Your next home, one download away
Download App
30 Things To Do In Manchester

30 Things To Do In Manchester

Uploaded on
Oct 4, 2022
Last updated on
Aug 11, 2023
Uploaded on
Oct 4, 2022
Last updated on
Aug 11, 2023
Things to do in Manchester
Open the chest of things to do in Manchester!

One of the most prominent cities in the UK, there are plenty of things to do in Manchester. Normally, when you’ll see guides online saying “top 10 things to do here” or “ top 8 sights to visit here”, but that's just lazy writing, why stop at 10 when you can have double? Wait, did we say double, scratch that, make it triple.

That’s exactly what we have for you. Doing justice to the magnificent city of Manchester, we have compiled a list of the 30 best things to do in Manchester so that you have plenty of options to decide for yourself.

Things To Do In Manchester

The mythos of Manchester is heavily influenced by its past. The Stone Roses, The Smiths, and the Hacienda all contributed to its status as a musical mecca. The extensive industrial and architectural heritage makes it an interesting destination for students to meander through and adds multiple to the list of things to do in Manchester. Those renowned red-brick mills are independent creative hubs, and the Victorian marketplaces have a new lease on life as food halls perfect for Instagram. We've put together our definitive list of the best things to do in Manchester to help you decide how to use your free time while you're here.

Places to visit in Manchester

If you're planning a trip to Manchester, be sure to check out these 11 must-visit places:

1. Old Trafford

Location: Stretford, Greater Manchester, England, UK

Since 1910, Old Trafford Stadium has been home to Manchester United, England’s most successful football team. The club has 20 Premier League wins under its belt and numerous international titles. It has counted some of the all-time football greats in its ranks, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs and George Best, among others.

Visit the grounds and tour the locker rooms, tunnel and dugout. Visit the museum and see the history of the club brought to life. It is a must for all football fans, making it one of the top attractions in Manchester!

2. Science and Industry Museum

Location: Manchester, England, UK

Regarded as being the first industrial city in history, the city features multiple museums. Early in the 19th century, its textile industry boomed, and the city attracted businesses of all types, including the first intercity railway that transported people and commodities. The Science and Industry Museum charts the city's progress from the Industrial Revolution to the present. It features amazing displays, including early steam engines, a cotton mill, and the Manchester Baby, the first computer to store and run a programme. Quite a few things to do in Manchester, right? 

3. Manchester Art Gallery

Location: Manchester, England, UK

Since it initially opened 200 years ago, the Manchester Art Gallery has amassed almost 25,000 items. More than 500 sculptures, paintings, and works by Pre-Raphaelites and well-known British artists like William Hogarth, John Constable, and William Turner are part of the collection. Costumes and apparel pieces from the 1600s to the present are also on display in the museum, along with craft and design items like furniture, wallpaper, and glassware.

4. Victoria Baths

Location: Manchester, England, UK

One of the nation's finest public swimming pools and bathhouses and top things to do in Manchester, Victoria Baths opened its doors in 1906. Its stained glass windows, exquisite tiles, and mosaic flooring gave it the nickname "water palace." Turkish baths with three hot rooms, showers, and a steam room were also available, in addition to swimming pools. Although swimming in the baths is no longer permitted, you can still tour the structure, and it frequently hosts exhibitions, events, craft fairs, antique fairs, and live music.

5. Albert Memorial

Location: Kensington Gardens, London, England, UK

Albert Square and its main monument are dedicated to Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. Manchester Town Hall, Albert Chambers, Carlton House, and the Memorial Hall are just a few of the charming Victorian structures that can be found in the plaza. The Town Hall boasts amazing murals inside and offers guided tours for visitors looking for quality things to do in Manchester. During the months of November and December, the square hosts a Christmas market.

