15 Best Manchester Tours

Manchester City is located in central England, bordering Liverpool and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the North Sea and Europe to the east.

Around 550,000 people live within Manchester city limits, but the surrounding suburbs are home to almost 3 million residents, making it one of the most populous urban areas in the UK.

Compared to the capital, London, Manchester has a unique feel, known for its gritty, hard-working residents, raucous sports fans and industrial economy.

It’s also a hotspot for art, food, live entertainment, and has many conveniently located historical and natural attractions.

1. Private Welcome Manchester Tour with a Local

Manchester

Exploring a new city with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide is a great way to start your holiday.

Not only will you see things from a local perspective, but you will generally have a more engaging, educational, and all-around fun experience than those who stay on the big traditional tours.

On this private welcome tour, guests will become acquainted with the community in which they live with their guide. They then set off to visit many of the city’s main attractions.

Tours are customizable and may last anywhere from two to six hours, depending on participants’ schedules and interests.

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2. Manchester Food Tour with a local guide

Manchester Food Tour

While it doesn’t quite compare to Paris, Tokyo and Beijing when it comes to the world’s most famous cuisine, Manchester is home to a thriving culinary scene that has made a huge splash in recent years.

This culinary adventure allows guests to experience the city’s restaurants from a street perspective, while learning about the area’s history and culture along the way.

The tour includes eight tastings at different food establishments located throughout the city. While the portions are modest, by the end of the tour, everyone will have the equivalent of a hearty meal.

The tour starts in the morning and lasts for several hours.

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3. 60-minute river cruise

Manchester River

From the comfort of a riverboat, you can get a complete overview of Manchester’s layout and visit some of its most iconic sights.

This one-hour tour departs from one of the city’s centrally located marinas. It includes sweeping views of Media City, Old Trafford, Pomona Pier and the Imperial War Museum.

Along the way, visitors will benefit from an interesting historical narrative, and may discover something they may want to explore further after the tour is officially over.

The boat includes indoor and outdoor seating so guests can feel comfortable no matter the weather.

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4. SEA LIFE tickets

Sea Life Aquarium

Admittedly, having a local professional guide by your side when you visit a new area usually makes all the difference, but sometimes it’s more fun to see and experience things yourself.

If this sounds like you and your travel companion, spending a few free and relaxing moments at SEA LIFE Manchester Aquarium is a great option.

It is one of the most impressive aquariums in the country, with a variety of fish, birds and reptiles from all over the world.

The aquarium is popular with families traveling with children and features educational and interactive exhibits to keep young people engaged.

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5. National Football Museum Ticket

Manchester National Football Museum

Manchester’s National Football Museum is one of the city’s premier sports-related attractions.

While it’s possible to watch with a local guide, many die-hard football fans choose to buy their own tickets and experience it on their own terms.

Tickets are good for a full day and give guests access to multiple floors of the museum, including football gear, interactive exhibits and interesting reports on players and coaches from past seasons.

Visitors can test their skills in the popular penalty shootout challenge, take pictures with famous trophies, or enjoy a leisurely stroll while reminiscing about famous matches of yesteryear.

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6. Legoland Discovery Center Tickets

Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester

During most of autumn and winter, the weather in Manchester is not particularly suitable for outdoor activities.

Luckily, for those less adventurous, there are plenty of interior options to choose from.

The LEGOLAND Discovery Center is the ultimate indoor playground; it actually consists of dozens of exhilarating attractions, all under one roof.

It’s all about creating an atmosphere of activity, creativity and engagement for young people, and it tends to occupy little ones like nowhere else.

The center is wheelchair accessible, has a café, and covers everything from space and the natural world to aviation and technology.

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7. Haunted Manchester City Discovery Games and Tours

Manchester night

App-based game tours are a fun and educational option for those who don’t want to squeeze time into a steamy bus for a full-day tour.

Using their collective intelligence to solve clues and decipher riddles, guests will use their smartphones as maps and GPS guides to guide them to many of the city’s most important attractions.

Each step brings the group one step closer to unraveling the hidden stories of the trip, and since this is an unguided tour, participants can spend as much or as little time at each stop.

Tours last about 90 minutes and focus on creepy, creepy and creepy scenes.

