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Best things to do in Manchester

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Where in the world: Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Greater Manchester  /  Manchester
From laidback shopping to room escape games, there are plenty of things to do in Manchester and its surroundings. Start exploring the city known for its influence on industry at Museum of Science & Industry, addressing themes of transport, power, textiles, communications, and computing. For more insight into the city's history, walk down Manchester Town Hall and take a closer look at Manchester Murals. To feel like a local, pay tribute to the great players, teams, and coaches honored at National Football Museum. If you're traveling with kids, consider taking them on a side trip to Chester Zoo, one of the best places for viewing wildlife in the UK.

Manchester is best known for its Nightlife, Room Escape Games, and Entertainment Centers.

Top 15 things to do in Manchester

1. Room Escape Games

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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2. Science and Industry Museum

Devoted to the development of science, technology, and industry, Science and Industry Museum has a number of permanent galleries spread over five historic buildings. Stop by to see the museum’s extensive displays on the themes of transport (cars, aircraft, and locomotives), power (water, electricity, steam, and gas engines), textiles, communications, and computing. Located on the site of the world’s first railway station, the Manchester Liverpool Road station, the museum offers steam train rides on selected dates. Check online for special events and temporary exhibits. This is a good choice on a rainy day.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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3. The City of Manchester Distillery

Manchester Three Rivers is a super premium gin, created at Manchester’s first ever City Centre Distillery by Master Distiller Dave Rigby. Well-balanced with a combination of 11 botanicals, subtle perfume on the nose precedes a particularly smooth mouth-feel with mid palette sweetness derived from vanilla, cinnamon, almond and oats. Finally cardamom gives way to a satisfyingly long, spicy, black pepper finish. As you would expect, in accordance with our values, principles and in the spirit of all that is good about craft production; every single bottle is hand made in small batches using our 450 litre, custom built, Arnold Holstein copper pot still, at the City of Manchester Distillery in the heart of Manchester’s resurgent Green Quarter.

The City of Manchester Distillery is home to Manchester’s first interactive Gin Experience, offering visitors a unique opportunity to appreciate and participate in the Gin Renaissance. As a visitor you can expect to tour the distillery, learn about the often illustrious, sometimes dark and unquestionably intriguing history of gin. You will also gain an understanding of how gin’s diverse flavours are concocted, tasting a range of drinks and cocktails, before finally creating your own bespoke bottle of gin to take home.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. The Spirit of Manchester Distillery

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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5. Manchester Art Gallery

A publicly owned art gallery opened in 1824, Manchester Art Gallery fills three buildings with both domestic and international art. The collection includes works by French Impressionist Pierre Adolphe Valette, "The Picnic" by Wynford Dewhurst, and a Cezanne that depicts scenes from Manchester painted during his stay in the city. William Burges' reformist furniture design as well as a collection of silver and glassware also grace the gallery rooms. Admission to the gallery is free.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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6. National Football Museum

The ball from the 1996 World Cup final, Maradona’s "Hand of God" shirt, and the game’s first handwritten rule book are just a few of the special objects displayed at National Football Museum, which holds a collection of over 140,000 items. Located at the heart of the city, the site attracts die-hard followers of the game as well as casual tourists. Join a guided tour for an insightful look at the museum’s impressive collection, paying tribute to the game’s greatest players, teams, and coaches. Discover the secret stories behind some of the world’s best-known soccer items, beloved and revered by fans from around the world. Check online for special events, parties, and family activities.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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7. Alton Towers Resort, Alton

England's largest theme park, Alton Towers Resort rarely disappoints visitors of any age. If you want your adrenaline to flow, hop on the Smiler, the world's first 14-loop roller coaster. Let go of gravity and fly under footpaths and past trees and rocks on Air. Get wet on Congo River rapids and ride the runaway mine train. Let the special effects of the 4-D cinema dazzle you, and view over 300 species of fish, including sharks and rays, at Sharkbait Reef. Bring your bathing suit if you plan to visit the waterpark here. There are cartoon-themed attractions for little ones, and you can book a room at one of the on-site hotels if you wish to spend the night.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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8. National Railway Museum, York

At National Railway Museum, learn about the history of trains and their effect on British society. This engaging museum, which won the European Museum of the Year Award in 2001, houses 100 locomotives and almost 200 items of rolling stock that either ran on British rails or that British manufacturers produced. Wander through the massive halls and board all types of trains, from the opulent Royal Train to a futuristic Japanese bullet train. Observe engineers working at their craft in the workshop and take a ride on the miniature railway outside. Guides are available to give children a fun education on Britain's rail history.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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9. Manchester Town Hall

Manchester Town Hall is considered one of the best examples of Gothic revival architecture in the world. The ominous walls have seen many a mayor pass under their stone and stained glass. Names of the mayors who have taken office since 1838 are inscribed on the skylight in the landing. Look down at the mosaic floor depicting cotton flowers visited by bees. The Great Hall is decorated with the Manchester Murals, which illustrate the city's history. The building's most recognizable feature is the Great Abel clock tower, rising over 87 m (285 ft) above the rooftops.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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10. York Minster, York

York Minster is one of northern Europe's oldest, largest, and most magnificent cathedrals. Join a free tour that points out the building's renowned stained-glass windows, architectural details, and artifacts of its millennium-long existence. Wander through interactive galleries telling the cathedral's story. If you're in shape, climb 275 steps to the top of the 70 m (230 ft) tower. You'll pass medieval pinnacles and gothic gargoyles on your way, and earn sweeping panoramic views of the city and Yorkshire countryside as a reward for your effort. The cathedral also welcomes you to attend one of its regular services.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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11. Victoria Baths

Victoria Baths is a Grade II* listed building, in the Chorlton-on-Medlock area of Manchester, in northwest England. The Baths opened to the public in 1906 and cost £59,144 to build. Manchester City Council closed the baths in 1993 and the building was left empty. A multimillion-pound restoration project began in 2007. As of 2009, the building is on English Heritage's Heritage at Risk Register.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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12. Manchester Cathedral

Despite its outward appearance, Manchester Cathedral is one of oldest churches in Europe with roots established around 700 CE. Hidden pieces of art give it a whimsical feel. For example, check out the quire stalls, which have hinged seats that you’re welcome to lift gently. Directly underneath are carvings of medieval morality tales. In one, a woman scolds a man for breaking a cooking pot; another depicts men playing table games. Call the church office before visiting to ensure there are not any conflicting events.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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13. Wine Tours & Tastings

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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14. St Chad`s

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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15. Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, Liverpool

Royal Albert Dock Liverpool is among the country's most architecturally and historically significant collections of buildings, and houses Liverpool's most exciting attractions. It opened in 1846 as Britain's first structure built from cast iron, brick, and stone, and was the world's first fireproof construction. Start in the Beatles Story exhibit, where you'll learn all about the four Liverpudlians and their incredible impact on modern music. View some of the most acclaimed British and international contemporary art exhibits at the Tate Liverpool. Head into Mersey Maritime Museum to discover Liverpool's maritime heritage, and study ancient and modern slavery in the International Slavery Museum. You'll also find a large selection of cafes, restaurants, and shops among the buildings' grand colonnades. Some of the museums have an entrance fee, but a stroll around the complex is free.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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