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Best Bars in Manchester: Nightlife is Calling

The Manchester, a vibrant city in the northwest of England, boasts a long and rich bar culture, with pubs and bars of all sizes and diverse characteristics dotting the streets of this city. These bars are an indispensable part of British daily life and social interaction, attracting people in all walks of life to enjoy their nightlife in Manchester. This blog will help you gain a better understanding of its unique bar culture and guide you to the best bars in Manchester.

The Diverse Bar Culture in Manchester

The city’s pubs and bars are more than just places to enjoy a drink; they are social hubs where friends gather, stories are shared, and memories are made. Whether you’re a fan of traditional ales, innovative cocktails, or live music, Manchester has something to offer every nightlife enthusiast. Bars here are diverse and varied, each with its own unique characteristics. Here is an brief overview to the different types of bars in Manchester, and hopefully, you’ll find a style that you enjoy.

best bars in Manchester

1. Historical Pubs

Manchester’s pub culture is deeply rooted in its industrial past. The pub is the oldest type of tavern in the UK, with many pubs having histories that span over a hundred years. These establishments have been serving patrons for over a century, with interiors that often remain unchanged, offering a cozy, nostalgic atmosphere. These pubs are known for their wide selection of local ales, hearty British fare, and a sense of community that brings locals and visitors together.

2. Modern Bars

The city’s bar scene is not just about its history; it’s also about innovation and modernity. The modern and electric bars are highly popular among young people. These bars are vibrant and lively, featuring modern decor and they are primarily located in busy city areas, especially in Northern Quarter. Nighttime is the peak operating time for these establishments, especially as many bars broadcast live football matches on TV. The British love to gather in bars to drink and cheer while watching the games at night. This bustling and exhilarating atmosphere is a significant aspect of British football culture.

3. Craft Beer Bars

Manchester is home to numerous microbreweries and craft beer bars that offer a wide variety of locally brewed and international craft beers. These craft beer bars might actually be breweries themselves, offering their own craft beers. The staff here are often highly knowledgeable about beer so they can provide expert recommendations for you. If you are a beer enthusiast, then enjoy your night time in craft beer bars must be a great pleasure!


4. Music Bars

Music is an integral part of Manchester’s identity, and this is reflected in its bar culture.Many bars offer live music performances, ranging from jazz to rock, catering to various musical tastes. Numerous renowned bands originated from Manchester, contributing to the city’s rich musical atmosphere. Music lovers enjoy drinking while experiencing the music, interacting with those around them, and savoring the vibe of live performances.

5. LGBTQ+ Bars

The city has a vibrant LGBTQ+ scene, with Canal Street at its heart. The LGBTQ+ bars welcome all customers, creating a friendly and inclusive environment. They offer a variety of activities and themed nights to cater to the diverse needs of different groups.

10 Best Bars in Manchester

1. The Peveril of the Peak

Location: 127 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5JQ

The Peveril of the Peak is one of Manchester‘s most iconic and historic pubs. Located on Great Bridgewater Street, this charming establishment is easily recognizable by its distinctive green tiled exterior, which dates back to the 19th century. Known affectionately as “The Pev,” the pub boasts a rich history that reflects Manchester’s industrial heritage. The Pev is also renowned for its excellent selection of real ales and traditional beers, sourced from local breweries as well as from across the UK.

2.The Alchemist

Location: 1 New York St, Manchester M1 4HD

The Alchemist in Manchester is a renowned cocktail bar that combines theatrical presentation with innovative mixology. Situated in the heart of the city on New York Street, The Alchemist is known for its stylish and modern decor, featuring dark wood, metal accents, and ambient lighting that create a sophisticated yet inviting atmosphere. One of the standout features of The Alchemist is its imaginative cocktail. Each drink is crafted with a touch of molecular mixology, often incorporating elements such as dry ice, color-changing liquids, and edible garnishes to provide a multisensory experience. So if you are a man interested in the modern bar culture and have a strong curiosity, this bar will definitely satisfy your desire for innovative drinking experiences!

3. Sci-Speak in Code

Location: 7 Jackson’s Row, Manchester M2 5ND

The Sci-Speak in Code, situated in the centre of Manchester, now is one of the top ten cocktail bars in the UK. The interior decor leans towards a classic and elegant style, with vinyl records as a major decorative element. The music is primarily jazz and R&B, creating a calm atmosphere that is perfect for drinking alone or chatting with friends. The drink menu is inspired by vinyl records, with cocktail names based on album titles. The menu is divided into four sections: Track, Untitled, Classic and Wine. If you are a jazz enthusiast who enjoys savoring drinks in an elegant and tranquil setting while appreciating music, then this place is an absolute must-visit!

