The Best Time to Visit Manchester 2023: The Ultimate Guide
Manchester is a city in the Greater Manchester area, North West England. The story of Manchester dates as far back as 80 AD when the Romans built a wooden fort on a plateau near today's cathedral. The name comes from the Old English word "ceaster" which means a Roman town.
With a nearly two-thousand-years-old history, the city of Manchester is a heaven for all history, art and architecture lovers. As the first industrialized city in the world, Manchester was the first to build a railway line in 1830 and the first working canal in England in 1761.
Also known as the sporting city, Manchester attracts not only football fans to the famous Old Trafford stadium but is home to successful rugby, cycling, athletics, crickets and water polo clubs too.
So naturally, there are so many things to do in Manchester and tourists from all over the world flock to the city regardless of the weather or the time of the year. But there are so many reasons why you should plan your trip to Manchester in advance.
Manchester may not be London, but Manchester weather certainly makes you feel like you are in London. Over the course of the year, the temperature varies from a low of 42.8 F (6 degrees C) in January, to a high of 68 F (20 degrees C) in July.
The best time to visit the city in North West England is from April till October, and you can always expect some rain. The warmest months are June, July and August, and they are also the rainiest, along with October and November. If you don't like the cold, then it's best to avoid traveling to Manchester in the coldest months of January and February.
This guide will help you find out when is the best time to visit Manchester for you. And once you arrive, make sure to find Bounce luggage storage in Manchester, where you can store your bags no matter the weather.
Summer in Manchester: June - August
The best time to visit Manchester for festivals, events, outdoor activities and large crowds is in summer. The high season starts in June and lasts until the end of August. The average high temperature is 66.2 F (19 C), with July being the hottest month reaching the highest temperatures of 68 F (20 C).
You don't need to be a frequent traveler to realize that this is hardly summer weather. But the upside is there is no scorching heat, just the occasional rains which don't seem to bother the Mancunians.
Knowing it rains 205.5 days out of 365 days in the year, it's best to bring your rain gear and lots of layers. And if you are planning on visiting some of the festivals, rain boots are not a bad idea either.
Key events taking place during the hottest months include Parklife the "largest metropolitan festival in the UK", Sounds of the City, Manchester Flower Show, and Manchester Day, all happening in June. Come July, more people flood the city for events like Manchester Reggae Festival and RHS Flower Show. The end of August is reserved for Manchester Pride, the largest festival of its kind in the UK.
Visiting Manchester in the warmest months comes with a few advantages. Many events take place all across the city, the weather is at its warmest, and the crowds make the city feel lively. Summer is a popular time of the year to visit Manchester, so prices are consequently the highest. One of the downsides of traveling to Manchester in summer is that the hotel prices are at their highest, so it's best to book in advance.
Finally, if you are traveling on a budget, then it's best to avoid booking a trip to Manchester in the summer.
Fall in Manchester: September - November
Football matches, beautiful autumn scenery and slightly lower prices make fall one of the best seasons to visit Manchester. The average high temperature decreases from 66F (18.9 degrees C) to 48F (8.9 degrees C), allowing for good weather until November. October and November count as the rainiest months, so it's best to pack your raincoat and umbrella.
But Mancunians don't let the rain and wet weather spoil the fun. The new season attracts a different kind of crowd. Come September, the city is packed with football fans rushing to see a match at Old Trafford or the Etihad Stadium. The football season means prices are high too, so better plan your trip around match dates.
Summer festivals are over, but the weather in September is still warm allowing for another festival to take place. This time the audience is made of foodies from all over the world, sampling a variety of dishes at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival.
October is reserved for Oktoberfest with live music, Bavarian food and booze. October half-term is another reason prices may go high, as families rush to visit the Manchester Science Festival and enjoy the Halloween in the City Festival happening across Manchester city center.
If you are in Manchester on November 5th, don't forget to look up as the sky lights up with hundreds of fireworks for Bonfire Night. Mid-November is a great time to visit Manchester, just in time for the Christmas Markets. The cold and wet weather is not an issue for many tourists who come to the city to do their Christmas shopping and enjoy the festive vibe. To avoid the crowds, plan your trip mid-week.
