This vibrant North West English city of Manchester is a cultural and musical epicentre, with historic mills and factories that still pay homage to its Industrial Revolution past. This multicultural metropolis is popular among students, and the city is well known for its art, fashion and nightlife. Whether you’re looking for a night filled with Mancunian frivolity or you’re simply looking to relax with wine and world-class music, our local insiders give us the lowdown on the places to be when the sun sets over Manchester.
Hold Fast Bar
Bar, Beer, $$$
Have you ever been 10,000 leagues under the sea? Probably not, but this Northern Quarter bar will have you feeling like you’ve dived right into a Jules Verne novel. Connected to the Hatters Hostel, Hold Fast Bar is slinging a variety of craft beers and nautical-themed drinks that you can enjoy while beating your friends on one of the bar’s old gaming consoles. Grab some free popcorn, play some board games or enjoy free events like live comedy or VR night. Recommended by local insider Natalie Hetherington
Looking to listen to some cool cats croon into the late evening? If so, Matt & Phreds is the perfect joint for jazz lovers. In this chilled-out basement club tucked away on Tib Street, you’ll find soulful acts six nights a week, free pizza (if you purchase two alcoholic drinks) and some beautiful, handcrafted cocktails. Grab a Manhattan and enjoy music in this intimate, laidback setting. Along with jazz, you’ll also find incredible folk, gypsy, electro, swing and world music. Happy hour starts at 5pm. Are you coming? Recommended by local insider Natalie Hetherington
This rocking venue was once a 19th-century school for the deaf, but now houses three floors of live music and entertainment. The bars pour delicious craft and frozen cocktails, as well as local beers and ales. No matter whether you are vegan or a carnivore, its kitchen is cooking up a variety of healthy food options. At the end of the evening, grab a nightcap at the basement bar and mingle with partiers and musicians. The best time to visit is on Friday or Saturday evening when the ambiance is at its most electrifying. Recommended by local insider Alexandra Jones
Laughing is good for the soul, so why not spend an evening laughing your head off at the Frog and Bucket Comedy Club? This world-famous comedy club is the city’s number one spot for a good laugh. Every Friday and Saturday its Barrel of Laughs show will bring you three national and international acts. Frog and Bucket is known for hosting now-famous comedians such as Johnny Vegas, John Bishop and Peter Kay. This spot is the epitome of Mancunian spirit, atmosphere and humour. Recommended by local insider Alexandra Jones
This hip, award-winning pop-up of shops, restaurants and breweries has been created for the curious. So, if you are curious, you should head to Oxford Road, where the courtyard of Hatch will lead you to more than 30 independent retailers, as well as artisan street eats, handcrafted cocktails and a chill vibe. You’ll also find festivals, live music and entertainment that capture the essence of the local community. It’s a great spot to grab lunch, dinner or drinks with friends (or all of the above). Recommended by local insider Natalie Hetherington