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All You Need to Know about the Manchester Exchange Square

All You Need to Know about the Manchester Exchange Square

Ah, Manchester! A city that has it all; vibrant street life, historic charm, sports legacy, and a shopping paradise in the form of Exchange Square. 

Victorian red-brick buildings juxtaposed with modern glass structures, and tramlines crisscrossed streets bustling with locals, students, and tourists alike. At the heart of this city lies Exchange Square, a thriving spot of activity day and night. 

From cultural hotspots to top-tier shopping, here’s your guide to mastering your Manchester Exchange Square experience!

Time Zone

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1)

Best Time to Visit

Manchester shines brightest between May and September, when the weather is mild and the days are longer. Be ready for sporadic rainfall, though; it is famously rainy here. If you prefer fewer crowds, consider visiting in the late autumn or early spring.

Things to Know

Currency: British Pound Sterling

(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: English

Calling Code: +44

How to Get Around

Trams: Metrolink trams are the easiest way of transportation to get around Manchester city centre. Exchange Square even has its own Metrolink stop.

Buses: Manchester’s bus network is extensive. For short hops, the free ‘Metroshuttle’ buses are very convenient.

Taxis: Black cabs are everywhere, but Uber and local taxi services like StreetCars and Cresta Cars are also available.

Car Hire: If you’re considering a car hire, keep in mind that city centre parking can be expensive.

Where to Stay in Manchester’s Exchange Square

The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel

Address: Free Trade Hall, Peter St, Manchester M2 5GP, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 835 9929

Pricing: £££

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If you’re after a stay that combines grand history with modern amenities, The Edwardian Manchester should top your list. Housed in the historic Free Trade Hall, it has witnessed speeches by Churchill and concerts by the Rolling Stones. 

Now, it offers stylish rooms, a fabulous in-house spa, and a cracking spot for afternoon tea. Fancy a bit of shopping? The main drag of Exchange Square is just a hop, skip and a jump away. 

Every corner of this hotel whispers sophistication and, trust me, you’ll feel every inch the celebrity during your stay.

Hotel Gotham

Address: 100 King St, Manchester M2 4WU, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 413 0000

Pricing: £££

Book Now

With a name like Hotel Gotham, you can expect drama and this place delivers. Step into a world of art-deco decadence and 1920s glamour that would make Jay Gatsby jealous. 

This boutique hotel is nestled in one of the city’s grandest listed buildings, providing a lavish escape from the bustling streets. At the end of the day, unwind in ‘Club Brass,’ a rooftop bar offering jaw-dropping city views. 

Seriously, if you’re not snapping pictures of your cocktail against the sunset, you’re missing out.

The Midland

Address: 16 Peter St, Manchester M60 2DS, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 774 2983

Pricing: £££

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The Midland is the grand old lady of Manchester hotels. Built in 1903, it exudes a charm that only comes with over a century of hospitality. The rooms marry classic elegance with modern comfort and the spa is, hands down, one of the best in the city. 

It boasts two award-winning restaurants, but I strongly recommend treating yourself to a divine afternoon tea in the opulent Tea Room. Just steps from Exchange Square, this hotel is as central as it gets, and its classic façade is a Manchester icon in its own right.

King Street Townhouse

Address: 10 Booth St, Manchester M2 4AW, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 667 0707

Pricing: £££

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Imagine living in a swanky, Italian Renaissance-style townhouse in the heart of Manchester. Now, stop imagining because King Street Townhouse is that dream made real. This boutique hotel is perfect for folks who appreciate a personalised experience and rooms that feel cosy yet chic. 

The pièce de résistance? A rooftop infinity pool with cracking views of the Town Hall is just the ticket after a long day of shopping and sightseeing. Here’s a tip: pack your swimmers no matter the weather, it’s heated!

Motel One Manchester-Piccadilly

Address: 34 London Rd, Manchester M1 2PF, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 228 1480

Pricing: ££

Book Now

For a touch of affordable luxury, check out Motel One Manchester-Piccadilly. They’ve really nailed the balance of design and comfort here, and all without breaking the bank. The modern rooms are comfortable and chic, with quality furnishings and tasteful decor. 

The best part? It’s slap-bang in the centre of Manchester, making it an ideal base for exploring the city. Grab a cocktail at the trendy bar, a real buzz spot on the weekend, and you might just forget you’re in a budget hotel. It’s true, good things do come in small packages!

