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.

For the past twelve months, most of us have been limited to four walls, living in a smaller world than we ever expected. But the world is back out there, your old hobbies await and new passions call. Now is the time to try out all those experiences you always planned but never had the time. The world is your oyster and we should never take it for granted again.

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

Greater Manchester Fringe Festival 2022
Comedy Until 31 July 2022,

Greater Manchester Fringe 2022

Greater Manchester Fringe Festival offers a fascinating and diverse programme of performance with ticket prices that won’t break the bank.

Helen Mort. Photo by Jonathan Pow
Literature 28 November 2022 7:00 pm, from £15.00

Forward Prizes at Contact and online

It’s the 30th anniversary of the Forward Prizes for Poetry, the most influential awards for new poetry in the UK and Ireland, honouring fresh voices alongside internationally established names – and this year the glittering awards ceremony will take place right here in Manchester.

Exhibitions Until 14 August 2022, FREE

Sebastião Salgado: Amazônia at the Science and Industry Museum

Sebastião Salgado’s exhibition ‘Amazônia’ is coming to Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum, with over 200 breathtaking photographs of the Amazon rainforest and its inhabitants, in areas most at risk from climate change.

Peppa Pig: My First Concert
Families 30 July 2022 12:00 pm, from £15.50

Peppa Pig: My First Concert at The Bridgewater Hall

Introduce your youngest piglets to orchestral music the fun way: Peppa Pig: My First Concert at The Bridgewater Hall, taking place on Saturday 30 July 2022.

Cinema 9 July 2022 6:00 pm, from £7.95

The Piccadilly Rats: Live In Moderation Q&A at HOME

Legendary Manchester buskers The Piccadilly Rats find their way onto the big screen with this brand new documentary.

Music 3 September 2022 2:00 pm, from £45

Manchester Psych Fest 2022

Manchester Psych Fest, the UK’s leading psychedelic music and arts festival, returns in September 2022. We explore the line-up.

Refract Festival 2022 at Waterside
Childrens 21–30 July 2022,

REFRACT Festival 2022 at Waterside

Now in its fifth year, Trafford’s flagship arts festival returns to Waterside for ten days of experiential performance and cultural delight.

Exhibitions Until 8 January 2023, FREE

2022 Banner Exhibition at People’s History Museum

The 2022 Banner Exhibition 2022 at the People’s History Museum will take you on a journey through the history of rights and equality via its dazzling collection.

Much Ado About Nothing at Victoria Baths
Theatre 7 July 2022 7:00 pm, from £14.00

Much Ado About Nothing at Victoria Baths

Think deck chairs, knotted handkerchiefs, ‘50s style dancing and beautiful vintage costumes for Time & Again Theatre’s adaptation of this Shakespeare comedy.

Activity 10–11 September 2022, FREE

We Invented The Weekend

Expect everything from community feasts, vintage markets, water sports, live music and performance, right across MediaCity and Salford Quays this September. A new free festival for everyone.

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…

Things to do right now

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Greater Manchester Fringe Festival 2022
Comedy Until 31 July 2022,

Greater Manchester Fringe 2022

Summer Theatre at HOME
Theatre Until 9 July 2022, from £12.50

Summer Theatre at HOME

One Man, Two Guvnors
Theatre Until 3 September 2022, from £15.00

One Man, Two Guvnors

skyliner
Activity Until 31 December 2022, from £9

Skyliner: Alternative Tours of Manchester

Elizabeth Gaskell's House garden. Photo by Chris Tucker
Literature Until 11 December 2022, from £4.50

Book sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Victoria Baths Guided Tour
Activity Until 26 October 2022, from £6

Victoria Baths Guided Tour

Music Until 5 July 2022, from £12

RNCM Summer Season 2022

Activity Until 31 July 2022, from £95.00

Gin School with Manchester Gin

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts
Families Until 26 February 2023, from £3.00

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts

Music Until 8 July 2022, from £0.00

RNCM Lunchtime and Spotlight Concerts