1. Test how much heat you can handle down Curry Mile
A tourist favourite, but something you need to try as a local as well.
Manchester’s Curry Mile is world-famous, so you’d be missing out if you didn’t give it a go. Just try not to get too cocky when ordering if you can’t handle your chilli spices, these guys mean business.
2. Watch the footy
Another tourist favourite but something that no one can miss out on.
Just be careful who you support – as we all know, the rivalry between United and City is pretty unforgiving.
3. Visit the Soup Kitchen for their live music
Manchester is absolutely jam-packed with music venues.
You’d be crazy to miss out on seeing the city’s upcoming local talent and Soup Kitchen is definitely the place to do it. Its two small floors may look humble, but they host some of the hottest artists who you’d expect to see on bigger stages.
4. Grab a pint in the loo
The Temple (aka The Temple of Convenience) is an underground bar which used to be a public toilet.
It’s now one of Manchester’s smallest bars with a great choice of foreign bottled beers.
It would be loo-dicrous not to drop by.
5. Free pizza at Matt and Phreds
Yes, you read that right, FREE pizza.
This Northern Quarter bar and music venue will give you one whole free pizza when you buy two alcoholic drinks. Not bad really.
They also put on music six nights a week to showcase the best of local and international Jazz, Folk, Electro, Salsa, Swing, and even Ska.
6. See Manchester’s kick-ass street art
Skyliner blogger Hayley Flynn holds various tours around the city, including Art in Architecture and Pomona Island: An Industrial Wasteland. But because we reckon Manchester’s street art could be good enough to rival Berlin’s (we’ll let you decide though) we would recommend the Street Art of the Northern Quarter tour.
7. Step into Manchester’s first dessert café
MilkJam is a café that only sells desserts. Heaven is now a place on earth!
Head to Oxford Road where you will be greeted by endless displays of cakes, brownies and milkshakes. And you’ll be flung back into your childhood with their delicious screwballs.
But it’s only open until next July, so clog your arteries as much as you can before it’s gone forever.
— MilkJam (@MilkJamMCR) August 15, 2016
8. Watch the sun set at Cloud 23
You can’t find a better view of Manchester anywhere in the city.
The bar can be found at the highest point in Manchester – on the 23rd floor of Beetham Tower.
Make sure you dress to impress while enjoying the stunning views with a cocktail or two in hand.
9. Have a wander around Afflecks Palace
For all things quirky.
Describing itself as ‘an emporium of eclecticism, a totem of indie commerce’, Afflecks is definitely on the Manchester bucket list.
This alternative department store has something for everyone – from fudge to ska vinyl, from Norse jewellery to Star Wars memorabilia, from the ‘Freak Boutique’ to an anime shop.
What more could you want?
10. Late-night bowling
How does bowling with pre-drinks sound? You can’t go to Manchester without rolling a strike at Dog Bowl.
The bar and restaurant has five full length bowling lanes and the chance to win the pot in their Wall of Fame Competition.
Not a bad start to a night on the town if you ask us.
11. Enjoy a pint in the smallest bar in Europe
The Circus Tavern is a small pub with a big welcome.
12. Take a trip to Europe’s third largest Chinatown
It’s also the UK’s second biggest, coming just behind Liverpool (boo!)
The restaurants are incredible and the Chinese New Year celebrations are unbeatable!
13. Get three curries for a fiver at Rice ‘n’ Three
Technically Rice ‘n’ Three is in Bolton, but you can’t get much of a better deal, so it’s definitely worth the travel!
— Appletons (@Appletons_LArch) July 30, 2015
14. Visit the oldest library in the English-speaking world
Perfect for book-lovers, Chetham’s Hogwarts-esque Library was founded in 1653, making it the oldest public library in the English-speaking world.
Just don’t wander off into the Restricted Section!
15. Drink tea – Alice in Wonderland style
Based around Lewis Carroll’s bizarre tale, Richmond Tea Rooms prides itself on its Tim Burton style décor, along with its astounding variety of tea of course!
Who fancies a bit of cake?? This bad boy is about to go in our cake fridge..we’re open now and have tables available pic.twitter.com/N69LMuaG7M
— richmondtearooms (@richmondtearoom) September 11, 2016
16. Ancoats Peeps
Take a look back in history by peering through these eye holes.
The Ancoats Peeps gives you a glimpse back to when Manchester was the first industrial city in the world. After the cotton industry collapsed, a regeneration team was sent into the area in 2003. These brass eye pieces last as a legacy.
But you have to watch out. They aren’t easily found.
17. Enjoy a drink outside Rain Bar on a sunny day
Oh the irony…
— Rain Bar (@RainBar_Mcr) June 7, 2016
18. See Manchester by water
Take a canal cruise on the Bridgewater Canal and get the best views of Manchester, Trafford, Salford Quays and Media City UK from the water.
Starting at Castlefield, the cruise is a great way to meet new people while seeing the city from a different perspective.
19. Go to Gin school
We know we shouldn’t be advising people to go to school for fun, but I suppose it’s different when alcohol is involved.
The City of Manchester Distillery is Manchester’s first distillery and interactive gin experience while being home to the new Three Rivers Gin.
Not only can you take a tour and learn about the history of the tipple, but you also get to try four drinks before being let loose on the equipment to make your own personalised bottle.
20. Escape to Tatton Park
Leave the city behind and travel a little further towards Cheshire to visit the deer at Tatton Park.
And make friends with their pigs and donkeys. You know you want to.
— Dave Edwards jft96 (@eddyedwards6859) July 26, 2016
21. See a show at Stockport Plaza
With its 1930s art décor, Stockport Plaza is a real gem.
It’s has now been lovingly restored but still has its original Compton Organ – the first in the world to be made with glass panels which are illuminated in various colours.
It’s definitely worth heading there to see a play, film screening or band. There’s certainly plenty on offer.