students guide to manchester
Photo by Stefan Lorentz

Student guide to Manchester

Creative Tourist

So you’ve unpacked your things, put up the posters you hope will be most impressive and awkwardly said ‘hey’ to your new neighbours (whose names you now can’t remember). What’s next? How about our student guide to Manchester?

Well, first stop is the student bar, where you’ll spend far more of your student loan on licentious living than you ever thought possible. But once you’ve done that (and the subsequent hangover has passed) it is time to find out a bit more about the city you’ll be spending the next few years in.

And, if we do say so ourselves, by coming to study in Manchester you’ve already shown yourself to be seriously sharp – if they handed out degrees for taste, you’d be picking up a first (they don’t, so I’m afraid you’ll actually have to go to the odd lecture here and there).

Locals will tell you Manchester is the best city on earth, and its easy to see why: it’s got gigs galore, a not-to-be-beaten nightlife and more cultural attractions than you can shake an eccles cake at. Sure, the weather is not much cop (or ‘anging’ to use the local dialect), but in every other regards Manchester’s got it made.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Contact Theatre

    Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6JA - Visit now

    Contact puts on stimulating theatre shows, hosts impassioned spoken word poetry sessions and also gives you – yes, you – the chance to star in its productions. If you’re an aspiring DJ, actor or dancer you’d better get yourself down there and sign up for something straight away.

    Or, if you’re happy to remain behind the fourth wall, then check out upcoming shows like Spymonkey’s The Complete Deaths – a sort of Shakespeare snuff fest – and seminal queer cabaret night Mother’s Ruin.

Things to do right now

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Cinema 1–21 February 2019, from £5.50

Burning at HOME

Families 18–22 February 2019, from £Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members)

Trouble at t’Mill at Quarry Bank

Cinema 8–22 February 2019, from £5.50

If Beale Street Could Talk at HOME

SparkPlug at HOME
Theatre 13–23 February 2019, from £12.50

SparkPlug at HOME

Chiharu Shiota –Uncertain Journey, 2016, Blainsouthern Berlin, Germany. Installation metal frames red wool. Photo Christian Gglaaser. Copyright Vgbildkunstbonn 2017 and the artist. Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions 1 January 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2018 Guide

Poppy, Esme, Oleanna, Gracie and Kate, 2014. Personal Feeling is the main thing - Chantal Joffe at The Lowry, Salford
Exhibitions 19 May 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Salford Royal Academy Takeover

William Roberts RA, Combat, 1966. Image courtesy of Art UK
Exhibitions 30 June 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

The Royal Academy Takeover: The Exhibition

PERSPECTIVES – Venture Arts
Exhibitions 1 October 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

PERSPECTIVES – around Manchester

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry