Manchester City Guide
From rented holiday apartments to budget hotels and lavish establishments, Manchester is the city of choice.
If you're after the wow factor, book a room at the Hilton Deansgate in one of Manchester's most iconic buildings - Beetham Tower. Not only do you get stunning floor to ceiling windows of the city's skyline but luxe finishings from reception to your room. In terms of facilities, this place really does have it all. Take a leisurely dip in their pool and jacuzzi before relaxing in their steam and sauna rooms. Or if you're into fitness, there's a gym overlooking the city.
As for food and drink, there's their restaurant Podium on the ground floor and a sky bar on the 23rd floor serving drinks and Afternoon Tea - but reservations are recommended as it's a popular hotspot. Guests who book an Executive room gain entry to the hotel only side of the Cloud 23 bar where they can watch the sun set and rise come breakfast.
Looking for your designer goods? Head to King Street for the likes of DKNY and Fred Perry.
The Arndale/Market Street
The Arndale is Manchester's main shopping centre housing hundreds of stores that also spill out into Market Street which has everything you'll ever need if you can battle the crowds.
For more unique, independent boutiques head to the Northern Quarter for quirky buys you won't get anywhere else.
Located on Edge Street, Ziferblat is a different kind of place where you pay for the time you spend there. Whilst visiting you can connect to wi fi to get some work done, eat cake and drink tea, read newspapers, play board games and play the piano. Who says rainy days are dull?!
The Trafford Centre
The Trafford Centre is a must for shopping and entertainment lovers. The building itself is stunning and filled with every shop you could hope for. The area also houses a cinema, miniature golf, bowling alley, dozens of restaurants and an indoor ski slope. It's a quick drive from the city centre or alternatively hop on a bus!
Come nicer weather, head to Castlefield for a walk around the canals and a quick bite to eat in a more open area of the city.
From the Manchester Gallery to the Whitworth, pop a visit to some of the city's best art galleries.
Brand new for 2015, The Washhouse has quickly become a go-to spot for drinks with a twist. All is not as it seems from the outside as what looks like a laundry shop hides a Narnia experience with a bar in the back. It's a reservations only place and their contact number has to be found to book you and your crew in. Time for some washing anyone?
If you're into your cocktails, take a trip to The Alchemist. There's two in the city centre - one on New York Street and one in the Spinningfields area - both of which offer all the cocktail variations you can think of alongside a great setting and a food menu too.
Nestled in the Northern Quarter is Holdfast - an underground intimate bar where you can catch live music, a drink and play some old fashioned board games.
Hidden away (well, underground) near Stevenson Square is Guilty By Association. Come Friday and Saturday this place really comes alive with old school hip hop being the soundtrack and 2 for £10 cocktails until 9pm.
Revolucion De Cuba
You may recognise the chain already but this Cuban cocktail bar is always rammed come the weekend. Open until 3am - get in the early to avoid the queues and loosen up ready for some salsa dancing and limbo-ing (yep this happens!). There's two floors you can switch between so if your friends fancy music a little different to your taste, you can mix and match. And if you want to get involved behind the scenes you can book a cocktail masterclass.
Home Sweet Home
HSH is becoming Manchester's best known secret if that's even possible! Queues are out of the door for a reason and sadly you can't make reservations so get there early on the weekend for one of the best breakfasts in the city. From Eggs Benedict to Oreo Milkshakes, the menu is mouthwatering and the decor is sugar sweet.
Heading up King Street is Rosso, famous both for it's food, celebrity clientele and interior design. Set in a former bank, this places oozes the wow factor as soon as you step in, and that's before you've even eaten.
Located in Castlefield, it's a picture perfect setting next to the canals of the city. With both indoor and outdoor seating - this place really comes alive during summer when warmer weather hits, with the beer garden spilling with people. Serving traditional dishes such as Steak and Fish and Chips, there's lunch deals and their Sunday roast is spectacular.
Tariff and Dale
Another new venue for 2015 is Tariff and Dale. Located on the corner of both streets, it's a venue with a difference encompassing industrial structures (the ex lift shaft above a booth is a must-see). Head downstairs
Most of Manchester is walkable but if you want to save your legs, there's lots of options to getting around. Across town are three free (yes, free!) Metro buses that cover the main routes. Labelled 1,2,3 and colour co-ordinated - they run at regular intervals throughout the day and will save your legs and your pennies.
From Manchester Piccadilly to Manchester Oxford Road, Deansgate and Manchester Victoria - the city is bursting with train stations and you can connect on most routes (which may already be included in your ticket if you've booked a 'central' type).
Using the tram is also a massively popular mode of transport and the route is growing day by day. Purchase a city travelcard to get the most for your money and hop on and off across town.
And lastly, taxis are dotted across the city for quick and easy use. Avoid rush hour times using them if you want to keep costs down.