Things to Do in Manchester

Creative Tourist

Not many cities have had as much influence on the world as Manchester. Culture and art is this city’s heart and now it’s time to welcome back Manchester. It’s time to restart. Starting in spring and growing throughout the year, the city’s arts scene has something to add joy to everyone’s life.

Culture is what makes life worth living, no matter what artform you love. From interactive exhibitions, beautiful watercolours to exhilarating live music, Manchester does the arts like no other city on earth. Below you’ll find some of the life-affirming events set to take over the city in the coming months. The people of Manchester have new stories to share and new people to meet. The interval’s over, it’s time to return to your seats.

But more importantly, Manchester is your stage. The outside world will host countless fascinating performances and activities. The tables have turned so let’s dance on them again.

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, from award-winning theatre and exhibitions to exciting food and drink offers, not to mention thriving literature and music scenes.

Discover our top picks

Festa Italiana
Families 26–28 August 2022, FREE

Festa Italiana at Cathedral Gardens

Festa Italiana Manchester is the country’s biggest festival designed to celebrate Italian food, drink and culture. Transforming Manchester city centre’s Cathedral Gardens into Little Italy once again from the 26th to 28th August.

Red Squirrel at Lightwaves
Festivals 2–11 December 2022, FREE

Lightwaves at Salford Quays

An unmissable ten days of luminary adventures. Interact with boundary-breaking new commissions, create your own digital masterpieces and take a selfie with a Dalek. Yep, really.

Women in Comedy Festival 2022
Comedy 1–10 October 2022, from £3.00

Women in Comedy Festival 2022

Described as one of the “UK’s best comedy festivals”, the Women in Comedy Festival MCR returns with its 9th bumper edition of top-notch comedy. 

Music 3 September 2022 2:00 pm, from £45

Manchester Psych Fest 2022

Manchester Psych Fest, the UK’s leading psychedelic music and arts festival, returns in September 2022. We explore the line-up.

Exhibitions Until 8 January 2023, FREE

2022 Banner Exhibition at People’s History Museum

The 2022 Banner Exhibition 2022 at the People’s History Museum will take you on a journey through the history of rights and equality via its dazzling collection.

Activity 10–11 September 2022, FREE

We Invented The Weekend

Expect everything from community feasts, vintage markets, water sports, live music and performance, right across MediaCity and Salford Quays this September. A new free festival for everyone.

One Man, Two Guvnors
Theatre Until 3 September 2022, from £15.00

One Man, Two Guvnors

The hilarious smash hit comedy One Man, Two Guvnors explodes into the North West this summer in a brand-new production.

The Lion King at the Palace Theatre
Families 27 October 2022–19 February 2023, from £20.00

The Lion King at the Palace Theatre

The sun may have set over our Manchester theatres during the pandemic – but now “it’s rolling high through the sapphire sky” once again. Hit musical The Lion King has added even more dates to its previously postponed run.

Festivals Until 31 August 2022, from £9.95

Flying Fighters of Taiwan at HOME

A film season of epic sword-wielding warriors and spectacular wuxia action featuring acrobatic performance skills in fantastical historical settings.

Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World at HOME
Theatre 22 October–5 November 2022,

Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World at HOME

Inspired by the mysterious and brutal death of Fereydoun Farrokhzad in 1992, this new performance by The Javaad Alipoor Company charts an investigation into the Iranian popstar’s murder and also, the method by which modern crimes are processed.

Welcome Back Manchester. It's Time To Restart.

Manchester District Guides

Medieval Quarter, Manchester

The Medieval Quarter, or Cathedral Quarter as it is sometimes known, is one of the oldest parts of Manchester and home to some historic gems and cultural must-sees.  

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

Chorlton is a left-leaning suburb a few miles south of Manchester’s city centre (and only…

Cheetham Hill, Manchester

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

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