester in 48 hours”
I can’t believe I have never been to that library!! It looks amazing! This is such a great idea, whenever me and James get some time to ourselves to go into the cities we are always in such a rush. It would be nice to go and have a little overnight stop to see more. I love the Palace theatre and I bet Mary Poppins was fab!
I know Hayley, I feel the same the amount of time I have walked past of it and it is just stunning x
I absolutely love Manchester, both to spend a day and go out at night in. My husband grew up there and his family still live there and I love visiting. x
Me to Katie I just love the atmosphere of Manchester, I moved up North in the height of mouse music and it was incredible, I just love everything about it x
That library looks very cool and I would love to visit it one day. lovely post and wonderful pictures. Thanks
Thanks Marc, it really is worth a visit it is beautiful x
I’ve been to Manchester a fair few times as my BFF has lived there for the past 8-9 years. We normally hit a nice restaurant and drinks. I am planning on taking the kids this summer as we really want to visit Legoland Discovery, plus I will be visiting for Blog On. It’s only 3 hours ish from Newcastle where I live so not far at all.
I have JUST been to Turtle Bay in Newcastle ahead of it’s opening next week and OMG it was amazing, I would second your recommendation. Love, love, love their goat curry and Reggae Rum cocktails.
Oh I love Turtle Bay Sam, and love just nipping to Manchester we are so lucky living near x
Sarah it sounds as if you had a fantastic 48 hours in Manchester. We also go to Manchester quite abit as hubby used to go to UNI there and he loves the city. But I have never even heard of the library before, and also never visited the Palace Theatre. I didn’t realise that alot of the West End shows come to Manchester. The Turtle Bay looks amazing, and there are so many different places to eat in the city. I love that you have highlighted some of the attractions we would never think of visiting x
OMG Tracey you have been missing out, I have seen loads there, yes there is so much choice but try Turtle Bay we loved it x
Wow there is actually a lot to do in Manchester. When I do see Manchester it’s normally as I’m driving through but I think next time I might take a stop over . Thanks !!
Shahid you will it is such a vibrant city so much to do x
This is such an excellent post! I totally get what you’re saying about being wary about seeing a show when you’ve loved the movie before. I just get so blown away by the talents of the stage performers, though, and it usually washes away any doubts I had prior! Great to find you via #citytripping, now following!
Oh Christy me too, the cast of Mary Poppins were just incredible x
These all look like fantastic recommendations. I’ll be visiting the UK this Fall and looking to take some mini trips outside of London, sounds like Manchester has a lot to offer! Will definitely be using this post as a guide 🙂 Thanks!
Alexandra Manchester is incredible check out spinning fields for all the cool cocktail bars x
What a great weekend. I grew up less than an hour from Manchester but still feel I’ve not visited that often – must find time to head back. #citytripping
Cathy we visit quite a bit and still find new things to do overtime we visit x
I prefer to do something related to Valentine’s Day on different date too. Everything is packed (and the traffic is horrible) that day or weekend. Looks like Manchester is ideal for a break. I would like to see a show and eat a lot of good food.
Ruth it was so much more chilled this is the way forward for me, less crowds x
I have never been – these are some great tips. Lovely photos too, especially of the library and cathedral. #citytripping
Thanks Corey, it is the most vibrant city I just love Manchester x
I haven’t been to Manchester in years. Thanks for giving me lots of ideas for when I do. #citytripping
Thanks Calire, Oh I love visiting Manchester and it is the best night out too x
I didn’t realise quite how much there is to do in Manchester…you had a perfect mix of culture, food and theatre…what a great break! I must confess I have only been to Manchester a couple of days and have barely explored it at all. The library and cathedral look fabulous. Thanks for linking to #citytripping
Elizabeth Manchester is wonderful, I love it,such a wonderful city x
Thanks for the hotel recommendation. I’m looking forward to seeing Billy Elliot at the end of the year.
Thank you Simon I would love to see Billy Elliot x