From its vibrant music scene and many museums to its destination-worthy restaurants and legendary football stadiums, Manchester is one of the UK’s most exciting and varied cities. Two days is just enough time to experience its highlights and enjoy numerous treks around town—here’s how to plan.
SEA LIFE® Manchester
Barton Square intu Trafford Centre, Stretford, Manchester, M17 8AS
Since opening in 2012, SEA LIFE Manchester has become one of the city’s most popular attractions. Get up close to the myriad sea life, and check out the variety of daily talks and demonstrations. For a look at the inner workings of a major aquarium, opt for a behind-the-scenes tour.
To guarantee entry and save time and money, book your admission ticket in advance. Alternatively, purchase a combo ticket for access to the neighboring LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre as well.
Things to Know Before You Go
All exhibitions are indoors, making SEA LIFE Manchester an ideal rainy-day destination for visitors of all ages.
Thursday afternoons at the aquarium are autism-friendly. Book in advance, and check the SEA LIFE website for excluded dates.
Leave and reenter the aquarium as many times as you wish throughout the day on one ticket.
Most of the aquarium is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Situated in the intu Trafford Centre, about 5 miles (8 kilometers) west of central Manchester, SEA LIFE is easy to get to by public transit. From the city center, take bus X50. If you’re driving, exit the M60 highway at Junction 9 or 10, then follow the signs to intu Trafford Centre.
When to Get There
SEA LIFE Manchester is open daily from 10am to 6pm, except on December 25. Last admission is at 5pm. A popular place for families, the aquarium is typically busiest on weekends and during school holidays. For fewer crowds, go midweek, avoiding the 11am to 3pm peak time.
A vibrant city in northwest England, Manchester is known for its soccer teams (two of the country’s best), numerous live music venues, and architecture from the Industrial Revolution. Drop by the National Football Museum, take the family to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, or if pressed for time, enjoy an overview of the city on a convenient hop-on hop-off bus tour.
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