100 things to do in Manchester
This is your year to experience new things, explore the city and make the most of your time at Manchester. How many activities will you try?
Take a music tour of the city
Manchester has a world-famous musical heritage and is the birthplace of some of the greatest bands and musicians of the past few decades - The Stone Roses, Oasis and The Smiths to name just a few! Taking a music tour is one of the best ways to celebrate our culture and gain a unique perspective of the city.
Watch the Joker like never before at Bridgewater Hall
The Bridgewater Hall is Manchester’s international concert venue, designed to offer the best music experiences. This November, watch a screening of the award-winning Joker as it comes to life with a live orchestra accompaniment, bringing further emotional weight to the eerie blockbuster.
Stand out and make a difference with the Stellify Award
We take our commitment to social responsibility seriously and know that our students want the opportunity to make a real difference in the world. The Stellify Award gives you the chance to choose how you make your mark in a way that feels authentic to you, your passions and interests. Through volunteering, leadership roles and ethical grand challenges, you’ll not only feel like you’ve taken action to help causes you truly care about, but will also be prepared for life after university and will enter the world of work feeling confident in your abilities.
Visit the Hidden Gem, the oldest Catholic Church in Manchester
Tucked away on Mulberry Street and a stone's throw away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, ‘The Hidden Gem’ was founded in 1794 and was the first Catholic church built after the Reformation. It's now home to the nationally acclaimed work of art 'the Adams Stations of the Cross' which attract many visitors each year.
Complete the Sustainability Challenge
Not only a great icebreaker during your first week on campus, the Sustainability Challenge offers you the chance to imagine and create a better world. You'll work with students from various disciplines to develop plans for a new campus as the world around you changes and the time counts down.
Visit Heaton Park for the best view of the city
As one of the highest points in Manchester, Heaton Park should be on everyone’s bucket list. The nearby garden centre, beekeeping sanctuary, walking routes and animal centre make it a great place to escape the city. Heaton Park Astronomy Group also hosts regular stargazing events, or why not hire a rowing boat or pedalo during the summer months?
Audition for a student drama production at the Martin Harris Centre
The Martin Harris Centre is situated in the heart of the University campus and offers a varied programme of arts events, often organised and performed by students. Brave the stage and audition for a role in a theatre production, band or spoken word event - or simply come along to watch an unforgettable performance!
Wrap up warm for a night at Hatch
A stone's throw away from Main Campus, Hatch is a vibrant courtyard filled with pop-up eateries, bars, shops, and salons. It’s a great place to head to after a day in the library as their exciting series of regular events and live music makes it the perfect place to unwind.
Get your groove on at a MUBB performance
Manchester University’s Big Band (part of the Manchester University Music Society) are well known for their electric performances, putting a classic jazzy twist on your pop favourites! You can see them perform at the Martin Harris Centre, around campus or at multiple student bars in Fallowfield, Victoria Park and across the city.
Discover rare books and Special Collections at John Rylands Library
The John Rylands Library is a great place to learn and discover, offering the space to explore rich collections of rare books and manuscripts, take a break from the busy campus library, and research outside of your studies. Its archives are world-leading in many areas of interest, and is ranked in the top five university special collections in the world. As a student you are automatically registered as a Special Collections Reader, allowing you physical access to some of the most coveted archives in the UK - at the John Rylands, your curiosity has no bounds!
Sit under one of Isaac Newton's apple trees
Cut offs from Sir Isaac Newton’s infamous apple tree have blossomed at specially selected Science Centres on campus and across the UK. Head to the Pariser Building on Sackville Street or Jodrell Bank for a glimpse of one of the most famous scientific anecdotes of the past.
Ride around the velodrome at the National Cycling Centre
Manchester’s velodrome is an indoor Olympic-standard cycle-racing track and was the first of its kind in Britain when it opened in 1994. If you’re looking for something unique and exciting to try, sign up for one of the taster sessions where you’ll be taught by an expert to take your first ride around the track.
Join a religious, cultural or international society
Your Students’ Union has a huge range of societies to join that will help you feel at home in Manchester. From the Arab Society, Japanese Society and Jewish Society, to the Somali Society, Christian Union and LGBTQ Society, you’re guaranteed to discover people and cultures from all walks of life.
Relive your childhood in the underground arcade bar, NQ64
Travel back in time through the huge variety of arcade games and classic consoles; from Nintendo.64 to an original PlayStation, it’s every gamer’s childhood dream!
