Wondering where to stay in Manchester? These are without a doubt Manchester's COOLEST neighborhoods and areas...
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Manchester touts the motto: “The Original Modern City.” With a name like that, it better be up to snuff. The thing is— it is. Manchester has more than a lot going on. Looking for a hip spot? Manchester has plenty. Want to feel like a beatnic with some bohemian vibes? Manchester has a boatload. Want to get lost amidst a busy city’s hustle and bustle? Manchester won’t disappoint.

Manchester is definitely a northern city, enjoying a more relaxed vibe than London, or even Birmingham. Despite having a higher relaxation factor, it’s still a massive and very busy city. Home to four universities, there are thousands of students milling around. 

Best of all, Manchester is home to a top-notch nightclub scene and loads of live music. There are seriously concerts almost every day of the week! With so much to do, and so much to see, all while being cheaper than other big cities in England, you are probably wondering where is the best place to stay to Manchester.

Say hello to our expert travel writers, who put together this guide to the best neighbourhoods to stay in Manchester.  

With our Manchester neighborhood guide in hand, you’ll be able to find a neighborhood that best suits your style and vibes, and your wallet too. 

 

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Manchester

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

 
Manchester City Centre
Wondering where to stay in Manchester for your first time? Well, are you ready to feel right in the middle of the swirl of all the hubbub and hullabaloo that Manchester has to offer? Then staying in Manchester City Centre is for you.
 
Places to Visit:
  • Meander down King Street and take in all the architectural wonders
  • Go shopping at Arndale and pick up all the things on your shopping list
  • Take a photograph with the buskers along the popular and busy Market Street

 

Where to Stay in Manchester

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Manchester.

 

Best Hostel in the Northern Quarter: Selina NQ1 

Selina NQ1 is a darling hostel and hotel, functioning as both for whatever travelers desire. It’s a beautiful renovated Victorian building that is packed full of charm. We love the shared communication kitchen so you can whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies if the craving strikes! Or maybe just a bowl of cereal if you’re hungry.

Head over to our comprehensive guide to the best hostels in Manchester before starting your backpacking adventure!

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Best Airbnb in Manchester: Artsy studio in city center

If you’re into books and arts, you’ll love this place! And even if you don’t, the location is so amazing that you won’t regret booking it. The host decorated his Airbnb in an artsy style and left his favourite books for you to read – you’ll feel like you’re at home. The location is very central, with attractions, cafes and restaurants in walking distance. Public transport options aren’t far either.

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Best Hotel in Manchester: Motel One

Motel One offers surprisingly affordable rates for their modern, fresh, bright, and beautiful rooms. It’s perfectly located in a central-city location and offers all the amenities a guest could need. You always have to love a buffet breakfast. Save us some croissants!

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Manchester Neighborhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Manchester

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Manchester City Centre

  • Wondering where to stay in Manchester for your first time? Well, are you ready to feel right in the middle of the swirl of all the hubbub and hullabaloo that Manchester has to offer? Then staying in Manchester City Centre is for you.
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Whalley Range

  • Whalley Range is definitely where to stay on a budget in Manchester. It’s also one of the best areas in Manchester to stay in. Whalley Range is known for its chill bars and for their low key noms.
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Ancoats

  • Guess what is close to the Northern Quarter and we are sure you will love? Ancoats. Definitely one of the coolest places to stay in Manchester, Ancoats is sure to steal your heart.
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Northern Quarter

  • What happens when you take a bunch of warehouses and renovate them into epic new restaurants, clubs, stores, and housing options? Well, let’s just say the Northern Quarter happens. It is hands down the coolest place to stay in Manchester and is simply brimming with hipsters.
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Didsbury

  • Didsbury is a suburb of Manchester that is just about six kilometers south of the city center. While Manchester likes to brush their shoulders off at being a modern city, Didsbury is definitely more likened to a proper English Village.
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Manchester is a big city packed with youthful and diverse neighborhoods. Our experts had quite an argument over which five neighborhoods to include in this Manchester Neighborhood guide. Get ready to dive in with us to the top five neighborhoods in Manchester. From the coolest to the cheapest, we got you covered!

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Read our full review!

