Where to stay in Manchester - Best Areas And Hotels For 2023
Helping you find the best place to stay in Manchester that suits your budget and travel style.
Welcome to Manchester, a city that holds a special place in my heart. As a former student at the University of Manchester and Manchester former resident, I've spent years exploring this epic city and discovering its hidden gems. I'm excited to share my expertise with you and help you find the perfect place to stay in Manchester.
In this guide, we'll take a closer look at some of the best areas to stay in Manchester, whether you're a first-time visitor, a student looking to experience the local culture, or a family seeking a peaceful and picturesque stay. We'll cover the top areas to stay for shopping, nightlife, beautiful architecture, and more.
If you're a first-time visitor to Manchester, I highly recommend staying in the Northern Quarter. This lively neighbourhood is known for its trendy cafés, bars, and independent shops, and it's a great area for those who want to be close to the city centre and the nightlife scene.
For shoppers, there's no better place to stay than Spinningfields. This area is known for its high-end shops, restaurants, and bars, and it's a great location for those who want a luxurious stay in the city.
If you're looking for a lively nightlife scene, then Deansgate is the perfect place to stay. This area is located along one of Manchester's main roads and is home to some of the city's most popular bars and clubs.
For those looking to experience student culture, the University Quarter is the ideal place to stay. This area is located near the University of Manchester and is home to a range of student-friendly bars and restaurants.
Families visiting Manchester should consider staying in Chorlton. This leafy and suburban neighbourhood is known for its beautiful Victorian houses and peaceful atmosphere.
Let's explore each area in more detail, so you can find the best place to stay in Manchester. I've included my favourite accommodation options to help you pick the right hotel based on your travel style and budget, too.
|❤️ Best Area for first-timers:||Northern Quarter|
|💎 Best overall hotel:||Stock Exchange Hotel|
|🏨 Best mid-range hotel:||Roomzzz Manchester Victoria|
|🛋️ Best apartment:||Hyatt House Manchester|
Which area of Manchester is the best to stay?
- Northern Quarter: This neighbourhood is known for its trendy cafés, bars, and independent shops. It's a great area for first time visitors to Manchester.
- Spinningfields: This area is known for its high-end shops, restaurants, and bars. It's a great area for those who want a luxurious shopping stay in the city.
- Deansgate: Home to some of the city's most popular bars and restaurants. It's a great area for those who want to be in the heart of the action.
- Ancoats: This is a hip and up-and-coming neighbourhood located just outside the city centre. It's known for its industrial history, trendy bars and restaurants, and street art.
- Castlefield: This is a historic area located next to the Bridgewater Canal, and it's known for its beautiful architecture and canal side views. It's a great area for those who want a peaceful and picturesque stay.
- Chorlton: This is a leafy and suburban neighbourhood located a few miles outside the city centre. It's an ideal place for families.
- University Quarter: This area is located near the University of Manchester and is home to a range of student-friendly bars and restaurants, ideal for student culture.
- Didsbury: This is a quieter, residential neighbourhood located a few miles outside the city centre. It's a great area for those who want a suburban experience in Manchester
What is the nicest part of Manchester City Centre?
The Northern Quarter is the nicest area in the city centre because of its unique charm and character. With its Bohemian atmosphere, it is the hub of creative and independent businesses in Manchester. It is home to trendy cafés, vintage shops, and street art as well as buzzing bars, live music venues, and award-winning restaurants.
The area's rich history is evident in its red-brick buildings and narrow alleys that create a fascinating urban landscape. Plus, its location in the heart of Manchester means that you are just a short walk away from other attractions, such as the Arndale Centre, the Printworks, and the National Football Museum.
What is the safest area to stay in Manchester?
Table of ContentsOpen
Best area to stay for first time visitors
The Northern Quarter is a trendy area located in the heart of Manchester city centre. It's a great place to stay for first time visitors, as it's located close to many of the city's top attractions, restaurants, and nightlife hotspots.
One of the main draws of the Northern Quarter is its fantastic shopping options. There are many independent shops, boutiques, and markets selling everything from vintage clothing and vinyl records to artisanal food and handmade crafts. Popular shopping destinations in the area include Affleck's Palace, a famous indoor market that's been a staple of Manchester's alternative scene since the 1980s, and the Manchester Arndale shopping centre, which houses more than 200 shops and restaurants.
