This content is adapted from the Visit Manchester Insider’s Handbook. Packed with ideas and inspiration for things to do, see, eat, as well as places to stay, the 40-page handbook includes dedicated pages detailing what's new and coming soon as well as maps and spotlight pages on Greater Manchester's towns, boroughs and coolest neighbourhoods. It’s the perfect resource for planning your next visit.
The city’s most lively bar by a stretch. The lines can be long, but once inside you’ll be treated to an eclectic Bavarian space clad in wood with great drinks and a variety of off-the-wall live performances.
The Jane Eyre
Run by two brothers, at this Ancoats bolthole you’ll find cocktail classics with a twist, an eclectic range of keg and bottled beers and simple food that puts an emphasis on quality ingredients.
The essence of Northern Quarter cool, Cottonopolis has a wonderfully moody interior and serves up a selection of interesting cocktails while sushi plates whizz past your shoulders.
High above the city in Spinningfields, this prestigious rooftop cocktail bar and restaurant has become a regular haunt for Manchester’s movers and shakers and is the ultimate special date location.
Ducie Street Warehouse
A hotspot for remote working, Ducie Street Warehouse also has a stunning bar space for relaxed drinks perhaps before catching a movie in the mini cinema, or a train from adjacent Piccadilly station.
Sprawled over a compact four-floor warehouse, this indie music venue is one of the best spots to just kick back and listen to great music – live or otherwise. The rooftop bar area is a summer favourite.
Speak in Code
Manchester’s not short of tiny cocktail bars hidden in plain sight (see also The Washhouse, Wood & Company and Behind Closed Doors), but Speak in Code is one of the best, garnering awards for their forwarding thinking, sustainably focused cocktails.
The Blues Kitchen
A new addition to the city, The Blues Kitchen first outpost outside of London has restored a stunning venue to bring a heady mix of Blues and BBQ to Peter Street.
No 1 Canal Street
The first of many stops on a Canal Street night out, No 1 Canal Street is an upmarket hangout for the LGBTQ+ community .
This Edwardian hostelry was known for signing up soldiers and has an impressive set of murals inside commemorating the Peterloo Massacre of 1819. As well as serving real ale, The Britons Protection stocks over 300 whiskeys.
The Flying Horse
A pub worth a train or tram ride to, The Flying Horse next to Rochdale’s iconic Town Hall first opened in 1691. It is the oldest free house in the town and has been named CAMRA’s Greater Manchester Pub of the Year twice.
The Kings Arms
Described as Britain’s most bohemian back-street boozer, The Kings Arms in Salford is not just any old pub. Revellers can expect a year-round programme of live theatre, spoken word, music, comedy and a resident cat!
The Marble Arch
Built in 1888, The Marble Arch sits behind historic Angel Meadow Park, retaining original interiors including sloping mosaic floors and glazed tile ceiling. It is home to the Marble microbrewery.
Overlooking Castlefield Basin, The Wharf brings a slice of country pub to the city. Dogs and their walkers are welcome to enjoy the scenic Canalside seating and the pub’s seasonal menu.
Starting out as a community project; apart from the base, every single element of the pub has been crafted by hand by local volunteers using traditional techniques. Visually impressive with a Scandi feel, selling fantastic beers.
The Molly House
The Molly House is a cosy bar and tapas restaurant nestled behind the Village’s Canal Street. It’s adorned with a mural featuring gay icons such as Alan Turning and Quentin Crisp.
The Peveril of the Peak
Arguably Manchester’s most distinctive pub, this Grade II listed building dates back to the 1820s and has a gloriously unique green tiled exterior, whilst inside the pub is cosy and unpretentious.