21 Fun Things to Do in Manchester, UK | 2023 (with Photos)
Manchester, England is a city that never fails to impress visitors with its rich political history. The city is known as the industrial city for its role in the industrial revolution in the UK, as well as its role in world football with Manchester United Football Club.
This city offers diverse activities and attractions, where there is truly something for everyone.
Whether you're a history buff, a foodie, a shopaholic, or simply looking for a good time, this city is the perfect destination to satisfy all your cravings.
Let's explore some fun things to do in Manchester and discover why this is one of the most popular destinations in the UK.
Most Recommended Thing to Do
Manchester United Museum & Stadium Tour
Top Choice Hotel
The Midland Hotel
Our Top Choice Restaurant
Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife
Junkyard Golf Club
Best Time to Visit
Summer is the best time to visit Manchester.
Cool and variable, ranging from 10-20 degrees Celsius.
Buses, trams, trains, taxis, bicycles, walkways, car rentals.
Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)
My Top Recommendation
Start your adventure with a visit to the iconic Manchester Town Hall, where you can marvel at its stunning gothic architecture and soak in the city's history. Wander through the bustling streets of the Northern Quarter, a hub of creativity and independent boutiques. Stop by Afflecks, an alternative market where you can find unique treasures and embrace the city's diverse arts scene.
For sports enthusiasts, catching a match at Old Trafford Stadium is a must, as the electric atmosphere of a Manchester United game is an experience like no other. Complete your day by indulging in mouthwatering international cuisine at one of the city's many diverse restaurants, reflecting Manchester's multicultural makeup.
What You'll Need to Bring
- Valid passport
- Clothing suitable for the weather and activities
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Adapter for electrical outlets
- Travel insurance
- Local currency or credit cards
- Guidebook or map of the city
- Any necessary medications
- Mobile phone and charger
- Camera or smartphone for capturing memories
Table of Contents
1. Take the Manchester City Stadium Tour - The Etihad Stadium
Manchester City is the fierce rival of local Premier League neighbors Manchester United.
The Manchester City Stadium Tour offers an exciting opportunity to go behind the scenes of what has now become one of the most famous football clubs in the world.
Located at the Etihad Stadium, this guided tour provides fans and football enthusiasts with a chance to explore the inner workings of Manchester City FC.
You'll get access to exclusive areas such as the players' tunnel, dressing rooms, and pitchside, allowing you to experience the electric atmosphere firsthand.
Knowledgeable guides share fascinating insights and anecdotes about the club's history, legendary players, and memorable moments.
Whether you're a die-hard City fan or simply curious about the world of football, the Manchester City Stadium Tour is a must-visit experience.
2. Take the Manchester United Stadium Tour - Old Trafford
The Manchester United Stadium Tour offers an unforgettable experience for football fans and admirers of one of the most storied clubs in the sport's history.
Located at Old Trafford, the tour allows visitors to explore the iconic stadium and get a glimpse into the rich heritage of Manchester United. You'll have the opportunity to visit the players' tunnel, step onto the pitch, and even sit in the manager's dugout.
The museum showcases the club's impressive trophy collection, memorabilia, and interactive exhibits that chronicle the club's illustrious past. Expert guides provide fascinating insights into the club's history, legendary players, and iconic moments.
Whether you're a passionate United supporter or simply appreciate the sport, the Manchester United Stadium Tour promises an immersive and unforgettable journey into the heart of this revered football institution.
3. See Historic Carriages at the Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester
The Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester is a must-visit for anyone interested in transportation history. The extensive collection of historic carriages, including trams, buses, and trains, offers a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of transportation in the UK.
The fully restored Edwardian tram is a standout exhibit, with period furnishings and vintage advertisements that transport visitors back in time. Interactive exhibits and displays provide a deeper understanding of how transportation has shaped Manchester's history.
Moreover, the museum showcases the world's oldest railroad station. Whether you're a transportation enthusiast or simply curious about the city's past, the Museum of Transport is a great destination to learn and explore.
4. Go Axe Throwing at Whistle Punks
Whistle Punks is a unique and fun activity that's perfect for anyone looking for an unforgettable experience in Manchester.
