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As one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in the UK, there are many great things to do in Manchester. With an array of venues and a rolling calendar of art exhibitions, concerts, markets and theatre, there is something for everyone, especially during this festive time of the year. Here is our edit of activities and places to visit for a unforgettable experience of the city’s culture, nightlife, history, shopping & dining!

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Whitworth Gallery

Following a major refurbishment and extending throughout its existing gallery space and into Whitworth Park itself, the beautiful gallery has re-opened its doors and it is the space itself which impresses as much as the work within. With great sensitivty to history, nature and the surroundings, this new version of the Whitworth leaps way beyond its former position as a minor partner to the Manchester Art Gallery.

intu Trafford Centre

Situated just 5 miles outside Manchester city centre, visitors have the choice of over 200 stores along three miles of granite and marble boulevards. Stores range from designer and high fashion favourites, including the first Selfridges outside London, to stylish homewares at Barton Square.

From tea dances and Mall Walking to fashion shows, book signings, pop concerts and film premieres, there’s always something going on. The Centre is also home to 60 restaurants, cafes and bars in The Orient and the opulent Great Hall as well as a 20 screen ODEON cinema, SEA LIFE and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre.

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Chinatown in Manchester is reputedly the largest in Europe. As a collection of excellent places to eat and shop an a great opportunity to experience Chinese culture, it is not to be missed. It is a great place to visit at any time of the year but the last few years have seen Chinese new year become a much bigger part of the city’s cultural celebrations.

From fine dining and afternoon tea to pop-up markets and humble street food, Manchester is packed with options to suit any mood offering any and every cuisine you can think of.

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Manchester House is the flagship restaurant and bar of the city’s most prolific restaurant groups, Living Ventures. This stylish venue is designed to wow, with a sleek industrial-chic interior, state of the art kitchen offering a tasting menu by ambitious executive chef, Aiden Byrne and an impressive sky bar.

As the UK capital of Christmas, Manchester has one of the most popular Christmas markets in Europe, with millions of people visiting every year. The world-famous markets feature nearly 350 stalls spanning 10 distinctive market sites, transforming the city centre in to a festive wonderland.