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Things to Know about the Royal Exchange in Manchester

Things to Know about the Royal Exchange in Manchester

Ah, the Royal Exchange—Manchester’s crowning glory, where thespian dreams are born, where culture vultures flock, and where architectural prowess stands testament to Manchester’s industrious past. It’s no mystery why this iconic building is high on the agenda for visitors. 

To ensure you take full advantage of your visit, here’s our guide to the Royal Exchange, complete with the best tips, insider secrets, and more.

Time Zone

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1)

Best Time to Go

Visiting the Royal Exchange can be a delightful experience at any time of the year, although the excitement is palpable during the Manchester Theatre Festival, usually held in October. Be sure to book your theatre tickets well in advance!

If you prefer a quieter tour of the building and its grandeur, early weekday mornings are your best bet. Just remember, a visit here isn’t complete without catching a performance at the in-house theatre.

Things to Know

Currency: Pound Sterling

(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: English

Calling Code: +44

How to Get Around

Trams: The most straightforward (and often, the speediest) way to navigate Manchester is by tram. The Metrolink tram network has stations across the city, with the nearest stop to the Royal Exchange being Market Street.

Buses: With an extensive network that blankets the city, buses offer an alternative to trams. A single journey will typically cost you around £2.

Taxis: There’s no shortage of taxi companies in Manchester — StreetCars is a local favourite, accepting cards and boasting its own app. Uber also operates in the city.

Car service: If you fancy organising your airport pick-up beforehand, you can explore services offered by local car service companies like StreetCars Private Hire or Manchester Cars.

Where to Stay in Royal Exchange Manchester

The Edwardian Manchester

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

Phone: +44 161 835 9929

Pricing: £££

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A stone’s throw away from the Royal Exchange, The Edwardian Manchester, a part of the Radisson Collection, is the epitome of luxury. Located in the historic Free Trade Hall, it effortlessly combines Manchester’s industrial past with its vibrant present. 

Indulge yourself in their sumptuous spa and enjoy a range of gastronomic delights at their in-house restaurant, Peter Street Kitchen. Your Mancunian adventure just got a whole lot more exciting!

King Street Townhouse

Address: 10 Booth St, Manchester M2 4AW, UK

Phone: +44 161 667 0707

Pricing: £££

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If it’s a blend of old-world charm and modern amenities you seek, look no further than the King Street Townhouse. Tucked away in an Italian Renaissance-style building, this boutique hotel will woo you with its chic decor and panoramic views of the Manchester skyline. 

The crowning jewel? An infinity pool that overlooks the Town Hall, providing an unrivalled view of the cityscape. There’s an irresistible snug cinema where you can watch classic films, and a mezzanine lounge perfect for an afternoon cuppa. 

Its superb location, in close proximity to the Royal Exchange, makes it the ideal base for culture vultures. Who knew home could be this swanky?

Hotel Gotham

Address: 100 King St, Manchester M2 4WU, UK

Phone: +44 161 413 0000

Pricing: ££

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Now, don’t let the name fool you. While it may not be home to Batman, the Hotel Gotham does pack a punch with its unique 1920s Art Deco style. 

Perfect for those seeking a bit of theatrical flair (you are visiting the Royal Exchange after all!), the hotel is an eccentric blend of design elements inspired by the golden era of banking. 

Each room has a touch of glamour with vintage suitcases, antique writing desks and monochrome styling, truly capturing the spirit of the Roaring Twenties. Don’t forget to head up to Club Brass, the rooftop private members’ bar, for a cheeky tipple.

Motel One Manchester-Royal Exchange

Address: 34 London Rd, Manchester M1 2PF, UK

Phone: +44 161 228 0800

Pricing: £

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Budget-friendly without compromising on style, Motel One Manchester-Royal Exchange is a gem for the thrifty traveller. The hotel’s design cleverly reflects Manchester’s cotton-making history with loom-inspired decorations and cotton cloud murals. 