Roomzzz Manchester Corn Exchange

Address: Corn Exchange, 37 Hanging Ditch, Manchester M4 3TR, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 694 6700

Pricing: ££

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If you’re the type who loves having their own space, Roomzzz Manchester Corn Exchange is a must. Offering fully-equipped apartments rather than traditional hotel rooms, it’s like having your own little flat in the city centre. 

Each apartment boasts a kitchen (late-night toasties, anyone?), living area, and sleek bathroom. The modern, spacious rooms are a joy to return to after a day out. 

And, with Exchange Square mere minutes away, you can pop out for a quick shop or bite to eat with ease. It’s your home away from home, just with a much better housekeeping service.

ibis Styles Manchester Portland

Address: 3-5 Portland St, Manchester M1 6DP, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 234 6060

Pricing: £

Book Now

Ibis Styles Manchester Portland isn’t just a place to crash – it’s a bona fide experience. With decor inspired by the weather (this is Manchester, after all), each room is a storm of creativity. 

It’s located right by Piccadilly Gardens, putting you smack dab in the middle of Manchester’s vibrant city life. Want to save your pennies for the fantastic shopping nearby? This is the spot for you. 

The in-house Jamboree Foodfest & Bar serves up international cuisine and is a great place to meet fellow travellers. Remember, rain is nothing more than liquid sunshine, and this hotel shines!

Where to Eat in Manchester’s Exchange Square

The Oast House

Address: The Avenue Courtyard, Manchester M3 3AY, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 829 3830

Pricing: ££


A city break without a hearty meal is like a joke without a punchline, and The Oast House serves up serious flavour. Famous for its hanging kebabs and artisanal beers, this eatery is housed in a cosy, reconstructed Kentish oast house. 

Yes, you read it right; it’s an old hop-drying house turned gastropub. It’s quirky, it’s delicious, and you’ll love every bit of it. Just try to resist the sticky toffee pudding – I dare you!

Pho Cafe

Address: 37 Hanging Ditch, Manchester M4 3HG, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 464 9779

Pricing: £


Ditch the mundane and head to Pho Cafe, a trendy Vietnamese joint right in the heart of the city. The namesake pho, a warming noodle soup, is a saviour on a drizzly Mancunian day. The vibe here is cool and casual; perfect for a quick bite or a relaxed evening meal. 

And if you’ve never tried a Vietnamese coffee, here’s your chance. It’ll give your taste buds a wake-up call they won’t soon forget!


Address: 3 Hardman Square, Gartside St, Manchester M3 3EB, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 819 2060

Pricing: £££


Looking for a luxury dining experience? Try Tattu. This modern Chinese restaurant serves up top-notch food with a side of wow-factor. Think dim sum with a twist and desserts that are a work of art. 

The ambience is sleek and sophisticated, with an impressive cherry blossom tree taking centre stage. Is it pricey? Yes. Is it worth every penny? Absolutely.

Mackie Mayor

Address: 1 Eagle St, Manchester M4 5BU, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 637 6960

Pricing: £

Hungry but can’t decide what you’re craving? Mackie Mayor, a restored Victorian market hall, has you covered. Housing a variety of independent food stalls, from pizza to seafood, there’s something for every taste. 

It’s casual, it’s bustling, it’s fun. Plus, you get to eat in a piece of Manchester’s history. Now that’s what I call a twofer!

20 Stories

Address: No. 1 Spinningfields, 1 Hardman Square, Manchester M3 3EB, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 204 3343

Pricing: £££


Fine dining with a view? Yes, please! 20 Stories, perched on the 19th floor (don’t ask me why they didn’t name it 19 Stories), provides an exquisite combination of modern British cuisine, an upscale atmosphere, and an unrivalled city view. 

It’s not just about food, but the experience as a whole. Whether you choose their succulent steaks or imaginative vegetarian options, make sure to leave room for dessert. The ‘Manchester Tart’ is a cheeky nod to the city’s culinary heritage and the perfect sweet ending to your visit.

Sinclair’s Oyster Bar

Address: 2 Cathedral Gates, Manchester M3 1SW, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 834 0430

Pricing: £

Sinclair’s Oyster Bar is a legend amongst Manchester’s foodie scene. With oysters obviously in the spotlight, this traditional pub offers a quintessentially British experience, complete with a wide range of ales and hearty pub grub. 

The prices are incredibly wallet-friendly for such quality – and the people-watching opportunities from the outside seating are second to none. A pint, a plate of oysters, and the buzz of Exchange Square—you couldn’t ask for a more ‘Manchester’ dining experience!

What to Do in Manchester’s Exchange Square

Visit the Manchester Cathedral

Address: Victoria St, Manchester M3 1SX, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 833 2220


Standing tall with its weather-worn stones and majestic architecture, the Manchester Cathedral is a step back into the city’s mediaeval past. 

While you’re marvelling at the intricate stained-glass windows and stunning woodwork, make sure to check out the “Angel Stone,” a Saxon carving dating back to 700 AD. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for some peace and quiet, this is a must-visit. 

Light a candle, sit back and let the tranquillity wash over you – who said city breaks were stressful?

Explore The National Football Museum

Address: Urbis Building Cathedral Gardens, Todd St, Manchester M4 3BG, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 605 8200


As a football fan, a visit to the National Football Museum is practically a rite of passage. With a trove of memorabilia from the beautiful game, it’s an absolute treat. Try your hand at interactive exhibits like Penalty Shootout or commentate on a classic match. 

Even if you’re not a footie fanatic, it’s worth it for the eye-opening journey into the cultural impact of the sport. Bring your kit, you never know when they’ll need a sub!

Discover Manchester Arndale

Address: Market St, Manchester M4 3AQ, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 833 9851


Shopping in Manchester isn’t complete without hitting Manchester Arndale. You’ll find everything from high-street favourites to independent boutiques. Need a breather? Grab a bite at the food court, offering a plethora of cuisines. 

It’s not just a shopping centre; it’s a paradise for shopaholics and foodies alike. Remember, the one who dies with the most shopping bags wins!

Dive into History at the Royal Exchange Theatre

Address: St Anns Square, Manchester M2 7DH, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 833 9833


The Royal Exchange Theatre isn’t just for drama lovers. This stunning building, once the world’s largest trading room, now hosts world-class productions in the round. The grandeur of the Great Hall still lingers, lending an atmospheric backdrop to your theatre experience. 

And if you’re not one for the spotlight, the theatre’s café and craft shop are worth a visit too. You haven’t really experienced Manchester until you’ve heard “It’s behind you!” in this iconic setting.

Relax in Cathedral Gardens

Address: Corporation St, Manchester M4 3BG, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 234 5000

In need of a bit of green amidst the urban sprawl? Cathedral Gardens offers a much-needed sanctuary. This green gem is the perfect spot to relax after exploring the nearby attractions or just enjoy a nice picnic. 

It’s also a popular spot for local events and festivals, so you might stumble upon a hidden gem. Yes, it’s just a park, but it’s also a reminder to stop and smell the roses… or whatever flower they’ve got planted this season.

Address: Mosley St, Manchester M2 3JL, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 235 8888


Manchester Art Gallery is a treasure trove of fine art, with a collection spanning six centuries. From Turner to Stubbs, there’s a surprise around every corner. And the best part? Admission is free, leaving you with some spare change for a cream tea in the café. 

Trust me, the scones are as delightful as the artwork. This isn’t just an art gallery; it’s a journey through colour, form, and a whole lot of “I don’t get it, but I love it.”

See a Performance at the Royal Exchange Theatre

Address: St Anns Square, Manchester M2 7DH, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 833 9833


Located right in the Exchange Square, the Royal Exchange Theatre is a sight to behold and a cultural experience not to miss. Housed in a grand Victorian building, the theatre’s unique design places the stage in the centre with seating all around, guaranteeing an immersive experience for every audience member. You can enjoy a diverse range of performances here—from Shakespearean classics to contemporary drama and everything in between. Remember to check out their schedule and book in advance!

Unleash Your Inner Bookworm at Chetham’s Library

Address: Long Millgate, Manchester M3 1SB, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 834 7961


Just a few minutes walk from Exchange Square is Chetham’s Library, the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. This beautifully preserved mediaeval building is a treasure trove of books, manuscripts, and maps. 

Immerse yourself in the tranquillity, browse through centuries-old tomes, or simply soak up the inspiring atmosphere where Karl Marx once studied. Remember to check the opening times before you visit, as the library is often used for special events and performances.

