Where to Stay in Manchester: 4 TOP Areas & Hotels for 2024

Panoramic view of Manchester's skyline featuring modern architecture, the Lowry theater, and curved footbridge over the River Irwell on a sunny day with scattered clouds

Planning your Manchester holiday? Then, this guide on where to stay in Manchester is exactly what you need! I’ve spent hours researching the areas and comparing countless hotel options to find the best ones! 

The City Centre is the best area to stay in Manchester, as it’s home to iconic attractions and unique accommodations. However, this post covers 4 areas and a handful of hotels in each place for all budgets!

Read this post because you will get to understand how the city is organized and get a feel of all tourist-friendly areas in Manchester. Plus, I did my research and hand-picked the best of the best accommodation out there so you don’t have to! I sorted it by price so anyone can choose something fitting in just a few clicks!

What you’ve got to do is make sure you book your accommodations in advance, as Manchester which is also known as the Original Modern City, is one of the most popular holiday destinations in England!

If you are in a hurry

Below is a quick list for you with the top accommodations in the City Center:

luxury hotel
Elegant living room interior with a minimalist design, featuring a neutral-toned couch, a round coffee table with a floral centerpiece, and a wall adorned with framed photographs
mid-range hotel
Chic corner of a city apartment with a large window offering a view of Manchester's skyline, furnished with a comfortable beige sofa, two velvety red armchairs, and a stylish yellow overhead lamp
budget hotel
Stylish lounge area in a hotel with comfortable beige armchairs, contemporary dark wood coffee tables, and unique spherical hanging lights

MOTEL ONE

Best affordable accommodation in the center


Watch my video, it will give you a visual explanation of all the areas:


Here’s a handy map of the city to help you visualize the 4 best neighborhoods to stay in Manchester that I will go through in this post:

A colorful map highlighting the best areas to stay in Manchester, with numbered locations and labels for easy navigation
City Center
for first-timers
Northern Quarter
the coolest area
Salford Quays & Old Trafford
for sport
Castlefield
for history

1. Manchester City Centre – where to Stay for the first time

The iconic Manchester Cathedral with its towering Gothic spires against a backdrop of blue sky and fluffy clouds, representing the city's rich historical architecture

There’s no doubt – if you’re visiting the city for the first time, Manchester City Centre is the place for you!

The heart of the city offers a little of everything: all the main attractions, like the Manchester Opera House and the Manchester Art Gallery, and the best shopping hubs, like the popular Market Street.

It’s also pretty close to Manchester University, which is huge and worth a visit, especially for those who love old architecture! 

Manchester has the second largest student population in the UK, after London!

In Manchester City Centre you’ll have some of the best nights of your life! Having dinner in delicious restaurants that serve traditional or international cuisines and continuing with drinks in local pubs like the fabulous Peaky Blinders Manchester pub.

I bet some of you will recognize that name from the famous TV series Peaky Blinders (a personal favorite), which filmed a lot of scenes in Manchester, especially in the Castlefield area!

The City Center also hosts the highest number of accommodation options, with hotels located in charming 19th and 20th-century buildings.

Like the gorgeous Free Trade Hall, the previous public hall, and the site of the Peterloo Massacre. Which now is the Edwardian Manchester hotel where people go to enjoy a quiet afternoon tea… crazy, right?

What’s more, Piccadilly Train Station is set here, meaning you can easily take day trips wherever you want, plus you’ve got easy access to other public transport options such as trams and buses.

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Manchester: A classic bedroom with a large four-poster bed and adjacent open bathroom, a cozy living room area with modern furnishings, and a rooftop pool with a stunning cityscape view

This is one of the cool hotels! I love its chic rooms which are super cozy and will make you feel right at home! The accommodation has a fabulous rooftop infinity spa pool and a wellness center where you can relax all day long!

