Art and culture

Manchester is blessed with a thriving art and culture scene. It’s a breeding ground for independent spirits and a beacon for international performances and productions.

Covering everything from modern art to classic masterpieces, from the campaign for social justice to the history of football, the city has an impressive range of museums and galleries – and many are free, so you can keep going back for more. 

If you’re a theatre or opera buff, you can enjoy everything from rousing arias to musicals hot from the West End, as well as experimental theatre productions that challenge convention and delight the dramatic in you.


Galleries and libraries

You’ll also find many smaller permanent and pop-up galleries across the city.


  • The Lowry – Theatre, exhibitions, comedy shows and family events galore.
  • Palace Theatre – Catch the latest shows on tour at this Edwardian venue.
  • Royal Exchange Theatre – Everything from Shakespearian classics to the latest premieres.
  • Contact – Innovative art, dance, comedy and drama on our University campus.
  • The Dancehouse – Theatre, comedy, cult films and club nights – everything from the underground to the unclassifiable.
  • Opera House Manchester – From musicals to hit plays, this grand old theatre brings it all to Manchester.
  • HOME – An arthouse cinema, art gallery and a performance space all on one site.


As well as catching the biggest names on the comedy circuit at The Lowry and the Opera House, you can also see regular shows at: