Manchester touts the motto: “The Original Modern City” and you can still find T-shirts adorned with the humble adage “And on the sixth day, God created Man…chester!”. So yes, Manchester is a city that is not shy about celebrating itself.

I grew up near to England’s unofficial second city and lived near the the centre myself for some time. As such I know Manchester’s neighborhoods and borough intimately so consider myself well qualified to tell you all about the best areas to stay in in Manchester.

Manchester is definitely a northern, industrial city, enjoying a more relaxed vibe than London and simply being better than Birmingham. Despite having a higher relaxation factor, it’s still a massive and very busy city with absolute loads of stuff to do. The city is home to four (leading) universities and 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 live gigs happening every single day of the week and I have seen hundreds of greats bands in the city! 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.

I put together this guide to the best neighborhoods to stay in Manchester to help you find the neighborhood that best suits your style and vibes, and your wallet too.

Where to Stay in Manchester

Angel wrestling is a popular pass-time here in Manchester.

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Manchester Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Manchester


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.

Northern Quarter, Manchester

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.

Didsbury, Manchester


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 more likened to a proper English Village.

Salford Lads club in Manchester


Historically, Salford was a separate town that has become absorbed by Manchester. For a long time Salford was derided and kind of run down but in recent years underwent a significant transformation with the development of MediaCityUK.

Ancoats, Manchester


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.

Manchester’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Manchester is a big city packed with youthful and diverse neighborhoods. I found it quite difficult deciding which five neighborhoods to include in this Manchester Neighborhood guide. Get ready to dive in with me to the top five neighborhoods in Manchester. From the coolest to the cheapest, I got you covered!

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

Did you know that oldest working library is located in Manchester 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. Surrounded by many 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. Both Piccadilly and Victoria Train Stations are located right 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 tram and off you go.

In terms of downsides, the city is lively all day until the early hours and there is a very noticeable homeless population. Also note that there are not many good Airbnb’s in the city centre itself (but there are plenty around the peripheries.)

Tramlines at sunset in Manchester city centre, United Kingdom.

Should You Stay In Manchester City Centre?

  • Good transport links for airport and rest of UK
  • Plenty accommodation options
  • Loads of bars and restaurants
  • Busy and a bit soulless
Browse Manchester Centre

YHA Hostel | Best Hostel in Manchester City Centre

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. 

Motel One | Best Hotel in Manchester City Centre

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!

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

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.

Things to See and Do in Manchester City Centre

  1. Meander down King Street and take in all the architectural wonders
  2. Go shopping at Arndale and be sure to visit the food court.
  3. Gasp in wonder at the Manchester Cathedral with its stunning stained glass windows
  4. Take a photograph with the buskers along the popular and busy Market Street 
  5. Try some delicious traditional English food at Thomas’s Chop House – you will love it
  6. Visit the Manchester Art Gallery and check out their vast collection of historical pieces as well as contemporary artists
Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
audy on top of a mountain in japan with the osprey aether

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

View on Osprey View on REI

#2 Northern Quarter – Coolest Place to Stay in Manchester

Northern Quarter, 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 and this is THE place to stay if you are into the cities music scene, its craft beer scene, or if you have a beard.

The Northern Quarter is painfully hip, there are some real cool bars and real cool people but some insufferable scenesters too. Gentrification has also forced prices skywards so it is not a cheap option despite its bohemian posturing.

Manchester musical legends strolling pavements

Should You Stay In The Northern Quarter?

  • Hip and cool neighbourhood
  • Near to Manchester Piccadilly Station
  • Excellent nightlife
  • Noisy and sometimes edgy at night
Browse Northern Quarter

Penthouse with cool balcony | Best Airbnb in the Northern Quarter

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.

Selina NQ1 | Best Hotel in the Northern Quarter

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.

Things to See and Do in Northern Quarter

  1. Go to Affleck’s Palace and be shocked by all the unique and bizarre things for sale
  2. Be dazzled by all the amazing street art— and make sure you don’t miss the Banksy piece!
  3. Head over to Manchester Craft and Design Centre and buy some handmade treasures inside a cool old fish market building.
  4. Treat yourself to a delicious Hawaiian meal at Oké Poké, which has arguably the cutest name ever
  5. Then, hit all the pubs and craft ale bars before catching a gig upstairs at The Castle

#3 Didsbury – Best Neighborhood in Manchester for Families

Didsbury, Manchester

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 was once a quiet suburb that is now home to students and young professionals as well as families so its the peered place 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. Note that while there are trams running from the centre to Didsbury, they are neither especially fast or cheap so do factor that in.

