Back in 2016, I penned my first blog post about my favourite places to capture the captivating cityscapes of Manchester. At the time, I didn’t own a car and lived within walking distance of all my daily necessities. This led me to discover a creative solution for gaining elevation in my photography: utilizing the city’s car parks as unique vantage points.

Fast forward to today, and my circumstances have changed. I’ve moved away from the city center, but I often return for business or leisure. Now that I’m a car owner and frequent user of these parking facilities, I’ve decided to circle back to my roots. I present to you an updated list of my all-time favorite city centre carparks, offering unparalleled views of Manchester’s ever-evolving skyline.


  1. First Street Car Park
    Located in Manchester’s lively heart, First Street Car Park is more than just a parking space – it’s an elevated stage for the city’s architectural dance. Here, you can perfectly capture the modern Deansgate Square towers as they confidently rise amidst Manchester’s historic red-bricked buildings. This spot beautifully represents Manchester’s transition from its industrial heritage to its promising future.

2. Circle Square Car Park
The NCP Circle Square is not just another carpark; it’s a window to Manchester’s architectural evolution. From here, you can catch the Mancunian Way’s car lights as they speed by and the illuminated Deansgate Square towers. As darkness descends, this spot is perfect for long-exposure shots, capturing the essence of Manchester’s night.

3. Charles Street
The NCP Manchester Charles Street Car Park offers the perfect setting for capturing light trails from the city’s passing trains. As the evening deepens, the passenger carriage lights create a spectacular play of colors against the city backdrop, a sight that’s a treat for the eyes and the camera lens.

4. Media City
The MediaCityUK Multi-Storey Car Park stands as a sentinel along the Manchester Ship Canal in Salford Quays. From here, the view is breathtaking, offering a panorama of Salford’s iconic buildings.

5. MEN Arena
This location is a personal favorite. At the MEN Arena, the ever-evolving NOMA district comes alive, portraying Manchester’s rich blend of history and modernity. This spot is especially tantalizing for those interested in long exposure shots during the twilight hour.

6. Arndale Manchester & Shudehill
Although neighbouring each other, these car parks each offer unique photographic vantage points. The Arndale car park entrance is a sight to behold, while Shudehill gifts photographers with a wider panoramic view of the city.

To conclude, Manchester’s car parks, while unexpected, are treasures for photographers seeking fresh perspectives of the city. If you’re in the area or planning a visit, these viewpoints are a must. However, remember to always prioritize safety and respect while shooting. Happy photography!