 

Manchester’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

 

#1 Manchester City Centre – Where to Stay in Manchester for the First Time

Wondering where to stay in Manchester for your first time? Well, are you ready to feel right in the middle of the swirl of all the hubbub and hullabaloo that Manchester has to offer? Then staying in Manchester City Centre is for you. Surrounded by all the main attractions, staying in the city centre couldn’t be more convenient. 

There also just happens to be the highest number of accommodation options in the city centre which makes finding the perfect fit for you easy as pie— or should we say shepherd’s pie? 

So even if you’re staying for just 24 hours, where to stay in Manchester for one night is definitely the Manchester City Centre. That way you won’t miss any of the sites.

We love that Piccadilly Train Station is located right here in Manchester City Centre so if you were waffling on where to stay in Manchester because you wanted to visit all of greater Manchester, then just hop on a train and you’ll be whisked away to wherever you heart desires! 

Manchester City Centre, Manchester

 

Things to See and Do in Manchester City Centre

 – Meander down King Street and take in all the architectural wonders

 – Go shopping at Arndale and pick up all the things on your shopping list

 – Gasp in wonder at the Manchester Cathedral with its stunning stained glass windows

 – Take a photograph with the buskers along the popular and busy Market Street 

 – Slurp down some ramen at Shoryu Ramen Restaurant and treat yourself to a flight of sake

 – Visit the Manchester Art Gallery and check out their vast collection of historical pieces as well as contemporary artists

 

Best Hostel in Manchester City Centre: YHA Hostel

The YHA Hostel is a quick 10 minutes walk from the city center of Manchester. We love the YHA Hostel as it has a hip café bar that has film nights in the evenings and a breakfast buffet in the mornings! The rooms are prim, proper, and squeaky clean. Not always customary when staying in hostels, is it? That’s why it’s one of our favorite hostels in one of Manchester’s best neighborhoods. 

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Best Airbnb in Manchester City Centre: Artsy studio in city center

If you’re into books and arts, you’ll love this place! And even if you don’t, the location is so amazing that you won’t regret booking it. The host decorated his Airbnb in an artsy style and left his favourite books for you to read – you’ll feel like you’re at home. The location is very central, with attractions, cafes and restaurants in walking distance. Public transport options aren’t far either.

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Best Hotel in Manchester City Centre: Motel One

Motel One is perfectly located in the Manchester City Centre, just a 5 minute walk to the Piccadilly train station, as well as a quick jaunt over to lots of other important Manchester’s sites! The rooms are crisp and clean, and you can expect excellent service and a fairly budget-friendly price. If you’re wondering where to stay in Manchester on a budget. in the city center while still feeling a little pampered— Motel One is for you!

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Best Hotel in Manchester City Centre: Merchants Hotel

Very affordable room rates can be found at the Merchants Hotel, which makes it one of the most booked hotels in the area. It’s conveniently located in the city center, very close to the Piccadilly Rail Station. Don’t expect this hotel to be all that and a bag of chips, but it’s certainly worth a stay for the budget travelers out there!

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#2 Northern Quarter – Coolest Place to Stay in Manchester

What happens when you take a bunch of warehouses and renovate them into epic new restaurants, clubs, stores, and housing options? Well, let’s just say the Northern Quarter happens. It is hands down the coolest place to stay in Manchester and is simply brimming with hipsters. Bring on the cool mustaches!

Since the streets are lined with jaw-dropping street art, you’ll never feel like you’re in a boring urban city. I mean, with all the bohemian vibes and independent tiny, hip shops and restaurants, it’s hard to feel like you’re in a dull, drab city. That is what makes the Northern Quarter is one of the best areas to stay in Manchester. 

Any Manchester neighborhood guide wouldn’t be complete without including the Northern Quarter. Pssst… also because it’s one of our favorites.

Northern Quarter, Manchester
source: SAKhanPhotography (Shutterstock)

 

Things to See and Do in Northern Quarter

 – Pack a picnic basket and head over to Piccadilly Gardens and take a relaxing nap in the sunshine

 – Catch a show at the Manchester Arena— one of the biggest entertainment venues in the world!

 – Go to Affleck’s Palace and be shocked by all the unique and bizarre things for sale

 – Be dazzled by all the amazing street art— and make sure you don’t miss the Banksy piece!

