What to see in Manchester

Uncover the best of what to see in Manchester, from architecture to cultural hubs. Explore our guide to the city's top sights and hidden gems!

Becky blog author avanti social team

By the Avanti Web Team

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3 min read | 28 March 2024

A northern paradise for sightseeing, Manchester has landmarks, scenic views and much more. Whether it’s historical sites or more modern venues, it’s a breeze to find Instagrammable places in Manchester.

In this article, we will guide you to some of Manchester’s most captivating sights. Get your camera ready and let’s explore the greatest views the city has to offer.

Find the best things to see in Manchester

As one of the most vibrant and bustling cities in the UK, Manchester has a lot to offer in terms of things to do while you’re here. Be absorbed into beautiful architecture and historic literature or get active and enjoy the gorgeous scenery of Greater Manchester and its expansive outdoor spaces.

We explore some of our favourite places in Manchester, below:

Manchester’s architecture

For more a cultured view of the city, Manchester’s art galleries and museums are a great place to start. Our first recommendation would be to explore the Manchester Art Gallery and The Whitworth.

Having celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2023, the Manchester Art Gallery has been the foundation of the city’s art scene. It's renowned for its wide-ranging collection that spans many centuries and styles.

The Whitworth, winner of the Art Fund’s Museum of the Year in 2015, is a great choice if your interest lies more with modern artists. Featuring the works of Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and David Hockney, it also houses classics by Turner and Van Gogh.

But if you have a fondness for architecture rather than Manchester’s museums, you’ll want to pay a visit to John Rylands Library.

John Rylands Library is a masterpiece of Victorian Gothic design. This masterpiece looks more like a cathedral or castle than a library, with collections that span generations.

Home to the oldest known piece of the New Testament, as well as magnificent medieval manuscripts, you can soak up some incredible pieces of history as well as enjoy the space.

Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester

Manchester’s culture

The city is a centre for alternative and bohemian culture, which you can find an abundance of in the Northern Quarter area of Manchester city centre.

With unique charm and character that is spread across independent fashion stores, record shops, bars and restaurants, and the world-famous Afflecks Palace, which provides affordable outlets for independent designers and traders across its four floors.

Aside from offering alternative and affordable fashion, the Northern Quarter is home to many restaurants and bars that really come to life after dark.

Northern Quarter, Manchester

The best places to view Manchester

To pair your view of the Manchester cityscape with a touch of luxury, take yourself up to Cloud 23 on the 23rd floor of the iconic Beetham Tower. This cocktail bar’s floor-to-ceiling windows offer a sweeping panorama across the city.

Time your visit right and you can sip on a cocktail while enjoying a splendid sunset view.

There’s also the glamourous and expansive rooftop bar on the 19th floor of No.1 Spinningfield, 20 Stories. Offering unparalleled 360-degree views of Manchester’s growing skyline and a beautiful dining and drinks experience is second to none.

Serving modern British menus that celebrate local produce from the city-region, and hand-crafted exquisite cocktails, the ambience of 20 stories is unmatched.

For a more natural and challenging view, there are several hilltop Manchester viewpoints to explore. Plan a trip through Hartshead Pike and Werneth Low for a series of rewarding, picturesque vistas of the city.

These locations are ideal for those who want their view of the city to come with a tranquil escape from its bustling streets.

20 Stories, Manchester

Buy train tickets for your next journey

Buying through our website or app saves you money because we never charge booking fees.

To take a look at more ways to save including using a Railcard, booking in advance, and booking as a group, visit our ways to save page.

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