15 Things to Do in Manchester
Make the most of your time in Manchester with this ultimate list of things to do in Manchester perfect for any length trip.
If you’re travelling all the way to Manchester, it’s best to pack your visit with all the best things to see and do in the major city. This Northwest location is known for a lot of things, with many landmarks to marvel at and places to explore. We’ve whittled down a few of the best so you can create the perfect visit!
1. Manchester Town Hall
We’re kicking off the list with a building that’s smack-bang in the middle of the city centre – Manchester Town Hall. This particular landmark was the hub of the city in the late 1800s and features some epic architecture that’s not to miss. You can take a tour of the inside or just enjoy the outside and learn a pinch of history while you’re there, either way it’s a great (and easy to get to) visit.
Albert Sq | Website
2. The Trafford Centre
For a spot of shopping, you can’t beat The Trafford Centre. We’d be shocked if you couldn’t find what you were looking for in this massive shopping centre, from high street to high end and a multitude of café’s and restaurants too. You can even discover new things and have a few pints all within the massive building if you like! Granted this is a little outside of the city centre, but worth the trip for a shopping spree.
The Orient | Website
For a deeper look into the culture and modern community around Manchester, pencil in a visit to HOME Manchester. Officially the hub for international contemporary art featuring a theatre, cinema and gallery just to name a few things. The venue hosts a lot of events throughout the year so check their calendar before you arrive to catch a world-renowned show or enjoy a poetry evening.
2 Tony Wilson Place | Website
4. Chill Factore
For a spot of adrenaline while you’re in Manchester, you can’t beat the one of a kind Chill Factore centre. These indoor slopes will give you a prime opportunity to whip on your ski’s and try your skills in a variety of challenging lessons – without having to leave the UK! Great for a unique day out, things to do in Manchester don’t get any more memorable than you and your pals enjoying some snow-filled fun.
7 Trafford Way | Website
5. Manchester United Football Stadium & Club Tour
Trying to please a group of football fans while in Manchester? Take a little tour around Manc’s home team stadium and club rooms. Although it may be a touchy subject if you’re a supporter of an opposing team (especially if you’re a Man City blue), getting to talk about all things football for a few hours is always an opportunity to jump at!
On the flipside, there’s always the Manchester City stadium tour for if you’re an avid supporter of Manchester’s other footy team. Either way, you’re in for a treat if you’re a football fan!
Old Trafford | Website
6. Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Bus
To get a better look at Manchester with some information from an expert guide, grab a seat on the Hop on Hop Off Bus. Traversing around the city centre, this sightseeing tour is a fantastic way to get to know all about the city without so much as moving a muscle. Especially in the summer, this bus is a nice way to break up the day and make the most of your visit to the massive city. Tickets are cheap and the buses run all day, all year long so why not!
Albert Square | Website
7. Junkyard Golf
Slip a bit of competitive fun into any weekend away in Manchester with the truly unique Junkyard Golf. An awesome combination of a bar meets neon venue meets mini golf experience, your entire group can test their golfing skills while gulping on a few quirky cocktails on the various cool courses. Short and sweet, you can find a round of junkyard golf down by Deansgate and slide the experience between any other plans you already have.
Make a night of it and add some of the best bars in Manchester into your evening!
2 First St | Website
8. Manchester Museum
If you have a spare few hours for something relaxing or you’re dying to know more about the history of one of the UK’s major cities, make a beeline for Manchester Museum. With ever-changing exhibitions, different events and the classic collection for viewing, it’s a great hotspot for culture and art. The Museum houses everything from science to culture and even research up until modern day, you could spend hours learning a thing or two here!
Oxford Rd | Website
9. Victoria Baths
An alternative to the Manchester Museum is the Victoria Baths, where you can learn a lot of the history of the city right in the thick of things. This 1900’s grade II listed building was once an eye-catching swimming baths, but now takes guests on a tour of the venue and city’s history. Cheap and cheerful, these enthusiastic tours are a unique daytime activity that will get you excited about the city in which you’re staying.
Hathersage Road | Website
10. Band on the Wall
Manchester can go up against the best cities in the UK for a thriving music scene, and Band on the Wall is a true contributor to keeping the vibe alive. Open for the best part of a century, this music venue on the corner is a space for local, national and international artists to please the crowds in the heart of The Northern Quarter. Graced with major bands such as The Buzzcocks and Joy Division, you can find some excellent events to spice up your Manchester visit.
25 Swan St | Website
On any list of things to do in Manchester, you’ll find Chinatown – and the district of the city has earned it’s place! Bringing a completely different atmosphere, cuisine and vibrancy to the city, Chinatown is a great place to pay a visit (even if it’s just for the amazing food). Impressively, Manchester’s Chinatown is the second-largest in the UK and third largest in the world, bringing important Chinese events to the city centre like Chinese New Year in February. Chinatown is also in Liverpool - check out the rest of the things to do in Liverpool!
Chinatown | Website
12. The Royal Exchange
Fancy catching a show while in Manchester? You can’t get a better venue than the Royal Exchange theatre, a long-standing place for acting and comedy, plays and shows alike. There’s always something on throughout the year here, and you might be surprised by how moving some of the productions at this veteran theatre. If you have a few hours that you want to fill with culture, try a show guys!
Royal Exchange | Website
13. Heaton Park
Heaton Park is the perfect break from all the hustle and bustle of the inner city, surrounded by nature and historic buildings for a slice of peace and quiet amidst city life. It’s also a great place to visit for free, you can take a picnic or a few beers and relax in the sun for a couple of hours without a care in the world. For something more fast-paced, take a peek at the ever-rotating events that happen at Heaton Park and get involved!
Middleton Rd | Website
14. The Northern Quarter
Every city has a unique feature, and a lot of Manchester’s charm and appeal stems from the quirky Northern Quarter of the city. Known nationwide as the Bohemian area of the city, you’ll find buildings covered in amazing art, independent cafes and tiny shops like no other. From original record shops to the infamous Affleck’s Palace, you could spend hours wandering around this district of the centre to uncover hidden gems.
Northern Quarter | Website
15. O2 Apollo
We believe that everyone should catch a show once in their lifetime at the 02 Apollo of Manchester. From stand-up comedians to international artists, drag queens to theatre performances, there is literally something for everyone here. The Apollo’s weekdays and weekends are packed full all year of shows to enjoy, so it’s well worth having a gander at what they have to offer when you’re up in Manchester’s neck of the woods.
Stockport Rd | Website
In between all of your group activities in Manchester you may want different things to do, especially since group experiences are so popular! No matter what the occasion, there's something on the list for every activity weekend with friends or family.