24-hour party people
The people of Manchester know how to party, whether they are sipping cocktails in a smart bar or catching a hot new band live. With its mix of youthful student population, footie and soap stars and cool music scene, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the city. As nighthawks know, it’s always good to start the evening at a bar and Castlefield is the place to head for an alfresco drink.
Join the crowds outside Duke’s 92 or down cask ales at The Wharf before heading over to Spinningfields and The Refinery, The Oast House, or for panoramic views of the city, 20 Stories. At weekends, the Theatre of the Impossible at Great Northern Warehouse is an unmissable late-night theatrical venue, that has a cryogenic freezer to freeze spirit to minus 74 degrees. Down a cocktail at Grand Pacific on King Street, or at Panacea on John Dalton Street, or drink craft beer in Port Street Beer House or Sandbar.
For sheer enjoyment, Mahiki is hard to beat. Down zombie cocktails and dance the night away to disco classics, or dress to impress and follow the party crowd at the Bijou Club, which boasts a clientele that includes Ne-Yo, Drake, Rita Ora and Little Mix to name a few. Make a beeline for Funkademia at the Mint Lounge in the edgy Northern Quarter to get a taste of Manchester cool. Feel like a cocktail? Sail away on one of The Liquorist’s cruises, or hit Apotheca and soak up its stylish Gothic pharmacy interior.
Feeling snackish? Make your way through the underground tunnel to Dough Pizza Kitchen, or head over to the speakeasy-style bar at Black Dog Ballroom where you can lounge until 4am. Join the A-list at Bar 21, a movie and music-themed venue, or knock back shots at Tusk, or join the in-crowd at Dive or The Liar’s Lounge at Cane and Grain. Hit the Washhouse or Stage and Radio, or head for The Font on New Wakefield Street and drink craft beers and cocktails whilst the DJ spins your favourite sounds.
With its mix of youthful student population, footie and soap stars and cool music scene, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the city
Hold Fast is a unique Northern Quarter venue celebrating a bygone era of Jules Verne-inspired Victorian exploration and discovery. There is also more than a touch of New York-style glamour at the Pen & Pencil bar and eatery. With NoHo, Ply, and the edgy Guilty By Association in the mix, there really is no excuse to stay in! Enjoy the vibe of South on South King Street or sip fizz at Épernay champagne bar, enjoy free shisha at Sugar Buddha at Deansgate Locks.
Manchester is awash with opportunities to have fun. If variety is what you’re seeking, move on to the Printworks where you can carouse to the sounds of a live oompah band at the Bierkeller, explore the whirlwind of eight uniquely-themed rooms at Tiger Tiger, get a taste of Ibiza at the Lazy Lizard, or enjoy live music at the Hard Rock Cafe. Dare to do something different and bowl in style at All Star Lanes, or cross the waterways into Salford for a night of burlesque and food at Menagerie.
Manchester has its share of quirky venues. The Dog Bowl, on Whitworth Street West mixes Tex Mex with bowling, The Gas Lamp is an atmospheric subterranean bar on Bridge Street serving real ale, the Temple, another underground bar on Oxford Street, is based in a former gent’s urinal, while the Liar’s Club just off Bridge Street is a Tiki dive bar and Caribbean rum shop that is packed every night of the week. It is a popular haunt with bartenders from across Manchester, who flock here after work to spend their hard-earned tips on the largest rum collection in town and without doubt some of the best tropical cocktails around.
For more high-end glam (literally) Cloud 23 in the Hilton Hotel on Deansgate is the place to indulge elegantly while gazing at one of the most spectacular panoramic views the city has to offer. The heyday of the Haçienda may have gone but the clubbing spirit lives on in the home of the legendary 5th Avenue, famed for its foam parties, Albert Hall on Deansgate, Gorilla and Versions on Oxford Road and club nights like The Warehouse Project.
For more high-end glam (literally) Cloud 23 in the Hilton Hotel on Deansgate is the place to indulge elegantly while gazing at one of the most spectacular panoramic views the city has to offer
Manchester’s pub scene
The Deaf Institute has live music and themed nights, there’s the underground night club South on South King Street and Keep it Unreal at the Band on the Wall, when Manchester DJ and producer Mr Scruff performs a five hour set of funk, soul and house. Pubs are very much a part of northern culture and hostelries such as Mr Thomas’s Chophouse on Cross Street is the epitome of the Manchester watering hole. This Victorian bar has been preserved in all its ornate glory, with a fine ale and wine list.
Another famed city centre pub is Briton’s Protection on Great Bridgewater Street, which attracts everyone from real ale aficionados to concert-goers and musicians from the Bridgewater Hall next door. The Peveril of the Peak is another traditional northern pub that finds a place in the affections of everyone from students to pop stars. And there’s the Albert Square Chop House close to the Manchester Town Hall that is a hit with the Friday night after work crowd.
If you want to party all night, the city’s gay quarter around Canal Street is another location to find a fantastic selection of bars and venues. On summer evenings and at weekends the canalside is for people watching and it’s a location for enjoying anything from a quiet cocktail to a burlesque drag act.
Pubs are very much a part of northern culture and hostelries such as Mr Thomas’s Chophouse on Cross Street is the epitome of the Manchester watering hole
Nightlife further afield
For those who fancy exploring further afield, there’s the Dockyard in MediaCityUK, a short tram ride away from the city centre. Chorlton-cum-Hardy is worth exploring, too, with its laid-back bars and funky restaurants including The Parlour, and Electrik as well as the bars and restaurants of the buzzing metropolitan Beech Road area.
Didsbury is another popular out of town destination. West Didsbury’s Volta, Mary and Archie, which has also opened in Chorlton, and Metropolitan are cool hang-outs where you can take your devil-may-care attitude for a spin. Grab a little bit of Real Housewives of Cheshire action, in the bars and restaurants of Alderley Edge and Hale. Hit Piccolino in Alderley Edge and drink superb cocktails alfresco, or head to Hale and Arvina, where they’ll do your hair and make-up before you get ready for a night of fun. Well you have to look your best. You never know who you might bump into!
Everything you need to know about Manchester
Where to eat in Manchester
The best things to do in Manchester
The best shopping in Manchester
Your guide to arts and culture in Manchester