The Northern Quarter is known for its vibrant nightlife. Bars, pubs, and clubs, including some of the city's most popular live music venues, are located close to Oldham street. Some top spots to check out: Band on the Wall, a legendary music venue that's been around since the 1930s, and Night & Day Cafe, which has hosted some of Manchester's most famous bands over the years.
Culture lovers, visit the Manchester Art Gallery, featuring historic and contemporary art, or explore the Manchester Craft and Design Centre, showcasing the work of local artists and designers. The neighbourhood is known for its street art, and you can take a self-guided tour to see some of the best murals and installations in the area.
Where to stay in the Northern Quarter
The Northern Quarter offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets. You can find luxury and boutique hotels, or stylish flats with modern amenities.
The area is known for its unique and creative decor, with many accommodations featuring eclectic and artistic designs that reflect the Northern Quarter's vibrant and trendy atmosphere.
Because of its central location, there are many hotels to pick from. High-end room prices start around £150/night. Budget options range from £50 to about £80/night.
Our top hotel picks in Northern Quarter are:
- Mid-range: Abel Heywood Boutique Hotel
- Mid-range: ABode Manchester
- Apartment: Luxury 2-bedroom apartment
- Great for groups: Lushpads
Best place to stay for shopping
Spinningfields is the best area to stay in Manchester for shopping enthusiasts. Home to high-end shops, boutiques, and designer stores, making it a popular destination for luxury shopping. There are also international fashion brands, jewellery shops, and speciality stores offering everything from gourmet food to luxury home decor along Hardman street.
Check out The Avenue, a stylish arcade with the best international fashion collections in the North West, featuring high-end fashion brands such as Emporio Armani, Mulberry, and Hugo Boss.
Where to stay in Spinningfields
Spinningfields is known for its high-end accommodations and serviced apartments, offering stylish and modern amenities with lovely city views. Most hotels are luxury, 5 and 4-star catering for those with top budget.
The city centre and most attractions are a short walk away. In terms of public transport, your closest tram stop, St Peter's Square, is about 5 mins walk. The tram will take you to Shaw via Exchange Square.
Our top hotel picks in Spinningfields are:
- Luxury: Stock Exchange Hotel
- Luxury: Manchester Marriott Victoria & Albert Hotel
- Mid-range: Moxy Manchester City
- Mid-range: BrewDog DogHouse Manchester
Best place to stay in Manchester for nightlife
Stay in Deansgate for a vibrant and exciting nightlife experience in Manchester. This mile-long stretch of road connects almost every part of the city centre, making it a convenient location for any night out. Along Deansgate and the A34, there are countless pubs, cocktail bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.
Start your night at the intersection of Deansgate and Market Street, and consider visiting one of the well-liked weekend spots that are popular among locals. Pick from pubs like the Living Room, The Botanist, or Moon under the Water.
As you make your way down Deansgate, you'll find a variety of dining options, including tapas bars, Brazilian buffets, and high-end burger joints. And if you're in the mood for a nightcap, check out the vibrant drinking destination of Deansgate Locks with its six bars and comedy club, or visit the award-winning Atlas Bar, which offers over 250 different gins.
Where to stay in Deansgate
When it comes to accommodation, Deansgate has plenty of options to choose from, including my favourite, the Hilton Hotel in the towering Beetham Tower, with its exclusive Cloud 23 Bar and spa.
Deansgate is as central as it gets. You are very close to everything and anything. The Gay Village, the Manchester Opera house and Arndale are all within 5-10 mins walk.
If you decide to rent a car - and why not go on a day trip from Manchester, - there are plenty of NCP car parks in this area.
Our top hotel picks in Deansgate are:
- Luxury: The Edwardian Manchester
- Luxury: The Midland
- Luxury: Hilton Manchester Deansgate
Perfect place to stay for the hip and creative
Ancoats is a popular place to stay in Manchester for creatives and food enthusiasts. It features a blend of old and new, with industrial mill-lined streets and an overflowing array of independent restaurants, bars, and pop-ups. Ancoats Square, also known as Cutting Room Square, is the most popular place for alfresco dining, with a range of culinary delights.
The streets of Ancoats are pedestrian-friendly and quieter, making it a perfect escape from the bustling city centre. Ancoats has plenty of independent businesses that draw people in. Blossom Street is home to the Michelin-starred Mana restaurant, where exquisite dishes are served behind sheer curtains that shield the tables from the pavement.
