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

Happy Days at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 25 May–23 June 2018, from £17.00

Happy Days at the Royal Exchange

Following the success of Hamlet, The Skriker and A Streetcar Named Desire, Sarah Frankcom and Maxine Peake continue their creative collaboration with a revival of Beckett’s surrealist masterpiece, Happy Days.

Kindertransport at Manchester Opera House
Theatre 1–5 May 2018, from £15.00

Kindertransport at Manchester Opera House

Marking the 80th anniversary of Kindertransport, Diane Samuels’ deeply stirring play depicts one woman’s struggle to accept her past.

Music 24 April–27 July 2018, from £12

RNCM Summer Season 2018

Featuring classical, sacred and jazz music, as well as poetry, theatre and dance, the RNCM’s Summer Season looks set to both inspire and surprise. Read our picks for the months ahead.

Spring Awakening at Hope Mill Theatre
Theatre 29 March–3 May 2018, from £16.00

Spring Awakening at Hope Mill Theatre

Spring Awakening combines an electrifying rock score and genre-defying writing to tell the story of sexual and adolescent discovery.

¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival at HOME
Cinema 12 April–5 May 2018,

¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival at HOME

For its 24th edition, ¡Viva! returns with a HOME-wide celebration of film, theatre and visual art from across Spain and Latin America.

Motionhouse Charge at MediaCityUK Piazza
Dance 9 June 2018, FREE

Motionhouse: Charge at MediaCityUK

For one night only, Quays Culture will host an exclusive FREE outdoor performance with the absolutely electrifying world-class dance-circus company, Motionhouse.

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.

Music 3 May 2018, from £5

RNCM Symphony Orchestra at the RNCM Concert Hall

The RNCM Symphony Orchestra’s first outing of this summer season sees the ensemble perform contrasting works by Bartók, Saint-Saëns and Brahms – all for just £5.

The Tiger Lillies Corrido de la Sangre at HOME
Music 20 April–5 May 2018, from £10

The Tiger Lillies: Corrido de la Sangre at HOME

Grammy-nominated punk cabaret trio The Tiger Lillies perform their original music to tell this tale of a Corrido singer and his band, who return from the dead to haunt their killer.

Exhibitions 23 February 2018–6 January 2019, FREE

Annie Swynnerton: Painting Light and Hope at Manchester Art Gallery

The first major retrospective of work by the radical Manchester artist and feminist campaigner, Annie Swynnerton, opens in nearly 100 years at Manchester Art Gallery.

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…