Other accommodation in Manchester City Centre

Mid-Range
Modern apartment living area with floor-to-ceiling windows offering a panoramic view of Manchester's urban landscape, furnished with a green sofa and a chic coffee table

A fab place that has bright rooms with great city views, a small kitchen and an on-site bar

Budget
Modern hotel bedroom with a large bed accented by teal and white bedding, flanked by sleek bedside lighting, set against a backdrop of a city view through large windows

Enjoy the on-site lounge bar and free wi fi, right next to  Manchester Piccadilly station

Airbnb
Contemporary kitchen loft with wooden floors and exposed beams, featuring a compact island, modern appliances, and skylight windows

Feel at home in this stylish apartment with luxury furnishing and a great kitchen


Since the City Center is one of the most popular and touristic neighborhoods, here are 4 more accommodation options to stay in Manchester in case the ones above are already booked out:

  • Luxury: Stock Exchange Hotel – Live a unique experience and get quality service in an exquisite baroque building, set within the former Manchester Stock Exchange. 
  • Mid Priced: Native Manchester – The winner of the best place to stay in the north offers spacious rooms and studios!
  • Budget: Ibis Manchester Centre – Modern rooms and amazing breakfast right in the middle of Manchester city center!

Things to do in Manchester City Centre

Traditional British pub, the Sir Ralph Abercromby Inn, located in a historic red-brick building on a quiet Manchester street
  • Go on a stroll around King Street 
  • Check out the stained glass windows of the Manchester Cathedral
  • Explore the Gay Village
  • Go shopping on the busy Market Street
  • Attend an event at the famous Manchester Central Convention Centre
  • Visit the Manchester Art Gallery
  • Check out the political monuments of Albert Square and St Peter’s Square
  • Enjoy the city’s nightlife in pubs like Peaky Blinders

2. Northern Quarter – the coolest place to stay

The Manchester Wheel, a large observation Ferris wheel located in the city center, with blue skies and the statue of Queen Victoria in the foreground

Street art everywhere, bohemian vibes, independent, trendy shops, and restaurants… Welcome to the coolest area of Manchester: the Northern Quarter! 

Located northeast of the City Center and near Etihad Stadium, the Northern Quarter distinguishes itself with its creative character and unique charm.

If you love books make sure you head to Chetham’s Library, near the Northern Quarter, the oldest public library in Britain! 

Who loves alternative shopping? This area is home to fashion and vintage stores, independent record shops, cafés, bars, and restaurants, and the world-famous Afflecks Palace, a real totem of indie commerce across four floors!

Did you know that Manchester was named after breasts? When the Romans got to Manchester in AD 79, they built a fort near the River Medlock and named it Mamucium, meaning “breast-shaped hill” in Latin, because of the area’s hilly landscape.

Here, you’ll find many warehouses that have been transformed into artistic or cultural buildings. One of these which is definitely worth a visit, is the Manchester Craft & Design Centre, hosting artist-run studios with the best in local design, jewelry, bags, and accessories!

The Northern Quarter has a big variety of independent restaurants and bars, where you’ll have the best time once the sun sets!

Do you hear this neighborhood calling out your name? If yes, take a look at the following amazing hotels and make sure you book your favorite immediately!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Manchester: a rustic entry with exposed brick walls and a vintage hotel sign, a lush bar area with greenery and retro decor, and a chic bedroom with rich wood textures and urban views.

Sleep in comfy beds in one of the 16 bedrooms of this Victorian boutique hotel. Each room is beautifully designed, luxurious, and yet affordable. Moreover, it is situated right in the Northern Quarter, next to all the city’s hippest bars and restaurants!

Other accommodation options in the Northern Quarter

Mid-Range
Stylish modern hotel lobby with high ceilings and large windows, furnished with a red leather couch and abstract wall art, giving a view of the urban street outside

Wake up with an amazing continental breakfast and finish the day sipping a drink at the Club Lounge

Budget
Cozy hotel room with a plush king-sized bed, navy blue accents, and a functional workspace, featuring a panoramic cityscape visible through the window

Enjoy a wonderful city view from this affordable lovely hotel, within walking distance from the Manchester Arena

Airbnb
A quaint dining nook in a stylish apartment, featuring a wooden table set with teal plates and glasses, a shelf canisters, mugs, bowl of fresh fruit and a green plant

A well-equipped apartment that has everything you need, including a flat-screen Tv, and a mini-fridge

Things to do in the Northern Quarter

  • Go alternative shopping at the crazy Afflecks Palace
  • Have dinner and a drink at Trof, in a relaxed yet quirky atmosphere
  • Dance the night away on Canal Street
  • Support the local artists at Manchester Craft & Design Centre
  • Attend music or cultural events at Piccadilly Gardens

3. Salford Quays & Old Trafford – best place for sports fans

Calm waters reflecting the vibrant red bridge at Salford Quays, with modern buildings and clear blue skies, showcasing Manchester's mix of industrial heritage and contemporary architecture

I combined these 2 neighbor areas together as both are located southwest of the City Center and share the same vibe! You just have to cross the river to pass from one to the other.