 – Head over to Manchester Craft and Design Centre and buy some handmade treasures inside a cool old fish market building.

 – Treat yourself to a delicious Hawaiian meal at Oké Poké, which has arguably the cutest name ever

 – Catch a jazz band at Matt and Phreds Jazz Club and feel snazzy and jazzy

 

Best Hostel in the Northern Quarter: Hatters Hostel

You have to love a cheap, affordable hostel. Especially when it absolutely one of the best hostels in Manchester! What’s more? It’s in one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Manchester too! That’s a whole lot of awesome. Hatters Hostel is a vibrant, fun, and social hostel that offers guests some pretty amazing facilities too. We’re talking about a pool table and basement bar, people!

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Best Airbnb in the Northern Quarter: Penthouse with cool balcony

This place is freakin’ cool! Staying at this Airbnb, you’ll be living in a stylish penthouse, with spacious, bright rooms, great interior design and, the best part, an amazing balcony. You’ll have views of the whole city right from your sofa and kitchen. Public transport and many hotspots are in walking distance, which makes the location absolutely perfect.

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Best Hotel in the Northern Quarter: Selina NQ1 

This charming hotel feels like a picture-perfect dream world! Definitely Instagram heaven in this renovated Victorian building! It has darling 3-star budget rooms, as well as dormitory and has a shared communal kitchen! It’s always a plus when you can make your own meals if you’re in the mood.

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Best Hotel in the Northern Quarter: Mother Macs

Right off of Canal Street, Mother Macs won’t disappoint. It has comfy beds, clean rooms, and a great location. It also has a fun bar on site for those who don’t want to venture outside in the rain! Or the sun. Or if you’re just feeling lazy…

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#3 Didsbury – Best Neighborhood in Manchester for Families

Didsbury is a suburb of Manchester that is just about six kilometers south of the city center. While Manchester likes to brush their shoulders off at being a modern city, Didsbury is definitely more likened to a proper English Village. And it’s been around for a while. How long you ask? Since the 13th century.

It’s a quiet suburb that is the perfect spot when wondering where to stay in Manchester with kids. With the calm and tranquil atmosphere, you have no worries about keeping a leash on your kids, while we must note that we do neither condone nor encourage putting leashes on children. 

Didsbury is one of Manchester’s most affluent suburbs, which can make staying in Didsbury cost a pretty penny, or a few pence rather.

There are three areas of Didsbury, East, West, and Didsbury Village. East Didsbury is tree-lined and filled with top-notch schools. West Didsbury has unique and trendy shops and cafes, as well as some scrumptious restaurants. Lastly, Didsbury Village is the most energetic of the three with a lively center filled with boutique hotels and top-end restaurants. Wondering where to stay in Manchester for families? Any of these three areas are the perfect choice. No matter where you are looking in Didsbury for the best Manchester accommodation for children, we have the top-picks for you!

Didsbury, Manchester
source: ironbell (Shutterstock)

 

Things to See and Do in Didsbury

 – Have a picnic at Didsbury Park, or it does have its very own cute café for those of you who don’t feel like packing a lunch

 – Stroll through the paved path at Marie Louise Gardens, a lovely 4.75 acre oasis filled with flowering trees

 – Go bowling at Parrs Wood Entertainment Centre or catch a movie at their cinema

 – Head on over to Escape Hunt Manchester feel the thrill of an escape room challenge, suitable for kids ages 9+

 – Get some exercise with your little explorers at the Wacky Warehouse at The Bell House is a fun playhouse filled with slides, wobbly bridges, and lots of tunnels 

 – Create a piece of art at Bisque & Beyond Family Art Café— from pottery to decopatch to foam clay!

 

Best Hotel in Didsbury: Eleven Didsbury Park

Right in the heart of Didsbury, Eleven Didsbury Park is a charming hotel in a Victorian Villa style with boutique styled rooms. The back garden is perfect for relaxing with a book and a cup of tea! The lounge has a crackling fireplace for the cold and rainy days, which makes Eleven Didsbury place feel like they’re coming home.

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Best Airbnb in Didsbury: Homely family apartment

This Airbnb is truly a home away from home. With lots of space for a large group, it’s perfect for big families. Super comfortable and with great amenities, you and your folks will feel welcome at an instant. The neighbourhood is family-friendly, public transport is only moments away, and you’ll have great dining options and cute cafes right at your doorstep.

