12 Things Manchester Is Famous For - Updated 2024

things manchester is famous for
| 6 min read

There is no doubt that the city of Manchester is famous for its football team, Manchester United. Situated in the north-western part of England, this city is one of the most accessible cities in the country. The city of Manchester used to be known as ‘Cottonopolis’, for it had the biggest cotton industry in the country. The city claimed this honor way back in 1800 when it established itself as the first industrial town developed by the cotton industry. The city is charming and vibrant, and its unique energy is reflected in its very air. There are an array of famous buildings, festivals, museums, and neighborhoods in Manchester that have contributed to the growth and development of the city. Check out some of the best things Manchester is famous for. When you’re done, also have a look at the best affordable Airbnbs and hotels with balconies to get an idea of where you should stay.

1. Factory Records

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Me677 used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

The UK sure has its fair share of contributions to the world when it comes to music. Manchester alone was home to Factory Records, where significant rock bands like Joy Division, New Order, and A Certain Ratio began their careers. Now defunct, this independent record label was established in 1978 by Alan Erasmus and Tony Wilson. When the company deteriorated in 1992, London Records bought the label. Two years later, Wilson collaborated with London Records in reviving the label, releasing Factory Too, with the loyal supporter and rock band Durutti Column joining the label which lasted until the late 90s.

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2. Vimto

Source: Photo by Flickr user Andrew used under CC BY 2.0

Vimto is a soft drink in the United Kingdom that was introduced to the public in 1908. It was first manufactured by Noel Nichols on 19 Granby Row in the heart of Manchester. Originally sold as Vim Tonic, the drink was initially registered as a medicine and then as a cordial before it was marketed a few decades later as a carbonated drink. Vimto is produced with the juice of blackcurrants, raspberries, and grapes, with a mix of herbs and spices. Since its conception, Vimto has also been made as confectionery and as an ice pop.

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3. Manchester Cathedral

Manchester Cathedral (4)
Source: Photo by user Rept0n1x used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This medieval cathedral is located on Victoria Street, at the heart of Manchester city center. The Gothic architecture of the church blends with the late medieval wooden furniture. Originally, it used to be a Saxon church. A small carving of an angel, which is called the ‘Angel Stone’, is embedded in the hall on the southern porch. This angel is dated back from the 19th century. This church has witnessed many historic events throughout the history of the city. This architectural triumph is one of the first to come up if you find yourself wondering what is Manchester famous for.

Manchester Cathedral

Address: Victoria St, Manchester M3 1SX, UK

Website: Manchester Cathedral

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4. The Northern Quarter

High Street, Manchester Northern Quarter
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mikey used under CC BY 2.0

The Northern Quarter is a charming part of the city center, located very close to Piccadilly Gardens. The quarter is famous for its bohemian and chic culture. This part of the Manchester was supposedly built on the mid-18th century. The area is popular for its budding nightlife, with a collection of restaurants, pubs, and clubs. The area is also famous for its emporiums. These museums display their collection of retro clothing, unusual arts, hipster bicycles, and comics.

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5. Manchester music festivals

Manchester International Festival
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Andy Miah used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Manchester is known for its lively festivals. The city possesses a reputation for knowing how to party and celebrate. The endless energy of the city gets reflected in its festivals, as well as its various aspects, like culture, art, music, etc. The biggest festival this city celebrates is the Manchester International Festival, which is held every alternate year. It is basically an art festival, fixed on promoting and encouraging artistic skills. To feel the real vibe and flavor of the city, one can also attend Manchester Day celebrated in the month of June. The longest running festival for the LGBT community is called Manchester Pride, celebrated in the month of August. Other than these festivals, the food and literature lovers must attend the Manchester Food and Drink Festival and the Manchester Literature Festival. So, no matter which type of festival you want to attend, this city celebrates it all.

Manchester International Festival

Address: Blackfriars House, Parsonage, Manchester M3 2JA

Website: Manchester International Festival

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6. Gay Village

Manchester Gay Village Anal Street
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Lmno used under CC BY-SA 3.0

What else is Manchester known for? Across the world, gay villages are the safe haven for the LGBT community and Manchester is no exception. The historic Gay Village is situated on Canal Street, which is located beside the very important Rochdale Canal. Opened in the year 1804, this canal used to be the main transport link for raw material and industrial production. After the cotton industry shut down, the deserted warehouses became a refuge for the gay community, as they were not socially accepted in that era. After the Gay movement during late 1880, a gay property developer Carol Ainscow built a bar in a garage repair building on Canal Street. Now the area is teeming with numerous bars and clubs which proudly present themselves and their culture. Gay or not, a trip to this area is a must while visiting the city. Imbibe its charming history which blends effortlessly with the current hip-hop culture.