Commemorate the birthplace of democracy at the Peterloo Memorial
In August 1819, up to 60,000 working class people from the towns and villages of what is now Greater Manchester marched to St Peter’s Field to demand political representation at a time when only wealthy landowners could vote. Their subsequent massacre is widely understood to be a turning point in British history, paving the way for parliamentary democracy and working-class consciousness. Head to Windmill Street to see the memorial, designed so you can stand on the speaker’s podium and inspire future change.
Join a sports society
Your Students’ Union has a huge range of sports societies to join, regardless of your skill level, to help you stay active and meet new people. From Boxing to Cheerleading and Polo, to Archery, Yoga and Touch Rugby, you have the perfect opportunity to discover a love for new sports and hobbies.
Visit the Manchester Cathedral
Situated in the heart of the Medieval Quarter, Manchester Cathedral is not only a beautiful place of worship but a Grade 1 listed masterpiece and home to a vast ancient archive. Their lively and inclusive programme of events is not to be missed as we celebrate its 600th anniversary this year.
Explore the Greater Manchester Police Museum
Trust us on this one, the GMP Museum is one of Manchester’s best-kept secrets! This isn’t just a fan favourite amongst the city’s history buffs, but is widely loved by the entire community. Browse their extensive archive, get a glimpse of an 1895 Magistrates Court and come face to face with their historic equipment, evidence and cars - try not to get yourself locked up overnight in the spooky cells though!
Become a Library Peer Network Mentor
The Library Peer Network scheme was launched during the pandemic and aims to provide weekly academic resources and live networking sessions for students from under-represented backgrounds, hosted by current students and recent graduates who have faced similar experiences. You can get involved either as a mentor, or by helping to create the open educational resources.
Escape to Freight Island
Escape to Freight Island is the lively regeneration of Depot Mayfield. This outdoor market and festival space is home to a number of different bars, restaurants, food trucks, music performances, immersive entertainment, and retail businesses; fast becoming one of the city’s hotspots.
Turn your ideas into reality at the Venture Further Awards
Have you got a stand-out business idea? Venture Further is the university’s annual start-up competition that offers a £75,000 prize fund to help kick-start your business empire, as well as a world of support programmes, workshops, mentors and networks to grow your ideas.
Shop at a vintage kilo sale in the Northern Quarter
Vintage shopping is almost a right of passage in Manchester. Affordable, environmentally friendly and just a whole load of fun, vintage kilo sales pop up across the city all year round, including in your Students’ Union, and are a great way to find unique pieces for your wardrobe.
See all the banners at the People's History Museum
The People’s History Museum is the national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future. Make sure to catch the Banner Exhibition before it ends in January 2022 to explore the stories of campaigns, revolutions and movements as told by the voices of the people that made it happen.
Push yourself to run the Manchester Purple Wave
The University’s Purple Wave challenge is a fantastic opportunity each year for the UoM Community to come together and create a wave of purple as staff, students, and alumni take part in the Manchester 10K. It’s a great goal to aim for and will help you keep fit and meet new people throughout the year!
Get a unique perspective of Manchester through an Invisible Cities walking tour
This is one of the best ways you can see the city: Go ‘Off the cobbles with Danny’, ‘Wonderwalk through Manchester with Nick’, discover ‘Andy’s Stories of Pubs’, or learn about the ‘Powerful Women of Manchester with Laura’. Each of these friendly and unique guided walking tours are presented by men and women who have been directly affected by homelessness. They know the city better than anyone and offer a personal insight into its past, present and future.
Learn to be unstoppable at an AMBS Original Thinking webinar
Innovation is at the heart of everything Alliance Manchester Business School does, encouraging your entrepreneurial spirit to thrive. Become a contributor to their Original Thinkers Blog, listen to Helen Pankhurst as she discusses Women Leading in Business on the Original Thinking Podcast, or attend a future Original Thinking Webinar where you can develop your skills, network and learn to be unstoppable.
Get lost in Affleck's Palace
Home to the weird and wonderful, Affleck’s Palace is a must-see hub of independent indie commerce, eclecticism and that famous Mancunian spirit. If you’re in need of a fancy-dress costume for your first freshers party, glitter by the gallon for festival season, or a crazy poster to decorate your new room, this is the place to be. Stretched across a multi-floor ‘department store’ of small stalls, shops, eateries and salons, it doesn’t get more ‘Manchester’ than this.
