When it comes to English football, Manchester is a city that lives and breathes the sport. The city is home to the largest club football ground in the UK and clubs dating back to the 1800s, so it’s safe to say that we take football very seriously. 

With two premier league clubs within the city as well as Wigan Athletic, Bolton Wanderers, Salford City, Stockport County, FC United of Manchester and so many more across Greater Manchester, there is definitely no shortage of teams to back within our city region and that’s just the men’s teams. 

To celebrate Manchester’s love of the beautiful game and to cement its status as the football capital of the UK, we wanted to round up some activities all football fanatics will love. 

1. Visit the National Football Museum 

The world’s biggest and best football museum is right here in Manchester, proving that we’re the true home of the beautiful game. The National Football Museum opened in July 2012 and since then has welcomed over 1 million visitors. It hosts a huge array of memorabilia, interactive games and thought-provoking exhibitions to help you understand the history and legacy of football. Expect to see iconic shirts, trophies and photographs of some of football's heroes all under one roof.  

For the last decade, the National Football Museum has been a firm favourite amongst football fans but also a great family activity with displays and games that can appeal to all ages. Join in with a penalty shootout or get a photo with a replica of the Premier League trophy, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. The museum is free for Manchester residents and kids under five, otherwise, prices start from £7 for a child and £13 for adults if you book online. Even better, for those who are a resident of our amazing city, you get to go for free!

2. Take a Stadium Tour 

It wouldn’t be too bold to say that Manchester is home to two of the most iconic stadiums in the world. Whether you’re a red or blue, or you simply want to imagine what life is like for a premiership footballer, a stadium tour is a great way to experience Manchester’s iconic football clubs and all the behind-the-scenes action. If you’ve always wanted to see inside the changing rooms where pre-match talks happen, walk through the tunnel just like your favourite stars or even see the pitches that have played host to countless goals, then look no further. Head to the Etihad for the Manchester City Football Stadium and Club Tour to learn exclusive stories, facts and anecdotes about The Sky Blues. You can also go behind the scenes at the legendary Old Trafford with the Old Trafford Tour & Museum.

3. Visit Café Football 

Football fans, there’s no better place to fill your boots than at Café Football. Enjoy a locally-sourced football-inspired menu from burgers and salads to award-winning pizzas or you could even enjoy breakfast or afternoon tea. Café Football has been designed with football fans in mind, creating a run and relaxed dining experience with live sport and football memorabilia as a feast for the eyes. What’s more, Café Football is located in Hotel Football which was founded by Manchester United legends Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville directly opposite the pitch that made their names, Old Trafford. 

4. Take the kids to the Manchester City Fan zone 

Got yourself a Jack Grealish in the making? Well, the Manchester City Kids FanZone could be for them. For two and a half hours before every home weekend match at the Etihad, the indoor pitch located at City Football Academy turns into the kids' fanzone full of fun and games. With inflatable games, arts and craft activities and many photo opportunities, this free-to-attend event is a hit for all kids. Plus, you can show your support for Manchester City in a March to the Match an hour before kick-off. You don’t need a match ticket to attend but pre-booking is essential to avoid disappointment. Access to the fanzone does not give you access to the game afterwards. 

5. Join a Manchester United Taxi Tour 

For a truly unique way to experience the history of one of the UK’s biggest clubs, hop on a Manchester Taxi Tour. The bespoke Manchester United Taxi Tour will not only take you to Old Trafford but to the team’s first-ever training ground, a traditional Manchester United pub and many more landmarks in between. The electric black cab will take you and up to 5 friends on a private tour, with a professional tour guide full of anecdotes and insight. Learn more about the history of the red devils and see the sights of the city on this unique eco-friendly tour. 

6. Play some five-a-side 

What could be a better football-based activity than playing it for yourself? Lace up your best boots (trainers will do), grab some mates and play some good old-fashioned football. It’s fun, will keep you fit and gives you a chance to channel your inner Marcus Rashford. There are countless five-a-side pitches in Greater Manchester including Powerleague at Manchester Central, We Play Football in Bury and Kick Sonic in Oldham, so you don’t have to travel miles to get your football fix. These pitches are all state of the art, with everything you need for a game of two halves. Many of these venues also host football leagues, so if you fancy yourself as a bit of a pro, there’s a chance to play on a much more regular basis. 

7. Play footgolf 

Not the best footballer or just want to see how far you can kick? Footgolf Manchester at Burnage Football Club is a great activity for groups of all shapes and sizes. You can also get food and drinks packages which include a burger or pie and a range of draft beers, ciders or spirits to help you make a day of it. Footgolf combines the best of football and golf, all you have to do is try to kick the ball into the hole in as few shots as possible. Prices start from £10 for adults and £7 for concessions, but there are deals for groups and for people eating.  So grab some mates and get ready for some fun but make sure you dodge the bunkers and trees! 

8. Watch a match 

While we know Premier League and Champion’s League tickets are like gold dust and season tickets can be quite an expense, there’s always football going on in Greater Manchester. From Women’s Football Matches to lower league games from local teams like Stockport County, FC United or Wigan Athletic, there are countless opportunities to see some live action on the pitch. You can never beat the experience of a live match. Soaking up the atmosphere and cheering for our city-region’s incredible athletes, it’s a must for any football fan. From Salford to Bolton, Altrincham to Rochdale, we’re in no way short of football teams in Greater Manchester and all of them can provide you with a great day out. Who knows, you may even find your new favourite team in the process. 

So, if you’ve got football fever and are looking for some activities to help you get more of the nation’s favourite sport, look no further than Greater Manchester. 

You can learn more about what’s on in our city-region here.