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Cultural activities and venues in Manchester

Manchester has a long history and fascinating culture, giving birth to some of the UK’s most famous musicians and bands, including The Smiths, The Hollies, Oasis and more. It’s no wonder so many people flock to this wonderful city every year in search of cultural activities and venues. Make the most of your trip to Manchester with our list of the top places to experience Manchester’s thriving culture.


Music is at the heart of Manchester’s cultural scene, with some of the world’s best bands calling the city home. Almost every area has its own famous music venue, with everything on offer from Rock to Indie to House and everything in between.

Manchester’s oldest music venue, Band on the Wall, was founded in 1862 and runs as a not for profit organisation. Showcasing some of the very best talent and some incredible up and coming artists, Band on the Wall is the perfect place to start your cultural activities in Manchester.

Find out more here: Band on the Wall


The Lowry Gallery

An iconic building which was setup to promote the works of the early 20th Century painter, L. S. Lowry, this is the ideal place for those who love contemporary art. Exhibitions and other cultural activities are held throughout the year, so check what’s on before you go.

Manchester Art Gallery

Home to contemporary and classic collections the Manchester Art Gallery is a must for art lovers and connoisseurs alike. Its permanent collections include Pre-Raphaelite and 19th Century British artworks, as well as some stunning impressionist pieces, while temporary exhibitions include a series on South Asian art, contemporary up and comers and more.


Royal Exchange Theatre

Founded in 1976 the Royal Exchange Theatre has hosted some of the UK’s best adaptions of both British and international playwrights, including classics from William Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde, as well as contemporary new writers and artists. Even if you don’t enjoy the theatre a visit to the Royal Exchange is a must for its fantastic architecture.

The Lowry Theatre

Although it was created to promote the works of L. S. Lowry, the Lowry is also a cultural hub for theatre, opera and other performances. There are workshops for those who like to get involved themselves, as well as professional productions from around the world.

Looking for somewhere to stay?

The Lowry is Manchester’s first five star hotel and is located in the city centre; perfect for those wanting to enjoy all of the cultural activities and venues Manchester has to offer. Plus, the riverside restaurant offers guests stunning views and a fantastic menu, with a pre-theatre dining menu option as well.