Canal Street

Address: Gay Village, Manchester city center, England

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7. Music shows (from USD 129.0)

Music runs in the veins of Manchester city, making it an integral part of everyday life. If you are traveling in summer, you might be in luck and catch the Parklife Festival, the annual music festival which takes place in Heaton Park. Not only the festivals, but music concerts are also held quite frequently in the city. In this case, you can head on to the Manchester Arena, which hosts some of the biggest music festivals of the city. Music lovers can also hop into the pub Band On The Wall. This Victorian pub is located in the Northern Quarter. The pub hosts many international singers, where you can enjoy the charming music while sipping on a glass of your favorite wine.

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Manchester's Music Scene

Duration: 3 hours

11 reviews

8. Castlefield

Castlefield, Manchester
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user IIya Kuzhekin used under CC BY 3.0

Castlefield is an inner-city conservation area, which used to be the site of a Roman-era fort called Mamucium. The city of Manchester has been named after this very fort. The terminus of the Bridgewater Canal is also located in the area. This canal was built in the year 1764 and was the first industrial canal in the world. In one word, this place is witness to the iconic industrial revolution that led to the birth of Manchester city.

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9. National Football Museum (from USD 155.0)

The name of the city of Manchester cannot be uttered without mentioning the term ‘football’. The National Football Museum is located in this city and is the biggest football museum in the entire world. This famous thing in Manchester is located in the Urbis building in the city center. It offers an excellent insight into the social history related to this popular sport and how it had become a household sport in Manchester.

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Manchester: Football Experience With A Local Host

Duration: 4 hours

5 reviews

10. Railways

Manchester Central Convention Complex
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ardfern used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The railways present in the city of Manchester is very closely related to the history of the entire nation. The historic Liverpool and Manchester Railway started in the year 1830. It was the first locomotive driven only by steam power. Prior to that, only animal traction power was used to carry out transportation. This train was first to have a signaling system, timetables and carried mails. The railway brought the hope of faster transport for people as well as raw materials and finished goods. You must visit the Manchester Central Convention Complex, the former Manchester Central Railway Station to get a feel of the history related to this iconic railway.

Manchester Central Convention Complex

Address: Windmill St, Manchester M2 3GX

Website: Manchester Central Convention Complex

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11. Craft beer (from USD 51.0)

Lastly, the iconic drink of the city sure needs to be mentioned. The famous craft beer of Manchester has introduced beer-tourism into this city. The Friends & Family & Beer festival hosted by Cloudwater Brew Co is technically a beer festival which promotes the marvelous craft beer of the town. Some of the famous breweries to attend are the Runaway Brewery, Cloudwater Unit 9, 57 Thomas Street, Beatnikz Republic, Seven Bro7hers Beerhouse, Alphabet Taproom, Beer Nouveau, etc.

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Craft Beer Tour around Manchester

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

199 reviews

12. Street art

 Manchester Street Art
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Transport Pixels used under CC BY 2.0

Art is spread over the city of Manchester in its various corners. The amazing visuals of street art is one such example. The main place to spot the most promising street art is the Northern Quarter. Its life-size murals were mostly painted during the Cities of Hope festival in Manchester. It was a street art festival which highlighted social injustice and raised funds for the charities present in the city. These murals were created on the theme of social issues by nine street artists. Other than the Northern Quarter, streets art can also be found in other parts of the city. The New Wakefield Street Railway Arches still has artwork from the Eurocultured Street Festival. It was used to celebrate the diversity of modern European culture. The Gay Village artwork showcases the main theme of this community. Lastly, on the outskirts of this city, the Mantra Warehouse is a place to find diversified street art.

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Manchester, a vibrant city waiting to be explored

Manchester Town Hall from Lloyd St
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mark Andrew used under CC BY 2.0

Football and cotton, these two things have mostly taken root from the city of Manchester. The city is not only famous for its unique vibe, but also for its unconditional energy. It is also the gateway to the northern part of England. Plan your itinerary and book your tickets today to have an adventure of a lifetime.

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