Manchester is the kind of city that’s perfect for a city break or quick holiday away. Compact enough that you’ll always be close to your Manchester hotel, yet brimming with fun and interesting things to do, we’re sure you’ll love spending a few days wandering around the city. Here are our favourite quirky things to do in Manchester:

Explore the Manchester Museum

Even if you’re not really a museum person, the Manchester Museum is the kind of place that will definitely keep you entertained for a few hours. Not your typical museum, it houses many unique pieces and an eclectic array of oddities from around the world, even the world’s oldest horse skull! This is also a great place to take the kids on a rainy day.

Marvel at Boardman’s Entry

If you didn’t know the history behind this tiny alleyway found in a busy shopping area of Manchester, you might be a bit perplexed; this small passageway has four metal umbrellas hanging overhead. This is actually a tribute to John Dalton, one of the city’s most famous scientists, who is known for devising atomic theory as well as working on groundbreaking research in colour blindness. He was also very passionate about meteorology, hence the umbrellas overhead.

Photo by tom_bullock via CC BY 2.0 License

Look for the Manchester Bee

An important symbol of the Industrial Revolution, the bee has had great significance in Manchester since the 1800s. After the tragedy of the terrorist attack in 2017, the bee has once again risen in popularity to symbolise the strength of the Mancunian people. You can find the iconic bee all around the city, from lamp posts to flower pots to tattoos on the local residents.

Head to the washhouse… but not to do laundry

You’d be forgiven for walking past The Washhouse and thinking it was simply a laundromat. It’s so much more though… which you’ll discover if you call in advance to book “a washing machine”. The Washhouse is in fact a stylish cocktail bar that you can only enter if you have a booking. Once through the doors, you pick up a phone and await instruction. Much more fun than spending an afternoon waiting for your clothes to dry!

Photo by Michael D Beckwith via CC0 1.0 License

Wander through the Jaw-dropping John Rylands Library

Even if you’re not a bibliophile, stopping into John Rylands Library while on holiday in Manchester is a real treat. It’s stunning neo-Gothic architecture makes you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. Today, with over 250,000 books and over a million manuscripts and archival documents, you can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the library’s history and relevance.

Make your way to the Out house

Yes, it really used to be what you think it used to be, but no, it’s not that anymore. These former public restrooms have been transformed into a stunning display of rotating street art, perfect for the graffiti enthusiast. Every three months, new artists will be invited to exhibit their art on a grand scale, livening up what used to be a fairly depressing part of the city. Definitely worth a visit!


Have you been on holiday to Manchester? What would you recommend?


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