Manchester, U.K., for a Day: What to Do, Where to Eat

The city of Manchester is most famous for its sporting events but also boasts several diverse neighborhoods, including its very own Chinatown and the famous Piccadilly Gardens. When I lived in London, I remember going on weekend trips to Manchester with the family to shop, explore some of the sites around the Trafford Area, and eat at the curry cafes in the Northern Quarter. If you’re spending only a day in the city, here are some interesting things to do and a few great places to eat:

Manchester for a Day: What to Do

Visit the Old Trafford football stadium to buy some Manchester United apparel, gear, and souvenirs. You’ll find a giant store here full of Manchester United items, and it’s quickly become a popular tourist hotspot.

If you have a few hours to spare, head to the Whitworth Art Gallery near the Manchester University campus. The gallery houses fine art prints, textiles, and a collection of interesting wallpaper designs.

Tatton Park is one of the country’s most complete historic estates and is home to one of the best Japanese gardens in Europe. Take a self-guided tour of the 18th-century mansion, farm, 1000-acre deer park, and 50 acres of gardens.

Learn what life was like during the war era of the 1940s with a trip to the Stockport Air Raid Shelters. You can talk through the reconstructed tunnels to experience life in the shelter during an air raid.

Old Trafford Football Stadium
Sir Matt Busby Way
Old Trafford
Manchester M16 ORA

Whitworth Art Gallery
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M15 6ER
0161 275 7450

Tatton Park
Knutsford WA16 6QN
0162 537 4400

Stockport Air Raid Shelters
Great Underbank
Stockport SK1 1NE
0161 474 1940

Manchester for a Day: Where to Eat

If you’re looking for a classic Indian curry, head to the Little Aladdin Cafe on 72 High St. for budget-friendly eats. This is one of the oldest curry restaurants in the city, and you’ll find everything from kebabs and samosas to cheese naan and mixed curry dishes. This is also a great place for vegetarian food.

One of the best sushi places in the city is Wasabi Sushi & Noodle Bar in Chinatown. Here you can eat sushi right off a conveyer belt, and the prices are very reasonable. The set menu prices allow you to enjoy between three to six plates from the conveyer belt and a bowl of soup or a noodle dish. You can also choose the “Max” menu option for up to 10 plates from the conveyer belt. You’ll never leave hungry, and it’s a fun dining experience in itself.

When you’re looking for a place to enjoy a gourmet European meal, head to The French restaurant inside The Midland hotel, one of the most historic – and regal – restaurants in the area. It’s the first restaurant in the U.K. to be awarded a Michelin star and has hosted royal family members and famous clientele for years. You’ll enjoy French-British fusion cuisine prepared by head Chef Paul Beckley. This is also a popular spot for afternoon tea.

Little Aladdin Café
72 High St.
Manchester M4 1ES
0161 835 2606

Wasabi Sushi & Noodle Bar
63 Faulkner Street
Manchester M1 4FF
0161 228 7288

The French
Midland Hotel
16 Peter St.
Manchester M60 2DS
0161 236 3333

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