How to Spend a Day in Manchester

I want to start off this post by saying a day is NO WAY near long enough to explore Manchester. I had a huge list of all the places I wanted to visit and I soon realised I wasn’t going to fit it all in.

It doesn’t help either that Manchester is such a vast place so you need to allow plenty of time for getting lost.

If you are driving down for your trip to Manchester I 100% advise you research several places to park or book online beforehand. It’s boring I know, but I found somewhere online and when we got there it was full. After driving round in circles for several minutes we gave up and ended up paying NCP’s fee of £25 to park for a whole day (the thought of it still pains me).

Anyway after we eventually got out the car, we made our first stop on our venture of the city.


I love to go to museums when I’m in a new place. They’re a nice way to break the day up and as a bonus are usually free, so I always add them on my list of things do!

I went to the Science and Industry Museum which is spread out into three separate buildings.


John Rylands Library

This was at the  top of my list for places to visit. I’d seen so many posts about this on Instagram and as a fellow Harry Potter fan I had to go because of it’s slight resemblance to Hogwarts.

It’s got amazing Victorian Gothic architecture and is lovely to walk around and pretend your in a wizarding school.

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Food stop – Mackie Mayor

Manchester has got an extensive foodie scene and I knew I would be spoilt for choice. I researched some unique places and decided upon Mackie Mayor.

It was very busy, as you would expect for a Saturday, but we managed to find two seats at a high table overlooking the place.

I found the place a little confusing at first, it reminded me a little of Trinity Kitchen in Leeds.

It’s home to several different food retailers, so you choose one, give them your table number and someone brings it over to you. We shared a cheese and tomato pizza with a side of triple cooked chips and roasted squash.

Food was definitely speedy! Price wise I’d say if you are looking for a low cost lunch option then here is probably not the best choice. Our total came to £20 for two sides, a main and two drinks.

Paramount Books

This was an adorable little bookstore which was like stepping back in time into another world. Loud Italian music was blaring on the outside and all the shelves were bursting full of books.

There were loads of signs dotted around saying no phones which just added to the atmosphere of this place.

If you’re a book lover, this needs to be on your list of places to visit.


I stumbled upon this place when I was walking round the streets lost and was intrigued to see what it was. Even walking up the stairs I was still confused to exactly what I’d come to.

Think vintage shops and alternative styles, the place was crammed with independent retailers and quirky kinds of clothing. Definitely worth a visit if you like that style.

Arndale Shopping Centre

To end the day, I went to Arndale Shopping Centre for a quick browse around the shops.

The shopping centre was open till late so I had a bit of time to nip in a few places.

We were absolutely exhausted by this point so decided it was time to try and find the way back to the car, we stopped off at an Indian restaurant, East Z East, for some food on the way as we were starving!

I had so much more I wanted to do and see but I literally just ran out of time.

If you’re heading for a day trip in Manchester comfortable shoes are a must and a power bank as you’ll use all of your phone battery taking photos and using google maps.

Bye for now


Published by Jess

Hi and welcome to my blog. I graduated from uni a few years ago with a degree in journalism and I currently work full time in digital marketing. I have a passion for travel, photography and food!

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