2 Days in Manchester, England
Updated: Jun 29
Manchester is one of those cities where you can constantly find something to do. Whether that be taking in some football, indulging in the many restaurants and bars, taking in the city's history, or treating yourself to a little shopping. There's something for everyone. It's also known as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, so there are plenty of museums and spots to visit that revolve around that chapter of its history.
I spent 2 days in Manchester, staying at the gorgeous SACO Apartments, and I'm not going to lie, a lot of my activities involved food or drinks, mainly because I wanted to treat myself a little. If you have time, you can visit the set of Coronation Street as well, which I'm definitely planning to do at some point. If you fancy a night out, Canal Street is perfect, and ideally it isn't far from the apartment I stayed in. Manchester is a city that blends its history with its progressive nature perfectly, and I'd highly recommend spending at least one night in the city. Here are a few recommendations on what to do and where to go in Manchester during a 2 day trip:
Things To Do in Manchester
No trip to Manchester is complete without visiting the best football stadium in the world - Old Trafford. This was my first stop in the city since I'm a big United fan. You can walk around the outside of the grounds for free and enter their official shop, but I would highly recommend going on the stadium tour, which costs £25 per adult. If you travel by train and plan to visit on the same day, check out Northern Rail's 2-for-1 ticket vouchers beforehand, it's a great way to save some of your money!
Manchester's Northern Quarter is bursting with fantastic places to eat and shops to explore. I stopped off at Teacup Kitchen for brunch, and kind of wish that I would have ordered a slice of their rainbow cake. This is one of the best areas in the city to go for brunch, and most of the restaurants and cafes are very unique. Even if you only have a half day in Manchester, make your way here for something to eat.
Head over to Spinningfields for some amazing cocktail spots and upscale restaurants/shops. The Alchemist is a new favourite of mine, and even though the cocktails are quite pricey, they're worth it for how they're presented. They also have a fantastic food menu which I enjoyed sampling.
The Alchemist's cocktail menu is vast, and they're always adding new ones to the mix. If you sit at the bar, you can watch as your cocktails are blended with a bit of science to create a magical experience. They have a few locations across England too, such as in nearby Chester.
Bees are an important symbol to the city of Manchester, and there are now loads of sculptures placed all over the city for you to find. This one in particular was in front of Old Trafford, but I saw quite a few others uniquely decorated throughout the city centre too.
The John Rylands Library is a stunning place to visit in Manchester situated right in the heart of of the city, next to Spinningfields. There is a lot of history behind it, and it looks like something you would find at Hogwarts. Best of all, it's something free to do in Manchester, so if you've got 2 days in the city, I'd definitely recommend coming here for an hour or so.
Tapas and Margaritas. What more could you ask for? Revolucion de Cuba is located on Peter Street, and sits right across from the cinema. This is one of my favourite restaurants in Manchester, and is very reasonably priced too. They also have live music which makes you feel like you're living it up in Cuba.
I saved the best for last. Black Milk has the most incredible freakshakes ever. If you're visiting Manchester for a weekend or even for a few hours, I would 100% visit here. They're located in the Northern Quarter, and have a few other dessert options on the menu too other than freakshakes.
Where To Stay in Manchester
I stayed in the heart of Manchester for 2 nights at SACO Apartments, which is located only a 5 minute walk from Manchester Piccadilly, and right around the corner from Canal Street. I booked their One Bedroom Apartment, which was incredible and felt very homely. There was a separate fully equipped kitchen and living room area too. Click here to read more about my stay.
Price range: £87.60 +
I thoroughly enjoyed my 2 days in Manchester, and can't wait to return to explore more of the city's key attractions. It looks like all I did was eat, but I did explore the streets and shops as well. There are loads of amazing things to see in Manchester, and there's definitely something for everyone!
If you need some advice on where to eat in Manchester, click here to read my recommendations. There are quite a few cities close to Manchester that you can go on a day trip to if you have the time, such as Liverpool, which I would recommend if you haven't been before. And if you ever find yourself in Bath, SACO Apartments have a base there as well. Don't forget to follow my travels on Instagram too!