Explore Fletcher Moss Park and Botanical Gardens
In need of some green space? Fletcher Moss Park and Botanical Gardens is a beautiful haven in East Didsbury and just a short bus ride away on the 142. It’s the perfect place for a stroll and a coffee all year round, and if you’re a nature lover with a keen green thumb, volunteer as a Friend of the Park and Gardens.
Join a campaigning or political society
Your Students’ Union has a huge range of societies to join where you can find your voice and stand up for what you believe in. From Model United Nations, Student Action for Refugees and Young Greens, to the Feminist Collective, Amnesty International and the Debating Union, your revolutionary spirit has the chance to thrive and make real change.
Dance the night away at Manchester Jazz Festival
Manchester Jazz Festival is the city’s longest running music festival and promotes both up-and-coming and well-established regional jazz artists. If you’re looking to showcase your performance skills, you can apply to one of the festival-run talent development programmes for your chance to play at next year’s event! Alternatively, if you’re just looking for a weekend to remember filled with music, food and fun, make sure to jot this down in your calendar for next summer.
Watch the Manchester derby in the Women's Super League
No matter if football or rugby is your game of choice, you can watch the Women’s Super League in Manchester’s world-famous stadiums to be a part of the electric big-game atmosphere, allowing you to reconnect with both the sport and each other. Find tickets for the FA Women’s League here, and this season’s Rugby League here.
Volunteer with a local charity
There are countless local charities for you to get involved in, and the University’s Volunteering Fair in the first semester is the perfect opportunity for you to find out more about charities and nonprofits that are the perfect fit for you. Check out the Volunteer Hub to find opportunities throughout the year: you can make new friends, become part of the local community and develop new skills which will look great on your CV.
Challenge yourself to complete a parkrun
Heaton Park, Platt Fields, Worsley, Sale water park: there’s countless green spaces around Greater Manchester for you to explore. Joining an organised park run is a great way to meet new people, stay active and explore different areas of the city - and there’s almost always a coffee stop at the end to help you stay motivated on route!
Visit Marx and Engel's desk at Cheetham's Library
Founded in 1653, Cheetham’s Library is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. Book a tour, browse the archives and explore the 101 Cheetham Treasures; a first edition of Newton’s Principia, the desk where Marx and Engel worked in 1845, and a collection of Hogarth prints to name just a few.
Take a day trip to the Trafford Centre
Where else can you find mini golf and laser quest, a huge shopping mall, go to the cinema, eat, drink, and even snorkel with sharks all under one roof? And just a stone’s throw away is Eventcity, Chill Factore, indoor skydiving, a driving range and dino golf. The Trafford Centre really has it all, and is easily accessible via Manchester’s bus and tram routes.
Test your strength on the Total Ninja Obstacle Course
Fancy letting off a bit of steam? Want a fun new way to get active? Why not try the Total Ninja Obstacle Course, an inflatable park that’s bound to get your heart pumping and provide endless fun if you’re in need of an activity to help you de-stress.
Join a fundraising or volunteering society
Your Students’ Union has a huge range of societies to join so that you can help make a difference to both our local and global community. From Dogs Unleashed, Want not Waste and Direct Access (Women's Project SA), to Biko Bikes, Outreach (Homelessness SA) and the Speech and Language Therapy Society, you’ll easily find a great cause to get involved in.
Spend the day at RHS Bridgewater
Enjoy a beautiful day out in Salford at RHS Bridgewater Gardens, the former site of Worsley New Hall. Walk around the unique Chinese-inspired garden, which was created with the help of Manchester’s Chinese community, or the Paradise Garden which spectacularly blends Mediterranean, Asiatic and American planting. Entry is free if you’re a Salford resident, or you can access discounted tickets if you travel to the site by bike or a different ‘green’ alternative.
Celebrate 50 years of Manchester's Caribbean Carnival
The North West’s largest celebration of Caribbean culture will be returning next summer. Held annually at Alexandra Park since 1971, this vibrant event includes music, costumes, dance, food, carnival queens and steel bands. Not to be missed, this is the ultimate street party!
Connect with the local environment through the UoM Tree Trail
Here at the University, we treasure our green spaces. The Tree Trail is a project led by the Environmental Sustainability team and is designed to encourage you to get out and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of walking, boost your mindful reflection and to learn something new about the trees that you pass every day. You can choose your own starting point or follow one of our suggested routes, making this a unique way to explore campus and get to know the surrounding area.