Get Crafty at The Manchester Craft and Design Centre

Address: 17 Oak St, Manchester M4 5JD, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 832 4274


A little further from Exchange Square is Manchester’s creative soul – the Manchester Craft and Design Centre. This vibrant artistic hub, housed in a former Victorian fish market, is home to numerous talented artists and designers. 

You can explore unique studios, chat with the makers, and even buy direct from them. It’s the perfect place to discover something truly unique!

Where to Shop in Manchester’s Exchange Square

Selfridges & Co

Address: 1 Exchange Square Central, Manchester M3 1BD, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 800 123400


You’ll struggle to find a more iconic department store than Selfridges & Co in Manchester. Set within a striking yellow stone building, this upmarket retail space houses an extensive range of brands. 

From luxury fashion labels to high street favourites, there’s something for every budget and taste. Plus, their Food Hall is an epicurean’s delight. It’s a one-stop shop for a fabulous day out!

Harvey Nichols

Address: 21 New Cathedral St, Manchester M1 1AD, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 828 8888


Harvey Nichols is not just a store, it’s an experience. This upscale department store caters to fashion-forward shoppers with an eye for designer wares. The first floor beauty section is a haven for makeup mavens and skincare enthusiasts. And if you need a break from shopping, the chic onsite brasserie and bar is the perfect pit stop for a bite and a glass of bubbly.


Address: 68-70 Market St, Manchester M1 1PN, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 838 0760


Who doesn’t love a Zara haul? Situated just a stone’s throw away from Exchange Square, this high street favourite offers up-to-the-minute fashion at affordable prices. It’s a staple for all seasons; the perfect place to snag a trendy piece or build up your basics. 

And remember, the check-out line is where we make our best decisions!

M&S Manchester

Address: 7 Market St, Manchester M1 1WT, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 834 8919


Marks & Spencer is a British institution, and the Manchester branch doesn’t disappoint. Whether you’re after chic workwear, comfortable leisure attire, or even a decadent food selection, M&S has it all. 

It’s like a comforting hug from a grandma—dependable, warm, and always welcoming.


Address: 35-39 Market St, Manchester M1 1PW, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 333 005 5022


Next is the go-to for stylish, quality clothing for the whole family. From babywear to women’s and men’s fashion, they cover every base. If you’re after a great pair of jeans, a cute sundress or smart office attire, Next is your guy. 

Not to mention, their homeware section is a treasure trove of chic décor.

Urban Outfitters

Address: 42-43 Market St, Manchester M1 1PW, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 834 4644


Calling all hipsters and trendsetters, Urban Outfitters is the place for you! Known for its eclectic and cool offerings, this store has something for everyone. From quirky clothing pieces to unique home accessories, it’s like a playground for grown-ups. 

Their vinyl section is a must-visit for music lovers – there’s something special about the crackle of needle on vinyl, right? Go get lost among their funky selection.

The Royal Exchange Manchester

Address: St Anns Square, Manchester M2 7DH, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 833 9833


Last but definitely not least, The Royal Exchange. A historic site turned shopping haven, it’s brimming with unique boutiques, independent stores, and some of the city’s best dining options. It’s a wonderful mish-mash of high end, indie and everything in between. 

Also, the building itself, with its Victorian architectural grandeur, is worth a visit. Just try to leave without a shopping bag… we dare you!

Which Neighbourhoods to Visit in Manchester’s Exchange Square

The Northern Quarter


The Northern Quarter, or “NQ” as locals call it, is a stone’s throw away from Exchange Square. It’s like Manchester’s answer to Brooklyn, with hipster coffee shops, vibrant street art, and the iconic Affleck’s Palace – a paradise for lovers of vintage fashion and quirky trinkets. 

Oh, and don’t forget to check out some cracking vinyl at Piccadilly Records!



Just east of the Northern Quarter, you’ll find Ancoats, hailed as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world. Once the heart of the industrial revolution, it’s now a hub of independent restaurants, bars, and classic red-brick residential buildings. 

Don’t forget to check out Cutting Room Square – it’s lively, it’s cool, and it’s a perfect spot for people-watching!



To the west of Exchange Square, Spinningfields is Manchester’s modern neighbourhood. It’s a glossy, glass-clad district filled with high-end restaurants, swanky bars, and luxury retail stores. Its many green spaces make it perfect for a summer’s day stroll. 

