With a burgeoning creative scene, the city is bursting with attractions offering hours of entertainment for culture vultures, whether by day or by night.
Performance & Music
A myriad of performance venues exist, where everything from afternoon recitals, live theatre productions, plays and stand-up comedy can be enjoyed seven nights a week. Both Manchester Opera House and Palace Theatre offer high profile productions, classical opera and touring West End shows all year round. On Oxford Road, the Contact Theatre's castle-like building will enchant visitors with its innovative, community focused approach to the visual arts.
For something a little different, the Royal Exchange Theatre is a theatre-in-the-round offering a choice of classic and avant-garde plays, poetry and witty comedy. Slightly out of the city centre, The Lowry is a spectacular cultural centre housing three theatres where live entertainment from ballet, comedy acts and children's shows take to the stage. It is also home of the world's largest collection of works by acclaimed artist, L.S. Lowry.
Manchester's contribution to music both past and present means the city is brimming with budding musicians and creative talent. For live music in intimate settings, head for the bars of the bohemian Northern Quarter, where venues such as Matt and Phred's entertain with live jazz seven nights a week.
For a more alternative live music experience, most established acts are found touring at the Manchester Academies in the heart of the university district. At the nearby Royal Northern College of Music, classical music lovers can attend regular recitals and concerts. Manchester's international concert venue The Bridgewater Hall also comes highly recommended, home to three resident orchestras - The Halle, Manchester Camerata and the BBC Philharmonic and hosts over 250 performances annually.
There are approximately 90 museums and galleries across the whole of Greater Manchester so you are spoilt for choice when it comes to exploring art as part of a visit. Manchester Art Gallery houses over 25,000 works of outstanding art in stunning Victorian and contemporary surroundings. The collection spans six centuries and comprises Pre-Raphaelite paintings and a Gallery of Craft and Design. The gallery is also open until 9pm each Thursday.
Nestling alongside the Manchester University campus just outside the city centre, a visit to the Whitworth Art Gallery guarantees variety, Housed within an Edwardian façade, it is home to some of the UK's finest collections of art and design. Modern and historic fine art are displayed alongside prints, textiles and a rare collection of wallpapers. The gallery closed temporarily in September 2013 for a £12m redevelopment.
Just down the road the Gallery of Costume can be found, with its collection spanning over 20,000 fashion items and on until Jan 14 you can see an exclusive exhibition, Christian Dior: Designer in Focus.
For more information on things to see and do in Manchester: Visitmanchester.com