These are the 20 places in Manchester the New York Times says its readers should visit


In case you hadn’t noticed, Manchester has become something of a tourist destination.

Tourism is worth a colossal £7.9 billion a year to the city region’s economy and supports 94,000 jobs.

It’s Greater Manchester’s biggest income earner and is worth more than other key sectors like financial and professional services, life sciences and creative, digital and technology.

Last year, Manchester regularly made it on to countless ‘best places to visit’ lists, and was  named one of 15 unforgettable cities to visit before you’re 30 by leading US men’s digital lifestyle brand Thrillist.

Now the New York Times has featured Manchester in its series 36 Hours in… which – yes, you’ve guessed – recommends things to see and do when you’ve got 36 hours to spend in a foreign city.

The series has been going for over ten years and has featured some of the world’s great cities. Places like Prague, Shanghai, Madrid, Mexico City, and, er, St Barts. No, we’ve never heard of it either.

Last month they finally got round to visiting Manchester. Better late than never.

‘Glossy modern towers and sleek new hotels reflect the city’s status as a culture, sports and media hub, meaning you could as easily spot American music stars like Jennifer Hudson or of The Voice UK as you could soccer millionaires like Paul Pogba of Manchester United,’ writes Susanne Fowler.

Here are the places she thinks New Yorkers should visit in no particular order.

Art and Culture

People’s History Museum

‘Interactive displays which trace 200 years of British revolutions and reforms.’

National Football Museum

‘Delve into the details of England’s 1966 World Cup victory, or — for a fee — have your picture taken with famed championship trophies and test your skills in a penalty shootout.’

John Rylands Library

Pic Wesley Harding

‘Lovers of rare books and manuscripts will want to quietly ensconce themselves in an alcove of the cathedral-esque Historic Reading Room.’

The Whitworth

Courtesy Marketing Manchester

For a collection which ‘ventures beyond the expected.’

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

‘Visitors are guided by volunteers who describe life in the years that fellow writers Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë and Harriet Beecher Stowe were dropping by to visit Mrs. Gaskell and her Unitarian minister husband, William.’

Opera House

One of Manchester’s ‘velvety venues’ for musicals, concerts or dance.

Palace Theatre


Royal Exchange Theatre

For ‘engaging new plays or riffs on classics.’

Bridgewater Hall

For a pop, jazz or classical concert.

Santiago Calatrava Trinity Bridge

For getting to the River Restaurant at The Lowry Hotel.



‘A four-floor emporium, reminiscent of a huge 1960s head shop.’

Craft and Design Centre

‘Meet regional artists in their studios and browse their handmade jewelry, ceramics and more.’

Eating and drinking

Mr Thomas’s Chop House

For ‘satisfying British classics like bangers and mash, steak and kidney pudding, and fish and chips’ and Art Nouveau decor – choose Mr Thomas’s Chop House.

Sculpture Hall Cafe in the Town Hall

‘Sit under the Gothic arches with a pot of Earl Grey and an assortment of savory finger sandwiches.’

Richmond Tea Rooms

‘For a twist on the Alice in Wonderland experience, take your tea party (pot for two is £5.95) for a slice of decadently decorated layer cake (about £4.50) within the pastel walls and faux-frosted countertops of the Richmond Tea Rooms in the area known as the Gay Village.’

Adam Reid at The French

‘In the conversation-friendly, oval dining room, the Manchester-born chef-patron Mr. Reid offers a nine-course tasting menu (£85) of ‘modern British’ food.’

Lowry Hotel

‘The white-tablecloth dining room, with muted tones of olive and grape, is a fine place to plot your next step over a plate of grilled Yorkshire asparagus, hay-baked chicken or English cheese.’

The Oast House

‘A great spot for mingling with Mancunians over a pint of craft ale from the extensive beer list.’

North Tea Power

For an Aeropress coffee and an avocado toast.

Home Sweet Home

For a plate of seared rump steak hash.

Do you agree with these recommendations? Have they missed anywhere you think New Yorkers should visit?


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

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