Image courtesy of Marketing Manchester

Things to Do in Manchester

Creative Tourist

It was Manchester that gave rise to socialism, the British Labour Party and the Suffragettes. Wildly ambitious, Manchester was the original industrial city, once the largest centre of manufacturing in the world. This is not the kind of past that a city forgets. Go into its museums and you’ll find the evidence: their collections are among the best in Britain. But before you write this off as just history, think on.

Manchester is steadily reinventing districts that were once busy with industrial factories and warehouses; the red-bricked buildings of the Northern Quarter and Ancoats are now taken up with independent shops, bars, and restaurants. The city boasts two universities along Oxford Road, as well as the award-winning Whitworth and Manchester Museum – with cross-arts space HOME a short stroll away on Tony Wilson Place.

There’s the Royal Exchange in the centre, the UK’s biggest theatre in-the-round, housed in what was once the largest single room in the world. Not forgetting MediaCity UK, which shares The Quays with major arts organisations IWM North and The Lowry and is home to BBC North and ITV. So while this is a city with a past, Manchester has its eyes on the future. The joy of visiting today is that, without too much effort, you get to experience a slice of both.

Discover our top picks

Theatre 3–25 November 2017, from £10

Uncle Vanya at HOME

NOW OPEN. This Chekhov classic is yet another example of how HOME has added a cosmopolitan quality to Manchester’s theatre scene

Exhibitions 18 November 2017–25 February 2018, FREE

humansbeingdigital at The Lowry

An exhibition that encourages us to question the given, as well as conquering the complex.

Exhibitions 21 October 2017–7 January 2018, FREE

The Return of Memory at HOME

A major new exhibition at HOME sets out to re-examine the legacy of the Russian Revolution through the lens of the ‘New East’ today.

Cinema 30 November 2017, from £14

The Phantom Of The Opera: Film Screening with Live Organ Accompaniment at the RNCM

Following on from the RNCM’s screening of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis in 2016, catch the 1925 film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera – widely regarded as a masterpiece of silent horror – with a live organ accompaniment.

Delia Derbyshire
5 December 2017, from £0.00

Artists in Archives: For Interest Only at Burgess Foundation

Watch, listen to and participate in artists’ presentations, displays, creative responses, performances and workshop activities, and view some of composer Delia Derbyshire’s archive.

Theatre 28–29 November 2017, from £10.00 - 15.00

Re-member Me at Contact

Re-member Me brings the ghosts of Hamlets-past back to life through Dickie Beaus lip-syncing master class.

Families 7 October 2017–2 January 2018, from £21.25

Dinosaurs in the Wild at EventCity

A live-action, high tech theatre experience which will transport you back 67 million years to see living dinosaurs with your very own eyes.

Music 9 September 2017–31 May 2018, from £15.00

Manchester Camerata 2017/18 Season

Featuring Snoop Dogg’s producer, a live video artist, plus a gospel choir and re-interpretations of Muse and Metallica, the 2017/18 season by ‘probably Britain’s most adventurous orchestra’ is as diverse and inspiring as ever. Discover our highlights and picks for the weeks and months ahead.

Music 25 November 2017,

BBC Philharmonic: Arlene Sierra | Bartók | Dvořák at The Bridgewater Hall

Arlene Sierra’s Nature Symphony, a BBC Philharmonic commission, receives its world premiere and two longtime favourites from France cross the Channel to join the orchestra: conductor Ludovic Morlot and piano dynamo Jean-Efflam Bavouzet.

Music 24 September 2017–9 June 2018,

BBC Philharmonic 2017/18 Concert Season

Millions of listeners enjoy BBC Philharmonic concerts on Radio 3, recorded or broadcast live from the outstanding acoustic of The Bridgewater Hall, making this orchestra one of the most widely heard in the country.

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

It may not quite have the reputation of Benefits Street, but Beech Road in Chorlton…

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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Theatre 3–25 November 2017, from £10

Uncle Vanya at HOME

Exhibitions 18 November 2017–25 February 2018, FREE

humansbeingdigital at The Lowry

Exhibitions 21 October 2017–7 January 2018, FREE

The Return of Memory at HOME

Families 7 October 2017–2 January 2018, from £21.25

Dinosaurs in the Wild at EventCity

Music 24 September 2017–9 June 2018,

BBC Philharmonic 2017/18 Concert Season

Music 9 September 2017–31 May 2018, from £15.00

Manchester Camerata 2017/18 Season

Music 4 October–11 December 2017, FREE

RNCM Autumn Season

Theatre 20 September–20 December 2017,

Contact Autumn Season 2017

Festivals 22 September 2017–31 March 2018,

HOME Autumn/Winter Season

Exhibitions 23 June 2017–1 January 2018, from £4.00

Wyndham Lewis: Life, Art, War at IWM North

Cinema 17–30 November 2017, from £5.00

Good Time at HOME

Writer Michael Symmons Roberts.
Festivals 1 November–8 December 2017, FREE

RAH! Research in Arts and Humanities Programme