How to visit Manchester on a student budget

Aine Conaty

When planning to go anywhere the best advice is to plan way ahead. I recently booked a holiday for myself and my boyfriend to Manchester for his birthday. Between the two of us, flights and accommodation for three full days cost €140 altogether. Our hotel was in the city centre and was a decent place to stay in. If you look further in advance, you would be able to get even cheaper than that.

When planning a holiday, organising it months in advance is the real money saver. I booked my holiday in November for the start of January and even that would be late enough. It obviously depends on the occasion, when you actually want to go and where you want to go but this is something that has helped me out whenever I have to book a trip away.

If you are looking for a short trip away, make sure that your flights are strategically booked. When flying over book flights for early in the morning, but not too early, you might regret not having that lie in. And again, when planning flights home book them for late in the night so that you get the full day to do any further exploring that you may want to do. This gives you them extra hours to squeeze in any last minute activities that you may want to do. If you had a place or some shops that you wanted to check it gives you that extra time.

I booked my tickets so that it meant we would arrive at 9am. This was a bit too early as hotel check-ins are usually not until later on in the day. On the last day, we didn’t leave until 10pm which meant we weren’t back until 11. This left us with a full day to do anything that we liked.  This was the best plan of action, it meant we had the rest of the day to do what we wanted.

In Manchester that are loads of things to do. Some of those things are free, such as the Museum of Science and Industry. In the museum they have a new robot exhibit and only costs a small fee if you want to go in there to look at some creepy realistic robots. There are also things like the typical tour of Old Trafford. While I may have not be the most enthusiastic about soccer, let alone the Manchester team, my boyfriend thoroughly enjoyed it and the tour guide was hilarious and enthusiastic, you could tell he really loves his job.

There is also a Lego World outside of Manchester city with a Sea Life attached to it (one of my highlights of the trip I must admit). You can pay into one attraction and have admission into the other attraction. The place where Sea Life and Lego World was situated was beautiful, it was like something out of a movie. There were large stone pillars and a huge fountain in the middle of the plaza. It really felt like I was in a movie.

These are only some of the attractions that you can see while you stay there and the majority of them are free or reasonably priced. They have a huge library and a fantastic cathedral which is definitely Instagram worthy. Before actually going on your holiday you should look up to see if you can get tickets any cheaper online to these places, that’s what we did and it was a God send.

The places to eat out here are endless. You turn a corner and there is somewhere new that you want to try.  The Slug and Lettuce was one place we went to and it was cheap and delicious. Another place you should try if you are feeling like splurging is Tattu, which is a Chinese style restaurant. There are endless amounts of place to dine out every evening. There is also a great nightlife in Manchester, while I didn’t get to experience it due to the fact that I was on more of a couples holiday, but the nightlife is meant to be brilliant there.

Manchester is one of those cities that you can travel to on a budget but still have the best time of your life. With trams and trains that will bring you to very part of the city there’s nothing stopping you from booking a quick getaway either with a significant other or a group of friends.

Aine Conaty

Image Credit: Getty