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21 Places In Manchester You Must Visit Before You Die

Unveiling Manchester's party hotspots and hidden gems.

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1. Let your hair down at The Press Club

Flickr: frankieroberto / Creative Commons

Not just for members of the press, this jewel in Manchester's crown is the place to go if you want to see Corrie stars singing karaoke until 6am.

Find it behind an unassuming glass door on Queen Street off Deansgate. Cameras are banned so everyone can let their hair down.

2. Wander around Chetham's Library

Flickr: soundman /Creative Commons

Chetham's library is the oldest surviving library in Britain. It was founded at the bequest of Humphrey Chetham in 1653 and is housed in a sandstone building on Long Millgate dating back to 1421.

Some books are still chained to the shelves as ordered by Chetham before he died in 1651. Admission is free but a £3 donation is suggested and visitors say it's just like stepping into Hogwarts.

3. Have a go on the jukebox at Corbieres Wine Cavern

Oasis, Mick Hucknall and the Happy Mondays made this bar on Half Moon Street a Manchester institution. It's where the '90s band is rumoured to have first met Bez and celebrates turning 35 this year.

Fans love the traditional vibe, particularly the jukebox, selection of real ales and cocktails .

4. Refuel at Annie's Restaurant and Tea Shop

Jennie McAlpine AKA Fizz from Coronation Street runs this sophisticated eaterie on Old Bank Street off St Anne's Square.

Nip in and she might even serve you up some traditional English grub herself. Favourites are the roast dinners and her own take on the Rover's staple, Annie's Hot Pot.


5. Get lost at the Walkden Gardens in Sale

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Known locally as The Maze and The Secret Garden, even people who live in Sale, five miles out of the city centre, don't even know where this beauty spot is. Formerly a privately owned maze, it was handed over to residents by owner Harry Walkden when he died in 1949 and is now a stunning and peaceful botanical garden.

6. Pay homage at Salford Lad's Club

Flickr: markhillary / Creative Commons

Salford Lads Club was set up by the Groves brothers in 1903 as a place to go for "working lads" to amuse themselves.

Former members include 1960s pop stars Allan Clarke and Graham Nash of The Hollies. The Smiths posed outside it for the cover of their album The Queen Is Dead.

7. Get a big welcome at The Circus Tavern

Flickr: adambruderer / Creative Commons

Outside this Portland Street treasure are the words: "The smallest bar in Europe - The biggest welcome in the world." It's small but perfectly formed with a good selection of cask ales and so intimate it's like being in your own front room.

CAMRA list it in their Top Ten Heritage pubs in Britain.

8. Have a beast of a burger at Almost Famous

Twitter: @AlmostFamousGN

A strict no booking policy means there's usually people queueing out of the door but it is worth the wait.

Manchester folk have the choice of two Almost Famous restaurants, in the Northern Quarter and on Peter Street, where towering juicy burgers can be washed down with beers, cocktails or their special boozy milkshakes.


9. Have a pint at Sinclair's Oyster Bar

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It looks Olde Worlde and started as an 18th century punch house but Sinclair's as you see it now was actually built in 1996.

It was moved 300 yards brick by brick into Shambles Square following the Arndale bombing. And you can still get a pint there at '90s prices – with a host of real ales on offer!

10. Go underground at The Temple

Flickr: bluedotcreations / Creative Commons

Formerly known as the Temple of Convenience, this bar is a renovated Victorian loo. Find it just off St Peter's Square down some steps on Great Bridgewater Street.

Take in the '70s NYC decor and crank up the jukebox for hits from the Manchester bands who still pop in for a quick pint.

11. Go up in the sky at Cloud 23

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Enjoy breathtaking views of Manchester from the highest point in the city – the 23rd floor of the landmark Beetham Tower at the Hilton hotel.

They have a fabulous cocktail menu, tasty afternoon tea and floor to ceiling windows to make it a visual treat anytime of the day or night. A great way to see the city – as long as you have a head for heights!

12. Snoop around the National Football Museum

National Football Museum

Where better to celebrate the beautiful game than in Manchester? The National Football Museum hosts the world's greatest football collection and if you're really football crazy you can even get married there.

Find it in the Urbis building in Cathedral Gardens, near the Printworks. There's obviously Old Trafford and the City Of Manchester Stadium to visit here too.


13. Duck into Dusk Til Pawn

From Dusk Til Pawn

From the front, this looks like a pawn shop with vintage guitars, jewellery and old televisions behind the glass bars in the window.

But it's actually a really fun bar that sits well alongside the cool vintage shops of the Northern Quarter. Find it on Stevenson Square and try the pepperoni cocktails!

14. Be awestruck by the Hidden Gem Church

Flickr: loungerie / Via Creative Commons

It's even called the Hidden Gem! Tucked away on Mulberry Street in the city centre, this pretty building was built in 1794 and originally known as St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church.

It’s understated on the outside, breathtakingly beautiful on the inside and where Factory Records boss and local legend Tony Wilson's funeral was held.

15. Have a drink at Under New Management

Formerly known as Corridor, this secret bar doesn't muck about.

Nestled down a back alley off Deansgate on Barlow's Croft, it's worth seeking out for cheeky cocktails like Salford Sally, Fur Coat No Knickers, and Ain't Nobody Got Thyme Fo' That.

16. Take the Coronation Street Tour

You can't see Manchester without taking in the sights of the city's famous soap! Corrie moved from the old Quay Street Granada Studios set to Media City in nearby Salford Quays in January 2014 but you can still go and have a nosey around the inside of the Rovers, the Kabin, Roy's Rolls, Carla's flat, Kevin's garage and the kebab shop, Prima Doner.

It's only open for a short time as there are plans to redevelop the site so get there quick!


17. Pick up a bargain at Oxfam Originals

Facebook: Oxfam.Originals.Manchester

Love vintage? Then you must check out Oxfam Originals on Oldham Street in the Northern Quarter.

True to its Manchester roots, you'll find plenty of Fred Perry and Adidas in there and designer one-off pieces. A real treasure trove for fashion fans.

18. Have a big night out on Canal Street

Flickr: salford_ian / Creative Commons

Manchester doesn't just have a blinding gay scene – it has a gay village just off Piccadilly. The '90s TV show Queer As Folk put the area on the map, and Canal Street is now recognised as the UK's largest LGBT centre outside of London. It's packed with fun bars and clubs that are rocking all night, and kebab shops to help you soak up the cocktails on the stumble home.

19. Eat your way down Curry Mile

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The Curry Mile is on Wilmslow Road, two miles out of the City Centre and comes to life at night with more than 70 different restaurants, takeaways and shisha cafes.

Many stay open until 4am and you can even take your own booze along to a few, making them a big hit with students and anyone who likes a curry.

20. Step back in time at The Fitzgerald Speakeasy Club

Twitter: @TheFitzgeraldNQ

Step back in time in this 1920s themed bar for distinguished ladies and gents. This decadent bar in the Northern Quarter is made for revellers with a touch of finesse who can appreciate the period decor.

The Stevenson Square bar take guests back to prohibition times when alcohol wasn't quite so easy for us to get our mitts on, making that cheeky cocktail feel naughty and nice. Look out for £5 deals on their Twitter page.

21. Have a damn fine meal at Sam's Chop House

Twitter: @chophouseSams

Recently voted the best dining pub in Manchester, this Chapel Walks chop house has been going since 1872 and was the favourite haunt of the famous artist LS Lowry who was born in Stretford.

Try a roast dinner or Manchester platter washed down with real ale or one of the many wines on the menu, and you can sit with the huge bronze Lowry at the bar too.