Photograph by Ian Dagnall/Alamy Stock Photo

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Pubs and cafés spill onto the sidewalk of Canal Street in the charming city center of Manchester.

Photograph by Ian Dagnall/Alamy Stock Photo

A Local's Guide to Manchester

What’s almost better than being able to travel to every city in the world? Hearing about them from the people who know and love them best. Check out these tips for seeing Manchester through a local's eyes.

SARAH BUCKLEY works as a travel consultant in Manchester city center. In her free time, she writes for the travel blog Spotted by Locals Manchester.

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is straight to Fig and Sparrow coffee bar for pre-exploration sustenance.

Match day is the best time to visit my city because nobody loves football as much as Mancs do. The atmosphere is electric!

You can see my city best from Cloud 23 on the 23rd floor of the Beetham Tower. It doesn't get much better than the view across the city to the Pennines mountains as you sip a cocktail.

Locals know to skip the High Street chains and check out the indie and vintage shops around the Northern Quarter instead.

Afflecks in the Northern Quarter is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs.

In the past, notable people like leading British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, musician Ian Brown, and of course rock band Oasis have called my city home.

My city’s best museum is the Manchester Museum because it’s packed with all manner of interesting exhibitions, such as dinosaurs, ancient Egyptian artifacts and even live animals. Best of all it’s completely free!

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s watch out for the trams!

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is the historic Heaton Park, especially in the summer when festival season hits.

My city really knows how to celebrate the weekend. There are hundreds of bars in Manchester but each one is packed to the brim every Friday night!

For a fancy night out, I order a slap-up meal at Albert's Schloss and spend the night there drinking cocktails and steins of beer.

Just outside my city, you can visit the beautiful Dunham Massey with its deer park, stately home, and ice-cream parlor.

My city is known for being grim and rainy, but it’s really a very beautiful and cultural city if you look in the right places. And the sun does shine sometimes!

The best outdoor market in my city is the Levenshulme Market. It’s also one of the best places to sample Manchester’s street food offerings.

The Koffee Pot is my favorite place to grab breakfast, and anywhere along the Curry Mile (nickname for part of Wilmslow Road) is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read about our favorite bars and restaurants on Spotted by Locals.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I like to curl up with a good book in the Central Library or help myself to free tea and biscuits while hanging out at Ziferblat.

To escape the crowds, I wander around John Rylands Library or pop into Ginger's Comfort Emporium for the city’s best ice cream.

The dish that represents my city best is a big greasy burger, and a pint of local brew is my city’s signature drink. Sample them at Almost Famous or Common and Beermoth respectively.

Matt and Phreds is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out Fab Cafe.

In the spring you should pay a visit to the Manchester Sausage, Cider, Beer & BBQ Music Festival.

In the summer you should take a walk along the canal and reward your efforts with a cold pint by the water.

In the fall you should cheer up the dark evenings with bowling and burgers at Dog Bowl.

In the winter you should warm up with bratwurst and glühwein at the world-famous Christmas markets.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss the Museum of Science and Industry.