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Following a busy year of new openings in 2023, including the much-anticipated reopening of Manchester Museum, complete with three new gallery spaces; the extension of Castlefield Viaduct, the city’s sky park taking over a former Victorian viaduct; and, the milestone opening of Aviva Studios, a major new arts venue for the North, Manchester enters 2024 with an attractive offer of new things to do for visitors.

The year ahead is set to offer a strong cultural programme of events and exhibitions, and key themes like music, which have always been synonymous with the city, continue to chime when we see the opening of Co-Op Live in April 2024, the UK’s biggest new music venue; and the city’s food and drink scene shows no signs of slowing with a rolling list of restaurant and bar openings for visitors to eat their way around the city. Read on for our list of reasons to visit in 2024…

Music, culture, attractions and tours

Everyone Welcome: Manchester LGBTQ+ Trail
Launched in August 2023

From Victorian drag balls to Canal Street, the Campaign for Homosexual Equality and the city’s famous Pride Parade, Manchester has always led the way with LGBTQ+ activism. To celebrate this proud heritage, the Everyone Welcome: Manchester LGBTQ+ Trail has been created to take visitors on a journey of key historic spots in the queer movement.

Manchester Music Trail
Launched in October 2023

Visitors to Manchester can now follow a dedicated music trail taking in some of the city’s most loved music venues. The new Manchester Music Trail features 15 locations, including the city’s oldest venue, Band on the Wall, and its newest, Aviva Studios. The trail also uncovers the history
of each venue and its importance to Manchester’s musical heritage.

Manchester Wine Tours: wine and walk the city’s best spots
Launched in October 2023

Food and drink journalist Kelly Bishop has launched Manchester Wine Tours, offering a ‘non-stuffy’ wine walk taking in 20 of the best wine bars, restaurants, and shops in Manchester. Guests will stop at four locations trying six wines, matched with snacks, and in groups of no more than
12 people.

Visit Manchester Pass: city’s first tourist pass launches
Launched in October 2023

Manchester’s first visitor pass launched in October with the Visit Manchester Pass, offering 1, 2, and 3-day passes with entry to attractions including Manchester City stadium tours, RHS Garden Bridgewater, and East Lancashire Railway. A total of 30 add-on offers are also available with hotels, bars, restaurants, and spa treatments.

Aviva Studios: cultural landmark opens with a premiere new show
Opened in October 2023

Following a hugely popular preview exhibition from Yayoi Kusama in Summer 2023, Aviva Studios, home of Factory International, officially opened in October with a premiere production of Free Your Mind, a performance based on The Matrix films, which takes the audience to follow performers around the 143,000 sq ft venue. Further programming for the venue’s first year have been announced including a series of welcome events chosen by the people of Greater Manchester.

Co-op Live: UK’s biggest new music venue announces first live concerts
Opening in April 2024

The new 23,500 capacity live music venue Co-op Live is confirmed to open in April 2024 at a site next to Manchester City Football Club. The venue, backed by Harry Styles and Bruce Springsteen, has now announced the first wave of its opening acts which has so far included Olivia Rodrigo, Eric Clapton, and a residency from Manchester-born band, Take That. The venue is planned to have 32 bars, restaurants and lounges, and features a smart bowl design to bring fans closer to the stage.

Heritage, libraries, and museums

Manchester Museum: last chance to see Golden Mummies at expanded museum
Reopened in February 2023

After a three-year closure, Manchester Museum reopened in February 2023 following a £15m transformation that added a two-storey extension with a South Asia and Chinese Culture Gallery, alongside a temporary exhibition space. It’s also the last chance to catch Golden Mummies of Egypt, its premiere temporary exhibition, which closes on 31 December.

Queer Lit: LGBTQ+ book and coffee shop opens as the largest in the UK
Opened in October 2023

Starting life as a tiny shop in the Northern Quarter neighbourhood, independent LGBTQ+ bookseller, Queer Lit, has opened its new, larger store in Ancoats. With a coffee shop that can host events, the new store is now the UK’s largest LGBTQ+ bookshop with over 4,000 titles.

Rochdale Town Hall: restoration continues at Grade I listed building
Reopening in early 2024

An incredible £16m restoration is taking place to allow Rochdale’s Town Hall to be fully opened to the public for the first time in history. The Grade I listed building will feature new exhibition spaces and a new hall for community events. An iconic location, Rochdale Town Hall has also appeared in film and TV including Tolkien, Peaky Blinders, and World on Fire.

John Rylands Library: transformation of city’s first public library to begin
Reopening in Late 2024

The Grade-I listed John Rylands Library, opened in 1900 and renowned for its impressive Victorian Gothic architecture, is preparing for a one-year project that will transform its exhibition spaces, provide a refreshed main entrance, and enhanced academic facilities. The library, now owned by the University of Manchester, is approaching its 125th anniversary in 2025, whilst the University celebrates its bicentenary in 2024.

Manchester Town Hall: iconic Victorian building to reopen following transformation
Reopening date TBC 2025/26

Manchester’s impressive 19th century Town Hall will reopen to the public following an extensive renovation project to protect it for future generations. One of the most significant heritage projects in the UK, the Our Town Hall project will open with a new exhibition telling the story of the heritage building, whilst giving visitors access to previously unseen areas, including the Victorian police cells, courtyard, and clocktower on new guided tours.

Food and drink

Higher Ground: local ingredient restaurant makes the Michelin Guide
Opened in March 2023

Starting life as a pop-up in 2020, Higher Ground now has a permanent spot in the city with a focus on seasonal dishes with locally-sourced ingredients. The restaurant, run by three friends, was also named in the Michelin Guide and praised for its “top quality produce”.

