Solo travel – the best way to see a place at your own pace, explore your own interests, and meet new people. Manchester has plenty to keep solo travellers entertained, with its huge range of things to do, places to eat and incredible places to stay.

DO

With its never-ending events calendar, solo travellers won’t be short of things to do in Manchester. There are also a number of activities perfect for those flying solo or wanting to meet new people.

The daily Discover Manchester tour is the perfect way to get affiliated with the city’s rich industrial and radical past, and to learn everything there is to know about England’s gateway to the north. Departing from Manchester Central Library at 11am daily, and at a cost of only £10 per person, this 2-hour city tour is also a great way to meet likeminded travellers from across the world.

Everyone knows the English weather can be somewhat temperamental, and if a walking tour isn’t your thing, hop on Manchester’s sightseeing bus. A quick 90 minute whistle stop tour of the city, with the opportunity to hop on and off, get your bearings of the city in the warmth and comfort of a double decker bus! Equally, Skyliner’s Street Art tour is notoriously fantastic. Explore the history and meaning behind some of Manchester’s best street art, and discover another side to Manchester’s independent Northern Quarter neighbourhood.

Outside of the city centre, get your climb on at Manchester Climbing Centre. Situated in a Victorian red bricked church, this is the perfect way to meet people while learning something new. If water sports are more your thing, the Helly Hansen Watersports Centre offers the chance to learn everything from wakeboarding and dinghy sailing, to kayaking and stand up paddle boarding.


SEE

With museums and galleries aplenty, Manchester’s cultural scene is absolutely booming, and with most of the city’s cultural attractions offering free entry, it’s the perfect place for both solo and budget travellers.

Manchester Art Gallery, The Whitworth, and the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art are just some of the galleries offering visitors a wide range of exhibitions, and all with free entry. Manchester Museum, the People’s History Museum and the John Rylands Library all offer city-centre world-class collections and exhibitions, perfect to take a solo wander around at your own pace.

Manchester isn’t just defined by its city centre, however. The wider region has so much to offer, and is definitely worth the tram, train or bus journey from the city’s central hub. Stockport Air Raid Shelters, Bolton’s Museum, aquarium and archives or Bury’s Transport Museum, are just some of the options across Greater Manchester.

Of course, Manchester is synonymous with football; it’s written into our DNA. Take some time to tour the grounds of Manchester United and Manchester City, or discover the social history of the beautiful game at the National Football Museum.

EAT

A table for one isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but Manchester offers a number of options for social dining. Bundobust is Manchester’s ‘beer and Indian’ joint, situated in a Piccadilly basement, don’t let the exterior of this place put you off. Head down the stairs, grab a seat on one of the shared tables, and take your pick from their extensive, affordable and incredibly tasty menu. Over the other side of town on Oxford Road, you’ll find Hatch. An open, social space housing creative, independent businesses, with a number of food and drink traders that rotate frequently.

Another street food hotspot is GRUB. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Fairfield Social Club, GRUB hosts some of the best street food in the UK, top notch local craft beer and its ever popular #plantpoweredsundays. A great place to meet people and stock up on some of the best grub in the Northwest.

Summed up as `The Northern Quarter's Canteen’, the emphasis on food at The Soup Kitchen is on fresh, healthy, and affordable food served in a large `benched' space designed for the local community and its residents. It’s also a great place to catch live music, or start a night out from in Manchester’s famous Northern Quarter.

Or, take a food tour with Scranchester Tours. Fill your belly, meet new people and explore Manchester’s culinary scene all in one go. Arrive hungry, as the tour includes at least eight stops!

SLEEP

Hotels and hostels with social spaces are always great places to meet people as a solo traveller, though sometimes it’s nice to get a little peace and quiet after a long days socialising!

For something a little more upmarket, check out the King Street Townhouse. With an infinity pool overlooking Manchester’s beautiful neo-gothic town hall, King Street Townhouse also has a bar and restaurant space where guests can either interact or kick back and chill out. Close to transport links, Ibis Styles’ stylish lobby offers you a place to grab a drink and have a chat with the locals, or after a long day, relax and unwind at the lively eXchange bar & restaurant or re-energise in the sauna and steam room at Novotel Manchester Central.

For a truly social accommodation experience, hostels are increasingly popular with solo travellers. In the Northern Quarter there is the option of either Hatters Hostel or Hilton Chambers. Both offer budget accommodations in shared bedrooms with breakfast included, or head to the Manchester YHA - a purpose-built youth hostel sleeping up to 136 people in mostly 4-bedded rooms, all with en suite facilities.

Whatever you choose to do in Manchester as a solo traveller, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. Check out visitmanchester.com for more inspiration, or get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for any help or advice!

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  1. Chiara
    I totally agree, I went to Manchester by myself in november to see Johnny Marr‘s gig and your pieces of advice were perfect, starting with the guided tour! I truly miss the city!

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