Manchester, the birthplace of British manufacturing, has risen from its post-industrial decline to emerge as a world leader in culture, music, and sport. To soak up the best that this city steeped in history has to offer, avoid the soulless hotels and book a stay at one of Manchester’s best and most characterful Airbnbs. Tucked away among the towering mills and Victorian townhouses are stylishly furnished lettings by their proud Mancunian owners with details that pay homage to the city’s industrial heritage and deliver on the full Manchester experience.
American style onvertered warehouse
Groups hoping to revel in Manchester’s legendary nightlife need to look no further than this ten-bed converted warehouse. Up to sixteen people can sleep comfortably in this spacious flat, which is only a short walk from the Northern Quarter and a ten-minute taxi ride to the popular clubbing hot spot of Deansgate. The party needn’t stop when the lights go on in the clubs; pile back into a taxi and take things back to your place, where the outdoor terrace sports a bar, a DJ booth, and, yes, a hot tub.
Sixteen guests, three bedrooms (ten beds)
Price: $834 per night
Luxe New York boutique apartment
This contemporary one-bedroom flat is situated in a waterside haven that strafes two of Manchester’s trendiest modern neighborhoods, Ancoats and New Islington. The apartment has a cool, airy feel courtesy of a stylish white interior and large windows that bathe the kitchen and living area in sunlight during the day; ideal for the solo remote worker admiring the canal-side views from the comfort of their home office. Wind down in the evenings by exploring the host of independent shops, cafes and pubs that line the city’s waterways, or take in a show at the award-winning Hope Mill Theatre, right on this apartment’s doorstep.
Four guests, one bedroom
Price: $139 per night
The Bank Vault in West Didsbury
For couples wishing to escape the grip of the city, the leafy suburb of Didsbury is home to an abundance of well-received Airbnb options. However, for those who really want to lock themselves away from the hustle and bustle, consider hunkering down in the vault room of an old bank in the heart of West Didsbury. In an exquisite Grade II listed building, this basement apartment has been meticulously refurbished in an arts and crafts style. It has at its centerpiece an impressive mural by the Brazilian street artist Mateus Baion. At $174 a night, the best part is you don’t have to break the bank to afford a stay here.
Three guests, one bedroom
Price: $174 per night
Great new studio flat with stunning panoramic views
Manchester’s skyline is ever-evolving, and this studio flat on the twenty-first floor of one of the city’s many new builds boasts stunning views of the Salford Quays area. Once a run-down industrial dockland, Salford Quays has benefited from a $1.4 billion urban regeneration project which has transformed the area into one of the most vibrant places to work and play in Manchester, with Media City, the new home of the BBC, offering a wealth of restaurants and bars. The flat’s owner has painstakingly redesigned the space to closely resemble a luxury hotel room. However, at just $67 a night, you’d be paying a fraction of the price to stay here than you would at one of Manchester’s five-star establishments. Guests can also take advantage of the on-site gym and supermarket, as well as the excellent transport links — the tram to the city center stops right outside the building’s entrance.
Two guests, one bedroom
Price: $67 per night
Whitworth Locke City studio apartment
You can’t get more central to Manchester at a better price than with this fashionable studio apartment. For couples on a weekend retreat, this cozy retreat offers the perfect jumping-off point to explore Manchester by foot, with plenty to do in every direction: within a few blocks, you’ll find Chinatown and the Manchester Art Gallery to the north, the Grand Palace Theatre to the west, and the beating heart of Manchester’s LGBTQ+ scene on Canal Street to the east. After a long day’s exploring, you’ll welcome the walk-in shower like an old friend before retiring to your king-size bed — or get suited and booted and dance the night away back in the Gay Village.
Luxury Deansgate two bed loft apartment with free parking
This two-bedroom loft apartment in Deansgate in the city center is quite close to the action. Inside, the industrial furnishings are a nice touch, as is the free parking. History buffs will enjoy the nearby John Rylands library, as well as the reconstructed remnants of an old Roman fort near Deansgate station and the People’s History Museum — or national museum of democracy — which explores the history of ideas worth fighting for. This was, after all, the city that birthed the women’s suffrage movement. Those of more party-going persuasions might prefer to get dressed to the nines and go celeb-spotting at one of Manchester’s high-end nightclubs. The Bijou Club just about trumps Club Liv thanks to its riverside terrace.
