Where to Stay in Manchester 🇬🇧: My 5 Best Areas

Updated on June 6, 2024
by Alex Miller

Manchester, the unofficial capital of the North, is a vibrant and diverse city known for its rich industrial heritage, world-famous football clubs, and thriving music and arts scene. With its unique blend of history and modernity, Manchester offers something for every type of traveler. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best areas to stay in Manchester, highlighting top attractions, places to eat, and the best hotels in each neighborhood.

Our Pick of the Best Hotels in Manchester

Manchester is a city that celebrates its past while embracing the future. Once the world’s first industrialized city, Manchester has transformed into a bustling metropolis with stunning architecture, cutting-edge cultural venues, and a buzzing nightlife. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, this guide will help you find the perfect base for your Manchester adventure.

The Best Places to Stay in Manchester: Quick Guide

  • 👫 For Couples: The City Centre
  • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 For Families: Salford Quays
  • 👥 For Groups of Friends: The Northern Quarter
  • 🌇For Nightlife: Deansgate
  • 🌳 For Nature: Castlefield
  • 🍛 For Foodies: West Didsbury

1. Manchester City Centre: The Heart of Manchester 🎭

🎯 The urban core: Manchester city center is a bustling hub of commerce, culture, and entertainment, defined as the Regional Centre for urban planning and public transport purposes. At the heart of the city lies Piccadilly Gardens, a popular meeting spot and urban oasis, surrounded by the buzz of the busy transport hub and the captivating energy of the city’s creative and cultural scene.

💙The heart of life: Spinningfields, a vibrant and trendy area in the heart of Manchester, UK, is a bustling hub of modern architecture, upscale dining, and thriving commerce. This award-winning district has transformed the cityscape with its iconic buildings, such as the towering 1 Spinningfields and the striking Manchester Civil Justice Centre.

🏛️ Top Attractions in the City Centre

  • Manchester Cathedral: A stunning example of Gothic architecture dating back to the 15th century.
  • Royal Exchange Theatre: A unique theater housed in a former cotton exchange building.
  • Manchester Art Gallery: Showcasing an impressive collection of British and European art.

🍽️ Best Dining in the City Centre

  • Mr. Thomas’s Chop House: A classic British pub serving traditional fare in a charming, old-school setting.
  • Rudy’s Pizza Napoletana: Arguably the best pizza in Manchester, with authentic Neapolitan-style pies.
  • The Peveril of the Peak: A beautiful, historic pub known for its stunning tiled exterior.

🚖 Well-connected: The City Centre has excellent public transportation links, including multiple bus routes and tram stops. Additionally, you can easily access the Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria train stations from this location, allowing for convenient exploration of the city and surrounding areas.

Where to Stay in City Centre?

⭐ Best hotels in Manchester

  • Hotel Gotham – A luxury 5-star hotel located in the city’s central conservation area at 100 King Street, a prestigious address known for its historical significance and architectural grandeur.
  • The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel – A luxury five-star hotel located in Manchester’s city center.
  • Kimpton Clocktower, an IHG Hotel – The hotel offers luxurious guest rooms with bold designs, many featuring original architectural elements like sweeping double-height windows.

🏨 Best cheap/moderate hotels

2. Northern Quarter: A Haven for Creatives 🎨

💎 City gem: The Northern Quarter, located in Manchester, UK, is a vibrant and eclectic district known for its unique character and charm. Emerging in the early 1990s, it was developed as a space for independent ventures, offering a rich mix of shopping experiences, entertainment, food, and drink.

🎭 Architectural charm: Today, the Northern Quarter is celebrated for its independent spirit, housing a plethora of independent cafés, shops, bars, and cultural hotspots. It’s a place where the laid-back, bohemian vibe by day transforms into a lively atmosphere at night, attracting both locals and visitors with its good food, craft beer, pop-up events, and live music.

🏛️ Top Attractions in the Northern Quarter

  • Manchester Craft and Design Centre: A former Victorian fish market turned creative hub, showcasing the work of local artists and designers.
  • Afflecks: An eclectic indoor market featuring independent retailers selling everything from vintage clothing to quirky gifts.
  • Street Art: The Northern Quarter is home to some of Manchester’s most impressive street art, with colorful murals adorning many of the area’s buildings.

