Northern Quarter, Manchester

Northern Quarter, Manchester

Creative Tourist

Manchester’s most characterful, independent district is a jumbled network of streets to one side of Piccadilly Gardens – once home to busy textiles warehouses and even the occasional umbrella factory. Now, the red brick buildings with their New York-style fire escapes are regularly used in film sets, and the streets are bursting with independent cafés, shops, bars, and cultural hotspots.

The Northern Quarter has become a destination in its own right, with the laid-back, bohemian vibe during the day transforming at night into teeming pavements of people in search of good food, craft beer, pop-up events and live music.

Ben Williams, Creative Tourist
Image by Ben Williams, Creative Tourist

When walking around, keep your eyes peeled for public art, including the sculptures of birds high on a wall on John Street (reflecting the area’s reputation in Victorian times as a ‘pets paradise’), the illuminated, 12 metre-tall Big Boys Toy on the top of the NCP car park, and the artistic graffiti on the outhouse in the middle of Stevenson Square.

Discover our top picks

Music 4–5 September 2021, from £19.50

Manchester Psych Fest 2021

Manchester Psych Fest, an all-day celebration of psychedelic music and art, returns in September 2021, following the postponement of 2020’s event.

Life drawing Manchester
Activity Until 25 April 2021, from £6

Life Drawing Manchester Online Classes

The popular Northern Quarter community, Life Drawing Manchester, have migrated to zoom, opening up their classes to models and artists from all over the world.

world of music choir
Activity Until 30 March 2021,

World of Music Choir (Spring 2021)

Join the World of Music Choir to learn a mixture of traditional and modern tunes. With no previous experience necessary and an ethos of no judgement, it’s the most friendly introduction to group singing you could wish for.

Multiplicities in Flux at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 31 January 2021, FREE

Multiplicities in Flux at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester

CFCCA presents a two-person exhibition that challenges ideas of Britishness, belonging, identity and citizenship.

Omid Asadi: Autopsy of a Home at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art
Exhibitions Until 31 January 2021, FREE

Omid Asadi: Autopsy of a Home at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art

For his exhibition at CFCCA, Omid Asadi explores the diasporic experiences and domestic spaces of migrants.

Music 16 March 2021 7:30 pm, from £7

Silverbacks at The Castle

Offering a contemporary take on the NYC art-rock of the late ’70s and early ’80s, Dublin 5-piece Silverback are performing live at The Castle.

Activity Until 30 April 2021, from £5

Online Meditation with the Manchester Buddhist Centre

As we learn to live with uncertainty now is a better time than ever to explore meditation, let the friendly community at Manchester Buddhist Centre help you on this journey.

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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