10 outstanding photo spots that will make every Mancunian proud
ManchesterViews-Manchester House c Tobias Alexander

Whether you’re looking down on the city from a vantage point or just wandering the streets and looking up, there are some great places in Manchester to take interesting pictures.

We’ve rounded up some of our favourite places to photograph the city, for when you want a shot that will make every Mancunian proud.

First, we’ll look at the stunning views possible from higher vantage points – if you’re not scared of heights, then it’s well worth climbing up to these points for a beautiful view of the city.

Cloud 23

ManchesterViews-Beetham Tower c Tobias Alexander

ManchesterViews-Cloud 23 2 c Tobias Alexander

Take the lift to the Cloud 23 bar on the 23rd floor of the iconic Beetham Tower – Manchester’s tallest building – grab yourself a drink, and check out one of the best views of the city, as well as the Peaks, the Pennines and the Cheshire plains.

ManchesterViews-Cloud 23 c Tobias Alexander

Manchester House

ManchesterViews-Manchester House c Tobias Alexander

You don’t need to dine at Aiden Byrne’s lavish Manchester House restaurant to take advantage of the view – take the lift up to the bar on the 12th floor and soak up the wonderful view from the terrace. Time it right and you’ll be treated to a glorious sunset across the city with your G&T.

IWM North AirShard

ManchesterViews-IWM c Tobias Alexander

One of the most iconic features of the Greater Manchester skyline is the Imperial War Museum North’s AirShard in The Quays – which you can actually climb. Stand 100 feet in the air and experience spectacular views of MediaCityUK, The Quays and Manchester, or look down through the mesh gangway under your feet to spot the anti-aircraft searchlight pointing up at you from the ground below.

ManchesterViews-IWM air shaft c Tobias Alexander (2)

ManchesterViews-IWM air shaft c Tobias Alexander

Manchester Town Hall Clock Tower

One of the most iconic landmarks in the city, Manchester Town Hall is one of the finest examples of Neo-Gothic architecture in the UK, and one of the most important Grade 1 listed buildings in England. Designed by architect Alfred Waterhouse and completed in 1877, it is full of grand ceremonial rooms such as the Great Hall, which is decorated with murals by Ford Madox Brown.

For a view with a difference, did you know you can climb the Clock Tower? Guided tours offer the chance to climb the spiral staircase and see the movement of the clock that has kept Manchester in time for 133 years. The Clock Tower rises to 85 metres (281 feet 6 inches) and houses Great Abel, the hour bell.

Shudehill Interchange car park



It may sound odd to recommend the view from a busy city-centre car park, but park your car on the top floor of the Shudehill Interchange and you’ll be greeted with a sweeping view across the city. Check out The Printworks, a former newspaper printer for over 100 years producing publications such as the Manchester Evening Chronicle and the Daily Mirror, and now a cinema and entertainment complex .

The Quays

Back on ground level, The Quays in Salford offers wonderful views of The Lowry building, the large Plaza, the terraced areas down to the canal, the Lifting Footbridge leading to Trafford Wharfside and the Imperial War Museum North as well as MediaCityUK. You might even catch sight of the bridge rising to allow one of the Mersey Ferries along the Manchester Ship Canal.

ManchesterViews-Lowry c Tobias Alexander

ManchesterViews-BBC c Tobias Alexander

ManchesterViews-ITV c Tobias Alexander

ManchesterViews-Media City c Tobias Alexander

ManchesterViews-Quays bridge c Tobias Alexander

ManchesterViews-Mersey Ferry c Tobias Alexander

The Northern Quarter

The Northern Quarter is regularly used as a film set, and it’s not surprising given its resemblance to New York of old. Parts of Dale Street were turned into New York streets for the filming of Hollywood blockbuster Captain America (clip above, and how it usually looks below), and the NQ was recently turned into 1920s New York for filming Colin Firth’s upcoming film Genius.
ManchesterViews-NQ c Tobias Alexander (2)

It’s well worth wondering the NQ streets at night, as there are plenty of moody, atmospheric shots to be had.

ManchesterViews-NQ c Tobias Alexander

ManchesterViews-6th day c Tobias Alexander

And don’t forget to check out all the street art whilst you’re there! Our guide

Aske son street art Mcr LRT

Canal Street

Canal Street, home of Queer as Folk, is world famous. By day, relax in the sunny waterside bars and grab a bite to eat in the plush Velvet hotel and restaurant. By night, check out the giddy whirl of bars and clubs. Just don’t forget your camera!

ManchesterViews(C)TobiasAlexander-Canal Street

Look out for the statue of Alan Turing in nearby Sackville Park.

The Corn Exchange

This gorgeous grade II listed building was originally used as a corn exchange, unsurprisingly given the name, and is now home to a burgeoning collection of new restaurants and bars.

ManchesterViews(C)TobiasAlexander-Corn Exchange Pano

Corn Exchange c Tobias Alexander

Check out the nearby Sinclair’s Oyster Bar, a Manchester institution with low wooden beams and a wonderful sixteenth century décor, which has been around since the time of the industrial revolution.



Between Deansgate and the River Irwell, Spinningfields offers a chance to see some of Manchester’s newest architecture alongside some more traditional buildings, such as the late-Victorian neo-Gothic John Rylands Library.


We hope we have inspired you to grab your camera and head out in the city!

Share your photos with us on Twitter and Facebook.

All original photography by Tobias Alexander.