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How to see Manchester in a day

Published: 29th August 2019

Published 29 August 2019

Manchester is one of the coolest cities in the country and always has a lot going on. You will be spoilt for choice if you only have a day there so, with a host of activity options, bars, restaurants and lots more besides, we’ve narrowed down the long ‘must see’ list to a few of our favourites in this amazing city.

Manchester Coach Station

You’ll start your day at Manchester Coach Station, just a short distance from the city’s biggest attractions. Of course, you’ll be needing a kick start (and maybe something sweet) so check out 19 Cafe Bar, a 7 minute walk from the station. 

19 Cafe Bar boasts the best brunch in the city including favourites like pancakes, eggs benedict, and hearty cooked breakfasts with both veggie and vegan varieties. All tied together with a cosy northern charm, 19 Cafe Bar is a great pit stop to prepare you for the day ahead.

Shopping in Manchester

Now that you’re all fuelled up, what better way to spend that energy than with a little retail therapy? Manchester is packed with great high street brands, as well as many hidden, independent gems.

You’ll find many surrounding the Arndale Centre, Manchester’s most popular shopping destination. Just a 6 minute walk from your brunch stop, you can browse through a host of great stores including Ralph Lauren, Levis, the Disney Store, and more.

Museums in Manchester

Fancy a change from shopping? No problem. Manchester has a host of museums that can keep everyone in the family entertained. 

The Science and Industry Museum features great local history and an abundance of inventions from the past and present. Look out for the cameras that project selfies onto giant screens high above you!

On the other hand, if you’re more of a sporty soul, let’s not forget that Manchester is host to the National Football Museum. Explore six floors of history and memorabilia from the beautiful game and relive the magic of football’s glory days.

Lunch at the Corn Exchange

After all that activity, it’s time for a refuel. Luckily, you’ll find the perfect spot just across from the National Football Museum at The Corn Exchange, an Edwardian chamber brought to life with modern dining flair.

Take your pick of cuisine from around the world, including Mexican street food at Wahaca, Brazilian BBQ at Cabana, and a host of Italian eateries, and steakhouses. The hardest part is deciding where to go!

Evening activities in Manchester

Now that the evening is settling in it’s time to enjoy some nightlife in Manchester. Whistle Punks urban axe throwing is great fun and something really different. Release your inner-Viking and learn how to properly throw an axe, take out targets and be the champion of your group! Don’t forget to enjoy some time in the bar to really gloat over your victory too.

Conversely, if you’re in the mood for something a little less extreme, why not catch a show at the Manchester Opera House? With beautiful interiors and first-class service, it’s easy to have a special night at this amazing venue. Plus, with everything on offer from big bands to comedy and, of course, incredible plays and stage shows, there really is something for everyone. 

Finally, before you take the coach home, why not enjoy something stereotypically Manchester? Perfect during the day or night, Hatch is a brilliantly independent complex, housing everything from small businesses, shops and bars, to street food vendors.


Now that you know how to tackle the city in a day, it’s time to book coach tickets to Manchester and enjoy a day out to remember.

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