The cosy rooms are decorated in soothing hues of blue and come with all the modern amenities. What’s more, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump away from the Royal Exchange Theatre. So, you can enjoy a night at the theatre, wander back, and plop onto a comfy bed. 

What a way to end the day, eh?

The Lowry Hotel

Address: 50 Dearmans Pl, Chapel Wharf, Salford, Manchester M3 5LH, UK

Phone: +44 161 827 4000

Pricing: £££

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Overlooking the River Irwell, The Lowry Hotel, named after the famous Mancunian artist L.S. Lowry, promises a five-star stay with a dash of artistic flair. The hotel’s art collection would make even Lowry tip his hat in admiration. 

Its spacious rooms and suites boast floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the Manchester cityscape beautifully. On-site dining options include the River Restaurant, known for its seasonal, modern British menu. 

And if you’re feeling extra fancy, treat yourself to afternoon tea in the sunlit Atrium. Just a short stroll from the Royal Exchange, The Lowry Hotel certainly adds an artistic touch to your stay in Manchester.

SACO Manchester – Piccadilly

Address: 6 Minshull St, Manchester M1 3ED, UK

Phone: +44 161 236 1229

Pricing: ££

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If you fancy the comforts of home with the amenities of a hotel, SACO Manchester – Piccadilly is the place to be. These modern serviced apartments come complete with fully equipped kitchens, making them perfect for longer stays. 

The airy apartments offer all the mod-cons and are decorated in a chic, minimalist style. You’ll love the peace and quiet here after a bustling day exploring the city or catching a play at the Royal Exchange.

The Ainscow Hotel

Address: Trinity Way, Salford, Manchester M3 5EN, UK

Phone: +44 161 827 1650

Pricing: ££

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With its rustic charm and relaxed atmosphere, The Ainscow Hotel brings a little bit of the countryside to the heart of Manchester. The rooms strike a balance between traditional comfort and modern luxury, offering a cosy yet chic retreat from city life. 

Don’t miss out on the hotel’s rooftop terrace; it’s the perfect spot to unwind with a glass of bubbly, taking in the panoramic views of the city skyline. A short distance from the Royal Exchange, this is the ideal place to stay if you’re looking for a bit of quiet amidst the city buzz. 

Fancy a nightcap? Head to the charmingly atmospheric Lynwood bar—just the spot for a relaxing evening drink.

INNSiDE Manchester

Address: 1 First St, Manchester M15 4RP, UK

Phone: +44 161 200 2500

Pricing: ££

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For those who prefer a more contemporary setting, INNSiDE Manchester is a stylish and modern hotel with a design-savvy touch. Sleek and trendy, the rooms are a haven for relaxation with floor-to-ceiling windows offering impressive views of Manchester. 

The hotel boasts an on-site restaurant, Street on 1st, serving up a tasty menu that’s inspired by street food flavours. And if you feel like getting active, their wellness suite with a gym and sauna is there for you. 

Conveniently located near the Royal Exchange, this hotel promises an urban retreat like no other. Remember, the INNSiDE scoop is that their evening cocktails are rather smashing!

Where to Eat in Royal Exchange Manchester

The Corn Exchange

Address: Exchange St, Manchester M4 3TR, UK

Phone: +44 161 834 8961

Pricing: ££


The United Nations of Food right at the heart of Manchester, also known as The Corn Exchange! Here, you’ll find the entire globe on a plate — Thai, Italian, Mexican — the works. So pop in, spin the globe and take your pick. 

Be warned, deciding where to eat is a serious business here; it’s an epicurean’s Sophie’s Choice! And if you ask us? Don’t dare leave without having a scoop of Gino’s gelato. It’s life-changing!

Dishoom Manchester

Address: 32 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BT, UK

Phone: +44 161 537 3737

Pricing: ££


Why fly to Bombay when you can walk to Dishoom? This quirky spot dishes out some hearty comfort food that’s bound to teleport you to the bustling streets of Bombay. Packed with flavours and soul, their house black daal is like a big bear hug in a bowl! Breakfast lovers, rejoice! 

