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.

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

Theatre 12 December 2022–8 January 2023, from £25.00

The Ocean at the End of the Lane at The Lowry

Prepare to be transfixed in this dark, magical tale of a forgotten childhood live on stage at The Lowry this winter.

Music 10–17 December 2022, from £12.50

RNCM Opera: Die Fledermaus at RNCM

RNCM Opera present Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, a rip-roaring comedy filled with deceit, betrayal, and champagne. Lots of champagne.

Exhibitions Until 23 April 2023, FREE

Althea McNish: Colour is Mine at The Whitworth

Explore the life and work of Althea McNish, one of the most influential textile designers, in the major, touring retrospective ‘Althea McNish: Colour is Mine’ at The Whitworth.

Exhibitions Until 15 January 2023, FREE

British Pop Archive at the John Rylands Research Institute and Library

Come along to experience the energy and nostalgia of The British Pop Archive – an exhibition that gathers records, artefacts and memorabilia of UK popular culture from the post-war period to the present day.

Exhibitions Until 21 May 2023, from £6.00

Turn It Up: The Power of Music at the Science and Industry Museum

Prepare to get hands-on, with your ears and hearts open, at a new major exhibition exploring the science of music’s mysterious hold over us and how it drives us to create, perform, feel and share.

Exhibitions Until 1 May 2023, FREE

Dandy Style at Manchester Art Gallery

Set in the brand new dedicated Fashion Gallery, ‘Dandy Style’ celebrates all the is most elegant, dramatic and fascinating in menswear.

Free Your Mind at Factory International
Dance 13 October–5 November 2023, from £10.00

Free Your Mind at Factory International

Directed by Danny Boyle, Free Your Mind is a Matrix-themed large-scale performance spectacular and the first production at Manchester’s newest landmark arts venue.

You, Me and the Balloons
Exhibitions 29 June–28 August 2023, from £7.50

You, Me and the Balloons at Factory International

Yayoi Kusama’s You, Me and the Balloons celebrates three decades of Kusama’s spectacular inflatable artworks, which are brought together for the first time in this major exhibition. The first event to be announced for MIF23.

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre
Families Until 11 December 2022, from £27.00

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre

Dig out those glass slippers…the previously postponed run of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella comes to Manchester. The perfect warm-up to the festive season.

Families 14 December 2022–8 January 2023, from £15.00

Claus – The Musical at The Lowry

With childhood wonder and festive magic, this world premiere musical brings L. Frank Baum’s classic tale to life.

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…