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

Literature 23 June 2018, from £20

The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah at the RNCM Theatre

One of the country’s leading poets, Benjamin Zephaniah visits the RNCM as part of his first tour in eight years, to mark the publication of his autobiography. Expect insightful stories from throughout his remarkable life, as well as a selection of his favourite poetry.

Music 28 June 2018, from £15

RNCM Big Band with Bart van Lier at the RNCM Theatre

The RNCM’s Big Band collaborates and performs with legendary jazz improviser Bart van Lier, principal trombonist with the Metropole Orkest, for its major summer concert. As well as work by van Lier, the programme features pieces by Bill Holman, Jerome Kern and Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz.

The Ministry of Lost and Found at Central Library
Childrens 23 June 2018, FREE

The Ministry of Lost & Found at Central Library

Pick up your map and join the first-ever Lost and Found expedition, a family-friendly afternoon of exploration, around Manchester’s Central Library.

Where We Are at HOME Manchester
Theatre 27–28 June 2018, from £15.00

Where We Are at HOME

HOME welcomes you to a double-bill performance from two of Manchester’s most exciting theatre companies, exploring our city and its people.

Cinema 15–28 June 2018, from £5.50

The Ciambra at HOME

The Ciambra is set amidst a small Romani community in Calabria. Pio Amato is desperate to grow up. At 14, he drinks, smokes and is one of the few to easily slide between the region’s factions.

Author Holly Ringland.
Literature 5 July 2018, from £5.00

That’s What She Said at Tribeca

It’s the last That’s What She Said before a summer break, and this month the For Books’ Sake gang welcome authors Holly Ringland and Rosie Garland to their all-female line-up.

Contact In The City Part Two
Theatre 15 August–23 December 2018,

Contact In The City Part Two

Contact announces In The City Part Two – its radical city-wide programme of performance during the buildings exciting transformation.

Music 6 July 2018, from £20

Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra: The Planets at The Bridgewater Hall

Relocating to the Bridgewater Hall for this season-opening concert, Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra tackles Holst’s crowd-pleasing imagining of the sounds of the universe. The programme also includes Elgar’s The Music Makers – a fitting ode to the importance of art in society – featuring the school’s combined choruses.

Everything that happened that would happen at Mayfield
Theatre 10–21 October 2018, from £25.00

Everything that happened and would happen at Mayfield

Heiner Goebbels new large-scale work, presented with Manchester International Festival, will receive its world premiere in Manchester this autumn.

Jessie Roberts. Materialise: A Showcase of Five Young Makers at Manchester Craft & Design Centre
Exhibitions 24 May–1 September 2018, FREE

Materialise: A Showcase of Five Young Makers at Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Catch a glimpse of the creative face of tomorrow with the work of five up-and-coming young makers, currently on show at Manchester Craft & Design Centre as part of Materialise.

Places to go / stay / shop / eat / drink

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…