If you are into football, I am sure you will recognize the name: Old Trafford is the place to be for football fanatics as it’s home to the Manchester United Football Club!

The club receives hundreds of thousands of tourists each year, especially during the English Premier League season (between September and May).

You can go on different tours here and learn all about the club’s history and famous players. 

While here, definitely take the bus to a fun nearby attraction: the Chill Factore, the UK’s longest and widest indoor snow slope! Kids or no kids, everyone will love it here! 

But Salford Quays, its neighbor, is not far behind. It hosts world-class entertainment spots, such as the water sports center, boat excursions on the canal, and a wide range of sporting activities. 

For those who are more into culture, the area also offers some fun places like the Imperial War Museum North, Emirates Old Trafford, The Lowry, and Ordsall Hall.

If you happen to be here during summer sunny days, don’t miss the chance to catch a 5-hour ferry trip from The Quays to Liverpool, another incredible British city that we’ve got a whole post on with the top hotels there, in case you want to visit!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Manchester: a minimalist living room with a large abstract painting and modern sofa, a serene bedroom with plush bedding and balcony access, and the exterior of a contemporary hotel building amidst the city backdrop.

Although it’s set a bit closer to the central area, this hotel is still part of Salford and it boasts an indoor pool and a hot tub where you can relax after a day of exploring! End your day with a yummy dinner at the restaurant on-site.

Other accommodation options in the Salford Quays

Mid-Range
Contemporary hotel lounge with plush seating, designer lighting, and modern décor

Spacious and modern rooms with access to a great restaurant and breakfast!

Budget
Bright and cozy studio bedroom with a tufted headboard, crisp white bedding with aqua accents

This super equipped studio comes with a small kitchen, a flat-screen Tv and a garden view

Airbnb
Manchester city street view on a sunny day with a mix of modern apartment buildings and a clear blue sky, showcasing the city's residential architecture

Enjoy the views from the large windows of this apartment that has a kitchen, free Wi-Fi and a Tv

Things to do in Salford Quays and Old Trafford

  • Go indoor skiing at the Chill Factore!
  • Watch a football game at the Manchester United Football Club  
  • Take a tour of the Etihad Stadium (if you’re a Manchester fan!)
  • Check out the stories from war at the Imperial War Museum North
  • Attend an amazing event at the Emirates Old Trafford
  • Watch an Opera or a Musical at the Lowry Theatre
  • Attend a crazy concert at the Trafford Cricket Ground!

4. Castlefield – best part of Manchester to stay for history

Historic Castlefield Roman Fort entrance in Manchester, with its reconstructed gatehouse and walls under a clear blue sky, symbolizing the city's ancient past

Castlefield, located at the southwest end of the City Center (just 5 minutes by tram), is the industrial and Roman heart of Manchester. 

The Roman fort, networks of canals, and old mills will immediately bring you back to the past!

If you love visiting cultural and historic attractions, then this is your place! Here, you can spend your day visiting attractions like the Castlefield Bowl (a rock music arena) and the Science & Industry Museum!

Once the day’s gone, head to the new bars and sophisticated restaurants in the area to enjoy a drink alongside the amazing view of the canals!

As I mentioned in the beginning, this is where they shot a lot of scenes from Peaky Blinders (especially around the canals)!

And if you’re looking to drink like Tommy and his family, head to Atlas, a gin bar that has hundreds of types of gin (by order of the Peaky Blinders)! 

Castlefield is also the quietest area to stay in Manchester, where you can have a slower and more relaxed pace of life, surrounded by flower-decked canal boats! 

The neighborhood was proclaimed the UK’s first Urban Heritage Park in 1982, which safeguarded canals and transformed it into a largely traffic-free haven. Simply perfect, in my opinion!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Manchester: an indoor pool with an industrial-chic vibe, a spacious bedroom with simple elegance and city views, and a sophisticated hotel lounge with plush seating and artistic decor.

