Five Things to See in Manchester According to Mancunian Students
These are our five favorite spots in Manchester, from the hottest spots to eat and shop to hidden gems of Mancunian history and culture. While you’re studying abroad at University of Manchester, explore the city's social impact on Britain and discover one of the most culturally generous, inclusive, and exciting cities in the UK.
1. The Northern Quarter is an eclectic, bustling neighborhood with bohemian vibe, independent shops, and creative industries. NQ, a hub both for the Industrial Revolution and Manchester’s iconic music scene, has a unique blend of creativity, culture, and community, all just a few minutes from the central shopping venues. It has colorful murals and graffitied independent thrift stores, record shops, art galleries, and tattoo studios, as well as some great bars, restaurants, and cafés.
2. The Giant Vimto Bottle sculpture in sustainable oak by Kerry Morrison is a well-known landmark in Granby Row. Commissioned by popular soft drink Vimto in 1992, the Vimto bottle sculpture is18 feet tall and symbolizes the city's creative, innovative spirit. Manchester's popular fruit-flavored drink statue is a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of Manchester's industrial heritage.
3. The Alan Turing memorial remembers Alan Turing, a British mathematician and computer scientist who played a pivotal role in cracking German codes during World War II. Funded by the public to celebrate Turing's 89th birthday, the sculpture, by Glyn Hughes, depicts the Father of Modern Computing sitting on a bench holding an apple. It’s a precious piece of Manchester pride and history, tucked away in Sackville Gardens parallel to Manchester's bustling Canal Street.
4. Just outside Manchester's Bridgewater Hall in Barbirolli Square is one of Manchester’s unsung treasures, the Ishinki Touchstone. Ishinki translates as a form returning to its heart. A beautiful, pebble-shaped public sculpture, it’s also known as The Bean, and it honors the Hallé Orchestra's famous conductor. It’s right next to the Society food hall, where vendors serve delicious street food, craft beer, and cocktails.
5. The Locks at Castlefield is a scenic canal spot for walkers and cyclists, taking you through the city center. By the Rochdale Canal, Castlefield has been a designated conservation area since 1980. Protected from development, it keeps its historical and architectural value, so you can explore its museums, galleries, and cafés and get a sense of the city’s industrial legacy after your lectures.