Just down the street is The Hip Hop Chip Shop, a fish and chip shop with a projector and screen; and Sugo Pasta Kitchen with tasty Italian food. Don't miss Trove, an artisanal bakery and café, and Cocoa Cabana, a chocolatier, cocktail bar, and tearoom.
Further, into Ancoats, find more independent businesses such as Erst, a natural wine & tapas bar, and Campanio, a small artisan bakery. Ancoats Marina is a short walk away, where you can enjoy the beautiful waterside wharf dotted with moored canal boats and swans. The marina is also home to Cask, a cask and craft beer bar, and Pollen, a highly rated bakery with queues occasionally forming for their pâtisseries.
Where to stay in Ancoats
The location of Ancoats is excellent, as it is just across the street from Manchester city centre, with both Piccadilly and Victoria Stations within a 5-minute walk.
Ancoats is a perfect for those looking for a suburban experience while still being close to the city centre.
The area is filled with various types of accommodation, including privately rented, elegant flats and historic pubs (B&Bs), making it an excellent place to stay in Manchester.
Our top hotel picks in Ancoats are:
- Penthouse with Hot Tub: Contemporary Ancoats Penthouse
- Apartment: Ancoats Home
- Great for groups: 2 Bedroom Apt with parking
Best place to stay for beautiful architecture
Castlefield, located southwest of central Manchester, is an area brimming with historical charm and modern appeal. Once a Roman settlement and a centre of industrial activity, Castlefield has undergone many restoration efforts to transform into a thriving centre of activity, complete with a diverse food culture and an acclaimed theatre scene.
Castlefield is the ideal place to stay in Manchester for architecture. Explore the area's cobbled streets and waterways, with charming pubs and restaurants offering picturesque views and a relaxed atmosphere. As a designated Urban Heritage Park, the area is only accessible to pedestrians.
Castlefield's unique charm comes from its cobbled streets and moored boats, where you can uncover Manchester's birthplace and step inside a 2,000-year-old Roman fortress called Mamucium, which the city gets its name from.
Castlefield is known for its modern and contemporary art scene. Cultural complex HOME showcases Manchester's thriving art, film, and theatre scenes, with regular new commissions by young artists and talks and workshops for aspiring artists. For live music and outdoor events, head to Castlefield Bowl, an outdoor pavilion that regularly hosts concerts and food festivals.
Where to stay in Castlefield
Castlefield is a fairly small area divided by the waterways. Most hotels are situated along Liverpool road, some of them are brand new. The neighbourhood is easily accessible through public transportation, or you can simply walk into the centre on foot.
There are a couple of bridges crossing the waterways, making it easy to access the opposite side.
Your closest tram station is Deansgate-Castlefield. Trains stop at Deansgate station.
Our top hotel picks in Castlefield are:
- Luxury: Lock Keepers Cottage
- Mid-range: Castlefield Hotel
- Great for groups: Wharf Inn Premier Apartment
Great place to stay in Manchester for families
If you are looking for the perfect place to stay with your family in Manchester, then I recommend Chorlton. Chorlton is located in the south of the city, and it's well known for its family-friendly atmosphere and plenty of green spaces.
One of the main attractions for families in Chorlton is the beautiful Chorlton Water Park, situated on the edge of the neighbourhood. This picturesque park is perfect for a family day out, with a large lake and plenty of space for picnics and walks. There are also several play areas for kids of all ages, including swings, slides, and climbing frames.
Another great feature of Chorlton is its bustling high street, which is packed with independent shops, cafés, and restaurants. Families can enjoy all sorts of international cuisines, from Lebanese to Vietnamese, as well as more traditional pub food. And with a number of specialist food shops, including a fantastic organic grocery, you'll have everything you need for a self-catering stay.
Chorlton also has a strong community spirit, with a number of events and activities throughout the year. The annual Chorlton Arts Festival is an incredible celebration of the neighbourhood's creativity, featuring a range of performances, workshops, and exhibitions.
Where to stay in Chorlton
In terms of accommodation, Chorlton has plenty of options for families, including spacious apartments for a lovely self-catering stay. Many properties come with gardens or outdoor space, perfect for children to play in.
With excellent transport links to the city centre, you'll have easy access to all of Manchester's attractions.
Your closest tram stations are Chorlton station and St Werburgh's Road station. It usually takes about 20 mins by tram to the city centre. Use the Navy or Pink line for quick access.
