We know it’s always raining in this glorious city and that just dampens (excuse the pun) days out for everyone, especially when you’re introducing people to some of Manchester’s best sights for the first time.
Fear not, because little did you know Manchester has a wealth of tours and sightseeing opportunities that don’t require you getting soaked to the skin.
Etihad Stadium Tour
Let’s start with football. Take a few hours out to explore Manchester City’s ground and if you book in early you can be taken around by a chosen City legend – at the moment you can choose from Joe Corrigan or Nicky Weaver. Choose the ‘first team experience’ and access all areas including the current team’s dressing room or opt for the academy tour to take in information about all squads from the development down to the youth squad.
City Centre Cruises
These tours don’t all have to be on land. Get yourself out on the open water on Manchester Ship Canal on a canal boat and experience the sights and sounds of some of the city’s most important historical areas. There’s loads to choose from, mostly starting off at Castlefield Bowl, and they can take you as far as the Trafford Centre or even all the way to Liverpool. Check out this full list here.
Old Trafford Stadium Tour
‘Through the eyes of the Manchester United greats themselves’ this tour runs seven days a week from 9:40am – 4:30 pm except on match days. Emerge from the tunnel, take a look around the trophy room or take a ‘unique tour’ with a United legend or the ‘leisure cruise’ tour on a canal barge from the city centre up to Salford Quays before your tour of the stadium.
Bridgewater Hall Tour
One of the most prestigious concert halls in the country, take a guided tour for as little as £5 and learn about the history and architecture of the iconic international hall. The current tours are offering tours through parts of the building that have never before been seen by the public, so what better excuse than now to go and have a nosey.
A Modern History of the Northern Quarter
A tour of the city’s vibrant Northern Quarter that focuses on the major names behind some of the area’s oldest street art and sculpture. It’s your chance to see how modern arts and community movements in Manchester hope to continue to drive creativity within the neighbourhood, while looking at future building developments and which of those might threaten the NQ’s most iconic sculpture and art. You’ll learn about the modern history of the area, including Ancoats, and using public artworks as the thread, they weave together a story of social housing, gentrification, greenery, and public space (including the blurring of lines between what is public and what is private, and why it matters).
Coronation Street Tour
I’d say probably the most famous of tours you can take in the city. Pull a pint in the Rover’s and walk the cobbled streets to get a feel for one of Britain’s best loved soaps. Start on the tram at Ashton-under-Lyne, visit all the location spots and finish up with an ‘ot pot with Betty.
On the Road – Manchester Music Tour
Would any tour in Manchester be complete with a walking tour of all the wonderful music to come from here? I don’t think so. A magic bus tour will take you around all the famous musical sites, perfect for fans of Joy Division, Oasis, The Smiths and The Stone Roses.
The ultimate tourist experience, the open top bus tour is a quintessential box to tick during any visit to a major city and Manchester have theirs back after a couple of years without one. Taking in visits throughout the city centre, down to Old Trafford and Media City and back to town, it’s a one-stop shop for everything Manchester. With lots of stops.
Meat Lust presents Sauce and the City Tour
Take a meaty and boozy bus tour around the city, setting off from B.Eat Street and stopping at Crazy Pedro’s, The Hip Hop Chip Shop, Sugar Rays and Northern Soul Grilled Cheese. For £30, all food and drink is paid for throughout the day, with chefs even cooking on the bus right in front of you.