As an axe-throwing venue, Whistle Punks offers a chance to learn and perfect your throwing technique under the guidance of experienced instructors. With a range of different targets and games available, you're sure to have a fun and challenging time.
The venue also provides a social atmosphere, with a bar and kitchen for drinks and snacks, making it an ideal destination for groups of friends or colleagues on a rainy afternoon.
Overall, Whistle Punks is a thrilling and entertaining activity you won't miss in Manchester.
5. Support Local Artists at Manchester Craft and Design Centre
If you're interested in supporting local artists and finding unique and handmade pieces, the Manchester Craft and Design Center is the most unique Manchester art gallery.
The center is home to a diverse range of independent artists and designers, who showcase their work in an inspiring and creative environment. Around, there are notable and famous street art pieces.
You can browse through a wide range of handmade products, from jewelry and ceramics to textiles and prints, and chat with the artists to learn more about their creative processes.
Whether you're looking for a special gift or something to decorate your own home, the Manchester Craft and Design Center offers an opportunity to discover the textile industry and support local talent.
6. Explore the Unique Chatsworth House
Chatsworth House is one of the UK's most magnificent stately homes, offering visitors an opportunity to step back in time and explore the grandeur of a bygone era.
The house is home to a stunning collection of art, furniture, and antiquities, showcasing the wealth and taste of the Dukes of Devonshire over centuries.
The expansive gardens and parklands offer picturesque walks, fountains, sculptures, and a maze, while the estate has a farmyard and adventure playground for kids. If you are looking for outdoor activities in Manchester, UK, this is a great spot.
With so much to see and explore, Chatsworth House is an excellent destination for history buffs, architecture enthusiasts, and anyone looking for a day out surrounded by beauty and elegance.
7. Learn About Past Triumphs at the National Football Museum
Located in the heart of Manchester city center, the National Football Museum is surrounded by a bustling cityscape, making it an ideal destination for football fans.
The museum's indoor activities provide a fun and educational way to spend a day, especially during rainy or colder weather. Visitors can explore the museum's vast collection of football-related artifacts and memorabilia, including historic jerseys, trophies, and equipment from some of the most iconic moments in the football history of Manchester United and other notable football teams.
Interactive exhibits, games, and simulations offer visitors a chance to experience the sport in new and exciting ways. The museum's central location makes it easily accessible, with plenty of nearby dining, shopping, and entertainment options.
Overall, the National Football Museum in Manchester is a must-visit destination for football enthusiasts, offering a unique and immersive experience in the heart of a bustling city.
8. Lead a Team of Your Friends and Solve Puzzles at The Crystal Maze Studios
The Crystal Maze is a unique and exciting activity that offers an unforgettable experience for groups of friends or colleagues.
Based on the popular 1990s TV show, the Crystal Maze challenges teams to work together to solve puzzles and complete challenges in a variety of themed rooms.
With a range of challenges to choose from, each team member can contribute their unique skills to help their group succeed.
The immersive experience is sure to get your heart racing and your mind working, making it an ideal destination for a fun and challenging night out in Manchester.
9. Join the Fun Manchester Scavenger Hunt
The Manchester Scavenger Hunt is a fun and interactive activity that offers a unique way to explore the city. Participants are provided with a list of clues and challenges, which they must solve to progress through the hunt.
Along the way, you'll discover some of Manchester's most iconic landmarks and hidden gems, while also learning more about the city's history and culture. Some of them include the Royal Exchange Theatre of Northern England, City Hall, Manchester University, and part of Old Trafford.
The scavenger hunt is a great activity for groups of friends, families, or coworkers, and offers a chance to work together to solve puzzles and explore the city in a fun and engaging way.
10. Meet Dinosaurs at The Manchester Museum
The Manchester Museum is a great destination for those interested in history, science, and culture.
One of the most exciting exhibits of the Manchester Museum is the Ice Age Animals Gallery, which offers visitors a glimpse into the world of prehistoric creatures.
The exhibit of Manchester Museum features a range of specimens, including skeletons and reconstructions of mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, and giant deer.
Interactive displays and activities of the Manchester Museum provide a fun and engaging experience for visitors of all ages, while informative panels offer insights into the natural history of these fascinating creatures.
Overall, the Manchester Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in prehistoric life and the wonders of the natural world.
