11+ Best Things to do near Manchester Piccadilly Station

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Heading to Manchester soon and wondering what are the best things to do near Manchester Piccadilly Station? We are here to help!

Manchester is an amazing city to visit. With so many beautiful landmarks, street art, restaurants and bars, there are a lot of things you can do.

Now if you are taking the train and want to stay near the station, you may be wondering what to do near Piccadilly station.

Alan Turing statue in Sackville garden Manchester

⏱️ IN A RUSH? Here are the top 3 Things To Do Near Manchester Piccadilly

1️⃣ Explore the Gay Village
2️⃣ Alan Turing Statue
3️⃣ Free Walking Tour of Manchester

The good news is: there are plenty of options!

In this article, we tell you everything about the best things to do near Manchester Piccadilly including some cool spots, walking tours and more!

1 – Explore the Gay Village

canal street in gay village

The Gay Village is ideally located only a couple of minutes walk from the station so you can easily get there on foot.

To do so, exit the station via the main exit, cross the Piccadilly curve bridge and walk to Canal Street.

Canal Street is the main street in the Gay Village. Here you will find colourful bars, drag shows and restaurants.

It’s nice to walk down the street and discover the beautiful street art.

Since the street is pedestrianised, you can also grab a drink and sit outside (if you are visiting in summer, that’s a must do!).

You can also walk along the canal and head to Sackville Gardens.

If you are here in the evening, it’s also a very lively spot.

There are a lot of shows and great places to grab a drink.

2 – Discover the Alan Turing Statue

Alan turing in Manchester

While in the Gay Village, make sure to go to Sackville Gardens. In the middle of the garden, you will find the statue of Alan Turing on a bench.

Alan Turing was a British mathematician and computer scientist best known for cracking the code of the Enigma machine during World War II.

He is recognised as the father of modern computing and was also gay.

At the time, homosexuality was illegal in the UK and he was convicted of gross indecency which led to chemical castration.

Today, he is finally recognised for everything he did for the world (and Manchester) and that’s why you can find him in the Gay Village.

You’ll notice that he is holding an apple, an homage to Newton’s apple.

3 – Manchester free walking tour

Free walking tour in Manchester

If you have a few hours ahead of you, you should consider joining the Manchester free walking tour.

It’s an excellent way to discover the best landmarks in Manchester and learn more about its history.

The free walking tour runs every day at 11AM and starts in Sackville Gardens (in front of Alan Turing statue). It lasts about 3 hours so you will need to have enough time.

The guides are wonderful and truly passionate about Manchester.

You will discover all the famous places such as St Peter’s Square, the Gay Village and more.

You will also see some hidden gems and cool photo spots such as the Vimto bottle sculpture.

Please note that although it’s called ‘free’ walking tour, it’s actually tip based so plan to have a bit of cash so you can tip the guide.

Click here to book your free walking tour.

4 – Get some cake and a tea at Richmond’s Tea Rooms

Afternoon tea at richmonds tea room in manchester

If you fancy a sweet treat then head to Richmond’s Tea Rooms.

It’s located by Sackville Gardens and is one of the best places to eat near Manchester Piccadilly.

These beautiful tea rooms feature a quirky Alice in Wonderland theme.

There are loads of flowers, cute plates and delicious cakes!

They are well known for their amazing afternoon tea but you would need to book in advance for that.

If you only have a quick break in Manchester, you can still go and get yourself a hot beverage and one of their wonderful cakes.

5 – Walk along the Ashton Canal

Rochdale canal tow path

There are a lot of canal walks in Manchester and a couple of them are located near the station, making it a great option of things to do near Piccadilly Station.

From the station, walk towards the centre and turn left on Ducie Street. After a minute, you will see a Morrisons convenience store and a small street on your right.

That’s where the Ashton Canal Tow Path starts.

This is not a loop so you can simply go as far as you want and head back to the station when you need. 

It’s a beautiful walk in Manchester city centre. It’s very quiet, a lot of locals don’t even know about it.

You get to see the houses along the canal and some cute bridges.

Also, if you are visiting in the spring, it’s one of the best places in Manchester to see the cherry blossoms!

6 – Go shopping on Market Street

Fancy a bit of shopping in Manchester? You’re in for a treat! 

Manchester is an amazing city when it comes to shopping and Piccadilly station is ideally located in the city centre, near all the shops.

