Things to do in Manchester

Welcome to the vibrant city of Manchester, a place where history, cultures and modernity converge to offer a diverse array of activities for every taste. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, from thriving arts scenes to bustling markets, Manchester invites you to explore its dynamic landscape and immerse yourself in a wealth of experiences. Here are our top things to do in Manchester.
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Welcome to the vibrant city of Manchester, a place where history, cultures and modernity converge to offer a diverse array of activities for every taste. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, from thriving arts scenes to bustling markets, Manchester invites you to explore its dynamic landscape and immerse yourself in a wealth of experiences. Here are our top things to do in Manchester.

Things to do in Manchester

Activities:

Walking: In a vibrant city like Manchester, walking is a delightful journey through history, culture and modernity so it is the perfect way to connect to your surroundings and explore at your own pace. Guided walking tours in Manchester offer a unique way to experience the city. These tours, led by knowledgeable guides, take you on a captivating stroll through iconic landmarks, hidden gems and diverse neighbourhoods.


Parks: There are many enchanting parks in Manchester, where nature and urban life harmoniously coexist. From the sprawling expanses of Heaton Park, offering a picturesque escape with its historic landscapes, to the more intimate charm of Fletcher Moss Park and its botanical treasures, each park tells a unique story- you will discover a haven for joggers, a playground for families, and a canvas for community gatherings.

  • Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens: A lovely botanical garden accessible from Didsbury Train Station.
  • Heaton Park: A huge park featuring numerous facilities including a public golf course and a small farm that is great for young children.
  • Piccadilly Gardens: An open-space area with water fountains situated at the heart and soul of the city centre.
  • Didsbury Park: A lovely park featuring grassland, woodland and flora,
  • Platt Fields Park: One of Manchester’s major outdoor events sites with three dedicated show fields.
  • Debdale Park: An inner-city park located in the Gorton area of Manchester with a children's play area, multi-games area, skate park, tennis court, football pitch and many other amenities.
  • Sackville Gardens: A beautiful tranquil park, just minutes from Canal Street and the city centre.
  • Boggart Hole Clough: A large woodland and urban country park in Blackley, a suburb of Manchester.
  • Chorlton Park: This is also a large park with a children’s play area, multi-use games area (MUGA), 5-a-side football, tennis courts, an outdoor gym, a basketball court and community gardens and orchards.
  • Prestwich Forest Park: A 200-hectare of woodland and open space with lots of nature and wildlife to discover. It also has a children’s play area and a mountain bike trail.
  • Alexandra Park: This is a 60-acre park with lots of events such as health walks, tennis training, yoga and much more.
  • Abbotsfield Park: This is a lovely children’s play area and it has fantastic facilities including tennis courts, bowling clubhouses, and a miniature railway ride.
  • Marie Louise Gardens: A 4.75-acre oasis of peace and seclusion situated in West Didsbury.
  • Drinkwater Park: Home to a diverse mix of native woodland, open meadows and it borders the River Irwell. It’s perfect for walking, cycling, sculpture trail, fishing and horse riding.
  • Whitworth Park: A lovely 18 acres of green space in south Manchester, on the very cusp of the city centre. It’s perfect for walking your dog or just taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the buzzing city.


Top Attractions in Manchester

From iconic landmarks to cutting-edge museums, manchester has something for everyone. So whether you are a history enthusiast, a sports fan, or an art lover, let’s journey through the top attractions that make Manchester a must-visit destination.

  • The John Rylands Library: As one of the libraries with the world’s finest collections of rare books and manuscripts, John Rylands Library is a must-see especially if you are a history enthusiast.
  • Science and Industry Museum: From the birth of the Industrial Revolution to the latest breakthroughs in cutting-edge research, the museum takes you on a thrilling journey through time.
  • Etihad Stadium: A must-see as one of Manchester's famous landmarks especially, if you are a football fanatic.
  • National Football Museum: This a pilgrimage for fans and enthusiasts alike. With exhibits that capture the essence of the game, interactive displays, and a treasure of memorabilia, this museum is a celebration of football’s global impact and its power to unite people across borders.
  • Manchester Museum: This museum’s diverse collections invite you to marvel at the beauty of art, uncover the mysteries of the past and connect with the fascinating diversity of life.
  • People’s History Museum: A befitting tribute to the voices that shaped the course of history- those who fought for equality, justice, and the rights we hold dear today. From the struggles of the working class to pivotal moments in the fight for democracy, the People’s Museum is a living chronicle of the people’s journey through time.
  • Manchester Art Gallery: This is a cultural oasis that invites you to embark on a visual journey through the ages. The gallery houses everything from classical masterpieces to contemporary creations. It’s a sanctuary for art enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.
  • The Crystal Maze: The Crystal Maze is seriously good fun and full of challenges, making it perfect for corporate events and all special occasions.
  • Manchester Cathedral: With its stunning Gothic architecture and intricate details, the cathedral offers a sanctuary for reflection and contemplation. It also beckons you to marvel at its stained glass windows or appreciate the rich history embedded in its walls.
  • Royal Exchange Theatre: From classic plays to cutting-edge contemporary productions, the Royal Exchange Theatre is a cultural hub that promises an enchanting journey into the realms of drama, creativity and shared experience of live performance.
  • Manchester Arena: A testament to the city’s passion for entertainment and live experiences! Here, you can enjoy sold-out concerts, sporting events, or a night of laughter with world-class comedians.
  • The Bridgewater Hall: This is a sanctuary for music enthusiasts and culture seekers alike. Whether you are drawn to classical symphonies, contemporary sounds or jazz improvisations, you are bound to have an unforgettable experience.
  • Home: This is another cultural hub where art, theatre and film converge to create cutting-edge performances, thought-provoking exhibitions and cinematic adventures.
  • 02 Manchester Apollo: A place steeped in the musical history of rock spectacles, mesmerizing live performances or intimate gigs.