11. Wander in the Charming City Centre and Manchester Town Hall
One of the highlights of the city is the city center, which is home to many historic landmarks, trendy bars, restaurants, and high-end shopping outlets offering works by many fashion designers.
One of the must-see attractions in the area is the Manchester Town Hall, a stunning Victorian building that dominates Albert Square. The grandiose building of Manchester Town Hall boasts intricate Gothic architecture and is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of neo-gothic municipal buildings in the country.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the building and marvel at the opulent interiors, including the famous Great Hall, which features a magnificent pipe organ and a stunning stained glass window depicting Manchester's coat of arms.
A trip to the city center is a must for anyone visiting Manchester. You can explore Canal Street for a few hours and enjoy its thriving arts and drink scene. Further, proceed to Victoria Street for some world-class shopping.
12. Try Local Craft Beers on a Beer Tour Through Downtown Manchester
Exploring the local craft beer scene on a beer tour through downtown Manchester is a must-do activity for beer enthusiasts.
Manchester, England is home to a wide variety of breweries and pubs, each with its unique flavors and styles made with Manchester pride.
A beer tour allows visitors to sample a selection of local brews while learning about the brewing process and the history of Manchester's beer industry.
Popular stops on the tour include the historic Marble Arch Inn, the popular Cloudwater Brew Co, and the award-winning brewery, The Runaway Brewery.
With knowledgeable guides and a relaxed atmosphere, a beer tour through downtown Manchester is a fun and educational way to experience the city's vibrant craft beer culture.
13. Explore Old Cells at the Greater Manchester Police Museum
The Greater Manchester Police Museum is a fascinating attraction that provides visitors with a unique opportunity to explore the history of law enforcement in the region.
Housed in a former police station and courthouse in Manchester's Northern Quarter, the Greater Manchester Police Museum offers a range of exhibits that showcase the evolution of policing over the years.
One of the highlights of the Greater Manchester Police Museum is the chance to explore the old police cells, where prisoners were once held in cramped and uncomfortable conditions.
Other displays include vintage police vehicles, uniforms, and equipment, as well as exhibits exploring the role of women in law enforcement and the fight against terrorism.
With informative guides and interactive exhibits, the Police Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of policing.
14. Enjoy a Quiet Afternoon at the Castlefield Urban Heritage Park
Castlefield Urban Heritage Park in Manchester, England is the perfect place to have great fun and enjoy a peaceful afternoon tea. This tranquil park is situated in the heart of the city and is a great spot to relax and unwind.
The park offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy traditional English tea with a modern twist, featuring a selection of sandwiches, scones, cakes, and pastries, all served on elegant china.
If you want to get out of the city, Heaton Park is one of the largest municipal parks in Europe, covering over 600 acres. It offers a wide range of activities for visitors, from the boating lake to exploring the beautiful botanical garden. The park is also home to Heaton Hall, an 18th-century neoclassical mansion with stunning architecture and stained glass windows.
And if you're looking to venture beyond the park's boundaries, the Lake District National Park is just a short drive away, offering even more opportunities for outdoor adventures on a day trip.
15. Marvel at the Beautiful Manchester Central Library
Manchester Central Library is a stunning architectural gem that is not to be missed. Located in the heart of Manchester, England, the library's neo-classical design is both grand and impressive.
Inside, visitors can explore the extensive collections of books, manuscripts, and archives, or simply admire the magnificent interior of this oldest surviving public library.
Indoor activities in Manchester Central Library include visiting the magnificent reading room, complete with an ornate domed ceiling and intricate plasterwork, as well as the historic Shakespeare Hall, which features a mural depicting scenes from Shakespeare's plays.
With free admission and regular exhibitions and events, this library is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in literature, history, or architecture.
Apart from this one, another notable library that you can visit is Portico Library, a hidden gem of Manchester city built in the Greek revival style. Another one worth mentioning is the John Rylands Library.
16. Play Non-Stop at Legoland Discovery Centre
The Legoland Discovery Centre is a fun-filled destination for families and Lego enthusiasts alike. In addition to the popular Lego exhibits and rides, the center offers special events involving mental and physical challenges to visitors.