Their breakfast naan roll will have you questioning your loyalty to the traditional English breakfast. And their chai? Let’s just say, once you try it, regular tea will forever pale in comparison.

The French by Adam Reid

Address: Peter St, Manchester M60 2DS, UK

Phone: +44 161 235 4780

Pricing: £££


If you want to dine like royalty, then The French by Adam Reid is your palace. Nestled in the grand Midland Hotel, this place serves up a feast for both the eyes and the palate. It’s like stepping into an episode of “MasterChef” but without the TV drama. 

The chef’s tasting menu? It’s nothing short of a culinary adventure. The only catch? Your wallet might feel a bit lighter afterwards, but hey, good things in life rarely come cheap, right?

Mackie Mayor

Address: 1 Eagle St, Manchester M4 5BU, UK

Phone: Not available

Pricing: £

Looking for a hip, lively spot that’s got something for everyone? Mackie Mayor is the answer. This food hall is housed in a restored Victorian market building that gives it a cool, vintage vibe. 

You can choose from wood-fired pizza, Vietnamese pho, or even a craft beer — all under one roof. It’s like going on a culinary world tour without needing to pack a suitcase! Oh, and the brownies? Get ready to meet your new sweet obsession!


Address: 3 Hardman Square, Gartside St, Manchester M3 3EB, UK

Phone: +44 161 819 2060

Pricing: £££


When a dining spot is as Instagrammable as Tattu, you know you’re in for a treat. This contemporary Chinese restaurant not only serves drool-worthy dishes but also gives major interior decor goals. Dining under cherry blossom trees, anyone? 

The food is as gorgeous as the setting — we’re talking red roast pork belly, black pepper lobster, and dumplings that are almost too pretty to eat. And do leave room for their chocolate bonsai tree dessert; it’s the cherry on top!

The Ivy Spinningfields

Address: The Pavilion, Byrom St, Manchester M3 3HG, UK

Phone: +44 161 503 3222

Pricing: £££


Dining at The Ivy Spinningfields feels a bit like being on the set of a glam Hollywood movie. It’s fancy, stylish, and absolutely fabulous, darling! And the food? It’s a star-studded lineup of British classics with a modern twist. 

Whether you fancy a juicy steak, a homely shepherd’s pie, or a delicious afternoon tea, this spot’s got you covered. So put on your Sunday best and get ready for the culinary red carpet!

What to Do in Royal Exchange Manchester

Explore the Royal Exchange Theatre

Address: St Anns Square, Manchester M2 7DH, UK

Phone: +44 161 833 9833


Visiting the Royal Exchange is a no-brainer. After all, we’re talking about a legendary theatre inside a Grade II listed building that’s survived everything from world wars to IRA bombings. Today, it’s an iconic spot that offers a unique 360-degree stage view. 

Get immersed in a world of drama, romance, and suspense with their eclectic mix of shows, which often feature big names like Maxine Peake. Oh, and don’t forget to marvel at the sheer architectural brilliance of this cotton exchange turned theatre. It’s a bit like time travel, innit?

Discover the Manchester Cathedral

Address: Victoria St, Manchester M3 1SX, UK

Phone: +44 161 833 2220


A stone’s throw away from the Royal Exchange is the Manchester Cathedral, a stunning piece of Gothic architecture that’s endured for more than 600 years. The church offers a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

Step inside, breathe in the calmness, and admire the ancient woodwork and stained glass. It’s the kind of place where your camera roll fills up quicker than you can say “cheese”. And if you time your visit right, you might even catch a choir performance that’s sure to give you goosebumps.

Visit the John Rylands Library

Address: 150 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH, UK

Phone: +44 161 306 0555


Just a 5-minute stroll from the Royal Exchange and you’ll find yourself at the gates of Hogwarts — I mean, The John Rylands Library. This architectural gem is worth visiting, even if you’re not a bookworm. 

