Mancs are renowned for their MASSIVE love of a night out.
While the Haçienda might now be a block of (kinda ugly) flats, the legend that is a Manchester night out lives on – quite simply ‘cause there’s LOADS of party venues in the city.
And, it’s not all about clubbing either… ‘Real’ craft ale pubs are aplenty, and swanky cocktail bars (hello!) are way popular too. When it comes to Manchester nightlife, you’re pretty much spoilt for choice.
Whether you’re feelin’ trendy, indie, wild or sober, there’s SO much to do – and if you haven’t done your homework you just won’t know where to start.
But that’s where we come in. To help you decide the direction (trust us, you’ll need one) of your Manchester night out, we’ve put together a snazzy guide…
Night out in Manchester? Here are the hotspots
If you’re looking for decent Manchester nightlife, head to the famous Deansgate ‘cause you can’t go wrong. This mile-long stretch of upmarket bars, clubs and crazy taxi drivers is always lively, no matter what night of the week you’re heading out.
If you’re out for a good time there are LOADS of great bars, including tropical-themed The Liars Club, cosy traditional pub Oast House and, of course, Revolution Parsonage Gardens.
It’s here we bring the party ’til late with gorgeous cocktails, cool DJs and a sassy live sax player or two! The dancefloor’s always heaving so whether you’re after a night of chilled drinks in a classy venue (see above!) or a wild one until the early hours, we’ve got you covered.
Manchester’s Northern Quarter
In recent years, Manchester’s bohemian bit has fast become one of the most popular places for a night out. Here you’ll find some of Manc’s best independent bars and traditional pubs, plus cool graffiti, vintage shops and – you guessed it – hipsters galore.
The main concentration of bars is around the High Street/Thomas Street crossroads. This area is home to the likes of trendy TROF and Walrus (and it’s sister bar next-door, the aptly named Tusk).
Or, for a more laid back vibe, wander over to Tib Street and Oldham Street, passing by Cane & Grain and Kosmonaut, to find firm favourite Soup Kitchen and tiny tiki bar, Hula.
No matter what night of the week, there’s always something crazy going down around NQ. You might have to have the nose of a bar-loving bloodhound to find it, but even if you get lost you’ll have a sick time doing so.
If you travel a bit further south, past the sky-high Hilton hotel (known to Mancs by it’s true name, the Beetham Tower) you’ll arrive at Deansgate Locks.
The Locks is a row of plush chain bars, including Revolution Deansgate Locks bar and restaurant, housed in converted railway arches – which actually makes for some pretty cool interior design features.
While it’s relaxed and breezy in the day (it’s also a bit of a suntrap if it’s not raining!) The Locks comes alive by night.
Welcoming a fairly younger crowd, this spot is loud, lairy and great for a LOLs night in Manchester. Locals have a love/hate relationship with the Locks, but if you’re on the pull you can’t knock it.
Ah, the Printworks. Let’s talk about the Printworks.
Rewind a few years (to around the time Game of Thrones was set) and the Printworks was a pretty decent Manchester night out. These days, it’s a sad, soulless place with sticky floors, and a bad attitude.
The best thing about the Printworks? The cinema. Avoid this area at all costs. And if you happen to end up on a night out here? Grab a window seat, sit back, and watch the carnage ensue.
Oxford Road, Manchester
Oxford Road corridor is packed with cheap and cheerful places to eat and drink, with the same kinda student-y laid-back vibes of the Northern Quarter, only there’s more walking and slightly cheaper drinks.
Bars down here range from cosy and unique, through to downright outlandish. The Deaf Institute and Sound Control are a firm clubbing favourites, both close by to – that’s right folks – Revolution Oxford Road.
If you’re in need of things to do in Manchester at night, Oxford Road will guarantee you great food, interesting drinks and good music. Just watch out for cars and buses, as traffic can get pretty crazy!
Oxford Road is also home to the city’s two universities. That’s approximately 70,000 students. And that means this area is fair game for silliness (it’s not unheard of for groups to play Ring of Fire in the pub) so if you don’t fancy that, head on back to Deansgate.
And we couldn’t talk about Manchester nightlife without mentioning its banging live music scene…
Live music in Manchester
If you’re after things to do in Manchester at night and you happen to like live music, then look no further.
Not only is the city itself up to its tatas in talent, but international bands and artists flock there to perform every night of the week.
This makes Manchester one of THE places to visit for rock, indie and alternative gigs.
Best venues? You’ll find the big name pop acts at the MEN Arena or Castlefield Bowl, but independent spots like Albert Hall, Gorilla and Islington Mill are where the real action’s at for everything else.
Not a big drinker?
Sober things to do in Manchester
If you’re not a big drinker (U ok hun?) and you’re looking for some sober shizz to do in Manchester, you won’t be disappointed.
The city’s packed with quirky pastimes, from ping pong to the cat cafe, so you’ll never be bored. Ever.
Have some LOLs
The Comedy Store might be an obvious choice for a LOL or two in Manchester, but there are loads of cool alternative venues too.
The Frog and Bucket is a great example, regularly hosting up-and-coming comedy acts, placing emphasis on nurturing the talent of tomorrow.
Fortunately, this often means it’s proper cheap. So it’s great for a laugh on a budget.
In a group? Manchester cottoned on early to the craze for these escape room games, when Breakout Manchester opened its doors back in 2014.
You and your mates are locked in a themed room, before being given just one hour to figure out how to get the hell outta there.
Current ‘rooms’ include a detective’s office, a virus outbreak and a Madchester time warp. It’s pretty sick (and surprisingly tough!) – so long as you’re not claustrophobic!
Bowling… but better
Yes, bowling might make you think of hyperactive kids, bad food and headache-inducing carpets, but Manchester’s Dog Bowl is a totally different story.
The food’s decent and the bar’s pretty smart, which all pales into insignificance when you realise YOU’RE BOWLING. AND DRINKING. SURROUNDED BY ADULTS. AND IT’S LATE. AND PRETTY CLEAN.
You get the idea.
Getting to Manchester
Manchester is blessed – particularly if you’re into trainspotting (not the movie) – with awesome rail links. As in, you can get from Central London to Manchester Piccadilly in just 2 hours and 10 mins? That’s fast.
Transpennine Express, Northern Rail and East Midlands Trains also run routes into Manchester. These come from all major UK cities. Ideal, really!
If you’re the designated driver (gutted), you’ll be pleased to hear that Manc is VERY well-connected to the North West’s main motorways. The M60 ring road connects the city to the north, south east and west. It’s a can be a b*tch if you miss your turning, so best make sure you’ve got your BEST sat-nav deciphering mate sat up front.
When you get here, travelling around the city is a piece of cake. There’s LOADS of cheap buses, always a taxi when you need it or a Metrolink day pass is only a fiver. That’ll get you everywhere you need to go – and the trams are bright yellow and impossible to miss.
Have the BEST night out in Manchester!
Home to no less than FOUR Revolution bars in Manchester, it’s a cracking night whichever way you slice it.
If you’re looking for a late night, cocktail-fueled affair, we know just the place. Manchester Parsonage Gardens brings live DJs, a packed dancefloor, AND the perfect sound of live sax to the city EVERY Friday and Saturday night, playing all the hottest tunes that you can shake yo thang to.
Get involved, and book a table, ‘cause this is one Manchester night out you won’t wanna miss.