The attraction features several interactive experiences, such as a Lego Ninjago laser maze and a climbing wall, where visitors can test their agility and problem-solving skills.
Other highlights include the Lego Factory Tour, where visitors can see how Lego bricks are made, and the 4D cinema, which features special effects that bring Lego characters to life.
With something for everyone, the Manchester Legoland Discovery Centre is a great destination for a fun and exciting day out in Manchester, England.
17. Visit the Manchester Jewish Museum
Manchester, England is rich in museums and opportunities to learn. One museum that stands out is the Manchester Jewish Museum, which is located in the historic former synagogue with stained glass windows in Cheetham Hill.
The Manchester Jewish Museum offers a fascinating look at the city's Jewish community and culture in Manchester, with interactive exhibits and multimedia displays that bring the past to life.
18. Visit the Imperial War Museum North
For those interested in military history, the Imperial War Museum North is a must-visit.
Located in a striking building designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, the Imperial War Museum North offers a powerful and thought-provoking experience that explores the impact of modern conflict on people's lives.
Another one for historians is the Roman Fort at Castlefield.
19. Take a Trip to the Manchester United Museum
Sports fans won't want to miss the stadium tour of the Manchester United Museum, located at the club's Old Trafford stadium sports facilities. The museum is home to an impressive collection of memorabilia, trophies, and interactive exhibits that celebrate the history and heritage of one of the world's most successful football clubs.
Moreover, the very Old Trafford area, also known as Salford Quays, is a good place for shopping.
20. Check out the People's History Museum
For those interested in social history, the People's History Museum offers a fascinating look at the struggles and triumphs of ordinary people throughout British history.
The People's History Museum showcases artifacts, documents, and multimedia exhibits that explore themes such as democracy, equality, and social justice.
21. Visit Art Galleries and a Botanical Garden
In addition to museums, Manchester also has several art galleries and cultural centers, including the Whitworth Art Gallery and the Manchester Art Gallery, which showcase a range of works from local and international artists to modern and contemporary art.
And for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors, the Botanical Garden is an amazing place to start. The Botanical Garden of Manchester is a hidden gem offering a day away from the concrete jungle.
FAQs About Fun Things to Do in Manchester, UK
Below are answers to commonly asked questions about fun things to do in Manchester, England.
How can I have fun in Manchester?
Yes, of course you can have fun in Manchester. The city offers a wide range of activities for visitors looking to have fun. History buffs can explore the city's museums such as Imperial War Museum North, or Science and Industry Museum. Moreover, you can visit the Manchester Cathedral or the Town Hall if you are mainly in the city center.
What do people do in Manchester?
There are many things that people do in Manchester, England that offer so much fun for the whole family. Visit the Manchester Baby at the Science and Industry Museum, or head to Heaton Park, Palace Theatre, and the Whitworth Art Gallery.
Additionally, visit the Manchester Cathedral, Chinatown at Faulkner Street, Piccadilly Gardens in the Northern Quarter, and the John Rylands Library.
Are 2 days in Manchester enough?
Yes, 2 days are enough in Manchester if you have a well-planned itinerary. Make sure to see some of the city's highlights, such as Cathedral Gardens, the Museum of Transport, and a distillery tour. Also, it could include the Science and Industry Museum, John Rylands Library, and the Manchester art gallery.
What can I do on a day off in Manchester?
On a day off in Manchester, England, you can visit any of the many excellent museums and galleries, such as the Museum of Science and Industry, the Manchester Art Gallery, and the People's History Museum.
Explore the Northern Quarter of this Northern English city, conveniently located close to the street art scenes, street food shops, great restaurants, entertainment centers, delicious cocktails, and cafes.
Summing Up: Fun Things to Do in Manchester, UK
Manchester is on our list of places to visit in the UK. It offers a variety of fun things to do for people of all ages and interests. The city center is a bustling hub of activity, with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues to explore.
The city's fascinating history, delicious food, and arts scene add to the charm of this vibrant destination. Visit Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Cathedral, Old Trafford, or Heaton Park - there is something for every taste in this city and its surroundings.
Whether you want to shop till you drop, explore the beautiful game of football at the National Football Museum, or visit one of the city's famous stadia, Manchester is the perfect place for fun activities and unforgettable experiences.