Manchester boasts a thriving nightlife scene, with a vibrant array of bars, nightclubs, and music venues at the ready for people of all walks of life. The Northern city is similar to London in its variety of neighborhoods and late-night activities, but Manchester has a more local feel, with an emphasis on corner pubs and hidden cocktail spots. The city loves to party, as seen in its many nightclubs and warehouse party events, and it's well known for its music scene, which ranges from rock to electronic to classical.
While Manchester isn't necessarily the sort of city that keeps things going until 4 a.m., it's also the sort of place where it's possible to have a rollicking late night. Whether you're looking for a low-key evening or a rowdy night out, Manchester has good options for everyone. Just don't try to keep up with a Mancunian pint for pint.
Bars and Pubs
England is, of course, known for its pubs, but Manchester also has its fair share of bars, including some notable cocktail spots. You can find a huge variety of pubs and bars around central Manchester, as well as in some nearby areas like Stockport. The Northern Quarter is one of the most popular late-night neighborhoods, boasting lots of cocktail bars, wine bars, and cool pubs. Bars and pubs tend to close by midnight in England, so many locals opt to start their nights early, often right after work, when drinking around town. These are the can't-miss bars and pubs:
- Henry C: One of Manchester's favorite cocktail joints, Henry C, located in Chorlton, has an extensive Negroni menu to celebrate the gin classic.
- Port Street Beer House: Beer drinkers will appreciate the vast selection at Port Street Beer House, a Northern Quarter bar with its own beer shop.
- Albert’s Schloss: This German-style beer hall serves up beer on tap and Bavarian dishes, and often features live music and entertainment.
- The Jane Eyre: Found in Cutting Room Square, The Jane Eyre is a cool neighborhood bar run by two brothers, serving cocktails, beer, and small plates.
- The Marble Arch: Known as one of Manchester's best historic pubs, The Marble Arch is the birthplace of the Marble Brewery and is great for a pint or a plate of fish and chips.
- The Liars Club: This Tiki-themed spot makes for a fun night out with good cocktails and an ever-changing calendar of events.
Manchester likes to party, so it's no surprise that the city has lots of nightclubs, all playing a variety of music. It's considered a clubbing hotspot, and you'll find everything from posh clubs to warehouse DJ nights if you're in the know.
- Chinawhite Manchester: This high-end nightclub brings in huge acts and VIP guests. It's definitely a place to see and be seen.
- Eden Manchester: Part restaurant, part bar, and part club, Eden Manchester is a good pick for late-night revelry.
- Revolucion De Cuba Manchester: Latin-inspired bar and club Revolucion De Cuba Manchester is one of the city's most popular, with live music, food, and dancing.
- The Bijou Club: Expect a champagne bar and cigar terrace at The Bijou Club, a swanky nightclub that's best experienced with a table reservation.
Typically, restaurants in England don't stay open super late. Pubs usually stop serving food around 10 p.m. and it can be tricky to find a good meal any later than that. However, Manchester boasts a few late-night eateries that should satiate any cravings after hours. Here are a few of the notable options:
- Crazy Pedros: Score some late-night pizza at Crazy Pedros, which has two Manchester locations. The Northern Quarter location stays open until 4 a.m. daily, so you won't go hungry after the club.
- CBRB: CBRB, short for Cocktail Beer Ramen + Bun, is great for late-night eats, including several types of ramen.
- Archie's: Grab a burger, milkshake, or a loaded waffle at Archie's, an indulgent spot perfect for those who have had a few drinks (or who need to mop up a hangover). The location on Oxford Road keeps it going until 2:30 a.m.
- Black Dog NQ: This New York-themed diner and bar serves food until 1 a.m. Bonus, there's also a pool room.
- Bundobust: Grab some Indian street food at Bundobust, which keeps the doors open until midnight on the weekends.
Live Music and Festivals
Manchester is synonymous with live music. The Northern city, home of Oasis and the Stone Roses, puts on numerous festivals throughout the year, and has a ton of music venues, ranging from small clubs to massive arenas. Any night of the year you're likely to find a few good shows to pick from, although some may require buying tickets months in advance. Check out the calendars at Albert Hall, Night and Day Café, AO Arena Manchester, and The Bridgewater Hall to find upcoming shows in all genres of music.
Annual music festivals in Manchester include Manchester Jazz Festival, Manchester Folk Festival, and Parklife, a dance and electronic music festival. The city also hosts the massive Manchester Pride festival every August, which includes DJs and live performances.
Comedy clubs abound in Manchester, from big established spots like The Comedy Store to smaller indie venues. The clubs draw both local comics and global acts, although the focus is usually on British comedians, so you should ensure you enjoy that brand of humor before booking a ticket.
- The Comedy Store: Manchester's branch of international comedy club The Comedy Store brings in big acts and also serves up food and drink.
- Frog and Bucket Comedy Club: Featuring both big names and up-and-comers, Frog and Bucket Comedy Club, located in the Northern Quarter, is a famous spot that dates back to 1994.
- LOL Comedy Club: Found in the Palace Theatre Manchester, LOL Comedy Club is a weekend-only comedy joint that typically hosts British TV comics.
- XS Malarkey: XS Malarkey runs every Tuesday night and has a more local vibe than some of the other comedy spots around town.
Those who are less inclined to head out to bars and nightclubs can still find lots to do at night in Manchester. The city has a thriving theater scene, with venues like the Palace Theatre Manchester and Manchester Opera House hosting plays, musicals and live music. HOME Manchester, an arts and cinema venue, has a rotating calendar of events, with something for everyone regularly on offer. Other good movie theaters include Vue Cinema Manchester Printworks, ODEON Manchester Great Northern, and The Savoy Cinema.
If you want something more active, head to Dog Bowl, a chic bowling alley, or indoor golf course Junkyard Golf. Twenty Twenty Two—a live music venue and bar—has a back room with ping pong tables that can be reserved for specific periods (or even the entire night). Those into escape rooms should book a slot at Escape Hunt Manchester, where your team can choose a themed adventure (including "Doctor Who").
Tips for Going Out in Manchester
- Some of the public transportation, including the free buses around central Manchester, shut down later in the evening. Look for night buses, or opt for a taxi or Uber when traveling back to your hotel or home late at night.
- Tipping is included when dining at restaurants, pubs, and in some bars (usually when you have table service). Most places include a 12.5 percent service charge on your bill, so anything additional isn't necessary. In bars, pubs, and nightclubs it's customary to add a few pounds onto your total when paying for drinks if it's not already included. Tips can be added to a credit or debit card payment in most spots, so cash isn't needed.
- The drinking age in England is 18 years old, so you must be at least 18 to drink in public in Manchester.
- Drinking outside and on transportation is legal unless otherwise stated (sometimes bans are put in place around soccer matches).