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

Music Until 2 April 2023,

RNCM Spring Season 2023

RNCM’s Spring Season is packed with typically exciting concerts from both established artists and the next generation of musicians.

The Nature of Forgetting at The Lowry
Theatre 30–31 January 2023, from £16.00

The Nature of Forgetting at The Lowry

Acclaimed company Theatre Re have created a beautifully realised physical theatre piece exploring the memories lost to dementia.

Music 10 February 2023 8:00 pm, from £9.00

Manchester Collective: Bag of Bones at the RNCM

Manchester Collective bring a brand new staged world premiere of Alice Zawadski’s Bag of Bones to the RNCM as part of their spring season.

Exhibitions 12 February–12 March 2023, FREE

Tale of the Frozen Bits at Castlefield Gallery

The first major solo exhibition of work by El Morgan focusing on the issue of fertility and the medical structures that surround it.

Queer Contact 2023
Comedy 4–18 February 2023,

Queer Contact Festival 2023

The ultimate celebration of art and creativity in the LGBTQ+ community, Queer Contact Festival returns to the Contact Theatre for 2023.

The Smartest Giant in Town at The Lowry
Childrens 21–26 February 2023, from £18.00

The Smartest Giant in Town at The Lowry

Kids and adults alike will be entertained by Little Angel Theatre’s heartwarming and moving adaptation of The Smartest Giant in Town.

Activity Until 22 March 2023, FREE

Guided Tours at People’s History Museum

Join PHM for a series of guided tours with their expert staff, curators and conservationists, it’s an incredibly human look at the National Museum of Democracy’s exhibitions.

The Makings of a Murderer at The Lowry
Theatre 4 February 2023 7:30 pm, from £32.00

The Makings of a Murderer at The Lowry

A thrilling evening for fans of true crime and those with inquisitive minds. Join The Scottish Detective, David Swindle, to explore the mind of a serial killer.

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME
Festivals Until 18 February 2023,

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME

A celebration of the North West’s creative talents, PUSH Festival at HOME Manchester is always a highlight of the theatre calendar.

Exhibitions Until 21 May 2023, from £6.00

Turn It Up: The Power of Music at the Science and Industry Museum

Prepare to get hands-on, with your ears and hearts open, at a new major exhibition exploring the science of music’s mysterious hold over us and how it drives us to create, perform, feel and share.

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…