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8. Silent Disco Adventure

Silent Disco Tour

Like Dandelion and microbreweries, silent disco adventures are popping up everywhere.

Although it pales in comparison to Liverpool, the home of the Beatles, Manchester has a rich musical heritage of its own.

During this tour, guests will be able to perform like famous performers while visiting many of the city’s main attractions.

Participants are encouraged to sing and dance desperately as if their lives depended on it.

The tour included high-tech headsets, professional tour guides and hordes of shocked onlookers, gaping at it all.

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9. City walking tour

Manchester Town Hall

Despite its large population and the inevitable urban hustle and bustle, Manchester is a very walkable city.

On this small-group walking tour, guests will stretch their legs, see many sights up close and personal, and learn about the geography of the city.

Tour highlights include the city’s industrial heart, an extensive network of man-made canals, and the historic town hall.

The tour covers a moderate amount of ground around the city center, starts in the afternoon and usually lasts about 2.5 hours from start to finish.

Don’t be shy to ask your guide for advice on places to eat, shop and see.

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10. Manchester Lake District, Windermere and Lancaster Tour

lake windermere

The Lake District is the perfect day trip escape destination for those in need of a more rural setting than Manchester city centre.

Upon arriving in Bowness-on-Lake Windermere, guests can choose to take a leisurely stroll around the lake, explore the town, or join a boat trip to Windermere.

This is a particularly idyllic part of the country, home to the famous poet William Wordsworth in his youth.

Before returning to Manchester, guests will head to Lancaster to admire its palatial medieval architecture and impressive castle.

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11. Self-Guided Chatsworth House Day Trip by Train from Manchester

After meeting with their tour supplier at Manchester train station, participants will receive their travel bags and find out about the day’s activities.

Then travel across the country to Sheffield, where they will board a tour bus to Chatsworth.

The scenery includes picturesque villages and seemingly endless rolling hills. Once in town, guests will have plenty of time to explore many of Chatsworth House’s main attractions.

Once the residence of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, the residence boasts luxurious living areas, impressive artwork and extensive grounds including stunning gardens and a spectacular fountain.

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12. Hard Rock Cafe Manchester Skip-the-Line Ticket

Manchester Hard Rock Cafe

Lovers of hearty American food and rock memorabilia don’t need to visit two different locations to satisfy both.

Centrally located, Hard Rock Café Manchester is a popular restaurant with locals and tourists alike.

During peak hours, it’s nearly impossible to find a table, which is why skip-the-line tickets are so good value for those who don’t want to miss out.

Their menu includes food and beer from around the world, and the restaurant is adorned with music-related paraphernalia, and for many guests, it’s like a walk in memory.

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13. Liverpool and the Beatles Day Trip from Manchester

The Beatles Monument Liverpool

For Beatles lovers visiting Manchester, Liverpool is just a short train ride west. In addition to having a wealth of music-related attractions, it also has quite a few historical and cultural attractions.

Guests of this professionally managed but self-guided tour will travel by train to the coast. Once in the city, they will take a sightseeing bus to the main attractions of the city.

Highlights include the Royal Albert Dock, The Beatles Story, Anglican Cathedral and the waterfront area designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Also includes free entry to the Maritime Museum and Walker Art Gallery.

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14. Manchester’s Historic Chester Self-Guided Tour and Lunch

Chester, UK

After receiving a detailed and value-for-money travel package from a travel agent, guests on this self-guided tour will travel by train to historic Chester.

The journey takes about an hour, after which guests can choose to explore the city on foot or by bus.

Chester is known for its Roman-era attractions, including the remains of the city’s original walls and a nearly 1,000-year-old cathedral.

Guests can also choose to take a guided walking tour of the city centre, or continue to explore on their own.

A light soup and sandwich lunch is also included while in Chester.

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15. Yorkshire Dales Tour from Manchester

Grassington

From Manchester, guests on this tour head north to the quaint and scenic Yorkshire Dales village of Grassington.

After the tour of the town, participants will head to the majestic Aysgarth Falls, which has been the location of several films – and the town of Askrigg is the next stop on the tour.

Guests will have plenty of time to explore the town’s historic attractions on their own, before stopping at a local town known for its traditional creamery and the Ribblehead viaduct, which has been around since the Romans built it hundreds of years ago.

The tour lasts about ten hours and starts and ends in Manchester.

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