Take part in Sporticipate
Sporticipate is the University’s scheme to encourage everyone to take part in a wide and varied range of accessible, inclusive sports and activities. Sportcipate runs a full weekly drop-in timetable, coaching sessions and regular large scale events, and the #ActiveAnywhere campaign means you can stay involved no matter where you’re studying this year.
Enjoy a meal on the Curry Mile
The world-famous Curry Mile along Wilmslow Road is home to the largest concentration of Asian restaurants in the UK, ranging from Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi cuisine. This is the perfect place to grab a late-night takeaway, organise a meal with friends, and impress your spice-loving relatives.
Join a yoga session or wellbeing talk at the Feel Good Club
The first of its kind in Manchester, Feel Good Club is a mental-health and wellbeing themed coffee-house which opened during the pandemic and has since become a huge success amongst locals. Offering up ‘good vibes only’, it’s the perfect place to work in if you’re in need of a calming environment and a slice of cake to keep you going.
Watch a live theatre performance at the Royal Exchange
The beautiful building and dramatic round stage make the Royal Exchange Manchester’s hotspot for drama and theatre. This year, it plans to host a variety of performances that celebrate life, collaboration and creativity in a fantastic reopening programme.
Watch a live show at HOME
From theatre, comedy, exhibitions, events, film, festivals and more, you’re sure to find something to enjoy. Their 2021 Autumn-Winter Season is already shaping up to be an exciting run of theatre performances with over 30 shows announced so far. See more details here.
Visit the bright lights of Canal Street
Canal Street is a hub of celebration in the heart of the city and home to Manchester’s world-famous Gay Village. From club nights, bars, drag shows, theatre, charity initiatives and delicious food, Canal Street is a safe space for all in the LGBTQ+ community. The Village hosts a number of annual events and community activities to help support members of its community, both on a local and international scale, such as Pride and Sparkle.
Choose your side: Old Trafford or Etihad
It’s an age-old rivalry that began in 1881 that has seen Manchester City and Manchester United pitted against each other in a staggering 185 matches: who will you choose? Watch a game in either of the city’s electric stadiums, at any one of the many sports bars (your SU being one) or live from your screen at home.
Grab an exclusive vinyl on Record Store Day
Typically, Record Store Day takes place sometime in the summer months and is a unique celebration of the country’s record shops and vinyl culture. Manchester’s rich musical heritage makes Vinyl Revival on Hilton Street the perfect place to visit on Record Store Day, offering special vinyl releases from both local bands and global superstars. Make sure to get there quickly - once they’re gone, they’re gone!
Try a local craft beer from Beermoth
If you’re a lover of craft beer and are on the hunt for some of Manchester’s finest, look no further: in the Beermoth cafe and shop, they cater to everyone’s tastes. You can find rare releases, Manchester classics and international favourites, so there’s always something new to try.
Take part in veganuary
Attempting veganuary couldn’t be easier in Manchester! The city is home to some of the greatest vegan cafes, restaurants, shops, markets and street food that even the most ardent meat lovers can enjoy. Try Seiten Bao Buns at Vertigo, the Mezze platter at Fuel in Withington or a Philly ‘Cheesesteak’ at Herbivorous. Challenge your mates and see who can last the longest on a plant-based diet…
Take a street art tour of the Northern Quarter
The streets of Manchester (but most notably in the Northern Quarter) are well-known for their vibrant murals, tags and commemorative artwork. You can take a tour from your own phone using the Street Art Cities app, or for a more personal touch try Skyliner’s Alternative Manchester Tours. If you fancy just going for an explore on your own, make sure to visit the 22 Bees mural on Oldham Street and the Outhouse in Stevenson Square.
Explore Manchester's cultural history at the Portico Library
This Regency-period library is one of Manchester’s oldest institutions. With books piled across every wall and a programme of eclectic events and workshops, the Portico Library is not only a great spot to indulge your cultural interests but a place to learn, research and develop your studies through collaboration and open discussion.
Beat the frog at Frog and Bucket Comedy Club
The award winning comedy club Frog and Bucket has hosted the likes of Jack Whitehall, Peter Kay and John Bishop in their early careers. The weekly schedule of fun is bound to leave you in stitches, but the best night of all is the legendary ameatur night, “Beat the Frog’. The audience decides who stays and who goes, and if you think you’ve got what it takes, this is your chance to take to the stage and impress! Free for students, this will soon become a highlight of your week.