4. The Courtyard

Location: 2 Chester St, Manchester M1 5SH

The Courtyard is a highly recommended bar by many international students for its excellent value. Located near the University of Manchester, it is a popular gathering spot for local students. The drinks here are very affordable, and there are plenty of snacks, burgers, and more, all priced to suit student budgets. The bar has a lively atmosphere, featuring pool tables and arcade games, and it broadcasts various sports events, especially the football games, making it a great place for fans to gather and watch games together!

best bars in Manchester

5. Brewdog&Doghouse

Location: 18-20 Fountain St, Manchester, M2 2AR

BrewDog Manchester is celebrated for its extensive beer menu, which includes a variety of IPAs, stouts, lagers, and seasonal specials. Signature brews such as Punk IPA and Elvis Juice are staples, but the rotating selection ensures there’s always something new to try. The staff here is professional about beer making so you can get recommendations from them according to your preferences.

6. Schofield’s Bar

Location: Sunlight House 3 Quay Street, Manchester M3, 3 JZ

Schofield’s Bar is ranked among the top 100 bars in the world and is often hailed as the best bar in Manchester. It is renowned for its diverse range of expertly crafted cocktails, making it a perfect destination for cocktail enthusiasts who appreciate quality and flavor. The light inside is relatively dim, with each table adorned with a small candle, creating an intimate and cozy atmosphere. Occasionally, there are jazz bands performing here, making it ideal for a relaxed evening of sipping cocktails.

Given its popularity, Schofield’s Bar is frequently busy, so it’s highly recommended to make a reservation in advance to avoid disappointment.

7. Band on the Wall

Location: 25 Swan Street, the Northern Quarter M4 5JZ

Band on the Wall is a legendary live music venue and bar located on Swan Street in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. With a history that dates back to the 19th century, it has become one of the city’s most beloved cultural landmarks, renowned for its  music offerings and vibrant atmosphere. In 2009, it was honored as one of the top 12 venues in the UK for its significant contributions to jazz music.

Nowadays, many punk and rock bands also perform here. Manchester is home to many famous bands, such as Oasis, so if you are a music enthusiast, be sure to come and experience Manchester’s vibrant music scene!

8. Matt & Phreds Jazz Club

Location: 64 Tib Street, Manchester M4 1LX

Matt&Phreds Jazz Club is another intimate Music Venue in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, offering Live Music every night of the week, covering diverse music styles like jazz, blues, soul, funk, as well as delicious pizza and cocktails. Sometimes the tickets are free. The detailed performing information can be found on their official website.

9. G-A-Y Bar

Location: 63 Richmond Street Manchester M1 3WB

G-A-Y is Manchester’s famous gay nightclub on Canal Street, with good dance music, live acts and special drink offers. Sometimes, there are drag events, such as drag queen performances. If you’re looking for a place where you can express yourself without any constraints, this is definitely the spot for you!

music bar

10. The Washhouse

Location: 19 Shudehill, Manchester M4 2AF

This is a very unique bar in Manchester! From the outside, you might think it’s a laundromat, but it’s actually a hidden gem of a bar! Notice that you should make a  reservation on their official website before you come here. When you arrive, you need to call their number and give them the code you received. Then the staff can open the hidden door for you to enter into the real bar house. If you’re looking to explore a quirky, speakeasy-style bar, this is definitely the place to experience!

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Yes. Manchester is a city with a rich nightlife. It offers a diverse range of bars and activities, with a strong emphasis on music and football culture, making it ideal for people to enjoy lively evenings!

One of the best streets in Manchester known for its bars and nightlife is Canal Street. Located in the city center’s Gay Village, Canal Street is famous for its vibrant LGBTQ+ scene and diverse range of bars, clubs, and pubs. It’s a hub for nightlife enthusiasts looking to experience a lively atmosphere with a variety of venues offering different themes, music genres, and entertainment options.

The cost of a night out in Manchester can vary depending on where you go and your preferences. Generally, compared to other major UK cities like London, Manchester’s nightlife can be more affordable. There are many small bars near universities so the price is suitable for students for night out. 

  • Northern Quarter

  • Canal Street (Gay Village)

  • Deansgate Locks

  • Spinningfields

  • Oxford Road

  • Castlefield

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