Things to Do in Manchester

Creative Tourist

Spend a day in the city and it rapidly becomes apparent just how much it has reinvented its industrial past into a new, trendsetting present – and an ambitious future. There’s plenty of things to do in Manchester too, from award-winning theatre and exhibitions to an exciting food and drink offer and thriving literature and music scenes.

Discover our top picks

The Maids at HOME
Theatre 16 November–1 December 2018, from £10.00

The Maids at HOME

Written by Jean Genet and directed by the internationally renowned Lily Sykes, The Maids is a play of masks and mirrors, dreams and fantasies, inspired by the infamous Papin sisters.

Cinema 2–23 November 2018, from £5

Peterloo at HOME

Written and directed by Mike Leigh, Peterloo is an epic portrayal of the events surrounding the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre. We speak to the director about how he brought the story to screen and his relationship to Manchester.

A Virus Walks Into a Bar, John Walter: CAPSID at HOME, Manchester
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–6 January 2019, FREE

John Walter: CAPSID at HOME

A virus walks into a bar… and does what? CAPSID, John Walter’s major solo exhibition at HOME Manchester, sets out to update the discussion around HIV, how viruses work and the cultural transmission of ideas.

Photo of the festive display outside the Corn Exchange
Families 9 November–23 December 2018, FREE

Manchester Christmas Markets

The Manchester Christmas Markets are one of the biggest and busiest Christmas markets in Europe. Happening across Manchester city centre from 9 November to 20 December. Pick up stocking-fillers stuff yourself with German sausage and wash down with lashings of glühwein.

Music 16 November 2018, from £12.5

Stephan | Walton | Howells | Shostakovich at The Bridgewater Hall

To mark 100 years since the Armistice, the BBC Philharmonic reflects on war. Following a work by Rudi Stephan, who died on the Eastern Front, there’s Herbert Howells’s tribute to a fellow composer killed at war, Walton’s haunting Viola Concerto and Shostakovich’s Ninth, written as the Second World War drew to a close.

Music 16 November 2018, from £18

Manchester Collective: Pierrot Lunaire at RNCM

Intimate, immersive and utterly thrilling, Manchester Collective’s concerts consistently bowl audiences over. At RNCM they will deconstruct Pierrot Lunaire and delve deeper into the inner world of the female protagonist. BBC 6’s Elizabeth Alker will be a calm voice of guidance before the madness ensues.

HOME at Christmas
Festivals 13 December 2017–20 January 2019,

HOME at Christmas

HOME celebrates the most special time of the year with a chock-full Christmas season of cultural shenanigans – more fun than you can shake a candy cane at.

manchester international festival
Festivals 4–21 July 2019, from £12.00

MIF19 – Manchester International Festival

Manchester International Festival announces that Yoko Ono, Idris Elba and Skepta are among the artists set to feature in the 2019 programme.

The Producers - A Mel Brooks Musical at the Royal Exchange
Music 30 November 2018–26 January 2019, from £10.00

The Producers – A Mel Brooks Musical at the Royal Exchange

Adapted from the cult film by Mel Brooks, The Royal Exchange are set to delight with their Christmas musical – The Producers.

Author Luke Kennard.
Literature 26 November 2018, from £5.00

Joe Dunthorne and Luke Kennard at Martin Harris Centre

Joe Dunthorne’s first novel, Submarine, was adapted for film by Richard Ayoade, his second, Wild Abandon, won the 2012 Encore Award, and his third, The Adulterants, came out this spring. He chats to Luke Kennard, author of The Transition, about writing biting satires and critically acclaimed poetry.

Manchester District Guides

Photo of a handwritten label in a cafe that says "Ring for service with a smile"

Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester

Burton Road is the heart of West Didsbury, a beautifully maintained leafy hubbub of shops,…

Beech Road Chorlton, Manchester

A laid-back mix of gift shops, independent outfitters, restaurants, pubs and parks, on a sunny weekend afternoon it’s heaving.

The front of Didsbury restaurant Volta.

Didsbury, Manchester

Follow Oxford Road South through the Curry Mile, along Wilmslow Road, past Platt Fields Park…

Chorlton, Manchester

This left-leaning suburb a few miles south of Manchester’s city centre (and only ten minutes…

Cheetham Hill, Manchester

As an area, Cheetham Hill gets a pretty bad rep. The foreboding architecture of Strangeways…

Things to do right now

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The Maids at HOME
Theatre 16 November–1 December 2018, from £10.00

The Maids at HOME

Cinema 2–23 November 2018, from £5

Peterloo at HOME

A Virus Walks Into a Bar, John Walter: CAPSID at HOME, Manchester
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–6 January 2019, FREE

John Walter: CAPSID at HOME

HOME at Christmas
Festivals 13 December 2017–20 January 2019,

HOME at Christmas

Photo of the festive display outside the Corn Exchange
Families 9 November–23 December 2018, FREE

Manchester Christmas Markets

The Lowry at Christmas
Theatre 5–18 November 2018,

The Lowry at Christmas

The Royal Exchange Autumn Winter SeasonThe Royal Exchange Autumn Winter Season
Theatre 21 September 2018–12 January 2019,

The Royal Exchange Autumn / Winter Season

Death of a Salesman at Royal Exchange
Theatre 11 October–17 November 2018, from £10.00

Death of a Salesman at the Royal Exchange

Music 11 October 2018–22 May 2019,

The Hallé 2018-19 Season