MANCHESTER: Nightlife & Nightclubs | The Complete Guide

Manchester, a city in the North west England region of United Kingdom. The city is known for its warehouses, cotton mills, railway viaducts and canals as you would expect from the first modern, industrial city in the world. But the city is also full of iconic architecture from the famous Beetham towers and town hall to the Lowry in Salford Quays and the imperial war museum north. The city is home to two of the world-famous football club Manchester united and Manchester City. It is the third most visited city in England after London and Edinburgh and was the only city from England to be ranked among the beta world city apart from London. The city has a great sporting culture where fans from all over the globe throng to watch the football matches. Manchester is also known for its music, there are a large number of musical exports in the city and the city also conducts various gigs, concerts, live shows through the year for the music loving audiences.

The city which is full of life due to its business, sports, music and arts industry needs to be entertained and hence Manchester is also home to some amazing top-notch restaurants, bars, pubs, night clubs to entertain the local population and the tourists who throng the city in great numbers. Let us look at some of these places in Manchester.

Nightlife in Manchester

Vibrant, bold, lively and offering a great variety of things to do, Manchester would be the last one standing at a party if it were a person. The city is probably best known for its music legacy, having gifted the world the likes of the Stone Roses, The Smiths and (temporarily) the legendary nightclub The Hacienda.

But let’s not get hung up on the past – Manchester is evolving at a staggering pace, with a list of things to see, eat, drink and do that is growing quicker than you can tick them off. The city’s history proves that there’s a cheeky, independent streak that runs through it, and that can still be felt today. Creative new cooks are transforming forgotten areas of the city into thriving food hubs, dynamic multi-storey music venues are providing a platform for the next big thing, and huge investment into the arts has seen the launch of the multi-million-pound cultural centres.

They say that Manchester has everything but a beach but with a cultural scene like this, who even needs one?

Best locations of Manchester for nightlife

Thousands of people visit the city centre to grab a drink during the big weekends or just on evenings post work. City centre in Manchester is home to a huge number of pubs, restaurants and bars. The northern quarter in Manchester also has a large number of pubs and bars, these pubs and bars are particularly famous for their sports screenings especially during the weekends. Around 15-20 minutes’ walk from the city centre leads us to Salford, a beautiful place over the canals, more popular with the local crowd the hand-crafted beer is something to try here.

The football stadiums, canals, museums, art houses and industries offer something for everyone in Manchester and brings in a diverse audience from across the globe. A beach is probably the only thing that is missed in Manchester but the culture and the vibe of the place more than make up for it. The finest chefs from around the globe have their restaurants in Manchester, the pubs and bars make it a great place to grab a drink and watch your favourite team at play. And the night clubs offer the perfect opportunity to unwind post a hectic day and loosen up a bit.

Let us look at some of the amazing places to eat, drink and dance in Manchester.

Music bars in Manchester

Live music could be a happy change from any standard night in Manchester. Some relaxing or heart-racing music while you dine and drink out to the latest popular band or a talented local act, you can find it all in many of Manchester’s most famous musical haunts. 

Yes

Manchester’s hottest music venue is YES! The city that has given birth to the likes of Oasis, The smiths, Chemical brothers, take that and M people surely deserves some of the best live gig places and what better place than Yes.

Revolucion De Cuba Manchester

Cool and buzzing Latin themed music bar. Miss this place at your own risk because it serves some amazing cocktails and food. The live music scene starts in the evening and goes till the late hours of midnight.

Bierkeller

Musicians, comedians and poets come to the Bierkeller for the Open night to showcase their talents. The place also serves discounted drinks and if you are lucky you could win a prize too. The gigs start at 8:00pm and go on till 4:00am in the morning.

Experiencing live music in the city whish is known for its music culture is an experience you dare not miss!

Best Bars in Manchester

They say that Manchester is a city that thinks a table is for dancing on and, well, after a few drinks at the best bars in Manchester, you’ll not only agree, but probably be actively encouraged to hop on the nearest stable surface.

Once upon a time, the city was known for its (still excellent) cosy pubs and hardcore clubbing scene but, as the much-talked about restaurant and food scene gallops along at a startling pace, so too do the booze venues on offer.

And it’s not just the quantity of bars that is staggeringly surprising but the sheer variety of the line-up that turns the city into a drinking den: take your pick from Alpine bohemian pleasure palaces, grown-up boozy cocktail dens, geeky craft beer bars and sticky-floored grungy destinations.

Let us look at some of the best bars in Manchester

Folk

Perfect mix of laid-back atmosphere and serious drinks offerings. The bar features a cosy retro interior, well-chosen wine, an incredible sherry list and, downstairs, you’ll find a hidden, gold-leaf lined vault complete with record player and mini bar, which groups can rent out for private fiestas.