🍽️ Best Dining in the Northern Quarter

  • Evelyn’s Cafe & Bar: A stylish, all-day dining spot serving creative, globally-inspired dishes.
  • Mackie Mayor: A beautifully restored Victorian market hall housing a variety of artisanal food and drink vendors.
  • Pie & Ale: A cozy pub specializing in delicious, homemade pies and craft beers.

🚶‍♂️Within walking distance: The Northern Quarter is easily accessible by foot from the City Centre. The area is also served by several bus routes and is a short walk from the Manchester Piccadilly train station.

Where to Stay in Northern Quarter?

⭐ Best hotels in Manchester

  • AC Hotel by Marriott Manchester City Centre – A testament to modern comfort and style, with a prime location at 15 Mason Street, Manchester, this hotel is a beacon for travelers seeking the perfect blend of convenience and luxury.
  • Dakota Manchester – The hotel has 137 rooms, including 27 suites, all equipped with air conditioning and a high-definition media center.
  • Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre – It boasts 228 individually designed rooms, the Glasshouse restaurant and bar, fitness suite and Starbucks.

🏨 Best cheap/moderate hotels

  • Ancoats House – An apartment hotel in Manchester city center, located near attractions like The Greater Manchester Police Museum and the Manchester Arena Sports and Concert Complex.
  • Abel Heywood – A charming pub with rooms, offering comfortable accommodation and a great location in the heart of the Northern Quarter.
  • Cow Hollow Hotel – A chic, 16-room boutique hotel housed in a former textile warehouse, with individually decorated rooms and exposed brick walls.

🛏️ Best budget hotels

  • Modern Apartment PENTHOUSE – A well-rated accommodation option that can sleep up to 10 guests. It features three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a total of eight beds.
  • Apartments by BEVOLVE – It comes in two flavors, each catering to different needs but ensuring the same level of comfort and convenience.

3. Salford Quays: A Modern Waterfront Destination 🏟️

🏰 Iconic landmarks: Salford Quays is a prominent area in Salford, Greater Manchester, England, known for its significant transformation from a former dockyard into a vibrant urban center. Originally the site of Manchester Docks, Salford Quays has undergone extensive redevelopment since the docks closed in 1982, turning it into one of the UK’s largest urban regeneration projects.

📜 Symbol of resilience: The Quays is known for its cultural attractions, including The Lowry, a theater and gallery complex, and the Imperial War Museum North. It also offers leisure facilities, shopping, and dining experiences, making it a popular destination for both residents and tourists.

⚽ For sports enthusiasts: On the outskirts of the district is Old Trafford, the legendary home of Manchester United Football Club, offers stadium tours and a museum exploring the club’s illustrious history. The area also boasts excellent facilities for water sports, catering to fans of sailing, kayaking, and paddle boarding.

🏛️ Top Attractions in the Salford Quays

  • The Lowry: A stunning arts complex featuring theaters, galleries, and restaurants.
  • Imperial War Museum North: Explore exhibits dedicated to conflicts from WWI to the present day.
  • MediaCityUK: Visit the home of BBC and ITV studios, and enjoy the waterfront views.

🍽️ Best Dining in the Salford Quays

  • Pier Eight: Dine on modern British cuisine with stunning waterfront views.
  • Lime: Enjoy a variety of international dishes in a casual setting.
  • The Alchemist MediaCity UK: It is a creative cocktail bar and restaurant known for its theatrical approach to mixology and dining.

🚉 Road connections: Salford Quays is well-connected by public transportation, with regular tram services from the City Centre. The area is also served by several bus routes and is a short drive from the Manchester Airport.

Where to Stay in Salford Quays?

⭐ Best hotels in Manchester

🏨 Best cheap/moderate hotels

🛏️ Best budget hotels

  • The Interchange – Basic apartments with 2 bedrooms, suitable for families.
  • Protea Homestay – A family-friendly accommodation in Manchester, located near attractions like the Lowry Theatre and Art Complex and Opera House Manchester.
  • Quay Apartments – Located 600 m from Old Trafford Stadium and less than 1 km from Lowry. Offers rooms with free Wi-Fi.

4. Deansgate: Nightlife Central 🍸

🍹 For party lovers: Deansgate is Manchester’s go-to spot for nightlife, with a wide range of bars, clubs, and restaurants catering to all tastes. This area is perfect for travelers looking to experience Manchester’s legendary party scene.

