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Discover Manchester with megabus

Take a coach to Manchester and you’ll discover a vibrant city with a young heart. Expect to see traditional pubs rubbing shoulders with hip bars, and Gothic architecture blending with cosmopolitan style. When it comes to things to do, this Northern gem delivers in spades – soak up some culture at The Lowry, hit the shops along Deansgate or scope out the bar scene by night.

Manchester: top 3 things to do

1. Go behind the scenes at the BBC

Get a glimpse of what goes on behind the television cameras at MediaCityUK. This BBC tour will take you inside the studios of TV shows like Blue Peter, Match of the Day and A Question of Sport. Find out how your favourite programmes are made, and have a go at reading the news and presenting the weather in their interactive studio. You’ll find it in Salford Quays, about four miles out from the city centre.

2. Get your culture fix at The Lowry

If you booked a bus to Manchester with culture in mind, you’ll love The Lowry. Sitting on the banks of Salford Quays, this beautiful glass building is home to a number of art galleries and exhibitions, including works by British artist, L.S. Lowry. Plus, you can catch a play or a comedy show here in the evening.

3. Tour the Manchester stadiums

Manchester and football go hand in hand, so a visit to one of the famous stadiums is a must. A tour of Old Trafford includes a peek inside the Manchester United dressing room and a walk through the players’ tunnel. Over at the Etihad Stadium, an interactive exhibition and tour of the players’ lounge will keep City fans happy.

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Manchester: getting around

Your coach to Manchester will take you into the heart of the city. And with added extras like power sockets and free WiFi onboard, your megabus journey will be smooth and enjoyable. But how do you get around once you’re there?

For a cheap day out, buy an all-day off-peak Metrolink travelcard for just £5 and hop on a tram. This includes travel around Manchester city centre, and out to nearby towns like Bury and Rochdale. Trams run every few minutes.

Or, completely free of charge is the Metroshuttle city centre bus. It has a trio of routes around the centre of Manchester every 10 minutes. You can pick up a map from the visitor information centre in Piccadilly Gardens.

Manchester: best for nightlife

If your Manchester coach travel covers the evening, you’re in for a great night out. If you don’t consider eating as cheating, head to the famous ‘Curry Mile’ – AKA Wilmslow Road – which knows its baltis from its biryanis. To see and be seen, check out the bohemian Northern Quarter, with its trendy bars, pop-up events and live music. And if you want to follow in the footsteps of footballers and WAGs on a night out, Deansgate provides the glamour.

Manchester: best for shopping

You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to shops in Manchester. Deansgate, Market Street and Manchester Arndale tick off all your high street favourites, while The Avenue at Spinningfields is a who’s who of designer names like Mulberry and DKNY. If you’d rather save some money, you can’t beat Levenshulme Market. It runs every Saturday from March until December, and sells vintage clothing, homewares, gifts and delicious street food. Finally, don’t forget to visit one of Manchester’s famous record stores – the city is home to Oasis and The Stone Roses, after all. 

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Manchester for free: our top 3

1. Visit the John Rylands Library

The John Rylands Library on Deansgate is a Gothic masterpiece. With its medieval turrets and shelves heaving with dusty books, it has a touch of Hogwarts about it. If you’re after some peace and quiet – and a slice of history – this is the place for you.    

2. Explore the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)

Among the remains of the world’s oldest passenger railway station, you’ll find the MOSI. Manchester is a high achiever in science and industry – it was the first industrialised city in the world, and the first splitting of the atom happened right here, after all. So it’s little wonder this museum is jam-packed with artefacts detailing Manchester’s impressive feats.

3. Stroll around Castlefield

If you get a sunny day, take a stroll around Castlefield in the south-west of the city. It was originally the site of an ancient Roman fort, and now plays host to a number of canals and railway viaducts. You’ll get a wonderful view of Victorian Manchester as you follow the Rochdale Canal.

To book your bus to Manchester, use the journey planner to find cheap megabus tickets.