Four guests, two bedrooms
Price: $195 per night
Boutique city centre penthouse apartment
You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into a New York penthouse upon arriving at this gorgeous apartment in Manchester’s most bohemian neighborhood, the Northern Quarter. Light pours in through the floor-to-ceiling windows, and the hardwood floor and furnishings complement the walls’ crisp white tones to give the apartment that chic, minimalist feel of a New York-style loft. The comparisons with the Big Apple don’t end with this apartment’s interior design. Step outside and the red-brick facades of former industrial buildings so closely resemble parts of downtown NYC that filmmakers have turned to the Northern Quarter to double as New York for films such as the Jude Law remake of Alfie and Captain America: The First Avenger.
Five guests, two bedrooms
Price: $132 per night
Central city apartment with two kingsized beds
Also tucked away in Manchester’s Northern Quarter is this hotly-reviewed apartment in a converted mill. The host, Manchester-born Amy, is lauded by her guests for her attention to detail, tremendous local knowledge, and her creative energy that manifests itself in little decorative flourishes such as an antique gramophone and a pop-art portrait of Margaret Thatcher. In the heart of a city once laid low by Thatcher’s policies of deindustrialization, the latter piece of artwork somehow finds a way to work, and it serves to give the apartment a quirky personality befitting of the bohemian neighborhood it’s situated in. With its street art exhibitions, Scandinavian-chic coffee shops, craft-beer pubs, and vintage clothes stores, the NQ certainly attracts a certain clientele. But don’t let its reputation as a hipster hangout put you off; there’s something for everyone in this fashionable corner of the city.
Four guests, two bedrooms
Price: $257 per night
Contemporary and quirky Victorian townhouse
The Covid-conscious solo traveler will appreciate the lengths that the owners of this private room in a gorgeous converted Victorian townhouse go to to ensure you have a comfortable (and safe) stay. Warm and welcoming, partners Robbie and Scott are a mine of local knowledge, and at just $41 a night, this homey letting in multicultural Whalley Range — a mere fifteen-minute bus ride from the city center — offers excellent value for money for anybody settling down for an extended stay in Manchester. Just beware of the dog: the resident Japanese Akita, Nikko, carries a real risk of melting your heart.
Two guests, one bedroom
Price: $41 per night
Spacious two bed basement flat with garden
Not all of the action in Manchester plays out in the city center, and this self-contained basement flat in Urmston is an excellent base from which to explore the Trafford area. A short bus ride away is England’s third-largest mall, the Trafford Centre. Its Romanesque architecture and marble statues deserving of its status as a gaudy temple of consumerism. There’s plenty for kids to enjoy here, including a LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, an aquarium, and a riotous dinosaur-themed mini-golf course. Even better, within walking distance from the flat is Old Trafford, the home of the Manchester United football club. But if you haven’t managed to bag yourself tickets to a match, no worries. The Smart TV comes loaded with all the sports packages you’ll need to enjoy the game from the comfort of your living room.
Six guests, two bedrooms
Price: $91 per night
130 ft classic yacht
If you and your friends would prefer to push the boat out, why not hire out a luxury yacht moored in Clipper’s Quay, Salford? Beautifully fitted out with luxury trimmings that belie the owner’s background in interior design, this alternative Airbnb experience is perfect for groups of up to eight looking to share in Manchester’s classier side. Media City is within walking distance, as is the excellent Lowry Theatre. Follow dinner with a show, then drink in the views at one of the many swanky quay-side bars before retiring to your luxury cabin for a nightcap of prosecco (compliments of the owner). But remember that this is a sophisticated venue, not a party boat, so try not to go overboard.
Ten guests, three bedrooms
Price: $681 per night
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