Deansgate, Manchester
Deansgate, Manchester
Deansgate, Manchester
Deansgate, Manchester
Deansgate, Manchester
Deansgate, Manchester
Deansgate, Manchester
Deansgate, Manchester
Deansgate, Manchester
Deansgate, Manchester

👑 Architectural charm: Today, Deansgate is a vibrant area featuring a mix of historic and modern architecture. Notable buildings include the Beetham Tower, the John Rylands Library, and the Barton Arcade, a Victorian shopping arcade with high-end stores and eateries. The street is also home to Deansgate Square, a complex of luxury apartments.

🌟 Event center: Deansgate is a cultural and social hub, hosting various civic celebrations and events such as parades for Manchester United victories and Manchester Day. It also offers a range of dining and nightlife options, with bars like Moon Under Water claiming the title of the biggest pub in England.

🏛️ Top Attractions in the Deansgate

  • The John Rylands Library: A stunning neo-Gothic library housing an impressive collection of rare books and manuscripts.
  • The Science and Industry Museum: An interactive museum exploring Manchester’s role in the Industrial Revolution and beyond.
  • The Bridgewater Hall: A world-class concert venue hosting performances by the Hallé Orchestra and international artists.

🍽️ Best Dining in the Deansgate

  • Hawksmoor Manchester: A high-end steakhouse known for its exceptional meat and classic cocktails.
  • Australasia: A stylish restaurant serving modern Australian cuisine with Asian influences.
  • The Alchemist: A unique bar and restaurant offering creative, science-inspired cocktails and delicious food.

🚌 Easy access: The area is well-connected by public transport, with Deansgate Station serving both National Rail and Manchester Metrolink. 

Where to Stay in Deansgate?

⭐ Best hotels

  • Moxy Manchester City – A hotel with spacious rooms, a spa, and an excellent location.
  • The Midland – An award-winning, 4-star luxury hotel with a spa in Manchester city centre. It offers stylish, air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi.
  • Leonardo Hotel – The hotel offers 265 bedrooms including upgraded executive rooms, all of which benefit from a Dream bed and air-conditioning.

🏨 Best cheap/moderate hotels

  • Hammock Heights – This apartment is located in the heart of Manchester, close to John Rylands Library and Opera House Manchester.
  • Deansgate Luxury Apartments – This apartment is located in Manchester city center, near John Rylands Library and Albert Square.
  • Stylish En-suite – A family-friendly option in Manchester city centre, located near Albert Square and the Royal Exchange Theatre.

5. Castlefield: A Peaceful Oasis 🌿

🌳 Green area: Castlefield is a tranquil neighborhood just outside the city center, known for its picturesque canals, green spaces, and Roman ruins. This area is perfect for families and travelers seeking a quieter, more relaxed stay.

⌛ Through Time: Imagine walking on grounds where Roman soldiers once tread. Castlefield, originally known as Mamucium, was a strategic Roman fort established around 79 AD. The area’s name, meaning ‘castle in the field,’ hints at its historical significance. Over centuries, it transformed from a Roman stronghold to a hub of industrial revolution fervor, thanks to its canals and railways.

🏛️ Top Attractions in the Castlefield

  • Castlefield Roman Fort: The remains of a Roman settlement dating back to 79 AD.
  • The Bridgewater Canal: A scenic canal offering pleasant walks and boat trips.
  • The Museum of Science and Industry: An interactive museum exploring Manchester’s industrial heritage.

🍽️ Best Dining in the Castlefield

  • Dukes 92: A popular bar and restaurant overlooking the Bridgewater Canal, serving classic British dishes.
  • Albert’s Shed: A stylish restaurant housed in a former tool shed, offering a modern British menu and canalside dining.
  • The Wharf: A laid-back pub with a large outdoor terrace, perfect for enjoying a pint and a bite to eat on a sunny day.
Castlefield, Manchester
Castlefield, Manchester
Castlefield, Manchester

🚎 Well-connected: Castlefield’s compact and pedestrian-friendly layout is one of its biggest charms. The neighborhood‘s attractions, restaurants, and shops are conveniently located within walking distance of each other, allowing you to soak in the area’s historic ambiance on foot.

Where to Stay in Castlefield?

⭐ Best hotels in Castlefield

  • The Castlefield Hotel – A comfortable, mid-range hotel with a great location near the canals and the Museum of Science and Industry.