Henry C

This tiny cocktail bar has made a big impression on the boozers of Manchester thanks to an impeccable and inventive drinks list that changes regularly. Choose off the menu or ask for your favourite classic – if they’ve got the ingredients, there is no doubt they will nail it. There’s a tiny shop in the back room, too: venture forth for obscure spirits and craft beers to take home.

The Refuge by Volta

Nineteenth-century architect Alfred Waterhouse designed this grand hotel, bar and restaurant, and what a job he did. The iconic joint on Oxford Street has long been a landmark and made even more so by new owners and a million-pound face-lift. The bar was put into the capable hands of DJs-turned-restaurateurs Justin Crawford and Luke Cowdrey. A fairy-light lit courtyard and fabulous DJs in the basement mean there’s no need to go on anywhere else.

Port Street Beer House

If you have an interest in real ale and have been to Manchester before, odds are you’ve already been here. But, if not, get going. It’s the ultimate haven for beer appreciators. Port Street’s owners are also behind the region’s favourite beer festival, Victoria Baths’ Indy Man Beer Con, which takes place each October.

Gorilla

What started out as a much-needed Northern Quarter-style bar on the other side of town has evolved into a full-fat club, playing host to legends like Derrick Carter in the bar and massive names (MistaJam, Mike Skinner, Hot Wuk) in the main room. Tuck into a gourmet kebab and some craft beers downstairs or head up to the Gin Parlour on the mezzanine – stocked with some of the finest gins from around the world.

You can also grab your favourite drink from some of the other bars

  • Albert Schloss
  • Electrik
  • Soup Kitchen
  • The deaf institute café bar and music hall
  • Big hands

Football Pubs in Manchester

Manchester is a city that thrives on football, with two of the world’s biggest clubs at its centre and a vibrant legion of regional sides in the surrounding areas. Shopping and clubbing certainly hold their sway in the city but, more often than not, weekends and weekdays are dominated by the beautiful game. And while the divide of United’s red and City’s blue usually errs on the side of good natured, some establishments undoubtedly lean towards one more than the other – you’ll know when you find one. However, to show our impartiality, the list below is focused on venues that keep things neutral, where a well-stocked bar and good atmosphere are a constant, and the screens are HD.

Let us look at some of these football pubs

The Footage

The Footage is primarily known for its cheap booze and burgers, its karaoke and its big screen football. When the latter two clashes during a midweek Champions League fixture, the atmosphere might be a little overwhelming for some. On a Sunday afternoon, it’s hardly a local’s favourite, but the boozy atmosphere is undeniably electric, with a young crowd shaking off their hangovers and getting good-naturedly riled. There are screens of various sizes as far as the eye can see, and a large balcony to oversee the action. And tension.

Tib Street Tavern

Tib Street Tavern gets particularly popular on weekends, when security are unlikely to admit rowdy groups, stags or hens. Team colours are also not permitted. Once inside, there are plenty of screens to watch most Premiership fixtures, and the atmosphere remains pleasant. The drink prices, great variety of craft ales and decent food add to the overall appeal. The Tavern also screens tennis, golf and other sports on non-football nights.

Joshua Brooks

A student favourite, offering a more subdued atmosphere than The Footage just up the road. The bar area could probably do with a refurb, but the staff are friendly, and the booze is varied and affordable. They also do a great line in delicious homemade pies – for a more authentic matchday experience.

The Green

The Green opened as a sort of canal-side sporting mecca, where if the match isn’t going particularly well for your team there are golf simulators, table football and gaming to take your mind of things. Still, the football is the main draw, with a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of space. There are usually up to three matches screened a day, covering internationals, friendlies and whatever else they can find (rugby’s popular too). Unlike some other venues, team colours are permitted, and the atmosphere usually remains the right side of rowdy.

The New Oxford

Over the canals and into Salford, the New Oxford is the best of a selection of pubs on Bexley Square, around 15- or 20-minutes’ walk from the city centre. Popular with a local crowd, it’s also much feted by local beer enthusiasts, with up to 18 cask ales on tap at any one time, and a wider selection of bottled Belgian and continental beer. The football action takes place in the function room around the back, with room for about 50-odd heads. Seek out a spot early, especially for local games, with the friendly atmosphere and relatively adventurous drinking options making it well worth it.

These football pubs are a must visit for any tourist regardless of being a football fan or not when in Manchester. The vibe, atmosphere and all the cheering can get any one to sit at the edge of their seat.

Celebrities Spotted in Manchester

Celebrities from all over the globe and from all backgrounds be it Hollywood, sports or business world visit Manchester. The vibrant culture, the exciting sports actions and music keeps them coming for more and more. Manchester has a great collection of music bars, sports bars and night clubs to keep these celebrities entertained.

