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 Alchemy of Colour at The John Rylands Library
Exhibitions 15 March–27 August 2018, FREE

The Alchemy of Colour at The John Rylands Library

Did you know that the remarkable yellows of Turner’s sunsets came from the urine of mango-fed cows? Or that the reds of Raphael’s greatest masterpieces derived from cactus-dwelling bugs? The Alchemy of Colour at The John Rylands Library explores the unusual stories behind some of art history’s most dazzling hues.

Soyuz TMA-19M: Tim Peake’s Spacecraft at the Museum of Science And Industry
Exhibitions 10 March–13 May 2018, FREE

Soyuz TMA-19M: Tim Peake’s Spacecraft at the Museum of Science and Industry

Be among the first to see the Soyuz capsule that brought Tim Peake back to earth alongside his historic Space Suit as the Museum of Science and Industry becomes Mission Control this spring.

wonder women 2018
Festivals 1–31 March 2018,

Wonder Women 2018

Wonder Women 2018 is a special edition of Manchester’s annual radical feminist festival, marking 100-years since some women first won the right to vote in Britain with a city-wide programme of art, culture and debate.

Music 24 March 2018, from £12.00

BBC Philharmonic: Copland | Korngold | Vaughan Williams

John Wilson is our translator for two journeys into the great wide open: Copland’s Appalachian Spring paints a vivid portrait of rural Pennsylvania, while Vaughan Williams’s wartime Fifth Symphony sings of a troubled England

Music 17–25 March 2018, from £21

RNCM Opera: Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck at the RNCM

The RNCM Opera tackles Engelbert Humperdinck’s operatic version of the Brothers Grimm’s early 19th Century fairytale Hansel and Gretel for its major spring production. Expect a tale of transition, redemption and resolution, set to folk music-inspired themes, for a piece that is equal parts dark and magical.

The Game: 30 years through the lens of Stuart Roy Clarke at the National Football Museum, Manchester
Exhibitions 23 March 2018–17 March 2019, FREE

The Game: 30 years through the lens of Stuart Roy Clarke at the National Football Museum

Since 1989, photographer Stuart Roy Clarke has been on a mission of epic proportions. Its goal: to capture the very heart, soul, sweat and tears of British football.

Cinema 1–31 March 2018, from £5.00

One Film Wonders at HOME

Phase IV, The Widow, One-Eyed Jacks, Nil By Mouth and Barbara Loden’s astonishing Wanda…there is a whole series of remarkable films by filmmakers who stepped behind the camera just the once. HOME explores these one off bursts of creativity in this new film season.

Sergey Ponomarev Damascus, Syria, 24 August 2013 Assad's Syria (2013-2014). IWM North
Exhibitions 16 February–28 May 2018, FREE

Syria: A Conflict Explored at IWM North

IWM North launches a season of exhibitions and events that attempt to cut through the complexity surrounding the Syrian crisis, and offer a human account of what’s happening in the country today.

Poet Hannah Silva. Photo by Field and McGlynn
Literature 24 March 2018, FREE

Poets & Players with Hannah Silva at The Whitworth

The second Poets & Players event of the year will feature readings by Carcanet poet Anthony Rudolf and poet, playwright and performer Hannah Silva, with live music from RNCM harpists the Septentrion Duo.

Theatre 9 March–7 April 2018, from £17.00+

Frankenstein at The Royal Exchange

The Royal Exchange is primed to take on Victor Frankenstein’s nightmare this spring in a thrilling new adaptation by playwright April de Angelis.

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

It may not quite have the reputation of Benefits Street, but Beech Road in Chorlton…

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…