Manchester city guide: where to eat, drink, shop and stay in the ‘world’s third best city’

Soak up the culture

Museums are, as we say, optional – but Manchester’s got a good eye for a quirky exhibition. Take a mural-themed tour with Hayley Flynn, to get under the skin of this artistic, tradition and its place in the city.

Take a breather at its new botanical garden

Pretty walled gardens bloom with climbers, wildflowers and shrubs sculpted like beehives at the recently opened RHS Bridgewater – the transformed grounds of a former stately home a 25-minute drive out of the city centre.

To get some kip in one of the city’s grand heritage buildings, check into the Kimpton Clocktower, in an impossibly ornate building in High Victorian style, that once contained (somewhat anticlimactically) a life insurance company.

Where to stay

Where to eat

Just strolling the Northern Quarter, you’ll stumble upon more teeny-trendy ramen bars and fried chicken shops than you can shake a hipster stick at.