No tour of England is complete without a few days in Manchester. Don’t be deterred by anyone telling you it is prohibitively expensive, it is easy to get around this iconic and historic city on a limited budget if you know how, and prices are actually far cheaper than many cities.
Here, we look at some top travel tips for visiting Manchester on a budget.
The public transport system in Manchester is one of the best in the UK, with trams and buses criss-crossing the city. If you prefer to travel by taxi Manchesteris one city where you can do so without breaking the bank – prices are far cheaper than the famous London cabbies, so if you have been stung in the capital, do not be put off!
For visitors who want to get around independently, travelling by car is not the best idea. Parking is hard to find and expensive. However, motorcycle enthusiasts could consider taking advantage of the excellent motorbike hire system for a fun way of seeing the sights on your own terms.
Where to stay
Hotels are also far cheaper than London, and there are some bargains to be had in the Piccadilly area. This is right in the centre of the city, convenient for the station, the shops and the nightlife – perfect!
If you really want to drink in the local culture, though, why not check out one of the many B&Bs in and around the city. Don’t expect any frills, but for those who want a warm bed, a hearty breakfast and some good old-fashioned Lancashire hospitality, all at a bargain price, this is an option well worth considering.
Where to eat
Manchester is a food lover’s paradise. If you are watching the budget, take advantage of the early bird deals that are offered by a growing number of pubs, where you can get a meal at a bargain price, or get two meals for the price of one if you eat early.
For a unique experience, check out Siam Smiles, a Thai restaurant-cum-supermarket on George Street, in the city’s Chinatown area. Don’t be put off by the strange layout – a set of tables essentially at the side of a supermarket – the food consistently receives rave reviews in local and national media, and a choice of great meals are available for less than £10.
What to do
Manchester is one of those cites that combines a rich heritage with plenty of modern regeneration, meaning there is lots to see and do, whatever captures your interest. Most of the galleries and museums are free to enter – don’t miss the Museum of Science and Industry on Liverpool Road, just north of the City Centre, and the Imperial War Museum in the Quays area.
The Quays is a great place to spend half a day in its own right – once the industrial heartland of the city, it now boasts stunning modern architecture and some great bars and cafés, all with beautiful views across the water. In fact, it is almost a microcosm of the entire city, right there before you.