6. Manchester Cathedral

Location: Manchester, England, UK

One of the city's oldest churches, Manchester Cathedral has a more than 600-year history. 14 angels playing various golden mediaeval instruments support the nave roof. It is truly a sight to behold. The cathedral especially sees a spike in student visits during the exam season at universities, and is definitely one of the must visit places in Manchester.

7. Greater Manchester Police Museum

Location: Manchester, England, UK

Before jumping to conclusions, hear us out first, no one is actually putting you in a cell. The former Newton Street Police Station, which the local police force occupied for 100 years, is now home to the Manchester Police Museum. The Museum was established in 1981, and its collection spans Manchester's history of policing. Its archives contain artefacts, vehicles, images, and apparel dating from the Victorian era to the present. Cells, a courtroom, and a uniform gallery may all be visited in addition to many of the rooms having been restored to their original Victorian furnishings. A solid steal in the list of things to do in Manchester.

8. Fletcher Moss Park

Location: Didsbury, Manchester, England, UK

About 90 acres of Stenner Woods Nature Reserve are part of Fletcher Moss Park, and Botanical Gardens adds up to many things to do in Manchester. There are several unusual trees in the gardens, as well as fascinating fauna. Watch for returning swallows, willow warblers, sand martins, and even ring-necked parakeets. In addition, the park offers recreational facilities and a cafe that serves a variety of hot and cold beverages, snacks, and desserts. It is free to enter and open every day during daytime hours. This makes Fletcher Moss Park a fantastic Manchester attraction.

9. Tramways Museum

Location: Crich, Derbyshire, England, UK

One of the largest parks in the northwest of England is Heaton Park. The grounds of the Grade I listed structure Heaton Hall are roughly 600 acres in size. There are many things to do in Manchester, including tram trips through history operated by the Tramway Museum. A golf course and driving range, a boating lake, woodlands and picnic places, and an animal centre with pigs, goats, and chicks, are also present.

10. IWM North 

Location: Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester, England, UK

The Imperial War Museum North examines the effects of war on people throughout history. It contains tens of thousands of artefacts, images, sound recordings, pieces of art, and movies that span the time from the First World War to the present. Famous items on display in the main exhibition hall include a Soviet tank, the first British gun fired in World War I, and a fragment of bent steel from the World Trade Center. Visit this significant cultural institution as soon as you can. This is a Manchester must visit!

11. Lovell Telescope

Location: Jodrell Bank Observatory, Lower Withington, Cheshire, England, UK

Lovell Telescope, one of the biggest steerable radio telescopes in the world, is located at Jodrell Bank. When the Lovell Telescope was finished in 1957, it was the only telescope with the power to monitor and communicate with probes and satellites like Sputnik and Pioneer 5. Jodrell Bank has also appeared in several TV programmes and music videos, including various Doctor Who episodes. The Observatory has a cafe, ponds, picnic spots, and an arboretum, adding scenic scenes to all the things to do in Manchester.

Best Restaurants In Manchester

If you're a foodie looking for the best places to dine in Manchester, check out these top 5 recommendations:

12. The Launderette

Location: Manchester, England, UK

The place is known for its awesome food and service in a restless, vibrant, fun environment out of all the things to do in Manchester. The menu centres around cocktails and carbs, a match made in heaven. A meal for two costs around £80 on average.

13. Ziya Restaurant

Location: Manchester, England, UK

Experience is what can only be referred to as one of the most opulent Indian restaurant settings in Manchester's thriving curry mile. Ziya is known for serving up some of the spiciest curries in Manchester, so be sure to cool your taste buds as they will be feeling the heat. A meal for two costs around £60.

14. Food Markets

Location: Manchester, England, UK

Markets sell everything from street food to unique local products. The best food stalls can be found on Grub, and Mackie Mayor, a sizable renovated Grade II-listed building adjacent to Band on the Wall, promises 400 seats and fantastic food from establishments like pizza kings, Honest Crust and seafood experts Fin. This makes it one of the best places to go in Manchester.