Finally, visiting Manchester in autumn is great if you don't mind getting wet and cold. This time of the year is also shoulder season in Manchester, meaning you'll get better deals on hotel prices. But before you plan your trip, double-check football match dates as well as seasonal festivals to avoid not only the higher prices but the large crowds of tourists too.
Winter in Manchester: December - February
Winter in Manchester is the low season. With the drop in temperatures, there is a significant drop in prices too. But the crowds are long gone, which means you've got all the attractions and museums to yourself. Well, not really, but the lines to get anywhere are for sure a lot shorter.
The average temperature in winter is 41 degrees F (4.7 degrees C), with a minimum of 35.6 degrees F (2 degrees C). Maximum daily temperatures go up to 45.4 degrees F (7.5 degrees C). Nights can get really cold, with temperatures dropping to 22.5 degrees F (-5.5 degrees C).
January is the month when you can expect some snow, which aggregates up to 0.94". Since rainfall in Manchester is evenly spread throughout the year, there is rain during winter too, on average 10 days of rain a month.
Winter in Manchester requires warm winter clothing, gloves, scarves, mittens, earmuffs, sweaters and winter coats. Don't forget to pack your warm boots too.
Tourism picks up in December when people rush to do their last minute shopping or enjoy the Christmas markets all across Manchester. The festive mood slows down in January but picks up again at the beginning of February when the city prepares for the Chinese New Year.
January and February are a lot quieter. Hotel prices have dropped significantly and you can find up to 50% off deals in shops and restaurants. One of the key events in January is the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival. It is one of the biggest festivals of its kind in Northern England, showcasing beer and cider from the best breweries in Manchester and the UK.
February is ideal for museum visits when there are no lines to get in, which means you won't be rushed from one exhibit to the other. It is the perfect time to get familiar with Manchester's history and art at your own pace. Of the few events taking place in February, the Chinese New Year is the highlight. A Dragon Parade takes place all across Manchester Chinatown.
Why is winter one of the best times to visit Manchester? The prices are low, and there is no standing in line to get to attractions and museums. But the downside is the cold weather, and possible rain and snow.
Spring in Manchester: March - May
Spring in Manchester is a good time to explore the city. The average temperatures from March to May are between 48.2 degrees F (9 degrees C), and 60.8 degrees F (16 degrees C). This makes spring fine weather for picturesque strolls in the park, soaking up the spring sunshine.
Though warmer, the weather in Manchester as we know can still be unpredictable, so don't be surprised to see some rain. This means you should pack your umbrella and waterproof shoes and jacket, a few layers and warm sweaters for the chilly nights.
March is a good time to plan your trip to Manchester as hotel prices are still reasonable. Key events taking place in March include Manchester Film Festival, Manchester Irish Festival and Submerge Festival.
April sees less rain than March, making it a more favorable month to travel to the city. The vegetation has by now bloomed and the parks are covered in green. Easter celebration brings the city to life, but the Manchester Duck Race is another event you don't want to miss.
The weather in May is unpredictable, meaning it can either rain most of the time or be extremely hot. Regardless of the weather, Mancunians prepare themselves for the Manchester Jazz Festival, the key event of the month. The 10-day-long event features over 80 performances taking place across Manchester, many of which are free.
So why is spring one of the best times to visit Manchester? The weather is starting to get warm enough to explore the city, eat out, and attend one of the many events and festivals. Prices have not gone up just yet and getting to museums and other attractions is still a privilege due to the short or non-existent lines.
When is the best time to visit Manchester for you?
The best times to visit Manchester is from mid-spring until mid-fall. The high season starts in June, when the warm weather sets the perfect atmosphere for festivals, eating out, outdoor activities and events of all kinds. For all who don't mind the cold and look forward to winter festivities in the city, you can plan your trip in the low season from January to May, when hotels are reasonably priced.
If your budget is tight but you want to avoid traveling in winter, you can plan your trip in the shoulder season which is from September until December. Whatever time of the year you decide to travel to Manchester, rest assured you will have a great time.
Know what you want to do during your trip to Manchester? Check out these guides for inspiration!
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