Lit up night view of bridge in Manchester

Compare the best Manchester car hire

Famous for cultural icons from The Smiths to Granada TV's Coronation Street, Manchester is the largest city in northern Britain and full of surprises. Football, music, shopping and world-class arts festivals - it has it all. And don't forget the industrial heritage.

Why go?

Those who come simply expecting the home of the industrial age will find there is much more to see and do. And car hire makes it that much easier...

Hiring a car is a good way of getting in and out of the city and accessing some of the beautiful scenery just a short drive away.

Car hire in Manchester can be arranged at a selection of rental locations in town and in Greater Manchester, including Manchester Airport (MAN). If you are staying in the city centre it can be easier to leave the car at your accommodation and explore around Market Street and Albert Square on foot. The grand façades of the Town Hall and Manchester Cathedral are worth a look, as is the John Rylands Library. Grab some lunch in Chinatown, off Portland Street, or survey the views from chic eatery Cloud 23 at the Beetham Tower, the tallest building in the UK outside London.

There's plenty more to see while you're in the city. Both the Museum of Science and Industry and the People's History Museum are housed in examples of fine architecture and their interactive displays offer a glimpse into Manchester's social and technological heritage. Hop on a tram or bus to the famed MEN Arena, where local stars such as Oasis and New Order have played, or go for stadium tours of rival football clubs Manchester City and Manchester United.

A ten-minute drive will take you to the streets of Salford, where there's a wealth of cultural interest. The famous Salford Quays are home to the Lowry Centre, which showcases not only great works by the local-born artist, but also contemporary exhibitions and theatre. You can also take a cruise along the historic Manchester Ship Canal, or just enjoy the waterside restaurants and shopping. For fans of retail therapy, take the car to the vast mall at the Trafford Centre, just outside of Manchester.

Where to explore?

It's for the surrounding areas that Manchester car hire becomes most useful during your stay...

Visit the Peak District to the south east or the Lake District to the north. Both are stunning national parks promising a host of challenging hikes and outdoor activities. Drive to nearby Liverpool for contemporary arts or through to the Yorkshire city of Leeds for a great shopping experience.

Visit Manchester during the summer months of May to August for the best weather and take the car down to Blackpool Beach or the North Wales coast to make the most of the days. With the flexibility of Manchester car hire, you can choose how you spend your time, whether it's in the museums, at the quays or in the surrounding countryside.