One of the best things about Manchester attractions is that you can visit any time of the year; rain, hail or shine. Whether you’re soaking up and sampling the cosmopolitan Northern Quarter, getting your cultural fix at a local theatre or gallery, or visiting some of the city’s more historical sites, Manchester certainly puts on a show all year round.
No matter when you go, there is sure to be a great event in Manchester. Any season is the perfect season to visit this famous city.
Find a festival for you
Manchester is known for its love of festivals, which cover everything from art and design to food and music. In summer, there’s the annual Manchester Jazz Festival, which welcomes music lovers from around the world, the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival for drama, dance, and exhibitions and Manchester Pride, the colourful gay pride parade. Autumn sees the international grub fest Manchester Food & Drink Festival and the Manchester Science Festival, while winter brings Christmas festivities and New Year’s celebrations.
When the rain comes down (which is more than likely when it comes to holidays in Manchester) your best bet is to head indoors and hit up one of the city’s many museums. If you like ancient history, head to the Manchester Museum in the University of Manchester. The museum is home to 4.5 million items including a tomb-like exhibition of ancient Egyptian artefacts, with 20 human mummies, live animals in the Vivarium, and a fossil skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The People’s History Museum is an interesting look into the 200-year old story of British democracy, and the Imperial War Museum North is a stunning building containing war memorabilia and temporary exhibitions.
Catch a football game
If you time your trip around football season, you can’t miss watching a legendary Manchester United or Manchester City game. Home games are always exceptionally popular, so you’ll have to get in quick to grab tickets – but it’s certainly worth it. Watching Wayne Rooney kick off at Old Trafford or Sergio Agüero at the City of Manchester Stadium is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Even if you’re not a die-hard footy fan, simply being in the stadium and experiencing the electric atmosphere is something you’ll never forget.
Escape to China
Heading to Manchester in January? Manchester’s Chinese New Year celebrations are world famous, when all its local restaurants, bakeries, businesses and supermarkets go overboard with traditional decorations and events. Manchester is a large cosmopolitan city and colourful Chinatown is one of its main attractions. Night time is when the area really comes alive with neon lights and lanterns and restaurants serving up deliciously exotic Cantonese dishes. A popular spot with students and hipsters, you’ll find plenty of bars and karaoke places to keep you going well into the early hours of the morning.
Shop up a storm
Now for a popular pastime that’s possible all year round – shopping! You can generally walk around all of Manchester’s major shopping streets, which are known for their eclectic collections catering to all budgets and styles. The Arndale Centre is one of the largest shopping malls in the UK and has over 280 stores, including the world’s biggest Next boutique. Just behind the Arndale Centre is the Millennium Quarter and the Triangle, with its luxury labels such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Selfridges. Deansgate is another popular place to shop with upmarket stores, fancy eateries and the quiet Parsonage Gardens, where you can relax after you’ve shopped ‘til you’ve dropped!