Looking for things to do this weekend in Manchester? There’s an abundance of great places within easy reach of the city’s stations
Simply travel here by train to enjoy anything and everything from a heavenly brunch, exploring spectacular street art and soaking up the amazing culture that the city has to offer.
Your Friday night in Manchester Uncovered
For theatre fans
Pay a visit to HOME Manchester for an exciting line-up of contemporary theatre, dance shows and independent movies. HOME also boasts in-house art galleries and cafes so is the perfect place to chill out on an evening. For a taste of the West End in the North, check out The Palace Theatre or The Lowry, for all-singing, all-dancing-productions of your favourite shows.
Photo credit: Paul Karalius
Family friendly Friday nights
For something more family friendly, show off your skills with some late night bowling at All Star Lanes [Deansgate]. While you’re there, treat yourself to one of their incredible burgers or some of their American style sides to tuck into while you bowl. Another Friday evening activity that is great for little kids and big kids alike is Twilight Night at Bounce Manchester. From 7-9.45pm every Friday, the lights go off and the music goes up for a glowed-up trampolining party.
Café Football at the National Football Museum is a great pick if you’re looking for a spot of casual dining. The children’s menu is full of great options and has a wide range of milkshakes and soft drinks to choose from. If you don’t fancy fish fingers, grownups can tuck into a range of classics including pizzas, pies, burgers and some incredible craft beers.
Your Perfect Saturday in Manchester
The Northern Quarter
Take a walk around Manchester’s Northern Quarter; a cultural and artistic hub, full of hip coffee joints, secret bars, galleries and street art. Spend an hour getting lost in Affleck’s, an ‘emporium of eclecticism’ where you can buy everything from bespoke bags at Biggi Bagga, kitsch clothing at Thunder Egg to local handmade jewellery at Sour Cherry.
Manchester Craft and Design Centre is a former Victorian fish market that is now home to some of the best design and craft in the UK. Watch talented artists work with textiles, jewellery, ceramics, prints. Or learn a new skill yourself by signing up for a craft workshop. When you’ve finished, put your feet up in the Oak St. Café Bar and soak up the electric and eclectic vibe of this incredible building.
For sport lovers
Pick a side in one of the world’s fiercest football rivalries and attend a home game at Man United’s Old Trafford Stadium or cheer on Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. For even more sport on your Saturday, pay a visit to the National Football Museum.
Photo credit: Paul Corcoran
For the shoppers
Stroll around Manchester’s Spinningfields for a unique mix of shopping, culture and history, as well as some of the best bars and restaurants in Manchester. Visit The Avenue for the best in international fashion, from Mulberry to Vivienne Westwood. Designer department store, Flannels, is a must if you’re on the lookout for something exclusive. Or if you’re looking for inspiration before you hit the high street stores in Manchester Arndale Centre.
Things to do in Manchester for free!
For a dose of culture, the People’s History Museum is the national museum of democracy, featuring installations and exhibitions on ‘ideas that are worth fighting for’. Close by, you’ll find The John Rylands Library. One of the most architecturally stunning buildings in the city, which is home to one of the world’s finest collections of rare books and manuscripts.
Or take a stroll through the University of Manchester and discover the many free things to do there. The gallery in the park is the perfect place to spend a few hours relaxing and admiring your leafy surroundings.
Manchester is home to some of the best bands to come out of the UK. Such as The Smiths, Oasis and Joy Division! Music is at the heart of the city and there is an endless supply of cool music bars to suit every taste in Manchester.
Pay a visit to The Deaf Institute to see up and coming live bands and DJs. Or Band on the Wall, which has been at the heart of the city’s music scene for decades. Alternatively, take a walk to the famous Salford Lads Clubs to discover the birthplace of The Smiths.
To end a great day on a roof terrace, visit the Black Dog Ballroom on New Wakefield Street. Known locally as one of the best rooftop bars in Manchester, it’s also home to a number of pool tables and karaoke booths.
Things to do on a Sunday in Manchester
The best Sunday roasts in Manchester
After a spot of exploring, there’s no better way to end the day than with a delicious roast dinner. If you’re on the lookout for something different, Solita in the Northern Quarter is a must-visit for fantastic food and drink. People come from far and wide to try their famous Sunday lunch burger.
All Northerners agree that a good gravy can take a Sunday roast from good to great, and Bock Bière Café makes this delicious sauce the main event. Available on Sundays and Mondays, the Tib Lane eatery offers a mouth-watering roast fondue for two. Featuring eight-hour slow cooked beef brisket or chicken, sautéed roast potatoes, waffle style Yorkshire Puddings and seasonal veg to drip in a ‘hot red wine gravy lava’.
Photo credit: Bock Bière Café
Indoor Activities in Manchester - go karting
After Sunday brunch, if you’re looking for things to do with the kids in Manchester, why not try something new and have an adrenaline-filled Sunday at TeamSport Go-Karting Manchester Hidden below Manchester Arena, you’ll find the city’s first indoor go-karting track, don’t forget to take advantage of their Super Sunday deal which can save you up to 50% on selected Sundays when you book in advance.
For culture vultures
For a cultural pit-stop, Manchester Street-Art is one of the city’s most creative outlets and a fantastic thing to do on a Sunday, but if you’re not sure where to find it then Skyliner Street Art is there to help. The team runs walking tours on alternate Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year – it’s a great way to get to know the city and appreciate the fantastic work of local and visiting artists.
For a true Manchester hidden gem visit The Hidden Gem (or St. Mary’s Catholic Church as it’s officially known). This little Manchester icon is tucked away on Mulberry Street and has been an active church since 1794. It’s famed for its collection of Stations of The Cross.
Finally, take a walk around Castlefield, an ancient Roman settlement that boasts one of the world’s oldest canals.