Go hiking in the Peak District
If you’re in need of a break from the city, or just fancy a bit of an adventure, head into the Peak District for some of the most stunning landscapes the UK has to offer! Don’t worry about needing a car as there are extensive train and bus routes from Manchester into the heart of the National Park, making this an easily accessible option when making your weekend plans. Go on a hike with friends, or for something a little different, why not try organised gorge walking, rock scrambling or caving experiences?
Walk through a timeline of history at the Imperial War Museum North
“Discover the forgotten histories of service personnel and civilians who came to Britain during the Second World War in Mixing It: The Changing Faces of Wartime Britain, or see conflict through the eyes of artists in Reactions.” The IWMN offers a unique perspective to the social, conflict and cultural history of the last century through immersive exhibitions and powerful experiences, and is a great place for you to expand your knowledge of both historical and contemporary global issues.
Do your bit for the Social Justice Challenge
There are opportunities for you to help make a difference throughout your degree. As a second, third or fourth year student, the Social Justice Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for you to learn from leading academics and consider issues of social justice from multidisciplinary perspectives, exploring what it might mean to build fairer communities in Manchester, the UK, and across the globe.
Take advantage of new study spaces at MECD
As the birthplace of a revolution, Manchester is the home of ground-breaking discovery. The Manchester Engineering Campus reflects pride in our rich academic and civic heritage, and is a site designed to inspire innovation where you can research, ‘play’, collaborate, create and learn.
Browse the 35 miles of book shelving in Central Library
Facing St Peter’s Square, Manchester’s Central Library is hard to miss: the impressive architecture and central location make it an ideal place to work and explore. It boasts an impressive 35 miles worth of shelving with a vast collection of rare books, archives and local history so there’s bound to be something that piques your interest! If you’re in need of a new study spot, the central Reading Room is the perfect place to work and research.
Take a selfie with the Alan Turing statue
Sitting directly in-between the University’s North Campus and Manchester’s Gay Village, the statue is a celebration of both Turing’s public and private life. Turing was a pioneer of mathematics, computing and academia, and since his death has become an icon of the LGBTQ+ community. He inspired change and helped build the world as we know it. Visit his memorial, or get involved with current research at The Alan Turing Institute.
Watch a game at the SU's 360 sports bar
Your Students’ Union bar is constructed so that no matter where you’re sitting, you can see a TV screen showing the day’s top sports pick. If you ever fancy watching a big game with mates, no matter the sport, this is the place to be.
Visit a Roman fort at the Castlefield Urban Heritage Park
Take a look at what Manchester looked like in the Roman era at the Mamucium in Castlefield. The Castrum was founded in c. AD 79 and left virtually undisturbed until the rapid expansion of the city during the Industrial Revolution. Featuring original stone foundations and reconstructed walls, you have the chance to walk around the oldest part of the region and become immersed in the history around you. The fort is just a three minute walk from the Museum of Science and Industry and so a fantastic day out for lifelong learners and history buffs!
Wave in the background of the news at Media City
Media City is an international hub for technology, innovation and creativity and is where many of the UK’s broadcasting networks film and produce content. It’s home to Box on the Docks, the Blue Peter Garden and an exciting calendar of events, and is easily accessible via the tramlink. You should also explore the surrounding Salford Quays where you’ll find a watersports centre, City Centre Cruises and The Lowry Theatre.
Have a Yorkshire pudding wrap at the Christmas Markets
Manchester’s Christmas Markets is a key event in the community calendar. More than 300 decked-out stalls take to the streets of the city centre, offering delicious food, gifts and Christmas activities to get you in the holiday spirit. Make sure to wrap up warm as you soak up the atmosphere, and grab a picture in front of the giant light-up santa.
Go to a gig at Manchester Academy
Located on campus, the Academy is composed of four large concert venues and caters for everyone’s tastes. Rock, pop, techno - you name it! We also regularly use it to host events for students, such as the Volunteering Fair, so you’ll no doubt pay a visit at some point throughout the year.
Join an academic or special interest society
Your Students’ Union has a huge range of societies to join to help your curiosity flourish. From the Geology Society, Astronomy and 3D Printing, to Bell Ringing, Current Affairs and Linguistics, you have the freedom to grow your interests and explore.
See some of your favourite performers at Parklife
In recent years, ParkLife has seen the likes of Annie Mac, Liam Gallagher, Cardi B and George Ezra. It’s a huge celebration of some of the biggest names in music and takes place just after final exams in the second semester, making it a great end of year celebration for many of our students. Make sure to keep an eye out for next year’s lineup!
