A weekend guide to Manchester


Manchester weekend

*Written in Collaboration with Hotel Indigo

I love taking my boys on city breaks but there are certainly times when I know I would be able to enjoy other aspects of a city if I was there child-free and I also believe that taking some time out from parenting is really important and being able to fully immerse yourself in a place without restrictions and time limits. Last year I spent a weekend exploring Durham with Hotel Indigo and I really felt refreshed after what was my first proper child-free break. I truly believe these kind of mini breaks can be very positive for your own wellbeing so I was extremely excited to be collaborating with Hotel Indigo again and this time heading up to the cool and colourful northern city that is Manchester.

Getting around the city

Manchester is a very well connected city with excellent high speed train routes from across the UK, a bustling airport and of course, you can also drive into the city. I took the train from South Wales and was in the heart of Manchester in under 3hrs. Once here, there is a excellent tram network within the city centre and it's also very walkable.

Manchester Hotel Indigo

Where to Stay

If you're only going to be in Manchester for 1-2 nights you want to be as central as possible which is why the Hotel Indigo Manchester is the perfect spot, right next to Victoria Station and only a short stroll from the vibrant Northern Quarter. Being central takes a lot of stress out of a short weekend break as you want to spend as much of your time exploring instead of commuting in from a hotel on the outskirts which isn't ideal for a short break.

Feed your soul

When it comes to eating and drinking out, you are really spoilt for choice in Manchester, especially in the Northern Quarter where around every corner there is some kind of hip coffee shop or laidback late-night cafe so before going on the trip, I called out to all my travel savvy friends on Instagram for the best tips and wasn't disappointed. I managed to fit in a fair few places during our stay and here were our favourites not to be missed.

Siop Manchester

Siop Shop

A bilingual Welsh English shop that sells some of the best coffee around and an array of vegan doughnuts! Yes please! I mean we had to stop of this Welsh inspired cafe, it would have been wrong not to and we were not disappointed at all! Sitting in the heart of the Northern Quarter, filled with colourful and creative art this cafe had a real buzz about it with people coming in and out and this popularity is for good reason, well worth a visit.

Night and Day Cafe

If you're looking to embrace a slice of Manchester music history, then why not have a pint over some lunch or late night snack at the Night and Day Cafe which is located opposite the famous Piccadilly Records and Magma bookstore and you cannot miss this cafe with its bright orange exterior. Night and Day has played a pivotal role in the Manchester music scene with bands such as the Arctic Monkeys and Manic Street Preachers and also has a pretty good drinks menu to boot.

Manchester weekend guide

Manchester weekend guide

Yard and Coop

Wandering around the Northern Quarter late one evening during our stay, we came across the stylish and spacious Yard and Coop which may be the home of buttermilk chicken but it also has a pretty good vegetarian menu too, including crumb coated halloumi nuggets and curried caulibombs. The atmosphere was relaxed and service very friendly and they have a fun cocktail menu and I can personally recommend the Jimi Hendrix.


If you're looking for an upmarket meal, then Mamucium is the perfect spot. This is where we spent the first night as it's located on the ground floor of Hotel Indigo yet very much its own space. It is passionate about Manchester as it prides itself in using locally-sourced ingredients and recreating well known dishes with a Mancunian twist and I was personally very impressed with how knowledgeable the staff are. Whatever you are looking for, whether it be eating Al a carte or just a light nibble before heading out, Mamucium has something to tantalise your taste buds.

Hotel Indigo Manchester

A Spot of History

Manchester isn't just all about music and fashion but also is steeped in history, despite it feeling like a very modern city, there are some real gems that are worth checking out and the ones listed below are all free!

Manchester Art Gallery

This gallery hosts some fantastic touring exhibitions and a prime example of this is that while we visited the city, we were lucky enough to see a display of 12 drawings of Leonardo Di Vinci and also a Martin Parr exhibition (iconic UK photographer), both equally impressive and inspiring. The museum also houses a gallery cafe and shop.

Manchester weekend break

Chetham's Library

Chetham's Library is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world and has been in continuous use for over 350 years and is housed in one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, dating back from 1421. The library is less than a 2-minute walk from Hotel Indigo near Victoria Station and we found our tour which is run by volunteers fascinating and insightful. What I didn't know before visiting was that you can also sit at the writing table used by Karl Marx!

Manchester Cathedral

Located around a minute from Chetham's Library you will find Manchester Cathedral which is one of fifteen grade 1 listed buildings in Manchester and has some stunning stained glass windows inside. While I am not religious at all, I found buildings like this beautiful and the light inside is stunning and is the perfect spot for photography enthusiasts.

Manchester weekend break

Culture Haven

For those who do simply want to visit Manchester to embrace the youthful culture, then you won't be disappointed as there is really something for everyone. I would recommend strolling around the Northern Quarter and go street art spotting, record diving and vintage clothes hunting because this part of the city has it all. It's also worth taking heading over to the second largest Chinatown in the UK which also has an array of restaurants and bakeries. Manchester is world renowned for its music scene and every night there is some kind of gig or live music happening and in a way it's a rite of passage for any music lover to see a band live so take advantage while you're here.

Manchester has firmly become one of my favourite city breaks in the UK and is the perfect place for a child-free weekend away.

Do check out the Travel vlog of everything I got up too over the two days in Manchester and hopefully it will inspire you to visit this fantastic city and also stay at the amazing Hotel Indigo

*Written in Collaboration with Hotel Indigo 

Manchester Northern Quarter


  1. Thanks for the great post! I’ve never visited Manchester, but will be soon and I’ll definitely be using this as a reference!

  2. I have never been to Manchester. It's such an interesting city. I've saved your post for when I do eventually visit.

  3. Great post this! There really is just so much to do in Manchester at the weekends I find!

  4. Oh I love Manchester, but haven't been in years! My husband used to work up there, so I visited a lot and fell in love with it as a city :)

  5. I've never been to Manchester. I know there's so much to see and do when I finally do arrange it - I'll need a good few days!

  6. I've only gone to Manchester for work. I would love to visit with my family and explore it properly.

  7. Very envious of your child free break. I love Manchester. I haven't been in so long but I plan on going next year. Thanks for the tips

  8. Thanks for sharing. Manchester is somewhere I have not been (apart from Trafford centre) but would love to go. Sure looks like it has amazing places that are not chains either

  9. Oooo we might look into this place to stay when we head up to #BlogOn in a couple of months time! Looks pretty cool x

  10. I am local to Manchester and absolutely love this city. So many amazing things to do!

  11. I have never spent a lot of time in Manchester, normally end up passing through. I would love to visit and experience the city properly

  12. Ive only been to manchester for blog on so not really had a chance to be a tourist but this time im staying for longer so hopefully will get to see more!

  13. We are quite close to Manchester. I will check this hotel out.

  14. Thanks ď˝–ery nice blog!

  15. There is no doubt that Manchester has many ideal places for tourists attraction.
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