Food & Nightlife in Manchester

Let’s embark on a gastronomic adventure in the vibrant city of Manchester, where the culinary scene is as diverse and exciting as the city itself- a tantalising array of options for foodies, and those seeking to dance the night away.


Food

  • The French at The Midland Hotel: A fine dining of modern British cuisine with a touch of innovation.
  • El Gato Negro: This is a stylish Northern Quarter spot offering contemporary Spanish tapas.
  • Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza: As its name implies, it’s a fantastic place that offers authentic Neapolitan pizzas cooked in wood-fired ovens.
  • Mackie Mayor: A beautifully restored market hall with a variety of food vendors, offering everything from sushi to artisanal burgers
  • Evelyn’s Cafe Bar: A trendy spot for Brunch and casual dining, known for its delicious brunch menu and laid-back atmosphere.
  • Federal Cafe & Bar: This is another hot spot for brunch. It offers an Australian-inspired brunch menu and excellent coffee.
  • Hawksmoor Manchester: A renowned steakhouse for its high-quality steaks and classic British dishes.
  • Indian Tiffin Room: A fantastic place that offers delicious, vibrant flavours of Indian street food in a modern setting.
  • Mana: A Michelin-starred restaurant offering a contemporary dining experience.
  • Gorilla: A versatile venue offering a menu ranging from burgers to more refined dishes, coupled with a lively atmosphere.
  • The Refuge by Volta: A stunning venue with a diverse menu, offering everything from small plates to hearty mains.
  • Evuna: This is another well-known spot for its extensive selection of Spanish wines and authentic tapas.


Nightlife

  • The Warehouse Project: An Iconic electronic music venue hosting renowned DJs and live acts.
  • Deansgate Locks: A lively area with a variety of bars and clubs along the canal.
  • Cloud 23: Stylish rooftop bar with panoramic views of the city skyline.
  • Albert’s Schloss: Bavarian-inspired venue with a lively atmosphere, live music, and a vast beer selection.
  • The Liars Club: Exotic tiki bar with tropical cocktails and a lively dance floor.
  • The Jazz Bar at Matt & Phred’s: An intimate jazz venue with live performances in the Northern Quarter.
  • The Printworks: Houses various bars, restaurants and a cinema in a historic printing house.
  • Oast House: Outdoor seating, live music, and a wide selection of drinks in Spinningfields.
  • 20 Stories: Elegant rooftop venue with stunning views, serving modern British cuisine.
  • Revolucion de Cuba: Colourful venue with a lively atmosphere, Latin music and cocktails.
  • Night & Day Cafe: Intimate venue showcasing live music from various genres.



Shopping in Manchester

Manchester is a shopping paradise with a mix of high-end stores, independent boutiques, and vibrant markets. Here’s a list of popular shopping venues in the city:

  • Manchester Arndale: One of the largest city centre shopping malls in the UK, housing a wide range of high-range and designer brands.
  • Intu Trafford Centre: A massive shopping and leisure complex with over 200 stores, including luxury brands and department stores.
  • Afflecks: A multi-story bazaar featuring independent and alternative shops perfect for unique finds.
  • Spinningfields: Upscale shops, designer boutiques, and fine dining in a modern urban setting.
  • Northern Quarter: Trendy area with independent stores, vintage shops, and unique boutiques.
  • St Ann’s Square: ome to high-end brands, fashion retailers and occasional markets.
  • King Street: Iconic street known for its luxury brands, designer stores, and elegant boutiques.
  • Chinatown Market: This vibrant market offers a variety of Asian goods, spices, and unique finds.
  • Levenshulme market: Weekly market featuring local artisans, food stalls and vintage items.
  • Spinningfields Maker Market: Monthly market showing handmade and artisanal products.
  • Manchester Craft and Design Centre: Creative hub featuring studios and shops of local artists and designers.
  • Market Street: A bustling street with a mix of high-street stores, popular brands, and flagship shops.


Whether you are into high-end fashion, unique independent finds, or exploring local markets, Manchester has something for every shopping enthusiast. Happing shopping!


Find out more about What Manchester is Famous for and amazing Fun Facts about Manchester.