Its impressive neo-Gothic structure and vaulted reading room make it a dream spot for Instagram shots. But don’t just stop at selfies; explore their collection of rare books and manuscripts that date back to the third millennium B.C.! 

Dive into the world of Football at the National Football Museum

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

Phone: +44 161 605 8200


Football and Manchester are as inseparable as fish and chips. So, a visit to the National Football Museum is a must. The museum celebrates the beautiful game’s history, drama, and thrill. So, even if you aren’t a footie fanatic, it’s worth giving it a go. 

You’ll be amazed by the collection of memorabilia, including football kits, trophies, and even a ball from the 1966 World Cup. Fancy yourself as a bit of a goalie? Give their penalty shootout a go. It’s enough to make anyone yell, “Goal!”

Enjoy shopping at the Arndale Centre

Address: Manchester Arndale, Manchester M4 1AZ, UK

Phone: +44 161 833 9851


Love to shop? Say hello to the Arndale Centre, a shopping haven that’s just around the corner from the Royal Exchange. It’s got everything you could want from high street brands to unique independent boutiques, not to mention a food court that’s a feast in itself! 

So why not indulge in a little retail therapy or find that perfect Manchester souvenir? It’s a sure way to lighten your wallet but hey, who doesn’t love a good shopping spree?

Enjoy the nightlife at the Printworks

Address: 27 Withy Grove, Manchester M4 2BS, UK

Phone: +44 161 829 8000


The Printworks is the heart of Manchester’s nightlife. Just a short walk from the Royal Exchange, it’s the perfect place to let your hair down after a day of exploring. With bars, clubs, restaurants, and a cinema, there’s something for everyone. 

Fancy a dance-off or a sing-off? Try out one of their fun-filled clubs. Or if you’re more of a movie buff, catch the latest blockbuster at the IMAX. Whatever you choose, a night at The Printworks is guaranteed to be an absolute blast!

Wander through Chinatown

Address: Faulkner St, Manchester M1 4EE, UK

Get ready to step into another world just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Royal Exchange. Chinatown, one of the largest in Europe, is a maze of exotic supermarkets, bakeries, and, of course, restaurants. 

Grab a piping hot Char Siu Bao from Ho’s Bakery or shop for knick-knacks and unusual gifts at the many shops that line the streets. Don’t miss the stunning Chinese arch at its entrance – it’s a selfie must! Who knew a trip to Manchester could whisk you off to the Far East in no time?

Sip a brew at the City Arms

Address: 46-48 Kennedy St, Manchester M2 4BQ, UK

Phone: +44 161 236 4610

Here’s a spot that’s as Mancunian as it gets, right in the best neighbourhood of Royal Exchange. The City Arms, a traditional pub with a buzzing atmosphere, is the perfect place to sit back and sip on a pint. 

This place serves up a dizzying array of cask ales, stouts, and lagers, along with your favourite pub grub. Don’t forget to engage in a bit of banter with the friendly locals and bar staff — it’s as essential to the pub experience as the beer itself! 

And while you’re there, keep an ear out for the spontaneous jam sessions that break out on occasion. This pub is truly a taste of authentic Manchester. Cheers to that!

Where to Shop in Royal Exchange Manchester


Address: 52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW, UK

Phone: +44 161 839 0718


“Where the normal is weird, and the weird is normal” – this quirkily delightful slogan accurately describes Afflecks, an alternative shopping centre located a 10-minute walk from the Royal Exchange. 

This place is a labyrinth of independent retailers selling all sorts of eclectic items: vintage clothing, vinyl records, crystals, and funky accessories, just to name a few. If you’re up for a treasure hunt and keen to find something unique, then Afflecks is your place. 

Trust me, you haven’t truly shopped in Manchester till you’ve popped into Afflecks. And don’t forget to grab a bagel from the café at the top floor – shopping can be exhausting, you know!

Manchester Arndale

Address: Manchester M4 3AQ, UK

Phone: +44 161 833 9851


In the heart of the city, Manchester Arndale is the go-to shopping destination for many. Offering a great mix of high-street retailers like Topshop, H&M, and Next, it’s perfect for fashionistas on the prowl. Need a new phone or tablet? They’ve got an Apple Store too. 

And for your inner bookworm, there’s a Waterstones waiting to be explored. Once you’ve shopped till you’re almost dropping, take a breather at the Arndale Food Market and munch on something delicious. 

Let’s just say, if Manchester Arndale doesn’t have it, you probably don’t need it. So, are you ready to embrace the ‘shop till you drop’ mantra?

King Street

Address: King St, Manchester, UK


If it’s high-end you’re after, then let’s head to King Street, Manchester’s answer to London’s Bond Street. Located in a gorgeously preserved part of town, it’s lined with an array of luxurious shops like Mulberry, Ted Baker, and Tommy Hilfiger. 

And it’s not just about clothes, folks! There are antique dealers, jewellers, and high-end home décor shops too. Don’t forget to drop into El Gato Negro for some tasty tapas when your retail adrenaline starts to dwindle. What’s that? You’re worried about spending a fortune? 

Oh, come on! We both know that life’s too short for regrets. Just remember to hide the receipts!

Northern Quarter

Address: Manchester M4, UK


The Northern Quarter, Manchester’s hip and happening district, full of independent boutiques and record stores. From vinyl records at Piccadilly Records to vintage fashion at Pop Boutique, the Northern Quarter is a haven for those who like their shopping a bit left-of-centre. 

And if you’re feeling peckish after your shopping spree, why not pop into one of the trendy eateries like Almost Famous for a scrumptious burger? After all, shopping is hard work! 

Go on, take a stroll down the Northern Quarter – the blend of urban chic and vintage charm will make you fall in love with Manchester all over again.

The Royal Exchange Shopping Centre

Address: St Ann’s Square, Manchester M2 7DH, UK

Phone: +44 161 834 8961


Now, how can we forget the shopping centre that shares its name with our favourite theatre? Situated just next door to the Royal Exchange Theatre, this upscale shopping centre is a hot spot for luxury shopping. 

Here you’ll find high-end brands like Paul Smith, Hugo Boss, and Molton Brown. After a round of shopping, refuel with a delicious bite at one of the many eateries in the complex. 

The Royal Exchange Shopping Centre offers a perfectly sophisticated shopping experience right in the heart of Manchester. Happy shopping, my fellow shopaholics!

Selfridges & Co

Address: 1 Exchange Square Central, Corporation St, Manchester M3 1BD, UK

Phone: +44 800 123400


When it comes to premium retail therapy, it’s hard to beat the luxe allure of Selfridges & Co. Located on Exchange Square, a short walk from the Royal Exchange, this department store is an institution. You’ll find all the big names here – think Prada, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. 

And let’s not forget about the Beauty Hall, it’s like a candy store for skincare and makeup enthusiasts (Warning: it might make your credit card weep!). Don’t forget to visit the Food Hall for delicious treats, or for a full-on dining experience, the San Carlo Champagne Bar is the place to be. 

Which Neighbourhoods to Visit in Royal Exchange Manchester

Northern Quarter


Pack your indie spirit and embark on a journey to the Northern Quarter, Manchester’s hotspot for alternative and bohemian culture. This area is a canvas for street art, filled with craft beer joints, vintage shops, and indie record stores like Piccadilly Records. 

The buildings here are a wonderful mix of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, blending the old and the new seamlessly. Pop into one of the many funky eateries for a bite; almost every corner seems to have an inviting café or a hip restaurant. 

Not to mention, it’s a paradise for music lovers, with live gigs happening left, right and centre. So, if you fancy a lively neighbourhood that celebrates individuality and creativity, the Northern Quarter should be your go-to!



Fancy a stroll through the neighbourhood dubbed as the world’s first industrial suburb? Then Ancoats it is! Once filled with cotton mills, it’s now one of Manchester’s coolest districts, bursting with eateries, bars, and coffee shops. 

