There is something for everyone in this city. A night out in Manchester is a hallmark of a good time, known around the world for a truly incredible bar and nightclub scene.
Whether you’re a dancer, drinker or prefer more of a sit-down-and-simmer, the team here at Kampus know what’s needed to make the most of this city.
In this guide, we’ll touch on the best pubs, clubs and bars to help you get a sense of what our fair city has to offer, including some of our own personal recommendations and tips for a stellar time.
Being proud residents of Manchester’s metropolis, the gang here at Kampus can give you an insider’s perspective of what it’s like to live, work, and play in the city – even if it’s just for a few really good hours.
In fact, there’s so much to explore and discover that we’re cobbled together the ultimate field guide for things to do in Manchester, covering:
- The best clubs
- The best bars
- Things to keep in mind
- Plenty of ideas for night-outs: both planned and spontaneous
- And much, much more!
We’ll also give you the lowdown on life here at Kampus.
Right at the heart of the city, we offer an incredible living and lifestyle experience that can’t be found anywhere else. Whether you’re corporate or creative, work the 9-5 or burn the midnight oil, home looks like a bit of you – and it’s found right here on Canal Street.
Stick with us. You’ll be alright, our kid.
Let’s get cracking.
Welcome to Mad-chester
Known for its 24-hour party culture, the Madchester scene, and the legendary Hacienda, Manchester is renowned for its nightlife.
And, let’s be honest, the people of Manchester are always up for a good night out on any night of the week – so it’s good to keep an extra pair of flats or trainers with you should the dancefloor call.
There are more than 650 bars in the city centre alone and the nightlife here has something for everyone, from boujee clubs blasting RnB to the depths of EDM warehouses.
But since there are so many mind blowing clubs and bars, it can be tricky to know where to start.
From the indie (or ‘indeh’, if you’re so inclined) Northern Quarter to take a sip and trip around upmarket Spinningfields, the city is perfect for converts old and new.
So let’s have a nosy at some of the best music bars, clubs and pubs to while the nights away in Manchester.
The Best Clubs
Sometimes you just need to dance it out. The Manchester club scene is a thing of beauty, with plenty of places to get your groove on while having a cheeky tipple.
Here’s our top picks.
Is it a pub? Is it a club? Well, whatever it is, YES is four floors of pubbing and clubbing.
A revolving set of DJs and new album launches are some of the highlights of this spot, owned by Now Wave (Wesley Jones and Jon Wickstead), making this a fantastic independent place – complete with beer garden for summer nights.
Featuring a club in the basement, YES certainly doesn’t miss when serving up a tune or two, and on the ground floor you’ll find them serving up slices of pizza, chicken and vegan grub as well!
With cheap pints and top tracks, YES is only a 9-minute walk away from the middle of Kampus.
So whenever you’re in the mood, head on down for your fill of beer and live music in the club that, quite literally, has it all.
This is where disco, funk, and other similar music is played till four in the morning, giving you the grooves and moves to keep you up into the early hours.
And we weren’t kidding about those hours. Because of its location in the Northern Quarter, it is open later than many other venues in the neighbourhood. No need to go to town here, folks – as this club with its relaxed, enjoyable vibe is a sure treat on more casual Fridays and Saturdays.
Winning multiple awards and is one of the city’s best clubs and having been crowned one of the best live music venues in the city, expect a hodge-podge of genres and feel-good funkery. From rock, electronic genres, hip hop, and so much more, it’s a close-knit kind of vibe.
Literally. With a smaller capacity of around 200 people, prepare to get cosy with some of Manchester’s coolest cats.
42s (or 42nd Street)
Famously a ‘young person’s’ club, 42nd Street (affectionately dubbed 42s) is the indie kid’s pick. With alt-rock from Manchester alumni Oasis and Sheffield’s Arctic Monkeys, as well as top tunes from ABBA, Bowie and Kate Bush, this is a go-to for a boogie and a chat.
Plus, the shots are going for as little as a quid – so there’s no excuse to not put in for a round with these cheap drinks.
Deaf Institute is a three-story venue complete with a kitchen and roof terrace – and is understandably a cornerstone option for a night out in Manchester. They host frequent dance evenings, which include a free indie disco and throwbacks of the ultimate old-school hits, so you’ve no excuse to sulk in a corner while everyone is getting down.
But there are also regularly scheduled live performances of music in virtually every genre, including punk, indie, nu-metal, and others. Phew.
Get yerself gone.
The Warehouse Project
(Sorry, we fibbed a little.)
But it is the home of one of the best events in the UK, with DJs and EDM fans pouring in from across the globe to spin discs and get down right here in the north. In fact, it came in at number 8 on DJ Mags Top 100 Clubs list – with an enviable selection of electronic tracks and genres, it’s a tough one to beat.
Like dipping your chips in milkshake or sinking your teeth into a deep-fried mars bar, Warehouse is a must-go when it comes to top nights out. Even if it’s just the once.
Clubbing at The Gay Village
We couldn’t leave out our city’s renowned Canal Street, a beacon of pride and conveniently located a few minutes away from the trendy Kampus neighbourhood and its options for renting apartments.
(That’s us, by the way.)
This sparkling street, settled on the Rochdale Canal is home to a myriad of incredible clubs – so much so that simply navigating this stretch is enough for one great night.
