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

othellomacbeth at HOME
Theatre 13–29 September 2018, from £10.00

OthelloMacbeth at HOME

Making it’s premiere at HOME this month, OthelloMacbeth is a fusion of two of Shakespeare’s finest works in a bold new ensemble production.

Queen Margaret at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 14 September–6 October 2018, from £9.00

Queen Margaret at the Royal Exchange

Adapted by Jeanie O’Hare, Queen Margaret is a retelling the War of the Roses from the perspective of Shakespeare’s lost warrior queen, Margaret of Anjou.

Rocket courtesy Science Museum
Exhibitions 25 September 2018–28 April 2019, FREE

Rocket Returns to the Science and Industry Museum

Make tracks for Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum. A one-in-a-lifetime chance to see Stephenson’s Rocket return to the site of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway for the first time in over 180 years.

Manchester Folk Festival
Music 18–21 October 2018, from £6.00

Manchester Folk Festival 2018

Indulge in a long weekend packed with amazing gigs in great venues. Get involved in singing, songwriting and craft workshops. Grab your friends and dance a ceilidh. This festival is a chance to discover new bands, create something you’re proud of, relax with friends and make new connections.

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.

Rent Party at The Klondyke Fotocad
Dance 10–13 October 2018, from £10.00

Rent Party at The Klondyke

Winning a string of 5-star reviews, as passionate as it is political, Rent Party promises to put the best house parties to shame.

Music 22 September 2018, from £12.5

Respighi | Walton | Sibelius at The Bridgewater Hall

The BBC Philharmonic opens its new season with a real Italian job, featuring two works influenced by and written in Italy: William Walton’s rhapsodic Cello Concerto, inspired by the postcard-perfect island of Ischia, and Sibelius’s magnificent Second Symphony. To open, Respighi’s cherished tribute to the Eternal City.

URWOTUEAT, 2017 – John Powell Jones. Part of SUBI 수비 at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions 14 September–4 November 2018, FREE

SUBI 수비 at Castlefield Gallery

‘SUBI 수비’ at Castlefield Gallery explores the long process of cultural and generational exchange that underpins the art of pottery and ceramics – one of the world’s oldest crafts – as an integral part of the way that humans create and communicate the world in which we live.

Distortions in Spacetime by Marshmallow Laser Feast
Exhibitions 18–28 October 2018, FREE

Manchester Science Festival 2018

Meet a real-life cyborg, immerse yourself in a black hole or one of 120 other events in 10 days … yes Manchester Science Festival is back.

Manchester's Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair
Exhibitions 11–14 October 2018, from £5.50

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2018 at Upper Campfield Market

For anyone with even a passing interest in the beauty of the handmade or artful design, the annual award-winning Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair (GNCCF) in Manchester is the place to head this October.

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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othellomacbeth at HOME
Theatre 13–29 September 2018, from £10.00

OthelloMacbeth at HOME

Queen Margaret at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 14 September–6 October 2018, from £9.00

Queen Margaret at the Royal Exchange

URWOTUEAT, 2017 – John Powell Jones. Part of SUBI 수비 at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions 14 September–4 November 2018, FREE

SUBI 수비 at Castlefield Gallery

Cinema 11–30 September 2018, from £7

Not Just Bollywood 2018 at HOME

Poppy, Esme, Oleanna, Gracie and Kate, 2014. Personal Feeling is the main thing - Chantal Joffe at The Lowry, Salford
Exhibitions 19 May 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Salford Royal Academy Takeover

陈秋林 Chen Qiulin 空的城 The Empty City 数码艺术微喷印刷. Part of Aquatopia at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), Manchester
Exhibitions 6 July–7 October 2018, FREE

Aquatopia at CFCCA

Families 5 May–28 October 2018, from £Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members)

Journeys of the Imagination at Quarry Bank

Bee In The City
Exhibitions 23 July–22 September 2018, FREE

Bee in the City

Music 6 July 2018–31 December 2019, from £6

The Stoller Hall Autumn/Winter season