Manchester-born Sophia Barrese is a fashion blogger (and kind of a big deal on Instagram, where she’s attracted tens of thousands of followers). We recently caught up with the social media star to get her top tips for a first time visitor exploring Manchester...
“When a friend comes to explore Manchester, the first place I take them to is the Northern Quarter – it’s full of amazing bars and cafes. I’d also recommend a trip to Didsbury, it has such a nice vibe to it with loads of great places to eat and some cosy pubs, it also has the Fletcher Moss Gardens which are beautiful in summer. I have to say autumn is one of the best times of the year to explore Manchester. People think Manchester is rainy but it’s actually VERY rainy…only joking! The city suits colder weather – there’s nothing like a stroll around in a comfy coat, coffee in hand.
Try the poached egg at Koffee Pot – it’s my favourite breakfast in Manchester, it’s simple and it does the job. The café itself is not at all pretentious and there’s such a nice vibe in there, you feel right at home.
You can’t beat Ezra and Gill on Hilton Street. Not only is the coffee good, but if you get a seat in the window, it’s the perfect spot for a bit of people watching. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, don’t leave Manchester without trying the cake at Home Sweet Home.
Don Marco at Deansgate is one of my favourite restaurants for dinner. It has a lovely indoor terrace area and the pasta is amazing! If you only do one touristy thing in the city make sure you go to the Palace Hotel. It’s a gorgeous building and they’ve just opened a new restaurant called Refuge.
Before exploring Manchester, you should read something about the music scene. One of the best venues for live music in Manchester is Albert Hall, the architecture is beautiful too. You can’t beat the Northern Quarter for nightlife. It’s got a huge variety of bars in a really small area.
If you’re looking for something a bit retro or unusual, head to Oldham Street. Here you’ll find a good selection of really cool vintage clothing and furniture shops.
Walking is the best way to explore Manchester. For a city of its size, the actual centre is quite compact and you can easily wander around without getting too lost. It’s also a great way to see all the fantastic street art.”
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Flights to Manchester