Parental Guidance!

Student parents graduation
What to do with your parents in Manchester

I’m afraid every now and again your parents are going to come up (or down) to visit you at university in Manchester. This is not only an excuse for them to splash out on you due to all your hard work at uni, but a great time to catch up and show them the gems you’ve discovered in the city. If you’re struggling, read on..

Whether it is for an open day, graduation or other special occasion, during their time in Manchester your parents will not only see you as their local tour guide but also rely on you to tell them where to stay, where to eat and what to do.

This is your go-to guide everything parent world in Manchester. Might be an idea to forward it on or print it out for them.

Where should your parents stay in Manchester?


The old dilemma we all face, where to put your parents when they come to visit?

When your parents come to meet you in Manchester they will be looking for somewhere to stay that has great value for money. There’s plenty of choice in Manchester. We have selected the best hotels with the best deals so that your parents can stay happy in luxury and not break the bank.

After all, it is unlikely that your mum and dad will want to sleep in a camp bed in your university halls! What’s more they might even buy you lunch at the hotel to say thanks for you saving them all that money.

The Midland hotel has some great rates when you quote student map and for graduation they have a lovely tea with cakes etc. This is the parents hotel of choice as it has an authentic feel and is very well kept.


How your parents can get around in Manchester


Your mum and dad might choose to travel in comfort. A taxi is definitely the best way to go, even if it is a bit pricey. Once again there is no shortage of taxi companies in Manchester but it is all about finding the company with the best service and price.

Manchester cars offer this affordable but safe service and are our recommendation.


After living in Manchester for a while you might know how the buses work (don’t forget that if you need a reminder then check out our student travel in Manchester article).

Your parents are unlikely to stray from the main bus route and what bus ticket to get them depends on the length of their stay. It is most likely that they will be staying for a short time so in that case just a standard ticket would be great. Just don’t forget to tell your parents how to get back to their hotel after meeting up with them.


Where to eat & drink in Manchester


Eating out in Manchester with your parents is a must. While they are there to visit you it’s worth reminding them of all the hard work that you have done throughout the year.

Your parents will most likely ask you where to go out for a meal or you could try and impress them with your new found knowledge of the city.

Although it is an opportunity to try out some of the more expensive restaurants there are plenty of good value places in Manchester that you can try out.

There are many restaurants in Manchester that are suited for occasions such as a graduation celebratory meal or just a quick bite to eat so have a quick search on Studentmap to see what is on offer.


Picture the scene, your mum and dad have come to stay and you have gone out on the town on a night that they are there. You wake up just minuted before they are coming to meet you and you have a banging headache. In this situation there is nothing better than a quick coffee and a full English breakfast.

There are plenty of cafes in Fallowfield, Didsbury and in town that your parents could take you to in order to help the recouping process.


It is unlikely that you will be going out clubbing with your parents (although we wouldn’t put it past some). However, if they offer to buy you a drink then there is no need to turn them down.

In this case you may not want to take your parents to your usual haunt. There are plenty of bars in Manchester that can cater for your mum and dad.

Things to do with your parents in Manchester


Your parents might be visiting Manchester for a more cultural view of the city. It has to be said that the majority of students will struggle to tell their parents where all the major museums are in the city but StudentMap is always here to help.

Just simply search museum in the StudentMap search bar and there will be a good choice to choose from. Our personal recommendation is the Imperial War Museum (North) which is a great free museum.

Art Galleries

There are plenty of free art galleries in Manchester and they are a great way to prove to your parents that you have learnt about the rich culture in the city. There is plenty to choose from so if your parents are simply into modern art or a bit of Da Vinci then you will have no problems finding something that they like.

Our favourite choice of art museum definitely has to be the Whitworth Art Gallery. There are different displays on all year round and it’s situated close to the University an it’s completely free!


Should your parents like to go to a theatre then Manchester once again does not disappoint. Even though there are not as many locations as a city like London there is a lot of niche as well as popular theatre shows. Theatre in Manchester is very mixed so all tastes are catered for.

For a list of theatres in Manchester you can use our search facility.


Who doesn’t like a film? If you want to impress your mum and dad while they are visiting Manchester then try and find out what type of film they are into. Are they more of an arty couple or a traditional film kind of couple?

Once you know what they are in to then you can suggest a film and cinema for them if they did not already have one in mind. Even better, why not tell your parents to check out StudentMap before they visit Manchester.


Where to take your parents shopping in Manchester

Clothes shops

Life is a catwalk and being at University is pretty much the same. A lot of students are trying to look their best whether it be a vintage indie look or a more windswept surfer kind of thing. Whatever your “look” is you will know that it can be expensive to keep up with the latest trends.

Sometimes a student loan won’t quite stretch to that £120 jacket you have been eyeing up or that £80 pair of shoes. Well, your parents may want to treat you and who are we to stop them? There are some great little boutiques in Manchester as well as big brand shops that offer a discount to students.


In freshers week the Supermarkets in Manchester are usually teeming with students and their parents as they buy food for the weeks ahead. You might be aware where your local supermarket is located but once again if you are not then be sure to use our search facility.

Who knows, you might want to find the nearest Marks & Spencer for a fix of Percy Pigs ;).


Some of the markets in Manchester are quite hard to find and you may benefit from having your parents in Manchester (for example if they bring their car) to get to them. You can use the search facility to find the list of markets in Manchester but our recommendation is the Wythenshawe market.

Also, if your parents are coming up for Christmas then definitely do not hesitate to show them around the Manchester Christmas market. It is one of the best in the country.


Other ideas

There are plenty of things to do in Manchester with your parents so why not search the site for anything you can think of. Don’t forget that in some cases you could save your parents money by using a student discount and you never know, they might spend their savings on that nice pair of shoes that you wanted.

We hope that your parents have a great stay in Manchester and this site has helped to look after them and shown that you have a good knowledge of the city of Manchester. As students we all love our parents!

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