Once you leave the station, you can walk towards Piccadilly Gardens. It takes about 10 minutes.

Once you’re there, you will see Market Street. This is the main shopping street in the city centre.

You’ll find loads of shops here including Primark, H&M, TK Maxx as well as the Arndale Shopping Centre.

Home to 200 stores and foot outlets, the Arndale is the perfect spot to get your shopping fix.

You can find everything you need here.

The shops include the Apple Store, JD Sports, the Body Shop and more.

7 – Grab food at Freight Island

Freight island in manchester

If you want to discover a bit of a hidden gem in Manchester, near Piccadilly, Freight Island will be the perfect place for you.

This cool open-air food hall is located in Depot Mayfield which is only 8 minutes walk from the station.

Here you will truly get to discover the industrial architecture of Manchester.

Freight Island is home to many food stalls with street food, burgers, pizza and more.

They also have a bar where you can get a pint (or something else).

They also always have something on such as DJ in the evening or themed bottomless brunches.

It’s also a bit of a hidden sports bar where they show football, the Grand Prix, the Ashes and other international sports competitions.

It’s a lot of fun and a great place to kill time while waiting for your next train.

8 – Eat at Moose Cafe

coffee at moose cafe manchester

Located right by the main entrance of the station, Moose Cafe is one of the best places to eat in Manchester.

They initially started with a location on York Street and became so popular that they opened this one in Manchester Piccadilly.

They specialise in North American breakfasts and serve pancakes, waffles, bagels and more.

It’s an excellent place to grab a bite especially since they have an all day breakfast menu available until 4PM.

They also have amazing coffees and milkshakes.

9 – Go to Projekts MCR Skatepark

Projekts MCR Skatepark in Manchester

Located only 5 minutes walk from Manchester Piccadilly, Projekts MCR Skatepark is an urban skate park.

If you already have your skateboard, you can just pay the entrance fee and have fun but they also give lessons for skateboarding and roller skating.

This is quite a cool and unique thing to do, especially if you have a couple of hours ahead.

10 – Go to Mayfield Park

Depot mayfield in Manchester

If you’d like to go for a walk in a park near Manchester Piccadilly, Mayfield Park will be your best bet.

It’s only 10 minutes walk from the station and is Manchester’s newest park in the city centre.

It opened in 2022 and was actually the first new public park in the city in over 100 years.

The park is 6.5 acres which allows you to have a nice walk around and try some of the activities.

There is a playground for children, a chilling area by the river as well as a boardwalk, making it the perfect place to visit on a sunny day.

11 – Visit the Portico Library

Portico Library in Manchester

If you’d like to discover a secret spot in Manchester, then you can head to the Portico Library.

It is located on Mosley street, near Piccadilly Gardens and is one of Manchester’s best kept secrets.

A lot of locals don’t even know it exists!

It takes about 15 minutes to get there on foot from Piccadilly station so if you have about 1 hour to wait between two trains, it will be ideal.

The entrance is a small door located just around the Bank pub.

You need to ring to be let in and can then head up the stairs.

Once you enter the room, you’ll discover a sumptuous library designed in Greek revival style.

It’s absolutely stunning and you’ll want to take a lot of photos.

There is an exhibition that explains everything about the history of the library but you can also ask the staff, they will be more than happy to tell you more about it.

It’s a very pretty and peaceful place to read a book or simply relax for a bit.

Also, it’s important to note that it is free!

12 – Explore the Northern Quarter

Northern Quarter in Manchester

The Northern Quarter is the trendiest neighbourhood in Manchester. Famous for its street art and nightlife, it’s a great place to explore during the day as well as in the evening.

From Piccadilly Station, it will take about 10 minutes on foot to reach it.

You can start with Dale Street which was used as a filming location in several movies and series including the Crown.

FUN FACT: If you’ve seen the Crown, you may remember the scene when Princess Diana goes to a hospital with AIDS patients in Brooklyn. This was actually filmed on Dale Street in Manchester.

You can then head to Stevenson Square where you can find some famous Manchester bars including Flok as well as a few murals from local artists.

Don’t forget to head to the Manchester Craft and Design Centre. It’s a cute place with cafes, jewellery shops and ceramic workshops.

Now that you know exactly what to do near Manchester Piccadilly Station, the only thing left to do is to go and explore!

Have fun!

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