Enjoy a dance, drag acts, karaoke and delicious tipples throughout – as Canal Street is a beautiful, inclusive spot where freedom and fun rules all. As they should.
The Best Bars
Ok, dancing isn’t for the faint of heart. That’s why we’ve lined up some of the finest spots when it comes to sitting down and enjoying a tipple or two.
Whether you’re a whiskey fiend, cocktail fan or wine aficionado. Manchester has something for you. We’re nice like that.
The Whiskey Jar
Combining incredible live music with a warm and intimate stripped-back setting, The Whiskey Jar has something for all tastes – even open mic nights that are considered some of the very finest in the country.
From Scottish to Irish, and American to Japanese, whiskey fans (and even the uninitiated) are welcome to an amazing mixture of tastes, aromas, and textures from around the world.
Here you’ll find events to suit any taste, with Whiskey Tasting Sessions, Comedy Clubs, The Whiskey Experience, and even (oddly enough) The Beer Festival. Don’t ask. You’ll have to see it yourself.
Come on, you know we had to toot our own horn a little.
Overlooking the thriving canal-side gardens right here in the Kampus neighbourhood, The Beeswing is a not-so-hidden gem offering a unique selection of wines from slopes as far away as Georgia, Lebanon, and Greece – all hand-picked under the expert supervision of founder Anna Tutton.
Set in the backdrop of Kampus’ sun-soaked terraces, it’s the perfect spot to unwind and socialise while taking in the city, topped off with a glass of the good stuff and a delicious small plate.
Did we mention the venue’s seasonal wine tastings? Because we’ve got those to boot.
Winelovers, we have found your match.
The Wash House
Hidden away in a secret laundromat, all you have to do is slip down a slide and end up in a world of bubbles*.
*Of the boozy kind, that is.
The Wash House, sandwiched between the city centre and Manchester Victoria is one of the most fun and talked-about locations on the map, has you go through a little door and slide into a speakeasy bar. In there you’ll find all manner of delicious cocktails and confections, perfect for get-togethers with friends or an intimate date night with a twist.
Staying safe on your night out
We know you’ll be having a great time when you’re out and about exploring. Manchester is one of the safest cities around, but there’s no such thing as being too careful.
By taking on board these top tips on staying safe you’ll go some way to help yourself have a great time while dancing into the small hours.
Safety in numbers
Keep your friends close. It’s not just a strong saying, as remaining close to the people you trust and know well reduces the risk of being targeted by pickpockets and other worries.
Plus, it’s nice to keep track of everyone so there’s no frantic phone calls. There’s nothing like worrying about your pal for most of the night only to find out they’re safe at home with a McDonald’s.
Get taxis or arrange a lift
When travelling at night, always book a taxi or get a lift with someone you trust. Manchester has a slew of popular ride apps such as Uber, Lyft and Bolt, so it’s worth that little extra expense to take a ride in a cab and get home safely.
We’re also well-connected, with plenty of buses, trams and trains to help you get in and out in a pinch.
Always book your taxi
You can trust that a licensed minicab or taxi you are booking is respectable and trustworthy – much more than one you hail from the street. These can’t be tracked and can cause plenty of problems should you run into an issue, so stick close with friends and skip the unauthorised taxis – even if it gets you home quicker.
Drink in moderation
Who doesn’t love letting their hair down and having a tipple? But when drinking alcohol, always be in control.
Make sure you know your boundaries and never cross them – even if your mates are pushing for another point. Also, never leave your drinks unattended at any time, and keep a tight check on them – just for your own safety and peace of mind.
Stay in well-lit areas
It’s tempting to take a short-cut, especially when your feet are killing and you just want to get home. But when you’re walking home to Kampus after a night out, make sure to always stay in well-lit areas where there are plenty of people.
People are less likely to commit crime if there is good lighting, CCTV and people around to see what is happening. Before you head out, plan a route home and make sure you stick to places you know, keeping your friends in the loop as to where you’re going and regularly check in until you’re back safe.
Never take shortcuts, especially down dark allies, by canals or through unlit parks.
Keep valuables hidden
Hey big spender.
Speaking of, flashing your mobile phone and other valuables can be a costly mistake – especially if one ends up going ‘walkabout.’
People will often have valuables stolen on a night out and, let’s be honest, if you’re drunk, you’re two things:
- a much more confident dancer
- an easier target
To stop any faux pas, keep all valuables like phones, wallets and purses in zipped pockets or bags, hidden away and out of sight. That way they won’t get pinched, dropped or broken while you’re tripping the light fantastic.
Long nights need restful mornings. At Kampus, we have those in spades.
Discover your own slice of paradise in one of our lovely apartments, each of which nestled around our neighbourhood garden to provide professionals and creatives with an inner-city haven.
And that includes finned, feathered, and furry friends too, thanks to our wonderful pet-friendly rules, so you know that all the family’s tails are wagging.
But we know there’s more to life than the place where you merely hang your hat.
If all you want to do is have a drink with your friends or cook a delicious meal in one of our dining areas that can be reserved, we also have a tonne of social spaces and events.
KAMPUS also comes stocked with independent stores, bars, restaurants, gathering places for people and their dogs, regular markets, locally brewed beers (such coffee and corked drinks), and much, much more – giving you everything you need to get the most out of life.