Boutique Mews Cottage West Didsbury Manchester

Should You Stay In Didsbury?

  • Green and quiet area
  • Cheaper than the centre
  • Far from centre
  • A bit boring?
Browse Disbury

Homely family apartment | Best Airbnb in Didsbury

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 neighborhood is family-friendly, public transport is only moments away, and you’ll have great dining options and cute cafes right at your doorstep.

Eleven Didsbury Park | Best Hotel in Didsbury

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.

Britannia Country House Hotel & Spa | Best Hotel in Didsbury

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.

Mulberry House | Best Rental in Didsbury

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!

Things to See and Do in Didsbury

  1. 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
  2. Stroll through the paved path at Marie Louise Gardens, a lovely 4.75 acre oasis filled with flowering trees
  3. Go bowling at Parrs Wood Entertainment Centre or catch a movie at their cinema
  4. Head on over to Escape Hunt Manchester feel the thrill of an escape room challenge, suitable for kids ages 9+
  5. 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 
  6. Create a piece of art at Bisque & Beyond Family Art Café— from pottery to decopatch to foam clay!
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Is your phone eSIM ready? Read about how e-Sims work or click below to see one of the top eSIM providers on the market and ditch the plastic.

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#4 Salford- Where to Stay in Manchester on a Budget 

Salford Lads club in Manchester
Salford Lads Club.

Historically, Salford was a separate but adjacent industrial town that has become absorbed by Manchester. For a long time Salford was derided and kind of run down but in recent years underwent a significant transformation with the development of MediaCityUK; a major hub for media and creative industries that is home to the BBC and ITV studios, as well as a number of other media marketing and tech companies.

Salford is also home to a number of cultural and leisure attractions, including Old Trafford, the Lowry, a theatre and arts venue, and the Salford Museum and Art Gallery. Despite the rapid onset of gentrification prices are a lot lower than many other areas of Manchester and despite “technically” not being in Manchester, you can work from Salford to Manchester centre in 15 minutes.

Note that Salford does still have a few dodgy areas so if you don’t know the lay of the land don’t wander round too much at night.

Should You Stay In Salford?

  • Up and coming area
  • Good value Airbnbs
  • Walking distance to centre
  • Can be dangerous
Browse Salford

YALLY Hotel | Best Hotel in Salford

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 its location and its budget-friendly rates.

Basic private room | Best Airbnb in Salford

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.

Approved Serviced Apartments Park Rise | Best Hotel in Salford

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.

Montauban House Apartments | Best Hotel in Salford

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. 

Things to See and Do in Salford

  1. Play a round of pool at the Carlton Club and enjoy a pint or two
  2. Visit MediaCityUK and take a tour of the BBC and ITV studios
  3. See a show or exhibition at The Lowry arts center
  4. Explore the history of the city at the Salford Museum and Art Gallery
  5. Take a walk along the Manchester Ship Canal, which runs through Salford
  6. Fans of The Smiths can get their photo at the famous Salford Lads Club
  7. Drink a pint in one of Salfords many hip pubs

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

Ancoats, Manchester

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 in one of the best party cities in Europe, 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

Should You Stay In Salford?

  • The new cool area
  • Chapter than Northern Quarter
  •  Post industrial aesthetic
  • A bit grim…
Browse Ancoats

Luxurious apartment | Best Airbnb in Ancoats

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.

Ancoats City Centre | Best Hotel in Ancoats

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?

Travelodge Manchester Ancoats Hotel | Best Hotel in Ancoats

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.

Luxury City Centre Apartment in Ancoats | Best Rental 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!

Things to See and Do in Ancoats

  1. Catch local musicians at Open Mic Night at the Crown and Kettle
  2. Sample a flight of beers at Seven Bro7hers Beerhouse, or try a yoga and beer class there called Bro-Ja Yoga
  3. Head on over to Jungle Jazz for some sweet tunes and delicious food
  4. Wait in line at Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza for some of the best pizza Manchester has to offer
  5. Sip a cup of matcha at Cha-ology and enjoy some delicate sweet treats 
  6. 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
Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Manchester

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Manchester and where to stay.

What To Pack For Manchester

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Manchester

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

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 Salford. This former industrial town has a bright future…

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!

Looking for more info on travelling to Manchester and England?