We have five days between our current housesit in Sheffield and the next one in Northern Ireland. Short gaps between destinations give us an opportunity to visit more places on the way. There are some great cities between Sheffield and our next assignment in Belfast! First stop, Manchester and it will be a quick one. We have 24 hours in Manchester and there is so much to see and do in England’s second city! Here’s how we plan to make the most of our limited time and enjoy an awesome quick trip to Manchester.
1. We’ll Stay Somewhere Central
When you only have a day to explore a destination you need to spend your time wisely. You don’t want to waste precious hours getting to and from attractions. We rarely rent cars traveling because it can be expensive. We walk or take public transit to save on travel costs. Most of Manchester’s best attractions are located centrally so we decided to stay at Motel One Manchester Piccadilly. It is a high-quality budget hotel with a convenient location, reasonable rates, and excellent customer reviews.
We will be traveling by train to and from Manchester and Motel One is minutes from the Piccadilly train station, right in the heart of central Manchester. Staying at Motel One Piccadilly will save us much needed time and money without compromising on comfort or location, the most important things to save on for a quick trip.
2. Find out What’s Happening While Visiting
A great way to experience local culture traveling is attending local events or festivals. The Manchester Food and Drink Festival will be happening when we visit. There will be a huge program of events happening throughout the city but the festival hub, the heart of the action, will be within walking distance from our hotel. We’re looking forward to a lot of great local food, drink, and entertainment all in one place, minutes from where we’re staying.
3. Map out the Biggest Bang for our Bucks
With time and money being our greatest concerns for this trip, we need to narrow down what we are going to see and do. Good thing Manchester has a ton of great budget-friendly restaurants and attractions close to where we are staying! Knowing we don’t have enough time to check out all of the easily accessible attractions, we look at other things like local favorites and traveler reviews to narrow down the choices.
When we arrive we’re going to start at the Visitor Information Center to get some recommendations on places to see, pick up a map, and find out about discounts available on attractions. After that, we’ll head to the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Hub at Albert Square to check out the events of the day and grab some delicious food and drink.
When we’ve had our fill at the festival hub, we’ll check out some free and family friendly attractions. Our time is limited so these are our three planned stops in no particular order.
John Rylands Library
John Rylands Library is a masterpiece of Victorian Gothic architecture, more like a Cathedral or castle than a library. The stunning building holds one of the world’s finest collections of rare books and manuscripts and features exhibits and events daily. Admission and introductory tours are free; we’ll make sure we arrive on time for a tour. With no time to waste, a tour will help us learn about the library and get the lay of the land in the most efficient way.
The Museum of Science and Industry
The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is huge and a great interactive learning experience! It features exhibits about how science and Industry sustain our modern society. Visitors have the chance to get up close to vintage planes, a steam engine, and walk an underground sewer! We will decide on the exhibits we really want to see before we visit and make sure we grab a map when we arrive to help us use our time exploring the Museum wisely.
Castlefield Urban Heritage Park
Not a park in the traditional sense, Castlefield Urban Heritage Park is one of Manchester’s most tranquil spots.
Cut through by the world’s oldest industrial waterway and build on a partially excavated Roman fort, Castlefield is a neighborhood that wears its history well.
The area is a traffic-free haven that begs to be explored at a slower pace. We’ll enjoy the cobbled walkways along the canal, maybe stop for a bite of food at Catalan Square or grab food to go and enjoy a picnic outside the Museum of Science and Industry.
There is so much to do and see in Manchester we want to make sure we visit the kind attractions we enjoy most visiting a new city.
Our priorities are always a cultural experience (usually something to do with food), an activity to learn a little history (a museum or art installation), and exploring a historic neighborhood.
I think the attractions we’ve decided on so far will help us make the most of our 24 hours in Manchester. The One Day in Manchester Guide on TripAdvisor was very helpful in making our choices and I’m sure we’ll get even more ideas when we visit the Visitor Information Center.
Featured image by Zuzanna Neziri via Flickr