QueenBeady’s guide to making the most of gigs in Manchester

  • City guides
3 min read

Manchester is synonymous with creating incredible music. The Stone Roses, Oasis, Blossoms – I could go on. There’s some top-notch venues, with larger locations such as Manchester Arena and the Etihad Football Stadium, which often play host to some of the biggest worldwide artists. And then there’s the smaller, independent (but just as well known) spots such as The Castle Hotel and Band on the Wall, which create some incredible nights.

We’ve seen quite a few bands in Manchester now and it’s definitely a city that you can make the most of whilst heading in for a gig. So why not turn your next concert in Manchester in to a weekend city break with Roomzzz? Here’s how…

Where to stay

In this city centre spot you are spoilt for choice but we found our stay at Roomzzz Corn Exchange the perfect base for everything we could possibly want. Only a short two minute walk you will find yourself right outside Manchester Arena so you couldn’t be more perfectly placed to see your favourite band! There’s also Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and the Arndale Centre right on your doorstep if you fancy a little retail therapy too.

As the apartments are self-catering accommodation you have the option to keep costs down by cooking and preparing food in your own apartment. Equipped with plenty of cooking utensils, pots, pans and cutlery, you are more than armed to cook a banging meal before you head out.

With the complimentary Wi-Fi, you can check up on those long-awaited gig set lists so you can stream the album and learn the words before you head off to your gig too.

We often say that the beauty of staying over after a gig is that you don’t have to worry about finding a taxi home, which can be expensive. And because you’re only a short walk away from the venue you can dive straight in to a big, plush king-sized bed (spoiler alert: they are very, very, very comfy at Roomzzz Corn Exchange!).

The building itself is pretty impressive too. Located inside Manchester’s very own Corn Exchange, the design and decor is sympathetic to its Victorian architectural roots! With moss-green subway tiles and dark woods, you feel like there’s a real, rich history here and you can almost hear the market stall holders shouting out their prices of grain for that day.

Not only can you whip up your own brekkie, a complimentary continental breakfast is available downstairs in the foyer. Pick up a croissant or a fruit pastry, a delicious yoghurt, fruit and, of course, a well-needed coffee for when you have a banging headache in the morning. We’ve all been there!

Where to Eat

Manchester has eateries in abundance and with great independents too! There were so many spots to choose from that we had to do a few laps around the block before we could decide. Eventually we stopped off at Terrace, in the Northern Quarter, which had an incredible selection of cocktails and craft beers, and a mouth-watering menu that didn’t break the bank. We ordered steak frites (rare of course!), and a burger and chips – both of which come thoroughly recommended.

There’s also some other places that have come highly rated over the years such as Instagram-worthy “Evelyn’s Cafe Bar” and “Federal”, which fall in to the brunch category, with lots of unique options such as acai bowls and healthy smoothies! But for those that like to indulge, you’ll find delights such as Turkish eggs!

Or if you fancy it, head over to the Manchester Piccadilly Street Food Market where you’ll find lots of street food on offer. The Jamaican Jerk Chicken smelt amazing as we walked past. If you’re running low on time you’ll also find, right inside the Corn Exchange, plenty of restaurants without even having to step out of the building. There’s a Banyan, Salvi’s, Pizza Express and even more!

Where to Drink

The Northern Quarter is great if you want cool, hip and vibrant bars in the city centre. From speakeasy style bars to good old-fashioned pubs, there’s something here for everyone.

If you’re looking for a pre-gig bevvy I can highly recommend Terrace for a very potent cocktail called a “Zombie” and some fantastic IPA’s to whet your appetite. Another favourite is Beermoth – what started as a little ale shop in the Northern Quarter branched out to a full blown bar in the centre of the city. They offer a selection of craft ales that swap and change each month.

Head to The Castle Hotel for a pint and music to get you in the mood for that night’s concert! Did you know that the famous radio legend, John Peel, did one of his interviews here?

Where to Shop

With Roomzzz Corn Exchange right on the doorstep of luxury stores Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, it’s hard not to be drawn in by the shiny handbags and gorgeous shoe aisles. It’s the perfect place to blow some cash.

But there’s nothing more humble than the high street where you’ll find Topshop, Urban Outfitters and even a H&M (where you can find lots of last-minute band tees to make you look the part at the gig!). There’s even my favourite store, & Other Stories, over on St. Anne’s Square, which is a short stroll away.

Again, head back to the Northern Quarter if you’re looking for unique and kooky independent stores or check out one of the many markets that take place in the city centre during the week.

We’re sure that QueenBeady’s guide will come in handy next time you’re heading to a gig in Manchester. She definitely knows how to do things in style! You can check availability at Roomzzz Manchester Corn Exchange here.

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