What To Do When It Rains In Manchester

Creative Tourist

What To Do When It Rains In Manchester? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Contrary to popular belief, Manchester does attract sunshine once in a while – for over 1,000 hours a year, according to one source. However, we cannot deny that it does rain here more than we’d really like. There’s plenty of things to do in Manchester when the heavens open though; from award-winning theatre and exhibitions to an exciting food and drink offer and thriving literature and music scenes.

With our guide, you can stop asking what to do when it rains in Manchester. Grab your brolly, watch out for those loose paving stones that like to spurt rainwater up your leg and get exploring.

Our top picks

Science and Industry Museum

Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4FP - Visit now

The Science and Industry Museum is housed in the buildings of the world’s first inter-city passenger railway; this sprawling, interactive land of scientific exploration includes a working steam train. It’s mostly indoors, it’s very kid-friendly and there’s good cafe on site too. Your closest tram stop is Deansgate Castlefield, it’s only a short dash away, making it an ideal pick when it’s bucketing down.

Image courtesy of Science and Industry Museum.

HOME Manchester

HOME Manchester, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 4FN - Visit now

HOME is a great place to spend a rainy day. Take in some art-house cinema across five, excellently programmed cinema screens, explore contemporary art, browse the bookshop, enjoy a pint in the downstairs bar and then maybe dinner before catching a show on of the theatre spaces.

HOME Manchester
Paul Karalius

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 3JL - Visit now

Positioned at the very heart of the city, Manchester Art Gallery houses six centuries worth of fine art, ceramics, glass, furniture and costume, and presents a year-round programme of contemporary exhibitions by world-leading artists. Taking in the whole gallery properly demands at least a couple of hours and there’s a very good cafe to keep you fuelled up.

Manchester Art Gallery. Photo by Andrew Brooks
Andrew Brooks

Mackie Mayor

Mackie Mayor, 1 Eagle Street, Manchester, M4 5BU

The Grade II listed Mackie Mayor is must-see for anyone visiting Manchester. This ornate, voluminous, early-Victorian, purpose-built meat market is now a glass-roofed marketplace, packed with the city’s finest food and drink merchants, with room enough for hundreds of diners and drinkers. Stay here and eat and drink out the storm.

Mackie Mayor

The Whitworth

The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6ER - Visit now

Winner of Visit England’s gold prize for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2016 and Art Fund’s Museum of the Year 2015 following a major £15m redevelopment, the beautifully designed Whitworth Art Gallery is a true gem of a place. Its internationally important art collection is presented alongside a changing programme of contemporary exhibitions and outdoor sculpture, whilst the spectacular ‘café in the trees’ is well worth a visit alone.

The Whitworth
The Whitworth, Photo: Alan Williams

Afflecks

Afflecks, 52 Church Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1PW - Visit now

Afflecks in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, formerly (and still affectionately) known as Affleck’s Palace, is a mind-bogglingly diverse vintage shopping emporium. Have a look around here for or an hour or so and enjoy some of the city’s most wonderfully independent retailers.

Image of Afflecks Palace in Manchester's Northern Quarter
Ben Williams

National Football Museum

National Football Museum, Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 3BG - Visit now

Manchester is probably even more famous for football than it is for rain! Visitors to the National Football Museum can dive into this heritage and more as they explore the whole world of football across several floors of changing exhibitions. The Museum is on the doorstep of Victoria Station and the nearby Corn Exchange has a decent pick of eateries, all under one (waterproof) roof.

The National Football Museum Manchester
Image courtesy of National Football Museum

Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Manchester Craft & Design Centre, 17 Oak St, Northern Quarter, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 5JD - Visit now

Housed in a former Victorian fish market, Manchester Craft and Design Centre has for 30 years been home to an array of artist-run studios. Hands down the most reliable one-stop-shop for unique, but not over-priced, gifts in the city.

Manchester Craft and Design Centre by Joel C Fildes.
Manchester Craft and Design Centre by Joel C Fildes.

Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum, The University Of Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M13 9PL - Visit now

Manchester Museum boasts six million pieces in its archive, an impressive Egyptology collection and new discovery space The Study all in one gothic, Grade II*-listed building. You can wander around Manchester Museum for several hours without even thinking about the rain outside.

Manchester Museum Tours at Manchester Museum

Pubs in Manchester

If all else fails, there are plenty of great pubs in Manchester.

Britons Protection entrance.
Image courtesy of Briton's Protection

Where to go in Manchester

Alborz
Levenshulme
Restaurant
Alborz

Much-loved Persian restaurant on Stockport in Levenshulme, reopened after a lengthy lockdown-related hiatus.

Manchester
Restaurant
Jaan

New food concept from the team behind Another Hand, based at Exhibition and serving up exceptional Persian cuisine.

The Rose & Monkey Hotel
Manchester
Restaurant
The Rose & Monkey Hotel

The Rose & Monkey Hotel is one of the Northern Quarter’s best music-led bars, with a truly impressive beer garden. Our new favourite Manchester pub.

Skof by Tom Barnes
Manchester
Restaurant
Skof by Tom Barnes

One of the year’s biggest restaurant launches, Skof comes to Manchester’s Noma district, headed up by star of Simon Rogan’s restaurants, chef Tom Barnes.

Maya
Manchester
Restaurant
MAYA Manchester

MAYA is a stylish new restaurant and bar on the corner of Canal Street and Chorlton in central Manchester.

Manchester
Restaurant
New Wave Ramen

New Wave Ramen is a stylish, friendly Japanese ramen bar and restaurant on Tib Lane in the heart of Manchester.

caprismcr - restaurant
City Centre
Restaurant
Capri’s Cucina Italiana

The King Street area isn’t short of popular Italian restaurants, but none strike quite the same note as Capri’s, where you’ll be greeted like family and served some of the most authentic Neapolitan food in Manchester.

The Feel Good Club exterior
Manchester
Event venue
Feel Good Club

Our flagship Feel Good Club in Manchester, open 7 days a week, providing a beautiful friendly environment for coffee, brunch, lunch, cocktails and beers with an amazing selection of non alcoholic beverages too.

Manchester Visitor Guides

Sunday Roasts in Manchester

Looking for the finest roast dinners in Manchester? Look no further. We've picked out the very best Sunday dinners in the city.

Federal Cafe Bar
Breakfast in Manchester

Manchester is strong with the breakfast force, and has some impressive form where brunch is concerned. Here’s our pick of the city’s morning glories.

Blossom on trees in Manchester
Parks and Gardens in Manchester

There are more green spaces in Manchester than you might think. We've picked out some of the best parks and gardens in and around the city.

Bars in Manchester

The best new bars in Manchester, plus some old favourites for good measure.

Stately Homes in the North

The North of England is blessed with countless stunning stately homes, many dating back decades and even centuries. Here are some of the very best.

UNITOM bookshop
Bookshops in Manchester

Manchester is a UNESCO City of Literature, so of course there are a few go-tos for books. Read our guide to discover the best places to pick them up.

Manchester Restaurant Deals

Manchester's restaurants are bending over backwards to create deals that take the sting out of eating out. Here are the best of the bunch for January.

Society Manchester
Spotlight on

Beer Gardens in Manchester & Salford

Make the most of the sun in one of Manchester's many top-notch beer gardens.

Take me there

Culture Guides

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Cinema in Manchester and the North

From the latest installment in the Mad Max franchise, to silent movie masterpieces we highlight the best new releases and big screen classics showing near you this month.