Get some well-deserved relaxation at the winner of the Leading Hotel of the Year award in 2019! This 5-star luxury hotel is a proper lifestyle destination, offering a new standard of service, stunning suites with breathtaking city views, a health spa, entertaining areas, and outdoor space… what more do you need?

Other accommodation options in Castlefield

Mid-Range
Eclectic dining space in a boutique hotel with vibrant wallpaper, velvet chairs, and artistic decor

Loving the quirky decor of this hotel that’s set a 30 min drive to airport and that has stylish rooms and a restaurant 

Budget
Spacious hotel room with a modern aesthetic, displaying a large bed with striped bedding, additional single bed, and a practical work desk near a window.

Cozy hotel with a gym, swimming pool, and amazing breakfast to start your day!

Airbnb
A houseboat moored under an arch of a brick bridge at Castlefield canals, adorned with plants and reflecting the city's canal-side living and industrial history

Have an quirky and floating stay in this gorgeous boat with wood interiors

Things to do in Castlefield

  • Check out the thought-provoking art at the Castlefield Gallery
  • Visit the Science & Industry Museum
  • Attend an event or a concert at the Manchester Castlefield Bowl
  • Explore the ancient Roman fort remains
  • Take a walk along the channels and enjoy the beautiful views
  • Have a traditional beer with your friends at Cask pub, Liverpool Road
👑 Luxury price:US$250
💵 Mid Range:US$190
🛏️ Budget:US$100
📍 Best area:Manchester City Center
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:Hotel Gotham
🧳 Best mid-range hotel:Wilde Aparthotel
👛 Best budget hotel:Motel One

FAQs about where to stay in Manchester

Twilight view of Manchester Town Hall's Victorian Gothic architecture, with the clock tower illuminated against the evening sky, and city life bustling in the foreground

🌇 Which is the best neighborhood where to stay in Manchester?

The City Centre is the best area to stay in Manchester! There you’ll find many iconic attractions, restaurants and quirky hotels like Hotel Gotham!

📷 What are the best things to do in Manchester?

For culture, go to the Manchester Museum or the Manchester Art Gallery. If you’re a football fanatic, visit the National Football Museum, the Etihad Stadium, or the Trafford Football Stadium. If you love green spaces, the Piccadilly Gardens are a must!

🏟️ Where to see world-class entertainment in Manchester?

In Manchester, you have events, exhibitions, and festivals (like Parklife Festival) all year long! Go to music venues like the Manchester Arena, the Manchester Castlefield Bowl, or the Emirates Old Trafford for some concerts, or attend musicals and operas at the Palace Theatre.

🤽 Where can I do sports in Manchester?

In Trafford Water Sports Centre, located at Sale Water Park, you can enjoy the most varied water sports activities like paddleboarding (SUP), kayaking and more. Otherwise, hit the indoor snow slopes at the Chill Factore or attend the Manchester Marathon.

⛔ Where not to stay in Manchester?

Some places to avoid in Manchester are Moss Side, Longsight, and Cheetham Hill! These places are not so safe, especially for tourists! 

🚶Is Manchester a walkable city?

Yes, Manchester is a super walkable city! You can walk pretty much everywhere, especially in the central area!

Conclusion

Dusk scene at Manchester's Castlefield district with historic bridges over calm canals, reflecting the lights and modern skyscrapers in the water

Congrats! You’ve made it to the end of this guide on where to stay in Manchester!

Today we’ve seen the best areas and some of the most incredible hotels in this city in Northern England! Now, you’re more than ready to start planning your trip. 

One thing to keep in mind is booking your hotels in advance! Manchester is a super popular tourist destination, that’s why the great accommodations always sell out fast!

If you still don’t know where to stay in Manchester, I don’t blame you. We went through so many options! So let me help you and give you my favorite hotels with great locations and reviews:

  • Stock Exchange Hotel – get a luxurious, unique experience at this hotel that has elegant rooms with a balcony
  • Dakota Manchester – chic hotel with great central location, only a 30-minute drive from Manchester Airport

Enjoy your time in the Greater Manchester area, and don’t forget that I’m always around for extra questions! Just drop me a comment below!

Have a wonderful trip,

Elena


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