🏨 Best cheap/moderate hotels

  • YHA Manchester – A budget-friendly hostel offering clean, simple accommodation and a convenient location near Castlefield’s attractions.
  • Pass the Keys Central – The spacious apartment features 3 bedrooms, a TV, a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven, a washing machine, and 2 bathrooms with a shower.
  • XL Corner Apartment – Featuring a sauna, XL Corner Apartment w Gym & Spa is set in a central area of Manchester.

6. West Didsbury: The Hidden Gem 💎

🏠 For local experience: Nestled within the vibrant city of Manchester, West Didsbury stands as a testament to the city’s dynamic and diverse character. This leafy suburb, with its lively atmosphere and rich architectural heritage, has become one of Manchester’s most sought-after neighborhoods. 

💗 The heart of area: Burton Road is the main artery of West Didsbury, pulsating with life and energy. This street is synonymous with the area’s identity, offering an impressive collection of independent bars, restaurants, cafes, pubs, galleries, delis, and homeware shops. Once a sort of no-man’s-land on the edge of Withington, Burton Road has transformed into one of Manchester’s most desirable neighborhoods, predominantly attracting young professionals.

🎭 Cultural Hub: West Didsbury is a haven for foodies and culture enthusiasts alike. The area boasts a plethora of dining options, from artisan coffee shops and casual dining establishments to boutique chocolatiers.

Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens
Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens
Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens
Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens
Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens
Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens
Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens
Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens
Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens
Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens

🏛️ Top Attractions in the West Didsbury

  • Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens: A beautiful green space with walking trails, gardens, and a historic house.
  • Didsbury Village: A quaint, suburban village with independent shops, cafes, and restaurants.
  • The Didsbury Parsonage: A historic building dating back to the 17th century, now housing a small museum and art gallery.

🍽️ Best Dining in the West Didsbury

  • Volta: A stylish, neighborhood restaurant serving globally-inspired small plates and creative cocktails.
  • The Lime Tree: A cozy, family-run restaurant offering a seasonal menu of modern British cuisine.
  • Hispi: A relaxed bistro serving inventive, locally-sourced dishes in a welcoming atmosphere.

👌 Easy to reach: Though further from the city center, West Didsbury is well-connected by tram and bus services, offering a more relaxed pace of life while still being accessible to the main attractions.

Where to Stay in West Didsbury?

⭐ Best hotels

  • Eleven Didsbury Park – A charming, Victorian villa hotel with individually designed rooms and a peaceful, suburban location.
  • Didsbury House Hotel – A luxurious, boutique hotel housed in a restored Victorian townhouse, offering elegant rooms and a tranquil garden.

🏨 Best mid-range hotels

  • The King Stay – Imagine stepping into an 85 m² apartment that whispers luxury yet shouts comfort.[3]
  • The Waterside Hotel and Leisure Club – A multifaceted establishment that offers both accommodation and fitness facilities, making it an ideal choice for various types of visitors, from tourists to fitness enthusiasts.
  • Moseley Gardens Fallowfield – A luxurious accommodation option that features a newly built 4-bedroom townhouse.

🛏️ Best budget hotels in Didsbury, Manchester

  • Britannia Country House – A well-established accommodation option, particularly noted for its proximity to Manchester Airport, making it a convenient choice for travelers.
  • GuestReady – Focuses on combining the comfort of home with hotel-like services, ensuring a comfortable and convenient stay for guests in Manchester.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best time to visit Manchester?

The best time to visit Manchester is from June to August, when the weather is mild and there are plenty of outdoor events and festivals.

2. How do I get around Manchester?

Getting around Manchester is convenient thanks to its comprehensive and user-friendly public transport system, alongside other options like walking and cycling.

3. What are some must-see attractions in Manchester?

Some must-see attractions include Old Trafford (home of Manchester United), the Science and Industry Museum, and the Manchester Cathedral.

4. Is Manchester a safe city for tourists?

Yes, Manchester is generally a safe city for tourists. However, as with any urban destination, it’s essential to take common-sense precautions and be aware of your surroundings.

5. What is the famous food in Manchester?

Manchester is known for its delicious local dishes, such as the Manchester Egg (a pickled egg wrapped in sausage meat and black pudding), Eccles Cake (a flaky pastry filled with currants), and Rag Pudding (a savory suet pudding filled with minced meat and onions).