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

Festivals 18–20 July 2019, from £16.5


More than 80 international artists, musicians, policy makers, politicians and tech pioneers discuss the future of entertainment as part of Distractions. Andy Burnham talks to us about the future of entertainment in Greater Manchester.

Exhibitions 29 June–29 September 2019, FREE

Expect the Unexpected: A Chance Exhibition at the Lowry

A new exhibition at the Lowry is a reminder to re-connect with the beauty and joy chance poses. To celebrate the unexpected, as well as to expect it.

Yemen: Inside a Crisis at Imperial War Museum North
Exhibitions 17 May 2019–26 January 2020, FREE

Yemen: Inside a Crisis at Imperial War Museum North

Curated with support from award-winning journalist Iona Craig, Yemen: Inside a Crisis at Imperial War Museum North offers a powerful look at one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

Cinema 18 July–13 August 2019, from £9.50

Sound and Vision: Pop Stars on Film at HOME

From the relatively early days of cinema, figures from the world of popular music have been cast in acting roles. HOME’s new season is a greatest hits selection.

Refract:19 at Waterside
Festivals 18–27 July 2019,

REFRACT:19 at Waterside Arts

Back with an even bigger bang – Trafford’s flagship arts festival returns to Waterside for ten-days of experiential performance and cultural delight.

MIF19 Studio ORKA Tuesday Manchester International Festival 2019
Families 10–21 July 2019, FREE

MIF19: Tuesday at Saint Augustine’s Church

A family-friendly odyssey on the uniqueness of human experience by Belgium theatre royalty Studio ORKA

Ibrahim Mahama Photo © White Cube George Darrell. Courtesy of Manchester International Festival
Exhibitions 5–21 July 2019, FREE

MIF19: Ibrahim Mahama at the Whitworth

Considered one of the most ‘internationally visible’ artists working out of Africa today, for MIF 2019 Ibrahim Mahama presents an assemblage of lost objects that reflect upon the history of his home country’s long struggle for independence.

Exhibitions 7 June–18 August 2019,

Peterloo 2019

Manchester Histories prepares to launch a major programme of over 150 events to commemorate the 200-year anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre. All of the essential Peterloo events in one place.

Unearthing passion and protest at Manchester Central Library
Activity 6 July–29 September 2019, FREE

Unearthing Passion and Protest Exhibition at Manchester Central Library

Join Grace Surman and Gary Winters alongside their two young children Hope and Merrick at Central Library as they explore the themes of their newly commissioned films based at Dunham Massey and Quarry Bank.

Amélie The Musical at Manchester Opera House
Theatre 6–10 August 2019, from £13.00

Amélie The Musical at Manchester Opera House

Enchanting, witty and gorgeous, boasting huge public and critical acclaim, the story of Amélie translates beautifully for the stage.

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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