Manchester Nightlife

By Matthew 20/10/2017 23:03:07


From theme clubs of Peter Street to the underground club nights in the Northern Quarter, Manchester's nightlife has matured since the 'Madchester' era

The vibrant, urban and cosmopolitan city of Manchester has long been renowned for its nightlife. Balancing tradition with chic, it's never been more amazing. Whether you like underground clubs, mainstream clubs, funky jazz, heavy rock clubs, commercial parties, dancing along to tunes from superstar DJ's or edgier live music venues there something for all tastes. With over 500 licensed premises in the city centre and one of the largest student populations(60,000), Manchester boasts one of the best nights out in the UK. Manchester's Bars range from cosy and unique through to downright outlandish. For a more cultural outlook, there is a vast selection of theatres, museums and picture houses to keep everyone entertained.

Deansgate Locks

The chic Deansgate, 'The Locks', located at the top end of Deansgate, is famous for trendy bars and clubs. The ten railway arches featuring a bridge over the canal is home to five bars and a comedy club. The Beckham's and Justin Timberlake are a few celebrities who have made an appearance in this area. Deansgate Locks can be enjoyed by anyone with its mainstream vibe. There are a handful of other bars close by that are well worth exploring, many dating back to the vibrant times of the Hacienda which once sat on the corner overlooking this spot.

Northern Quarter

The vibrant Northern Quarter located around the revamped High Street and the 'Original Northern Quarter' on Oldham Street is a hip area attracting alternative creative types. Home to the indie scene and an electric collection of award winning chic bars, traditional pubs, shops, and restaurants. There's a whole host of privately owned bars/pubs with new establishments seemingly opening up on a monthly basis. Each place has a fine array of foreign beers, local brewed casks, cocktails, spirits and food to offer. It has a high proportion of live music venues.

Canal Street

The continental area, Canal Street is the focus of Manchester's infamous Gay Village, now one of the most recognised gay quarters in the world. The Village is one of the most flamboyant nightlife destinations in the North West- where anything goes. It is without doubt the liveliest area of the city. This is reflected by the number of pubs/bars/clubs running along the Rochdale Canal. Both at night and day in the warmer months, the street is filled with socialisers, often including gay, lesbian, transsexual and transvestite tourists from all over the world. Many are attracted by the Channel 4 drama, Queer as Folk, which was based here.

Whilst the area is prone to gay bars, most of them are heterosexually friendly and the popularity of the area with heterosexuals underlines the welcoming open-minded attitude Mancunians are famed for. A great time is guaranteed for anybody- gay, straight or bi-sexual. Manchester Pride in August is the highlight of many people's big gay calendar.

The Printworks

The Buzzing Printworks entertainment complex and surrounding area, located on Withy Grove is one of the most popular night spots in Manchester city. It was opened in the year 2000 and labelled 'The Millennium Quarter', following its rebuild(1996 IRA bomb). The Printworks visited by 150,000 people per week is packed with bars, night clubs, chain restaurants, a comedy club and an IMAX cinema. For those looking for something different, the nearby pubs, dating back to the 14th Century, offer a refreshing alternative. With the MEN Arena, Urbis and Royal Exchange Theatre just across the road, you're sure to be entertained.

Peter Street

Student hotspot Peter Street is located from St.Peter's Square down to the junction at Deansgate and has a reputation of being Manchester's Party Street. It is a renowned destination for stag parties, hen nights and pub crawlers. Home to some of the city's most stylish bars, clubs and cocktail lounges. During the day it's a good urban hangout, with simple bar food and a more serene atmosphere. The area is complimented with more bars on the connecting Quay Street and in the Great Northern Warehouse complex. The Opera House, Bridgewater Hall, Library Theatre, Manchester Town Hall, G-Mex, MICC and Palace Theatre are all very close, whilst the popular drinking areas of Deansgate, Portland Street, Oxford Road and Deansgate Locks are all nearby.


The Charming Castlefield, is located alongside the Bridgewater and Rochdale Canals. It is historically notable for the Roman era fort of Mamucium or Mancunium which later became Manchester. It is the location of the world's first railway warehouse and the Liverpool Road railway station which is the oldest surviving railway station in the world. Both of these are now part of the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. Castlefield which houses some of Manchester's best independent bars and pubs together with some of the city's finest restaurants is without doubt the most exquisite area of town to go for a drink. When bar culture really hit Manchester in the late 90's, stylish Mancunians flocked to Castelfield's trendy canalside bars however the area suffered badly when fashion dictated the crowds walk a few metres along the cobbled road to the nearby Deansgate Locks.


There are a number of traditional pubs/bars around Piccadilly Station, Piccadilly Gardens and Portland Street. If you take a 90 degree left turn at Piccadilly Gardens and walk down Portland Street, sandwiched either side by the Gay Village and China Town, you can experience some of Manchester's most intimate traditional pubs, large chain bars and even a science fiction theme bar complete with Darleks.

Town Hall

The Town Hall located in the centre of the city has many of the trendiest cocktail bars and fantastic traditional pubs in Manchester. Home to exclusive shops and top restaurants. Some bars operate strict door policies and, with a large number of office workers joining a more distinguished clientele than other parts of town, it makes a pleasant area to explore. The Royal Exchange and Library Theatres, G-Mex, MICC, Bridgewater Hall, China Town, MEN Arena, Opera House and Palace Theatre are all close by. 

Live music

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Nightlife in surrounding areas

Surrounding areas

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