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Best Hotel in Didsbury: Britannia Country House Hotel & Spa

Britannia Country House Hotel is just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Manchester Airport— 3.2km away from the airport if you wanted a more measurable amount of time! Guests can enjoy a gym, pool, and two restaurants including a pizzeria on-site to keep the whole family entertained. Rooms are clean and spacious so families won’t feel cramped inside.

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Best Rental in Didsbury: Mulberry House

Mulberry House is a charming flat that is one of the most luxurious rental accommodations in Manchester, or well, in Didsbury specifically. It’s in a quiet neighborhood, with plenty of room to breathe. Perfect for the whole family, this apartment comes with a big bedroom, spacious living room, and the kitchen is stocked with some breakfast essentials. Park your car outside and let the family get settled in the Mulberry house! The Mulberry House is definitely where to stay in Manchester for families!

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#4 Whalley Range – Where to Stay in Manchester on a Budget 

Whalley Range is definitely where to stay on a budget in Manchester. It’s also one of the best areas in Manchester to stay in. Whalley Range is known for its chill bars and for their low key noms. Shout out to our favorite: Tibetan Kitchen! 

There’s also a hidden gem in Whalley Range called the Carlton Club. If you’re thinking fancy-schmancy clubhouses, better luck elsewhere. The Carlton Club is not affiliated with anything really, not with a religion or a political party, it’s simply a favorite local spot known for cheap drinks and a laid-back round of pool. 

Whalley Range is one of the best places to stay in Manchester if you’re looking for a cheap place to stay, while still feeling surrounded by cool vibes. Lots of students call Whalley Range home as it offers affordable rent. Be on the lookout for those hip creative types that have settled here too. While there isn’t a lot of local amenities actually in Whalley Range, it’s just a stone throw away from Chorlton, which has everything you could need. There is also good ol’ cheap public transportation available to allow you to wander wherever your heart desires in Manchester!

Whalley Range, Manchester
source: Rusholmeruffian (Wikicommons)

 

Things to See and Do in Whalley Range

 – Play a round of pool at the Carlton Club and enjoy a pint or two

 – Snag some delicious cheap culinary treats at Tibetan Kitchen, trying the momos are a must

 – Try a local beer or a bite to eat at the Jam Street Café, it’s vegan-friendly for all those herbivores out there

 – Take a tour at the British Muslim Heritage Centre and if the timing is right, make sure to sing up for an Arabic calligraphy workshop

 – Play a game of cricket at Alexandra Park or a round of tennis

 

Best Hotel in Whalley Range: Approved Serviced Apartments Park Rise

The Approved Serviced Apartments Park Riseis offers well-equipped accommodations to guests who wish to stay for a night or two, or for longer-term stays too. Each unit has a full kitchen, washing machine, private bathroom, and a comfortable sitting area. You’ll feel right at home here.

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Best Airbnb in Whalley Range: Basic private room

If you don’t want to spend too much money on accommodation while visiting Manchester, you should check out this Airbnb. You’ll have a basic room, which is pretty bright and spacious. The bathroom is shared and there are other guests, as well as the hosts living in the house. Previous guests really enjoyed the stay – we’re sure you will too. Just don’t expect crazy luxury.

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Best Hotel in Whalley Range: YALLY Hotel

YALLY hotel is where you want to stay in Manchester on a budget if you’re looking to get out of a hostel. It’s nothing fancy, but each guesthouse does come with a seating area and a flat-screen TV, and best of all there is free private parking. We love it’s location and its budget-friendly rates.

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Best Hotel in Whalley Range: Montauban House Apartments

The Montauban House Apartments are two apartments available to rent that are spread out over four floors. When traveling with friends or a big family, this is the place to stay! These suburban apartments are fully equipped with all the regular apartment essentials and will make your stay in Whalley Range easier than ever. 

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#5 Ancoats – Best Area to Stay in Manchester for Nightlife 

Guess what is close to the Northern Quarter and we are sure you will love? Ancoats. Definitely one of the coolest places to stay in Manchester, Ancoats is sure to steal your heart. It’s currently being lauded as one of the coolest neighborhoods in all of the United Kingdom. How is that for a cool factor?