Let us look at few of the places where you can easily spot a celebrity in Manchester

  • City Centre
  • The football stadiums
  • By the canals – Sanford
  • Music concerts
  • Pride parade

Here are a few celebrities who have been spotted in Manchester

  • Georgia May Foote
  • Rita Ora
  • Tamara Wall
  • Jennifer Metcalfe
  • Judge Rinder
  • Michelle Keegan
  • Kelvin Fletcher
  • Joe Hart
  • Sophie Austin
  • Jorgie Porter
  • Jose Mourinho
  • David Beckam
  • Tori Amos
  • Jazmine Franks
  • Wayne Rooney
  • Vincent Kompany
  • Tisha Merry
  • Daisy Wood Davis
  • Verity Rushworth
  • Lisa George

Major Events in Manchester

From exciting food matches to soothing musical concerts to the energetic pride parade, Manchester has something for everyone. These events attract a large number of visitors from all over the world making Manchester the third most visited city in England only after London and Edinburgh.

  • Chinese New Year parade at Albert Square (February 10)
  • Manchester Irish Festival and St Patrick’s Day Parade (March 1 to 17)
  • Great Manchester run and great city games (May 19)
  • Manchester Jazz festival at St. Ann’s Square (May 23 to 27)
  • Manchester day (May 23)
  • Manchester International festival (July 4 to 21)
  • Sounds of the city (July 6,9,10,11,12 and 13)
  • Manchester Pride (August)
  • Manchester food and drink festival (September)
  • Manchester literature festival (October 4 to 20)
  • Diwali Mela (October 12)
  • Manchester Christmas markets (November and December)

These are few of the events in Manchester and apart from these the city is also home to two of the biggest football clubs in the world Manchester city and Manchester united. So, there are football matches held at various times during the year.

Night clubs in Manchester

Apart from the posh pubs and world class restaurants Manchester also has some of the best night clubs in England. The party generally starts in the late evenings and carry on till the early hours of the morning. Getting in just around midnight could be a great idea.

Here are some of the famous late-night clubs in Manchester

The Vega Lounge

One of the few bars open until 6am (and open again at noon). Obviously, people come here to gamble, so it goes without saying that it’s not the trendiest atmosphere, or indeed the place to go with anyone inclined to purchase an excess of scratch cards. The setting is loosely inspired by Vegas (no surprises there), and serves made-to-order food as well as drink, including an extensive and popular cocktail collection. Located just off Deansgate, there’s no real dress code despite the glamorous theme, but management and security like to maintain a low-key atmosphere, and might not admit large, rowdy groups enjoying usual 4am behaviour.

Black Dog Ballroom

Since opening in 2010, the ‘underground speakeasy’ that is Black Dog Ballroom heralded a sea change in late-night drinking culture in Manchester, taking things in a more commercial, but classier direction. Popular at all hours for its decent, affordable food (check the sharing platters). They’ve also evolved into popular nightspot venues themselves, with DJs playing disco, soul, and other upbeat cuts to keep the atmosphere buoyant until the early hours. Security can be swiftly decisive, especially on a Saturday night, but the long line of taxis both serving and leaving the doors of the club tells you all you need to know regarding Black Dog’s ongoing popularity.

The Whiskey Jar

Perhaps the only bar in the city offering a dedicated ‘whisky portfolio’. Exquisitely presented in a disused textile warehouse, The Whiskey Jar thrives in matching a specialist taste in booze with a welcoming, Tennessee inspired atmosphere that fortunately errs away from the cheesy. If anything, despite a recently expanded downstairs dancefloor, it can be the victim of its own popularity when the weekend comes. Most cocktails trade for £7.50, and if late-night boozing isn’t your thing, you can find two for £9 offers daily before 7pm. Beers on offer also punch above their weight, but naturally, whiskey remains the key attraction, from standard drops such as Johnny Walker to some very choice cuts indeed.

When do the Bars & Clubs fill up in Manchester?

Manchester can be visited anytime through the year. Be prepared for some harsh cold weather during the winters and pleasant summers. The restaurants can be visited any time during the day. The pubs and clubs are open mostly between noon to early hours of the morning on weekends. And they also get very crowded and noisy during sports screenings.

Conclusion

Manchester located in the northern region of England is one of the most popular cities in the world. It is the third most visited city in England only after London and Edinburgh. The city has a great history and was one of the most industrialized cities in the world before world war II.  Today Manchester is known for its warehouses, cotton mills and music culture.

The city is home to two of the biggest football clubs in the world Manchester united and Manchester City and hence is in the middle of some active sports action all through the year. Millions and millions of fans throng the city from all over the globe to watch football matches.

Though dormant for a while the hospitality sector in Manchester has risen extraordinarily in the last few decades. The city is home to some of the best rated restaurants run by the best chefs in the world. The city also boasts a vibrant pub culture and a lot of sports bar.

Musical events are held all around the year and the big names from all over the world perform in Manchester. These concerts attract a large number of music lovers from all across the globe.

There are also other events like the famous Manchester pride parade, art shows and theatre festivals which are held in Manchester. Overall it is a city filled with vast history, pride, business and vibrant culture.