Lonely Planet Strongly Recommends You Visit This UK City Next Year

It's the only British city to make its annual must-visit list for 2023 – so start packing.
How can you say no to a skyline like that?
Peter Byrne - PA Images via Getty Images
How can you say no to a skyline like that?

Lonely Planet has just given a UK city the official nod of approval, by listing Manchester as one of the top 30 global destinations to visit in 2023.

It’s made the guidebook’s “30 places to inspire you”, a list “uniquely curated by local experts around the world” with itineraries designed to help you “dream, plan and go to the places that will be buzzing in the year ahead”.

Manchester joins astounding destinations such as El Salvador, Nova Scotia, Peru’s Lima and Ghana’s Accra.

Lonely Planet categorised the rainy city as a great destination for “learning” – other categories include eat, journey, unwind and connect – and described Manchester as “one of the best – if not the best – cities in the UK with something for everyone”.

It also recognises the famous north England city for “bold statements and ironclad self-confidence”.

It describes Manchester as “the one-time engine room of the Industrial Revolution and a city that incubated communism, suffragism, vegetarianism and a bunch of other ‘isms’ aimed at improving humanity’s lot”.

“For Mancunians born and based here, it is the best home in the world; for everyone else, it’s a brilliant place to visit,” it concludes.

Explaining why next year is the year for Mancunians, Lonely Planet points out that Manchester Museum is getting a makeover, while the Manchester Jewish Museum is expanding and the Factory International is going to open next June following delays. This cultural hub will be an immersive experience with dance, music and visual effects inspired by the iconic Matrix films.

The travel guide highlights the National Trust’s project to turn a disused railway bridge into a High Line-style park, and nods to Castlefield Viaduct as a place to visit too.

While in the city, you could also spend the day going to Manchester Art Gallery, visit Central and John Rylands libraries, or soak up the Northern Quarter street art. By night, the travel guide suggests going to cocktails at Three Little Words, or clubbing in the Gay Village.

Bev Craig, the leader of the city council, said: “When Lonely Planet says there is something for everyone here, it’s the result of long-term planning and partnership. We’re proud to be the only UK city on this list.”


IT'S BAAAAACK BEST IN TRAVEL 2023: 30 destinations. 5 travel categories. Endless inspo and guidance. Follow to learn all about the list.

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The only other UK location to make the cut is Southern Scotland – Lonely Planet recommends heading to the borders to learn about the country’s rich history.

This annual list is made up of nominations from staff, writers, bloggers and publishing partners before being condensed to just the top 30, which all have unique elements to offer and the ‘wow’ factor. They also all have to have a dedication to looking after the planet, community and diversity – and Manchester fits that bill perfectly. Is anyone surprised?