Try something new from a vendor at Mackie Mayor
Situated on the edge of the city’s Northern Quarter, Mackie Mayor is in a Grade 2 listed Market Hall and the only surviving building from the Smithfield Market, originally opened in 1858. Now home to a wide variety of food vendors, it’s the perfect place to study or enjoy a meal with friends.
Brave a ghost walk in the city centre
If you’re feeling fearless, and are a lover of all things paranormal, try the “Original” Manchester Ghost walk for a taste of the weird and wonderful. Sit down for a spooky night over zoom, or take to the streets with Flecky when he returns for his infamous ghost tours.
Explore Manchester Museum's online exhibitions and collections
Although Manchester Museum is closing its doors for the year as it reaches its final stages of redevelopment, there’s plenty of ways you can stay involved and browse the extensive archives, exhibitions and collections: make sure to check out the virtual Vivarium, Archeology collection and online Living Cultures archive. Keep an eye out for their reopening in 2022 when you’ll get to meet Stan, the second-most complete specimen of a T-rex in the world.
Have an ice cream at Ginger's Comfort Emporium
It may not always be sunny in Manchester, but that doesn’t stop us - Ginger’s “Chorlton crack” (salted caramel and peanut butter) is a cult favourite! Their ice cream parlour can be found on the first floor of Affleck’s Palace. With an ever changing menu of crazy, delicious flavours, you’ll be craving ice cream all year round - weather not permitted.
Check out the textile room at the Whitworth Art Gallery
From Old Masters to contemporary revolutionaries, the Whitworth Gallery has something for everyone. Its world-renowned collection is one of the University’s greatest cultural assets, and the surrounding park is a real hotspot on a sunny day.
Grab lunch on campus at the Bridgeford Street Food Market
As well as hosting a weekly market in Levenshulme each Saturday, Levenshulme Food Market takes to Bridgeford Street every Tuesday lunchtime and is the perfect spot to grab a quick bite to eat in-between lectures.
Hire a bike to explore the city
Cycle hire couldn't be easier in Manchester and is increasingly popular amongst students. Take a tour of the city, follow a well trodden cycle route, or simply bring your own bike to travel into campus. Take advantage of the University-funded subsidised lock scheme, as well as our free overt bike marking service to help you feel safe and secure.
Go stargazing at Godlee Observatory
Perched on top of the Sackville Street building, the Godlee Observatory is your window to the skies and a true hidden gem on campus. Owned and run by Manchester Astronomical Society, the structure is one of only two papier mache observatories in the UK. The society meets every Thursday evening (either in person or over zoom) when slideshows, digital image shows, informal talks and occasional 'workshops' take place. The telescopes are also used most weeks (weather permitting), allowing your curiosity to flourish.
Challenge yourself to go zero-waste for a week
If sustainability is your passion and you fancy a challenge, see how long you can live a zero-waste lifestyle. There are many great local and independent shops around Manchester that can help you achieve this, for example; Lentils and Lather in Withington, Want not Waste on campus, and the zero waste home delivery service, M20 Refills.
Help design our float for Manchester's Pride Parade
A street party to remember, Manchester Pride Festival celebrates equality, community, culture, history and art. It takes places annually in Manchester’s Gay Village, and hosts various parties, parades, vigils and forums that aim to support and empower the city’s LGBTQ+ community. Join in the fun with the University by being a part of the UoM float in next year’s parade!
Challenge your flatmates to a game of pool at Squirrel's Bar
In the heart of Oak House on the Fallowfield campus you’ll find Squirrel’s Bar. Many Students' Union (SU) societies use the venue to host events, but the large communal space, cheap drinks, pool tables and sports screens make it a student favourite any day of the week.
Sing along as you head into town on the Magic Bus
Manchester’s Magic Bus’ are much loved by the entire community and a key part of our everyday lives. Find out about their annual student pass here. The infamous sing-alongs on the way into town are a great part of the city’s culture and the student experience, no doubt leaving your friends in other cities jealous of our Mancunian spirit. Always make sure to stay respectful of each other, the drivers and other passengers!
Learn about the Suffragettes at the Pankhurst Centre
Grab a picture with the Emmeline Pankhurst statue in St Peter’s Square, and visit the Pankhurst Trust behind the Stopford Building on campus where you can discover the story of the Suffragettes in the very building where it all began. Now the home of Manchester Women’s Aid, there are many volunteering opportunities for you to get involved in to follow in Pankhurst’s footsteps.
Meet BABY at the Science and Industry Museum
Explore Manchester’s rich history of innovation at The Science and Industry Museum. There are always new events and exhibitions to explore, such as Use Hearing Protection: the early years of Factory Records, running until January 2022, which celebrates Manchester’s place at the heart of Britain’s music scene. From science and engineering to creative industry and more, the museum will inspire you to change the world! Whilst you’re there, also make sure to visit BABY, the first computer to store and run a programme.
Become a Peer or PASS mentor
If you’re in your second year or above, volunteer to become a PASS Leader in your degree subject. Whether it’s offering essay-writing advice or explaining some of the trickier concepts of your subject, you’ll run informal group sessions to help your fellow students with their studies, tailoring advice to their needs. Alternatively, you can train to become a Peer Mentor, a scheme that helps first-years adjust to all aspects of university life.
Join a music, arts or literature society
Your Students’ Union has a huge range of societies to join that will help fulfil your creative interests. From Creative Writing, Barbershop Singers, Women’s Theatre and K-pop, to Indian Dance, Magic and Tango, you’re bound to flourish and meet new friends.
Explore the latest exhibitions at Manchester Art Gallery
Manchester Art Gallery is known for its important collections and brilliant exhibitions, and this year is no exception. This Autumn, view the personal and emotive chronicles of Grayson Perry, his artist friends, celebrities and members of the public as they navigated their way through lockdown and get inspired to create your very own masterpiece.
Grab a photo under the arches at the Stockport Viaduct
This is a must-see for engineering enthusiasts. As one of the largest brick structures in the UK, the Stockport Viaduct remains a major feat of the early railway age. How many bricks can you count? While you’re in Stockport, take a trip to The Hat Works, underground Air Raid Shelters and Anson Engine Museum for the ultimate inquisitive day out.
Brave a carnival ride at Platt Fields on Bonfire night
With a funfair, music, food and drink stalls, a bonfire and the all important firework display, Platt Fields Park is the place to be on November 5. You don’t need a ticket as this is a party for the whole local community to enjoy. Wrap up warm and make sure all your flatmates are with you to enjoy the festivities.
Enjoy a book and a bite to eat at Didsbury Village Bookshop
The Art of Tea is an independent cafe in Didsbury, and the attached bookshop makes it a perfect little spot to study in. Relax and enjoy loose-leaf tea, cake, coffee and cosy corners - it’s a book-lover’s dream.
Take a selfie next to the Vimto statue
Enjoy hot vimto, cold vimto, fizzy vimto, and vimto flavoured sweets across Manchester - we just love it! If you need some fresh air in the middle of a study session, take a walk to the Vimto statue in Vimto Park, Sackville Street (the exact spot where the drink was first invented in 1908) to discover a little bit of fun local history.
Visit the Ice Age boulder on the Old Quad
As you explore campus in your first few weeks, make sure to take a stroll through the archway on Oxford Road and into the Old Quad where you’ll find this glacial giant. The boulder weighs over 20 tonnes and was found in 1900, 28 feet underground just south of the University at the site that is now the junction of Oxford Road and Devas Street. It’s composed of andesite from Borrowdale in the Lake District and was carried to Manchester by the last glacial period to affect this region about 20,000 years ago.
Head to Platt Fields for a picnic on a summer's day
Just opposite the Fallowfield campus, Platt Fields park is a hub for students all year round. Grab a picnic from “Big Sainsbury’s” down the road for a day in the sun, or if you’re in need of a quick break from the hustle and bustle of city life, pack your headphones or a book and go for a wander around the lake.
Snap a selfie under the arch in Chinatown
Manchester’s Chinatown is the second largest in the UK and home to a wide choice of shops, restaurants, supermarkets and bakeries. Snap a picture in front of the iconic archway on Faulkner Street, and join in the festivities during Chinese New Year.
Get lost in the Samuel Alexander building
Don’t worry, we’ve all done it! The Samuel Alexander building is home to many of the University’s Humanities courses and is a wondrous maze of lecture halls, study spaces and seminar rooms. If ever you’re feeling lost on campus, don’t hesitate to reach out to an AskMe ambassador, member of staff or a fellow student in the corridors: we’re all in this together. You can also make use of our handy campus map to find all your buildings ahead of the start of teaching.