A guide to Manchester’s nightlife

Oxford Street, photo by Gene Hunt

Industrial, artistic, musical and diverse Manchester is not the kind of city where you can lay about in the evening, without anything to do. This huge city is a nighttime paradise for people of all ages. With its hefty student population, Manchester has plenty of cheap and casual places where you can knock back a few pints while listening to music, but if you want to change your jeans and t-shirt for something fancier, you can do that too – there are more than enough high-end clubs and cocktail bars in Manchester too. Whether you’re looking for live music, a dance floor or glamorous venues, Manchester has it. Here’s a guide to Manchester’s nightlife, for those who want to relax and have some fun.

The Northern Quarter

Bohemian areas are usually cool as long as not too many people know about them, but that doesn’t apply to the Northern Quarter. The bohemian parts of Manchester attract plenty of people nowadays, but they still haven’t lost their indie charm. Tib Street and Oldham Street have some great, laid-back and non-mainstream bars like Common, Cord, Centro and Matt and Phred’s, where you can listen to live rock, jazz and indie music.


Fallowfield, photo by Adam B

Fallowfield is where most of Manchester’s student population lives, thrives and drinks, so there are many cheap and unpretentious bars and clubs in the area. Most of these places, restaurants included, don’t care much about decorum, and their goal is to serve affordable food and drinks to the boisterous young.


If you don’t feel like mingling with the young and poor, you can head to Deansgate and enter the territory of the young and rich. Deansgate is rife with elegant bars and clubs where you can sip dainty (and often overpriced) cocktails, and rub elbows with the cream of the crop of Manchester’s bright young things. Clubs like Cloud 23, The Living Room and Panacea are especially recommended for footballer sightings.

Canal Street

Canal Street, photo by Wendy Mann

Canal Street is Manchester’s LGBT village, and it is home to some of the most exciting bars, clubs and restaurants in the city. The cobbled streets are lined with venues, but in the warmer months the streets are crawling with tourists from all over the world and the whole area feels like one big party.

Oxford Road

Oxford Road has some of the best pubs and clubs in Manchester – not overpriced, but not dirt cheap either, and it feels like a cross between the bohemian Northern Quarter and the studenty Fallowfield. Venues like The Deaf Institute, Kro2, Odder, Sound Control and Space are always packed, but you’re guaranteed to have a great time.


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