Diecast: further developments at metals factory turned dining destination
Opened in July 2023 with new developments

Set inside a former metals factory, Diecast opened in July 2023 offering locals a post-industrial style bar, kitchen, and dance floor. The latest development at the sprawling site includes four vintage caravans, that can be booked for private dining and party experiences. Further plans at Diecast include a night market, brewery, and independent shops.

Sexy Fish: luxury Japanese restaurant opens with eye-popping interiors
Opened in October 2023

Featuring lavish interiors with custom artworks by Damien Hirst, and Murano glass columns, Sexy Fish has opened in Manchester’s Spinningfields, offering a menu inspired by Asian dining, including an Omakase sushi experience. The 152-seat restaurant is also home to the largest champagne collection in the UK, and has dishes designed exclusive to Manchester by chef Bjoern Weissgerber.

Central Bay: 20 independent kitchens open at new food hall
Opened in October 2023

Named after the original dock that was once heart of the industrial revolution, Central Bay is a new food hall at the heart of MediaCity in Salford. Twenty independent kitchens bring food from around the world, alongside restaurant pop-ups, and live music with waterside views. New traders are set to be announced, with 11 Central, a new bar and microbrewery joining from local brewers, Seven Bro7hers.

House of Fu: ramen favourite opens second UK location with karaoke rooms
Opened in October 2023

The second location of popular ramen and karaoke restaurant House of Fu arrives in Manchester popularity in Leeds. Upstairs you’ll find delicious ramen, homemade gyoza and Sake flights, whilst the basement hosts karaoke rooms for up to 8 people.

Fenix: High-end Greek restaurant brings top chefs to £7m opening
Opening in November 2023

The first new restaurant to open in the new St. John’s neighbourhood (home of new Aviva Studios), Fenix is set to bring modern Greek food from chef’s who have graced some of Greece’s finest restaurants. Designs for the £7m space include light technology to mimic the setting sun
and promises to ‘bring Mykonos to Manchester’.


Treehouse Manchester: second UK location for playful hotel brand
Opening in April 2024

Taking over 14-storeys, with 216-bedrooms, Treehouse Hotel Manchester is set to open in April with a £200m redevelopment of a former hotel on Deansgate, in Manchester City Centre. The second location for the London-brand, the property will feature nature-inspired interiors, and a
line-up of food and drink offerings will include a rooftop restaurant, and a ground floor zero waste eatery.

Malmaison Deansgate: second property opens with rooftop bar views
Opening in December 2023

Their second property in Manchester, Malmaison Deansgate will open opposite the iconic Albert Square and Manchester Town Hall. 70 guest rooms will pay homage to retro 60s and 70s design, and the brand’s famous Malmaison Bar & Grill will serve food, alongside SORA, a rooftop bar with panoramic view.

Mollie’s: third UK site to open at former TV studios
Opening in early 2024

Its most ambitious project to date will see Mollie’s, the UK hotel and diner concept come to Manchester opening its third and largest site in the Old Granada TV studios. Taking over 100,000 sq ft of the historic 1950s building, it will offer 130-bedrooms, a 150-cover diner-style restaurant, with the top three floors of the building to be shared with Soho House, which will offer a club, swimming pool and private spaces.

Station Agent’s House: historic property on museum site to become holiday property
Opening in 2024

For the first time in 100 years, the Grade I listed Station Agent’s House at the Science and Industry Museum, once the world’s first passenger railway station, will open as a holiday let to the public. The partnership between the museum and The Landmark Trust will see the Georgian building, dating to 1808, provide accessible accommodation for up to eight people.

Victoria Warehouse: warehouse music venue to add 200-room hotel
Opening in 2024

Plans to redesign the iconic Victoria Warehouse have been submitted, which, when complete, will see its bedroom offer increase from 64 to 200 rooms. The venue, which hosts major live music concerts, opened in 1925 as a cotton warehouse, becoming a music venue just outside the city centre in 2006.


Chanel Métiers d’art
7 December 2023

Following shows in Singapore, Dallas and Salzburg, the French luxury brand Chanel will bring its Métiers d’art show to Manchester to premiere its 2023/24 collection. With a rich heritage in the textiles industry, Manchester is the perfect pairing for the brand to reveal its next looks. Also in fashion, Manchester Art Gallery’s Unpicking Couture featuring works of well-known designers, runs until January 2025.

World Snooker Tour Championships, at Manchester Central
1 to 7 April 2024

One of the biggest events on snooker’s global circuit, the World Snooker Championship Tour will bring the world’s best players together in Manchester for the first time, with events taking place at Manchester Central over seven days.

RHS Urban Show, at Depot Mayfield
18 to 21 April 2024

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), will brings its first ever large indoor show to Manchester with the RHS Urban Show set to be held at Depot Mayfield. The event will celebrate the “gardening boom” taking place in cities, and will feature talks on design for small spaces, advice, practical workshops and more.

WOMEX: international music convention comes to city
24-27 October 2024

Worldwide Music Expo – WOMEX – will come to Manchester for the first time, bringing the world’s biggest music conference with a trade fair, talks, films and showcase concerts at venues across the city. The four-day event will feature a range of music genres and will attract over 2,600 music professionals and artists.


University of Manchester: institution celebrates 200th anniversary

From January 2024, the University of Manchester will celebrate its founding roots as the Mechanics’ Institute in 1824. Highlighting icons from its history including Alan Turing andChristabel Pankhurst, the University will host a Bicentenary Festival with events from 6-9 June.

Greater Manchester: 50 years since the region was created

On 1 April 1974, the new region of Greater Manchester was formed, comprising 10 boroughs, including the cities of Manchester, and Salford. Historical counties of Lancashire, Cheshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire were broken down to improve services for local people. 50 years on from its inception, 2024 offers an opportune moment to visit the region to explore the varying history, green space, and contrasts of the towns and villages that are home to 2.8m people