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

Music 7–15 December 2018, from £21

RNCM Opera: Suor Angelica / Gianni Schicchi at RNCM

Featuring some of Puccini’s most famous arias, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi are beautifully linked by a common thread – a tragic opera about death, followed by a witty farce that explores the same theme.

The Producers - A Mel Brooks Musical at the Royal Exchange
Music 30 November 2018–26 January 2019, from £10.00

The Producers – A Mel Brooks Musical at the Royal Exchange

Adapted from the cult film by Mel Brooks, The Royal Exchange are set to delight with their Christmas musical – The Producers.

Literature 9 December 2018, FREE

Murmur #7 at Common

Murmur #7 welcomes artist and poet Ed Atkins (last here for Performance Capture, his exhibition at Manchester International Festival 2015) and visual artist, filmmaker and writer Fatema Abdoolcarim, plus music from SMS DJs.

Families 6–15 December 2018, from £6

Black Beauty at Z-arts

Get your Christmas off to a galloping start in this award-winning family adventure of friendship, courage, hope and heroes.

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry in Salford provides an unexpected insight into the artistic imagination of one of the UK’s most popular artists.

Roee Rosen, The Dust Channel (film still), 2016. The Ground Beneath Your Feet at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions 16 November 2018–3 February 2019, FREE

The Ground Beneath Your Feet at Castlefield Gallery

Castlefield Gallery’s latest exhibition, The Ground Beneath Your Feet, invites a more nuanced conversation around multiple geopolitical issues that currently dominate our headlines.

Music 18 December 2018, from £15.50

The Mouse Outfit Christmas Special at Band on the Wall

Manchester stalwarts and hip-hop kings The Mouse Outfit are returning home with their inimitable and unmissable live show at Band on the Wall.

Families 1 December 2018–6 January 2019, from £14

Stick Man at The Lowry

This much- loved Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler tale of misadventure is brought to life for small people and their grown ups this festive season by Scamp Theatre.

Cinema 7–20 December 2018, from £5.50

The Old Man & the Gun at HOME

In his final performance before retiring, Robert Redford shines as Forrest Tucker, an unrepentant bank robber determined to live life by his own rules. An exhilarating tale of felonious mischief, the film also riffs on what it means to be an outlaw in a time of convention.

manchester international festival
Festivals 4–21 July 2019, from £12.00

MIF19 – Manchester International Festival

Manchester International Festival announces that Yoko Ono, Idris Elba and Skepta are among the artists set to feature in the 2019 programme.

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…

Things to do right now

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The Producers - A Mel Brooks Musical at the Royal Exchange
Music 30 November 2018–26 January 2019, from £10.00

The Producers – A Mel Brooks Musical at the Royal Exchange

Literature 9 December 2018, FREE

Murmur #7 at Common

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry

Families 6–15 December 2018, from £6

Black Beauty at Z-arts

Families 1 December 2018–6 January 2019, from £14

Stick Man at The Lowry

Cinema 7–20 December 2018, from £5.50

The Old Man & the Gun at HOME

HOME at Christmas
Festivals 13 December 2017–20 January 2019,

HOME at Christmas

Cinema 7 December 2018–20 January 2019, from £5

Slapstick Film Season at HOME

A Virus Walks Into a Bar, John Walter: CAPSID at HOME, Manchester
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–6 January 2019, FREE

John Walter: CAPSID at HOME

The Royal Exchange Autumn Winter SeasonThe Royal Exchange Autumn Winter Season
Theatre 21 September 2018–12 January 2019,

The Royal Exchange Autumn / Winter Season

Music 11 October 2018–22 May 2019,

The Hallé 2018-19 Season