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

Manchester Jazz Festival
Music Until 29 May 2022, from £5.00

Manchester Jazz Festival 2022

Manchester Jazz Festival returns with 10 days of the best northern, national and international contemporary jazz this May.

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.

Rambert - Dance
Dance 25–27 May 2022, from £15.00

Rambert – Dance at The Lowry

Always forward-thinking, entertaining and provocative, the ever-brilliant Rambert invite audiences to change their perception of the world. And we’ve got a special ticket offer for Creative Tourist readers too.

SICK! Festival 2022
Theatre Until 31 May 2022,

SICK! Festival 2022

Art and creativity meet health once again in this year’s edition of SICK! Festival, with an outstanding international arts programme right on our doorstep.

Manchester Day
Festivals 19 June 2022 11:00 am, FREE

Manchester Day 2022

Dust down your tail-feathers and get out on the streets for carnival, community and an exuberant celebration of Manchester.

Music Until 22 May 2022, from £0.00

Manchester Guitar Festival at The Stoller Hall

From classical and jazz, acoustic, electric and even Flamenco, Manchester Guitar Festival will feature some of the finest guitar music talent from around the world.

Bridgewater Lates at RHS Garden Bridgewater
Activity 9–30 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.

Music 11 June 2022 7:30 pm, from £18.00

Maya Youssef with Levare String Quartet at RNCM

Maya Youssef, the ‘queen of qanun’, brings her latest album Finding Home to life on the RNCM stage with the Levare String Quartet.

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.

Oh Mother at HOME
Theatre Until 28 May 2022,

Oh Mother at HOME

Created in the heat of love, exhaustion and chaos, RashDash’s new show is all about having – and becoming – a mother.

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…