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

Summer Theatre at HOME
Theatre 1–9 July 2022, from £12.50

Summer Theatre at HOME

At a time when theatres ordinarily begin to wind down for the summer, HOME springs to life with three unique shows that demand to be seen.

The University of Manchester Community Festival 2022
Families 25 June 2022 11:00 am, FREE

The University of Manchester Community Festival 2022

Look behind the scenes with this free festival of science, arts, engineering and history featuring hands-on activities for all ages.

Bridgewater Lates at RHS Garden Bridgewater
Activity Until 30 June 2022, from £6.50

Bridgewater Lates at RHS Garden Bridgewater

This June, head to RHS Garden Bridgewater for a weekly series of entertaining and thought-provoking after-hours talks, discussions and workshops.

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

One Man, Two Guvnors

The hilarious smash hit comedy One Man, Two Guvnors explodes into the North West this summer in a brand-new production.

Music 5 July 2022 7:00 pm, from £50.50

Sounds of the City: Pixies at Castlefield Bowl

Legendary Boston band Pixies will take to the Castlefield Bowl stage this summer, supported by The Slow Readers Club and Klangstof.

The Gruffalo at The lowry
Families 30 July–21 August 2022, from £10.00

The Gruffalo at The Lowry

Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s well-loved picture book.

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.

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.

Music Until 5 July 2022, from £12

RNCM Summer Season 2022

Read our picks for the exciting months ahead at the RNCM.

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.

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…

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