Our top hotel picks in Chorlton are:
- Budget: Bowling Green
- Apartment: Chorlton Garden Rooms
- For large families: Chorlton Townhouse
Perfect place to stay for student culture
The University Quarter is the perfect place to stay in Manchester for students. The area is located to the south of Manchester's city centre, adjacent to the campuses of the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.
One of the main attractions of the University Quarter is its many student-friendly bars, cafés, and restaurants. You can grab a drink in a cosy place like the popular Big Hands, or enjoy affordable and colourful cocktails at the student bar, the Font. If you're looking for a cool beer garden, you'll want to chill in Kro Bar.
The University Quarter is more than just a place to eat and drink. It's also home to a wide range of cultural and artistic events, many of which are designed specifically for students. The Manchester Museum, located on the University of Manchester campus, is a must-see for anyone interested in natural history. The entrance to the museum is free of charge.
Check the Whitworth Art Gallery, a great place to explore contemporary art. The Royal Northern College of Music, in the heart of the Quarter, offers a wide range of classical and contemporary music performances throughout the year.
Where to stay in the University Quarter
With its many student-oriented amenities, the University Quarter is a great place to stay if you're looking to experience all that Manchester's student culture has to offer. With its central location, you'll be within easy reach of all the city's other attractions as well, just a few bus stops from the centre along the legendary Oxford Road.
Most hotels are dotted along Oxford Road. The selection is large, starting with 4-star hotels all the way to budget accommodations and a handful of hostels. This area is very close to the centre, so expect higher prices.
You can find budget friendly(er) options South of the University Campus, close to Claremont Road.
Our top hotel picks in University Quarter are:
- Luxury: Hyatt Regency Manchester
- Mid-range: Maldron Hotel
- Apartment: Sweet Dream Lodge
Stay here for Suburban Experience
Didsbury is an excellent place to stay for those seeking a suburban experience. It's a family-friendly neighbourhood with exceptional dining options, beautiful parks, and easy access to the city centre.
This leafy suburb is dotted with big Victorian houses and wide, tree-lined streets that exude a village-like community feel. With a population of 26,788, Didsbury offers a friendly and uplifting atmosphere that appeals to families, young professionals, and retirees alike.
One of the area's most coveted neighbourhoods is Didsbury Village. It features charming independent shops and more established names, including a big M&S and a full-blown cinema and entertainment complex.
Didsbury Village has some wonderful eateries for foodies too. It offers top-notch dining options, like Thai food at Chilli Banana, authentic Palestinian cooking at Baity, and top-quality neighbourhood dining at Hispi.
Didsbury is home to several beautiful parks, for example Fletcher Moss Park, Parsonage Gardens, and Didsbury Park. Enjoy a variety of recreational activities in these parks, walking, jogging, tennis, and football.
Where to stay in Didsbury
Finding accommodation in Didsbury might be a little more challenging than in other parts of Manchester because it's such a small but thought after place.
Accommodation options include large detached houses and more modestly priced apartments. Prices start around £180/night.
Because of its suburban location, getting to the city centre takes about 35-40 mins by tram. The closest tram stations are West Didsbury and Didsbury Village Stations.
Our top hotel picks in Didsbury are:
- Mid-range: Eleven Didsbury Park Hotel
- Mid-range: Didsbury House Hotel
- Mid-range: The Waterside Hotel and Leisure Club
As you can see, Manchester has a wide range of areas to choose from when deciding where to stay. Whether you’re a family, a student, or a budget traveller, there’s an epic area in Manchester that will be just right for you. I hope that with this guide, you found your perfect area to stay to make the most of your time in this exciting and diverse city.
More travel tips and inspiration for the UK
London: Where to stay in London | Perfect London itinerary | Things to do in London | Day trips from London | Souvenirs from London
North Yorkshire: Things to do in Harrogate | Hebden Bridge | Hawes | Malham Tarn | Yorkshire Coast | Whitby | Knaresborough | Hotels in Knaresborough | Filey | York
North West: Where to stay in Liverpool
- England: Where to stay in the Cotswolds | Where to stay in Cornwall | Best places to visit in England
- Scotland: Where to stay in Edinburgh | Where to stay in Glasgow | Best places to visit in Scotland | Incredible Souvenirs from Scotland
What do you think?
Did you like this article? Do you have any questions or suggestions?
Leave a comment below.