In a historic moment for Manchester’s sporting legacy, this year’s FA Cup final will see both Manchester teams will come head-to-head for the first time ever. Set to take place on Saturday 3 June at Wembley, 2023 marks the first major cup final contested between the two clubs. The game will kick off at 3 pm, and it’s one that’s not to be missed.

With the FA Cup guaranteed to return to Manchester only two questions remain. Will the Reds or the Blues take victory? And where will you be watching history take place?

Here is a list of places great places to watch the FA Cup Final across Greater Manchester to ensure you get a great atmosphere and will remember the moment.

Plus, if you’re not a football fan, we’ve rounded up a list of activities that can help you avoid all things sport when it feels like the entire city will have football fever.

Let’s kick off!

Places to watch the FA Cup Final in Manchester

Tib Street Tavern

Always a popular spot when the football’s on – and particularly on Derby Days – the Tib Street Tavern on Northern Quarter’s curious Tib Street, is a traditional, cosy pub with screens everywhere you look. Renowned for its world beers and delicious dishes, this pub is always a winner. When a game is on, you can expect the atmosphere to be second to none and with two floors for fans to spread out across and find a spot to watch the match. There’s also a sport free area if you need a break from the action, it may be tense after all.

The Sawyer’s Arms

A traditional Manchester city centre boozer on the heart of Deansgate, The Sawyer’s Arms will place you in the heat of the action for the FA Cup Final. Watch the game with an extensive range of ale and gin as well as tasty bar snacks in one of Manchester’s most historic pubs. Seats tend to fill up fast so make sure to get there early for the best spot.

Café Football

While the FA Cup final may not be taking place at Old Trafford, you can catch all of the action with a great atmosphere just a stone’s throw away. Cafe Football captures the spirit of football in a restaurant and bar with a fun, relaxed drinking and dining experience inspired by the beautiful game. With 13 plasma screens and all TV sports packages, Cafe Football Old Trafford is the ultimate venue to watch the first-ever Manchester head-to-head FA Cup Final.

Dive Bar and Grill

Another Northern Quarter favourite, Dive Bar and Grill offers a premium, HD sports viewing experience. With over 15 screens across the venue, you won’t miss a second of the action from Wembley and with tonnes of seating available, you can make yourself comfy. Of course, there are plenty of beers and beverages to choose from and their menu features American-style food that is perfect for sharing, or for eating away those nerves.

The Directors Box

In the newly refurbished The Directors Box, craft beer makes the ultimate match-day beverage. Just a short walk from St Peter’s Square tram stop, The Directors Box offers a range of specialist beers and gins as well as delicious hot food including pizzas, burgers and small plates for a half-time snack. Most importantly though, the bar offers an unrivalled sporting atmosphere. It’s dog-friendly and claims to have all the vital ingredients to be the best pub showing football near you, and who are we to argue?


Ways to Avoid Football Fever in Manchester

We Invented The Weekend Salford

For those of you who aren’t interested in football, you’re in luck, as Salford’s unmissable new festival ‘We Invented the Weekend’ will be taking over MediaCity and Salford Quays on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 June. Escape football mania with live music, gardening, dancing, creative workshops, wellness, food, drink and more. With activities from CBeebies for little ones, music from Craig Charles and Sounds From the Other City and RHS Bridgewater plant shops and workshops, there really is something for everyone. This varied and memorable line-up makes the perfect retreat from the Fa Cup fanatics and celebrates the best of Salford, Greater Manchester’s other city.

Explore the Manchester Museum

If you haven’t explored it yet, then avoiding football madness is the perfect excuse to check out the newly reopened Manchester Museum. With a modern extension and beautiful new galleries, this museum is full of treasures and wonders that will inspire you including a new Chinese Culture Gallery and South Asia Gallery. The first blockbuster exhibition, Golden Mummies of Egypt runs until December and offers unparalleled access to ancient artefacts and world-class collections. What’s more access to the museum and most of its exhibitions is free, so it’s an ideal way to entertain non-football fans!

Chester Zoo

While it’s not strictly in Greater Manchester, a day trip to Chester Zoo could be the ideal way to avoid the football frenzy in the city. As a favourite day out for families but also adult animal lovers, Chester Zoo will let you get up close and personal with incredible species and learn all about how to protect our wildlife. With over 500 different species over 128 acres of award-winning gardens, what’s not to love? You’ll be transported across the world with animals from the cute and cuddly to the wild and roar-some and everything in between.

During the FA Cup Final weekend, Chester Zoo’s immersive exhibition, Planet Shark: Predator or Prey will be open for all visitors to sink their teeth into. This immersive aquatic adventure will transport you under the sea to learn all about one of the ocean’s most impressive and misunderstood predators.

Afternoon tea

For a moment of calm and decadence, there’s nothing like an afternoon tea. And we can guarantee, a cream tea won’t be high on the agenda for football fans this weekend. Greater Manchester really is spoilt for choice when it comes to afternoon tea, so there’s something for all tastes and budgets. Whether you fancy a decadent hotel experience like The Tearoom The Midland,  The Library at The Edwardian, The Refuge at the Kimpton Clocktower or the luxury Dakota Hotel, or you fancy something a bit more quirky like Richmond Tea Rooms, there’s an afternoon tea for all tastes and budgets. Take some time to treat yourself with sweet treats, and a lovely cuppa, you’ll feel miles away from the madness of the FA Cup final!

Visit a National Trust Property

You can’t get much further away from football fans than at a National Trust property. If you’re looking to avoid the chaos brought about by football, some fresh air and nature may just be the tonic you need. Luckily in and around Greater Manchester, we have three beautiful and unique properties for you to enjoy. In the city centre, Castlefield Viaduct is a unique sky park that celebrates the region’s industrial heritage and the beauty of nature. Dunham Massey in Trafford and Quarry Bank in Cheshire are also just a short distance from Manchester and provide stunning and historic days out that can be fun for all the family. Step back in time and embrace nature as you escape the city this weekend.

To find out about more events taking place across Greater Manchester, view our What’s On page.

For more ideas about where to eat and drink across the city-region, including both pubs that show football and places that certainly don’t, view our Food and Drink page.