The vibrant city of Manchester is an exciting destination with a legendary music scene and a culturally rich heritage. Whether it’s checking out the world’s oldest public library or flipping through stacks of vinyl, TimeOut say that there are loads of fun things to do in this metropolis.

But how well will you get to know a city by just blindly following what tourism websites tell you where to eat, what areas you should find accommodation in, and which cultural landmarks to check out?

As soon as travelers land at Manchester Airport, one of the biggest aviation hubs as reported by Parking4Less, many of them will go through the same motions as they would when visiting any other city: from the airport they’ll go to their hotel and check in, then explore all the tourists hotspots recommended by friends or TripAdvisor. Learning about a new place means going where the locals go and uncovering the life that goes on beyond the tourist limelight.

To witness a different side of Manchester, here are several hidden gems for you to discover:

Piccadilly Records
Piccadilly Records first opened back in 1978 on Oldham Street, where you’ll also find the vintage store Pop Boutique, the longstanding Drybar, and an indoor market where independent vendors sells a myriad of things at Affleck’s Palace. Compared to the rest of the city’s independent record shops, Matthew Connaughton of The Write Guy explains that the staff are quite friendly and very accommodating, selling a wide range of records so that there is a little something for everyone.

Piccadilly Records

Tameside Restaurants
Foodies will attest to the fact that many of the best eateries in town are hidden off the main streets of Manchester. Readers of Manchester Evening News have revealed some of the best kept secrets of the local restaurant scene, many of which are located in the borough of Tameside, include Orange Tree Tapas and all sorts of other Mediterranean places in that region.

Orange Tree Cafe

The Temple
What used to be a public toilet—which is why the locals will often refer to it as “The Temple of Convenience”—is now an underground bar where you’ll encounter musicians and local indie types, “thanks to its great jukebox, good beer selection and rock ‘n’ roll vibes,” according to DesignMyNight. If you find yourself on Oxford Road, be sure to find the stone staircase and treat yourself to this unique, quirky bar scene.

The Temple

Author Bio: Chad Bosley
Chad’s love of traveling stems from his childhood, when his father worked as a hotel GM and moved to a different city every two years. He might be an accountant at a major financial institution by trade, but he is a wanderluster at heart.

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