And if you’re a culture vulture, The John Rylands Library, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, is a must-see!



Head a little further west and you’ll land in Castlefield, where the city’s Roman roots lie. Here, you can enjoy a peaceful canal-side walk or a pint in one of the classic British pubs. If you’re up for a bit of history, visit the reconstructed Roman fort or the Museum of Science and Industry.



Deansgate is the beating heart of Manchester, throbbing with history, culture, and a distinct Mancunian vibe. As one of the city’s oldest areas, Deansgate stands as a testament to the city’s industrial past and vibrant present. 

Do you see that skyscraper piercing the Manchester sky? That’s the Beetham Tower, where you can sip cocktails at Cloud 23 and soak in breathtaking views of the city. For shoppers, House of Fraser promises a luxurious retail therapy experience. 

But, hey, don’t leave without visiting the John Rylands Library. This neo-Gothic architectural marvel is like stepping into a Harry Potter film – minus the moving staircases, of course!



Not far from Exchange Square, Chinatown awaits, ready to entice you with an immersive journey into East Asian culture. This bustling district, complete with a striking paifang archway, is one of the UK’s largest Chinatowns. Here, food is an art form and a delicious journey of discovery. 

From dumpling houses serving up juicy dim sum to traditional hot pot restaurants, sushi bars, and bubble tea shops, there’s a tantalising experience waiting for you at every corner. So, get ready to delight your taste buds with the vibrant flavours of the Far East right here in Manchester.

Gay Village


Stepping south from Chinatown, you’ll land in Manchester’s legendary Gay Village, clustered around the lively Canal Street. Known for its spirited nightlife and vibrant LGBTQ+ culture, the area pulsates with a welcoming, inclusive energy that is hard to resist. 

Once a haven for the city’s gay community during more repressive times, today, the Gay Village is a colourful spectacle of freedom and celebration. Packed with bars, clubs, and restaurants, it’s the epicentre of fun. 

Whether you’re looking for a drag show, a tranquil canal-side drink, or just to feel the acceptance in the air, the Gay Village promises an unforgettable experience.



A short walk east of Exchange Square will lead you to Piccadilly, a buzzing hub of activity in the heart of Manchester. This neighbourhood is home to Piccadilly Gardens, a green oasis amidst the urban landscape where you can enjoy a sunny afternoon. 

Shopaholics will be thrilled with Market Street, a shopper’s paradise lined with high street fashion brands. And if you’re a bookworm, a visit to the iconic Manchester Central Library is a must.

Salford Quays


Venture a little further west from Exchange Square, and you’ll land in Salford Quays, a unique waterfront destination. A cultural hotspot, it houses the renowned Lowry theatre and the Imperial War Museum North. Not forgetting MediaCityUK, the BBC and ITV’s northern home. 

For sports fans, a tour of Old Trafford, Manchester United’s stadium, is a must. And for some retail therapy, the Lowry Outlet Mall has you covered. Don’t miss the chance to take a tranquil walk by the Quays – the sunset view is something to write home about!

What to Expect from Manchester Exchange Square

Spring: As winter fades away, Manchester starts to bloom, with temperatures ranging from the mid-40s to mid-60s in Exchange Square. A bit of rain is expected—it’s Manchester after all—but it just adds to the charm of this lively neighbourhood.

Summer: Summer in Exchange Square is full of life, with outdoor events and festivals regularly taking place. Expect temperatures to be in the high 60s to low 70s. While there might be a bit of rain now and then, Mancunians are well adapted to making the most of sunny days.

Autumn: With colours changing all around, Autumn can be quite the spectacle in Exchange Square. Temperatures can range from the high 50s to low 60s. Expect a bit of rain, but don’t worry, plenty of indoor activities such as shopping, dining, and theatre-going will keep you entertained.

Winter: Manchester winters can be crisp and chilly, with temperatures often dipping to the mid-30s. Exchange Square takes on a festive spirit around this time, with Christmas markets offering warm drinks, delicious food, and handcrafted gifts. 

Just make sure to bundle up and be ready for the occasional snowfall!

Apps to Download for a Trip to Manchester Exchange Square

Uber: Ride hailing, electric bikes and motorised scooters, food delivery
iOs | Android

Google Translate: word translation with offline capabilities
iOs | Android

TheFork: Guide to restaurants, in-app table reservations
iOs | Android

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