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

Band on the Wall
Music 3 March–14 May 2022, from £0.00

Band on the Wall Reopening Season

Following a major expansion project, Band on the Wall is throwing open its doors in March 2022, and there’s a huge reopening season on the cards.

Activity Until 31 December 2022, from £9

Skyliner: Alternative Tours of Manchester

Join Skyliner for the anti-tour of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The route interrogates current developments in the city as well as visiting the area’s most notable pieces of street art.

Rock and Goal
Activity Until 27 February 2022, from £9.99

Rock and Goal Tour

Join Joe Feeley a Mancunian through and through, who guides you into Manchester’s two pillars of cultural excellence with his Rock and Goal tour.

Music 16 February 2022 7:00 pm,

Boards of Canada performed by Byron Wallen’s Gayan Gamelan Ensemble POSTPONED

This November at Band on the Wall Byron Wallen’s Gayan Gamelan Ensemble will interpret Boards of Canada’s ‘Music Has The Right To Children’.

Cinema 14 February 2022 2:17 pm, from £10.25

Casablanca at Stockport Plaza

Stockport Plaza transport Valentine’s guests back to the golden age of Hollywood, with dinner, drinks and one of the eternal romances.

Activity Until 15 February 2022, from £5

World of Music Choir

Band on the Wall’s World of Music choir makes singing accessible for everyone regardless of musical ability and experience, learning songs in harmony by ear.

Activity 30 January 2022 12:30 pm, from £20.00

The Whisky Festival – Jan 2022

Warm the soul with a unique whisky experience this January with live music, cheese boards and 5 tasters at The Whisky Festival.

Hannah Platt & Good Kids (Work in Progress)
Comedy 25 January 2022 7:00 pm, FREE

Hannah Platt & Good Kids (Work in Progress)

A double headlining stand up comedy bill from likeable Midlands sketch-slash-music double act Good Kids and Merseyside-via-Manchester’s finest misanthrope Hannah Platt.

Activity Until 31 December 2023, from £50

Eat The City – Scranchester Tours

Satisfy your hunger for knowledge as well as lunch with Scranchester’s food tours of the city centre. You may discover a new favourite hidden gem or learn a bit more about the cultural or historical significance of the food you eat all the time.

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…