15. Chinatown

Location: Manchester, England, UK

Considered the biggest Chinatown in Europe, with a vast variety of eateries, bakeries, shops, and supermarkets crammed into a small number of blocks in the city centre. While there are other opportunities to experience Far Eastern culture in Manchester, the variety of goodies on offer here is hard to beat. The neighbourhood is welcomed by a stunning three-tiered pagoda and is home to many fantastic locations to dine and buy, making it one of the best places to visit in Manchester.

Even while it's a fantastic location to visit year-round, in recent years, Chinese New Year celebrations have expanded Chinatown's influence throughout the city centre.

16. The Lowry

Location: Salford Quays, Greater Manchester, England, UK

The Lowry features three performance spaces, which play host to musicals, comedy and more. Long ago, some very astute individuals thought that the area where Salford and Trafford meet, the abandoned quays that previously comprised a vibrant dockland, would make an ideal leisure destination out of all the things to do in Manchester. Now that the city centre is only 10 minutes away.

The Lowry is a popular venue for great theatre, including West End hits and world premieres. After the play, there is shopping, a movie theatre, dining options, and lots of places to unwind, so culture enthusiasts, sports enthusiasts, and shopaholics can all enjoy themselves.

Best Bars In Manchester

Explore Manchester's top bars to indulge in the city's thriving nightlife and find a variety of craft drinks, regional beers, and hip environments:

17. Brewery Tours

Location: Manchester, England, UK

Manchester produces some of the finest craft beer in the world. Make sure you sample some of the city’s finest. Brewery tours during regular hours are one of the top things to do in Manchester for individuals who want to try beers straight from the tank.

18. Port Street Beer House

Location: Manchester, England, UK

Out of all the things to do in Manchester, it is perhaps the best place to head for a pint with friends or alone (hey! each to their own). The Port Street Beer House is considered one of the best bars in Manchester. The place is so dedicated to their spirits that it doesn't even have a food menu, so you know you’re here for one thing and one thing only.

19. Piccadilly Tap

Location: Manchester, England, UK

Another crown jewel in Manchester, beer lovers swear by this place. If you wish to try different kinds of beer, this is definitely the place for you.

20. Alphabet

Location: Manchester, England, UK

A perfect place for hanging out with your friends and enjoying a drink or two. Alphabet is an ideal spot if you’re looking for a quiet and casual time out.

Fun things to do in Manchester

Here are some fun and exciting activities to try out in Manchester that will keep you entertained and engaged:

21. Castlefield Urban Heritage Park

Location: Manchester, England, UK

The first urban heritage park in the world, Castlefield is a lovely site to come to on a sunny day. A network of towpaths runs along the canal's edge and takes tourists through bridges, cosy bars, and charming canal boats.

The region has the remains of a Roman fort called Mamucium, as well as a rebuilt entrance. The Science and Industry Museum is located in the region, which was a centre for the industry starting in the 1700s. There are also some Victorian warehouses that have been renovated. It’s widely recognised as one of the famous places in Manchester. 

22. Inflata Nation

Location: Manchester, England, UK

The most absurd theme park in Manchester is InflataNation. On a wet afternoon, you should visit this enormous arena that is jam-packed with inflatables. Ride the vertical drop slides or don a harness to bungee jump from a platform while freefalling. Battle it out on the podiums or challenge one other in an Inflata Race a la Ninja Warrior. There is a tonne of entertainment available here, making this theme park one of the best things in Manchester!

23. Lake District National Park

Location: Cumbria, North West England, UK

The tallest peak in England, Scafell Pike is located in the Lake District National Park, one of Manchester’s famous places. Rolling green hills and vast lakes define the region. William Wordsworth's poems and Beatrix Potter's paintings were both influenced by it. The Lake District offers numerous charming communities to explore as well as winding country roads and picturesque landscapes. This is an experience you surely don't wanna miss, and boasts a reputation as a Manchester must visit!