For a slice of Neapolitan pizza, head over to Rudy’s, a local favourite. The Hope Mill Theatre, a beautifully converted old mill, is the heart of arts in Ancoats – it’s just the place to catch an offbeat play. 

Between the repurposed mills and the cutting-edge architecture, Ancoats oozes a kind of character that perfectly captures the soul of Manchester – a blend of its industrial past and dynamic present.



If shiny skyscrapers, designer boutiques, and chic restaurants are your thing, then Spinningfields is the neighbourhood for you. Often referred to as Manchester’s “Canary Wharf,” this is a hub for high-end shopping and dining. 

It’s where you’ll find the best of the best, from Australasia’s fine dining to The Ivy’s sumptuous decor and The Alchemist’s theatrical cocktails. Don’t miss the open-air cinema during summers; it’s an absolute treat. 

Although Spinningfields might not be your traditional, charming neighbourhood, its modern aesthetics and cosmopolitan vibe make it an exciting area to explore.



Dive into history by visiting Castlefield, a district that takes pride in being the site of the Roman era fort Mamucium. Now, it’s a peaceful haven filled with canals, old warehouses (turned into cool bars and restaurants), and red-brick viaducts. 

The Museum of Science and Industry is a must-visit here, offering a journey through Manchester’s industrial past. Take a walk along the Bridgewater Canal, or enjoy a pint in the sun at Dukes 92, a popular waterside bar. 

For a bit of open air, head to the Castlefield Bowl, an outdoor events pavilion that hosts concerts and festivals. Castlefield perfectly epitomises the saying, “Old is Gold.”



Escape the city buzz and head over to Chorlton, a leafy suburb known for its bohemian vibe, unique boutiques, and organic food outlets. This neighbourhood is a foodie’s paradise, with gems like The Creameries, offering the finest artisan bread and cheese. 

Don’t forget to explore Beech Road, lined with indie boutiques, rustic eateries, and old-school pubs. While here, take a stroll in the Chorlton Water Park, a local nature reserve perfect for unwinding. 

If you’re looking for a neighbourhood that offers a laid-back, suburban atmosphere coupled with a vibrant food and drink scene, Chorlton checks all the boxes.



Deansgate, one of the city’s main arteries, running through the heart of Manchester. Deansgate has something for everyone – from bustling bars like The Botanist to iconic libraries like John Rylands. 

And let’s not forget about the shopping – Kendals, the oldest department store in Manchester, is located here. Deansgate is also home to several architectural beauties like the Beetham Tower, Manchester’s tallest building. 

And when you’re tired of exploring, pop into Almost Famous, a local burger joint that’s the talk of the town. For a slice of everything Manchester, Deansgate is the place to be.

What to Expect from Royal Exchange Manchester Weather

Spring: Manchester starts to shake off its winter chill from March to May. Temperatures range from the mid-40s to high 50s. Be prepared for some rain, as the city is known for its wet weather. 

But don’t let that deter you – the city’s parks and gardens bursting into bloom make up for the occasional showers.

Summer: Summer is a delightful time to visit Manchester. June through August sees warm weather, with temperatures in the high 60s to mid-70s. There will still be some rain, but it’s also the season for outdoor festivals and events. 

Just remember to pack a light jacket or an umbrella for the odd shower.

Fall: The autumn months from September to November can be quite mild, with temperatures ranging from the low 40s to mid 50s. Manchester looks particularly charming as the leaves change colour. 

As always, expect some rain, but don’t let it stop you from exploring the city’s vibrant fall foliage.

Winter: Winter in Manchester lasts from December to February. It can be quite cold, with temperatures often dropping to the mid-30s. While snow is rare, it’s not unheard of. 

The city may be grey and chilly, but there’s something about Manchester’s historical architecture that looks even more striking under a winter sky. And, hey, it’s the perfect excuse to cosy up in a local pub with a pint of something warming. Just remember to pack warm layers and a good raincoat.

Apps to Download for a Trip to Royal Exchange Manchester

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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