7 things to do in Manchester before a Man City game

Experience something new with these 7 things to do in Manchester before a Man City game. With moving kick off times (Friday night football next season) there's plenty of time to explore our great City. @thegingerwig has picked his 7 favourite things to do in Manchester

7 Things to do in Manchester before a Man City game

Are you bored of City Square, Mary D’s or the Townley?

Do you end up doing the same thing ever game?

Here is a list of 7 alternative things to do in Manchester before (or after) a Man City game!

With matches played at loads of different times (next season Friday night football is being introduced!), the 3pm Saturday kick off is a thing of the past. With games kicking off at 5:30pm and at lunchtime why not explore the city a bit and check out these things to do in Manchester.

1) Buy something unusual at the Manchester Craft and Design Centre

This wonderful Victorian building was formerly a fish and poultry market (doesn’t smell anymore!). It is now home to 30 independent artists and makers, producing some wonderful gifts and crafts.

Manchester craft and design centerThe building is covered, so there’s no problem with the Manchester rain and the Oak Street Cafe inside the building produces some great food. It can be a little tricky to find as it’s hidden in the Northern Quarter but it’s well worth it!

Opens 10am – 5:30pm Mon – Sat, 11am to 5pm Sundays (although not all traders work Sundays – slackers!)

For more details head over to the Manchester Craft and Design centre website

2) Try a new beer at Piccadilly Tap – they’ve got 27 on tap!

Ok I admit it the photo is rubbish! However once you get inside you will find a great new (only opened early April 2015) bar with an amazing choice of beers.

Piccadilly Tap

Piccadilly Tap is (you’ve guessed it) on the approach to Piccadilly railway station. Come out of the main entrance and walk towards Piccadilly Gardens and before you cross a road Piccadilly Tap is on your right.

A great alternative to the expensive bars in the station and with 7 different cask beers and 20 different keg beers you’ll be spoilt for choice. They also have a bottle fridge with over 65 different beers for the train journey home!

Piccadily Tap neon sign

Open from 12 noon (if Piccadilly Tap are reading “can you open earlier when kick off is 12:45?” @thegingerwig)

For more details check out the Piccadilly Tap website

3) Visit the National Football Museum

It had to be in Manchester didn’t it? The home of football – 1st team to play in numbers in a cup final, 1st team to score and concede 100 goals in a season, last team to win the league with an all English squad, highest attendance outside of Wembley – and that’s just the off the top of my head Man City facts – I’m sure there’s a lot more!

National Football Museum

It’s FREE to enter (although there are a number of optional activities that can be purchased, but you can still have a great time without paying). With over 140,000 items to display the football museum is a great place to visit time and time again.

Right in the center near the cathedral, the museum opens daily: Monday – Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 11am-5pm

For more info visit the National Football Museum website

Who is The Ginger Wig

4) Experience the uniqueness of Afflecks 

Ok if it’s close to kick off don’t go in here as you could end up getting well and truly lost in here! Like the Manchester Craft and Design Center, Afflecks is an old building hosting a number of independent traders.


Split across 3 floors (I think) this Victorian building has been converted into a warren of independent stalls, small shops and boutiques (you can also get food). The 73 stalls offer retro clothes, records, alternative attire, even a tattooist! If you want something unique and different from the high street this is the place for you.

Look out for the mosaic artworks on the outside of the building including this one:

Apologies for the obscene items on the right!

Afflecks MosaicOpen daily from 10.30am – 6pm Mon – Fri, 10am – 6pm Saturdays, 11am – 5pm – Sundays, Bank Holidays – 11am – 5pm

Check Afflecks out at their website where you can learn more about the shops on offer

5) Get a great cheap eat at The Soup Kitchen

This is fast becoming my favourite place to go before a City game. Always busy you can get some great seasonal fresh food for around £5 – I particularly like the Curry goat, rice and peas. For the less adventurous there are great soups (hence the name) and sandwiches, as well as daily specials

The Soup Kitchen

Home style cooking at its best, it’s served on tin plates and the seating is long wooden canteen tables and benches making it a communal feed. There is also a bar serving some great real ales, so you can just experience the Soup Kitchen with a nice pint or a fresh free trade tea and coffee.

Open from 12 noon the canteen transforms into a club at night so you could pop in after a night game.

For more detail see The Soup Kitchen website

6) Sit in a beer garden at Bar Fringe 

Situated on Swann Street, this offers a great stop if walking from Victoria to the Etihad. A long small bar, often very busy, Bar Fringe offers a selection of different beers specialising in continental, often Belgian beers.

Bar Fringe

The best part of the bar is the sun trap beer garden to the rear, offering a quiet oasis in the heart of Manchester.

An alternative beer garden can be found at the Marble Arch (but that’s a bit of a trek unless you get a taxi).

Bar Fringe doesn’t have a website, but here’s google plus’ page detailing where it is and some more ratings

7) Get a book from the City Center Man City store

Last but no means least on the list of 7 things to do in Manchester, head into the city center and buy a book (or some other City items) from the Man City store. A lot less busy than the one in City Square you’re able to have a better browse of the great City stuff on offer. Spread over two floors there’s some great comfy chairs to sit in outside the changing rooms, plus you can often get a bargain in the sales.

Get a book and have a read on the bus or tram on the way to the ground.

If you want a suggestion then Darryl Webster’s book Pride in Travel is a great read. It was top shelf in the City store when I last went in!

Manchester City store book shelf

The city center City store is on Market Street underneath the Arndale food court.

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