Content Produced in Partnership with Virgin Atlantic, Visit Britain and Marketing Manchester

Once a city on the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, Manchester is now edgy, hip, and many other adjectives that balk at categorization. From world-class sports teams to history aplenty, you could spend years in Manchester and still not experience all of its hidden gems. If you only have one weekend to explore, here are some of the major, not-to-miss highlights.


DAY 1

Photo via Albert Schloss Instagram

FIND YOUR BREAKFAST CLUB

27 PETER STREET MANCHESTER M2 5QR, UNITED KINGDOM

Already extremely popular with the lunch and dinner crowds, Albert's Schloss’ recently debuted breakfast and brunch menus features an option to satisfy nearly every palate, too. From grain bowls to bennies, sandwiches to donuts, Albert's Schloss is a must try for breakfast, lunch and dinner (we won’t judge you if you sample all their menus while you’re in town!).

MANCHESTER MUSEUM

THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER, OXFORD ROAD, MANCHESTER M13 9PL, UNITED KINGDOM

The Manchester Museum offers an overview of the area through a mishmash of exhibits about archaeology, anthropology and natural history. The museum features collections and galleries dedicated to animal and prehistoric life, plants, and rocks and minerals, along with a vivarium.

Manchester Museum by Pit-yacker on Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Altrincham Market Instagram

GRAB A BITE AT ALTRINCHAM MARKET

26 MARKET STREET ALTRINCHAM WA14 1PF, UNITED KINGRDOM

Artisanal food halls are one of our favorite ways to try a number of local specialities without missing a beat. Snack around, but be sure to hit up Honest Crust for a slice of wood-fired pizza and Hoke Pokey for homemade ice cream sandwiches for dessert. On the weekends, there are also jewelry, home décor, and fashion vendors, so you’ll have no problem finding a souvenir or two.

PAUSE FOR TEA TIME

16 PETER STREET, MANCHESTER M60 2DS, UNITED KINGDOM

The Midland Hotel’s elegant Afternoon Tea has been a staple in Manchester since the hotel first opened its doors in 1903. Now serving its Afternoon Tea in the specialty Tea Room, The Midland puts a contemporary spin on an English classic. Afternoon Team is served Monday through Friday from 1 to 4:30pm and Saturday from noon to 5:30pm. A reservation is recommended.

Photo via The Midland Hotel Instagram

Manchester Art Gallery by Steve Parkinson on Flickr

THE MANCHESTER ART GALLERY

MOSLEY STREET, MANCHESTER M2 3JL, UNITED KINGDOM

Continue your cultural tour at the Manchester Art Gallery. With over 25,000 pieces on display, there's a lot of art to be explored from sculptures to photography. Fashion lovers shouldn't miss the Gallery of Costume (15-minutes away), which features garb and dresses from the 1600s through present day.

MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY

LIVERPOOL ROAD, MANCHESTER M3 4FP, UNITED KINGDOM

A hub of innovation that puts all things science and technology on display, MSI highlights 250 years of discoveries and innovations that began in Manchester. Worth seeking out are the models of atomic theory, parts of the world’s first commercially available computer, and one of the world’s largest collections of working steam mill engines.

Museum of Science and Industry via Marketing Manchester

Photo courtesy Marketing Manchester

DINNER AT THE REFUGE

OXFORD STREET, MANCHESTER M60 7HW, UNITED KINGDOM

Housed within the beautiful surrounds of the Principal Manchester Hotel, the Refuge by Volta has been recently fashioned by two former DJs turned restauranteurs. Offering a small plate menu — think crispy lamb shawarma and slow-cooked ox cheek — and extensive drink options, the venue has become a must-visit destination restaurant and bar amongst locals.

GRAB A DRINK AT THE WASHHOUSE

19 SHUDEHILL, MANCHESTER M4 2AF, UNITED KINGDOM

One of Manchester’s best bars is found where you’d least expect it: inside a supposed Laundromat. To enter, guests have to ring downstairs (there’s a dial phone on a shelf) before walking through a cleverly disguised washing-machine-turned-door. Once inside, don’t be surprised when your drink arrives in a terrarium — this secret bar serves up whimsical craft cocktail concoctions unlike anywhere else in the city. Reservations are required to get into this gem (and, trust us, it’s worth it).

Photo courtesy Kirsten Alana

DAY 2

BRUNCH BUNCH

1032 STOCKPORT ROAD, MANCHESTER M19 3WX, UNITED KINGRDOM

Brunch is our favorite meal of the week and Trove Cafe + Bakery is one of the best in Manchester. You’ll find an ever-changing menu of local, seasonal ingredients like black pudding pikelet with beetroot, horseradish, and a poached egg. But as good as the main courses sound, none will overshadow the freshly baked bread or flat whites.

Trove Cafe + Bakery Yelp Page

Brewdog by Smabs Sputzer on Flickr

OPT FOR A BREWERY TOUR

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM

Craft beer is big business in Manchester, so you’ll find a good pint nearly anywhere. We say, there’s nothing quite like going straight to the source. Tip one back at the Robinsons Brewery Tour Centre, The Gasworks or Seven Bro7hers, or look out for a brew tap event where you can drinks straight from the source at the likes of Blackjack, Alphabet, and Cloudwater breweries.

ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM

SIR MATT BUSBY WAY, STRETFORD, MANCHESTER M16 0RA, UNITED KINGDOM

Home to two award-winning soccer clubs, you’ll definitely want to catch a match if Manchester United or Manchester City is in town. The roar of the fans is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced and pulses energy throughout the stadium. For an extra special experience, you can take a behind the scenes tour of either club's locker room and field.

Old Trafford Manchester United by Paul on Flickr

Photo Credit: James Martin Facebook Page

MAKE IT A SPLURGE MEAL

2 WATSON STREET, MANCHESTER M3 4LP, UNITED KINGDOM

Make your last dinner one to remember at James Martin with one of the most highly touted celebrity chefs at the helm. The a la carte menu changes seasonally, but the wagyu sirloin is a mainstay and a meal you'll remember for a long, long time.

GRAB A DRINK AT THE WASHHOUSE

19 SHUDEHILL, MANCHESTER M4 2AF, UNITED KINGDOM

One of Manchester’s best bars is found where you’d least expect it: inside a supposed Laundromat. To enter, guests have to ring downstairs (there’s a dial phone on a shelf) before walking through a cleverly disguised washing-machine-turned-door. Once inside, don’t be surprised when your drink arrives in a terrarium — this secret bar serves up whimsical craft cocktail concoctions unlike anywhere else in the city. Reservations are required to get into this gem (and, trust us, it’s worth it).

Photo by Kirsten Alana

HOW TO DO IT AND WHERE TO STAY

40 DEARMANS PL, CHAPEL WHARF, SALFORD, MANCHESTER M3 5LH, UNITED KINGDOM

You can fly directly to Manchester from Las Vegas, Orlando, San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, or Boston via Virgin Atlantic. For an ideal base, opt to stay at The Lowry Hotel, which is conveniently located near many of the city's top attractions. Conveniently located near Victoria Station, the five-star property features trendy restaurants and some of the finest views of Trinity Bridge and River Irwell, too.