We love how many young people are setting up shop in Ancoats, and opening up their small, independent businesses. There’s tiny theatre spaces and new restaurants popping up left and right. Ancoats feels like it’s teeming with energy and activity, with none of the hectic craziness of the downtown city centre. It’s exactly the right blend of where to stay in Manchester on a budget and where to stay in Manchester for nightlife. That’s right, keep your wallet happy and your dancing shoes on, friends!

It’s definitely true that when you’re wondering where to stay in Manchester for nightlife, people often rush to tell you all about the Northern Quarter. The Northern Quarter is awesome for nightlife! There’s no doubt about that. But Ancoats really is our favorite spot in Manchester for nightlife due to its cheaper prices and more cool, chill vibes. The Northern Quarter is really close to Ancoats too, so you don’t have to choose just one! If you are in Manchester on the weekend this place will be buzzing.

Ancoats, Manchester
source: Toby Howard (shutterstock)

 

Things to See and Do in Ancoats

 – Catch local musicians at Open Mic Night at the Crown and Kettle

 – Sample a flight of beers at Seven Bro7hers Beerhouse, or try a yoga and beer class there called Bro-Ja Yoga

 – Head on over to Jungle Jazz for some sweet tunes and delicious food

 – Wait in line at Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza for some of the best pizza Manchester has to offer

 – Sip a cup of matcha at Cha-ology and enjoy some delicate sweet treats 

 – Watch a performance at Hope Mill Theatre where original productions are put on the cast and crew, the venue is also pretty cool as it’s an old mill building

 

Best Hotel in Ancoats: Travelodge Manchester Ancoats Hotel

The Travelodge Manchester Ancoats Hotel is a beautiful hotel with 57 rooms spread out over 5 floors. The rooms are spacious, plus immaculately clean and tidy! You can expect to have a very comfortable stay here in a big, bright, beautiful hotel in Ancoats.

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Best Airbnb in Ancoats: Luxurious apartment

One thing we always tell the nightlife enthusiasts travellers is to book a place where you can have some privacy. If that hangover kicks in, you will want to have peace and silence. This luxurious apartment is exactly what you should be looking for. Comfy and stylish, you can cure your hangover inside. For going out, you can choose from the numerous bars and restaurants around you.

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Best Hotel in Ancoats: Ancoats City Centre

Ancoats City Centre is comfortable private apartment that comes with a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, living room, bathroom, and two seperate bedrooms. What’s more? If you have kids in tow, or if you are young at heart, a playground is available for guests at the apartment to use. Who is up for pushing me on the swings?

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Best Rental in Ancoats: Luxury City Centre Apartment in Ancoats

This Luxury City Centre Apartment in Ancoats is yours for the taking! This flat has all you could need when staying in Manchester. If you are traveling with friends who are looking to party in Manchester, then snag this amazing apartment in Ancoats. We love that it is perfectly located so you wont’ have to grab an Uber home after a night out on the town!

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Manchester

After all that reading, or skimming, we’re sure that you can now see that Manchester is quite the city! It’s youthful and diverse and packed with up and coming restaurants, theatres, and other hip shops and stores. 

We love the different neighborhoods of Greater Manchester that offer guests exactly the kind of atmosphere and ambiance they want. Ready to jet-set over to Manchester? 

To recap our Manchester neighborhood guide, the city centre is a perfect place to stay if it’s your first time to Manchester. You won’t miss out on any of the sites if you stay there! Motel One is one of our top recommendations for accommodation in Manchester.

If you’re looking to take a walk on the cool and hip side, stay in either the Northern Quarter or in Ancoats. They are just a few minutes walk from each other, so you can’t go wrong either way! Of course, if you’re looking for a delightful stay, check out Selina NQ1 hostel in the Northern Quarter.

On a budget, seek out Whalley Range. This charming suburb is full of hidden gems, very cheap gems.

And if you’re traveling with the kids in tow, Didsbury is the best place to stay in Manchester for families. 

Did we miss any of your favorite neighborhoods? Let us know in the comments below! Safe travels, friends!

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

 

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.


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Wondering where to stay in Manchester? These are without a doubt Manchester's COOLEST neighborhoods and areas...