24. The Crystal Maze

Location: Manchester, England, UK 

One of the most cherished TV programmes from the 1990s, The Crystal Maze, is now available for participation by viewers. To conquer the Maze, gather your friends. To earn the greatest score, complete puzzles and overcome both physical and mental obstacles. For crystal collection and time-saving strategies, visit the industrial, medieval, Aztec, and futuristic zones. Your time in "the Dome" increases as you gather more crystals. Without a question, this is among the most fun things to do in Manchester.

25. Coffee Crawl

Location: Manchester, England, UK

Artisanal coffee culture in Manchester is booming and going on a coffee crawl is one of the best things to do in Manchester! If you're in the Northern Quarter, head straight for Takk, an Icelandic restaurant, the expansive, modernist Foundation Coffee House, or the cosy Fig + Sparrow, which lays a strong emphasis on locally produced ingredients. You may find Pot Kettle Black in the Barton Arcade on the other side of the city, in Deansgate. 

26. Street Art Tour

Location: Manchester, England, UK

The best street art in the city may be found in Manchester's trendy Northern Quarter. Originally dilapidated and neglected, the area has subsequently transformed into a thriving hub for artists and creatives in the city. On a street art tour, you may see the best murals in the city and discover the stories behind some of the most significant paintings.‍

27. AO Arena

Location: Manchester, England, UK 

With a capacity of up to 21,000 people, the AO Arena is the second-largest indoor arena in Europe. The biggest names in music perform here. On any given night, there is also a complete schedule of musical acts, boxing contests, comedy shows, and symphony performances, so you can be sure that your calendar will be packed with events. It’s one of the exciting Manchester attractions. 

28. Libraries

Location: Manchester, England, UK

The Central Library fronts the list of things to do in Manchester is a stunning structure with a plethora of material inside. It took four years and £50 million to renovate this amazing piece of architecture, which is now a must-see. Chetham's in Manchester is the oldest public library still in operation in the English-speaking world.

It is a remarkable location filled with antiquarian books and Hogwarts-style dark, wood-panelled halls. Additionally, Deansgate is home to the Victorian Gothic John Rylands Library and the Portico Library, a secret retreat built in the Greek revival style in 1806.

29. Gulliver's World Theme Park

Location: Warrington, Cheshire, England, UK

The whole family or a group of pals who end up becoming family will enjoy Gulliver's World. It's particularly ideal for the younger generation with over 25 rides spread across six themed regions. For those who are more daring, there is a classic wooden roller coaster as well as thrilling log flumes, carousels, and water rides. There are rides themed to dinosaurs, pirates, traditional fairytales, and the wild west among the six zones. A skate park, ice rink, and laser tag war arena are also inside attractions. The theme park is a top attraction in Manchester, perfect for those seeking activities.

30. Beech Road

Location: Manchester, England, UK

A tranquil, charming street in the Chorlton neighbourhood, teeming with independent cafes and stores. Take your pick from the row of adorable little cafés that line Beech Road after a night out on the town. With a cheeky Bloody Mary and a breakfast burger with a brioche bun that will knock your socks off, you can rest your weary head on The Laundrette's protected terrace.

things to do on Manchester map

And with that, you now know more about things to do in Manchester than most people. Although we know that 30 probably won't be enough, it’s certainly worth a good place to start with. And by the time you’re done exploring these 30 things to do in Manchester, we would have come up with 60 things to do in Manchester, so don't worry, you won't run out of things to do.

Psst! A little secret for those who just scroll through till the end without actually reading, our Manchester city guide covers most of the topics written but not all. So if you missed something above, do give it a read again.

Are you looking to settle your student life in Manchester? Check out our student accommodations in Manchester that vouch to give a high quality life & give you the best student living experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it approximately cost for things to do in Manchester?

How do i get around in Manchester?

What are some things to do in Manchester on a weekend?

Do I need a car in Manchester?

Is Manchester tram free?