The best things to do in Manchester

Explore the best things to do in Manchester, a city rich in culture, history, and fun. Discover our top picks for a visit to Manny!

Becky blog author avanti social team

By the Avanti Web Team

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5 min read | 28 March 2024

A city that has championed blending the old with the new, Manchester is a vibrant hub that promises endless activities and fun. While this historical city is the perfect invitation for history buffs, it’s also a must-visit for families, adventurers, and more.

From its selection of museums to its thriving arts scene and idyllic parks, Manchester has something for everyone. Every corner of this city is buzzing with energy and excitement, ready for you to explore it all.

Let’s uncover some of the best things Manchester has to offer.

Find the top things to do in Manchester

With so much to see and do, you might find yourself overwhelmed trying to plan your day, or days, out in Manchester. But here are our recommendations so you can enjoy a trip here that’s as exciting and engaging as you want it to be.

The best museums in Manchester

Manchester is simply brimming with history. From its role in the Industrial Revolution to its shaping of modern British culture, it’s easy to explore its storied past.

Our first recommendation is to take a trip to the Manchester Museum. After its reopening in February 2023, the modern extension and beautiful galleries provide opportunities for curiosity and wonder.

With new exhibits like the South Asia Gallery and Golden Mummies of Egypt, there is so much world history to explore within the city. Palaeontology enthusiasts can walk with the giants and meet the museum’s Tyrannosaurus Rex and Tenontosaurus display.

No matter what you’re interested in, Manchester Museum is bustling with history to explore.

Suitable for all ages, its vast collections and exhibitions will give a captivating experience for everyone. In particular, you’ll want to check out the natural history exhibits and the new South Asia Gallery for an insight into global history and culture.

As the home to two Premier League teams, Manchester is a great place for football historians too. Manchester is synonymous with football, housing two of the biggest teams in the world.

Both Manchester United and Manchester City are open all year round if you want to soak up the sportsmanship and see the iconic grounds.

You can also discover the social history of the beautiful game at the National Football Museum, with four galleries, interactive games and an exciting programme of exhibitions, tours and workshops.
Old Trafford, Manchester

Fun things to do in Manchester with kids

As a great city to take your kids, there are plenty of fun things to do in Manchester for young adults and small children.

Curious minds of all ages will love a trip to the Science and Industry Museum. With plenty of interactive exhibits, it will let your young ones get hands-on with Manchester’s industrial history.

If you feel like that’s perhaps a little too serious for your kids, you needn’t worry. There are also plenty of more light-hearted, but equally engaging, exhibits. This includes the likes of ‘Operation Ouch! Food, Poo and You’, which will take them on a tour through the digestive system.

If the weather permits, you can also consider heading to Heaton Park. As one of the largest parks in Manchester, it’s the perfect spot for a family picnic. It also features a playground, a boating lake and, if they’re not tired of learning, a tram museum.

National Football Museum, Manchester

The best entertainment in Manchester

Manchester is famous for its music, which includes excellent venues like the New Century Hall. After years of hiding in plain sight, the rebirth of New Century brings Manchester’s music heritage back to life for a new generation.

The legendary venue features a sprung dance floor and incredible lighting systems that bring out the very best of any performer on the stage.

It doesn’t just stop at music though, as the ground floor of the three-story venue hosts a wealth of independent food traders. These traders are often cooking up a storm with an ever-evolving menu of local and globally inspired cuisine.

Music lovers will also find themselves easily immersed in Manchester’s vibrant music scene. The latest and most significant development in Manchester music is the development of the Co-op Live Arena. You might be able to enjoy seeing your favourite artist at the UK’s largest indoor music venue.

There’s also the HOME multi-arts centre, which combines cinema, theatre, and art under one roof. Whether you’re into indie films, contemporary theatre, or even just art exhibitions, HOME has it all.

Nightlife in Manchester

One of the newer editions to Manchester nightlife came in 2023 with the opening of Diecast, a new creative neighbourhood right by Piccadilly Station.

The 5000-capacity venue is home to Manchester’s biggest beer garden, their delicious House of Daiquiri, Open Air BBQ, and a pizzeria, all in one place.

It wouldn’t be Manchester nightlife without mentioning a local favourite, Mackie Mayor. The cosmopolitan food hall is housed in the Grade II listed market building on the edge of the Northern Quarter.

It’s the perfect spot for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, with great options for all diets and requirements. It includes several amazing food vendors, from pizza to steaks, nachos to Thai food, whatever you’re craving, they’ve got you covered.

Mackie Mayor, Manchester

Green spaces in Manchester

For those seeking greenery, look no further than the 154 acres of glorious gardens at RHS Garden Bridgewater. The inspiring oasis continues to evolve with help from designers and local community members alike.

Representing one of the largest gardening projects in Europe, RHS Bridgewater developed over a seven-year period to become a promising paradise, right in the heart of Salford.

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To take a look at more ways to save including using a Railcard, booking in advance, and booking as a group, visit our ways to save page.

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