Quirky Things to Do in Manchester: 15 Things You Haven’t Done Yet

CityDays guide to finding quirky things to do in Manchester that you (probably) haven’t given a go yet!

When you’re looking for quirky things to do in Manchester, you’ll probably stumble across a few articles reminding you of fun or cool experiences that you’ve already done at least once before. And that’s fine…except, there’s loads to do in Manchester that can only be done right here, right now. But where do you find them?

Well, we’re feeling generous enough today to help you out. We’ve put our heads together and come up with 15 quirky things to do in Manchester that are fun, interesting, or remind you why living or visiting this fantastic city is a dream come true. 

Read on to find out more!

And just so you know, nobody pays us to be featured on this list. They’re just our recommendations to you so you can find the best things to do in Manchester.

Visit The Greater Manchester Police Museum

When you’re looking for quirky things to do in Manchester, it can be easy to overlook what’s right on your doorstep.

Luckily, Manchester is home to some truly incredible gems - and one that often gets overlooked is The Greater Manchester Police Museum. This hidden gem offers a unique glimpse into the history of policing in the city. Housed in a former police station, the museum's extensive collection includes historic uniforms, equipment, and even old cells. 

While it’s not your typical day out, It's a quirky and informative way to delve into Manchester's law enforcement past and understand the evolution of policing over the years.

Explore the Northern Quarter By Doing A Walking Tour With a Twist

Mancunians - admit it, you think you’ve already seen and done it all by now. Well, we’re here to tell you that you might just have missed a thing or two over the years - let us show you them!

Embark on a CityDays Walking Tour to discover the Northern Quarter's eclectic charm. This vibrant area, known for its bohemian spirit, street art, indie shops, and quirky bars is full of hidden secrets. This self-guided tour provides insights into the neighbourhood’s history and culture, making it an engaging experience for those looking to explore Manchester's more unconventional side - and, you never know, you might just top our leaderboard.

Do A Guided Tour of Victoria Baths


Victoria Baths, sometimes referred to as Manchester's "Water Palace," is a beautifully preserved Edwardian building and treasure trove of history. 

Guided tours offer an intimate look at its stunning architecture and historic pools and even some Mancunian Olympic swimming legends. The venue, while no longer used for swimming, now hosts a variety of events, making it a unique and somewhat quirky destination for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike.

Visit Chetham’s Library

If you’re really looking for quirky things to do in Manchester, start here. 

Renowned as the oldest public library in the English-speaking world, Chetham’s Library is truly a one of its kind place to visit and holds a very special place in history. Its ancient books and timbered halls offer a magical escape into the past, giving visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the tranquil atmosphere that only an abundance of books can bring.

Attend a Show at The Frog and Bucket Comedy Club

As all Mancunians know, Manchester is a powerhouse that’s been churning out artists, musicians, scientists, and comedians for centuries now. And if there’s one of those that we’re extremely proud of, it’s our sense of humour. 

Embrace it at The Frog and Bucket Comedy Club, a cornerstone of Manchester's live comedy scene. Known for its intimate setting and electric atmosphere, the club features a mix of established and emerging comedians - and yes, you can buy food and drink there too.

Explore Afflecks Place

You want quirky? We’ll give you quirky!

Afflecks Palace is an emporium of the eclectic and the unusual. This indie marketplace houses a maze of small shops and stalls selling everything from vintage clothing to unique gifts. It's a haven for those who love to explore offbeat and unconventional shopping experiences, making it a quintessential Manchester stop. 

Do an Outdoor Escape Room Through Manchester with CityDays

Done all the escape rooms in Manchester already? Here’s an idea for you.


Rip down the walls of outdoor escape rooms and immerse yourself in the great outdoors by undertaking an innovative outdoor escape room experience.

Blending puzzle-solving with city exploration, outdoor escape rooms in Manchester like these allow you, the participants, to navigate Manchester’s streets, uncovering clues and solving challenges. 

Sample The Best Sri Lankan Cuisine at Little Lanka

Everyone’s heard of The Curry Mile and yes, we’re just as obsessed with it as you are. But if you’re looking for new and exciting cuisines to try, just look down the culinary map to find Sri Lanka.

Little Lanka brings a taste of Sri Lanka to Manchester. Known for its flavorful and authentic cuisine, this restaurant offers you more than just dinner: it’s a culinary adventure. It's a great spot for food enthusiasts to explore exotic flavours and experience a different culture’s cuisine, all without leaving Stockport.

Visit A Temporary Exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery


We’re betting you’ve already been there at least once, but did you know that Manchester Art Gallery frequently hosts temporary exhibitions that showcase contemporary and historical art from all over the world?

These exhibitions offer a window into diverse artistic expressions, making each visit unique. It's a fantastic destination for art lovers and those curious about the evolving world of art and culture and the best part is - many of them are free.

Uncover the Botanical Secrets at Fletcher Moss Park

Looking for quirky things to do in Manchester that get you out into the great outdoors? Look no further! 

Fletcher Moss Park is a botanical haven, offering a peaceful escape from the urban hustle and bustle. The park features a variety of gardens and wildlife habitats and is a perfect spot for nature lovers or anyone seeking a serene outdoor experience and, of course, some hidden botanical secrets.

Share a Pint at The Peveril of The Peak

- ©Mikey

Surely we can all agree that Manchester is home to some of the UK’s best pubs - and it so happens that one of our favourites also happens to be one that has stood the test of time.

The Peveril of The Peak is one of Manchester's most iconic and traditional pubs. With its distinctive green tiled exterior and authentic Victorian interior, it offers a unique drinking experience steeped in local history. Once a brothel frequented by GIs, The Peveril of The Peak (or “The Pev” as it’s locally known) is now the perfect place to enjoy a pint and soak in the atmosphere of old Manchester.

PSST: This pub still has the old bell pushes once used to summon staff - keep an eye out for them! Oh, and if you’re wondering - its name either comes from a horse-drawn stagecoach that once ran from Manchester to London or possibly Sir Walter Scott’s novel of the same name!

Visit ESEA Contemporary Gallery

Did you know that the UK’s only non-profit institution for East and Southeast Asian artists and art practices is in Manchester?

Well, it is! Formerly known as The Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), ESEA Contemporary Gallery showcases cutting-edge Asian and Southeast Asian art and culture. 

With its dynamic exhibitions and events, the CFCCA offers a unique cultural experience, highlighting the diversity and vibrancy of contemporary British-Asian art.

Get Bookish at Chapter One Books Independent Cafe and Bookshop

If your days of hitting the pubs and clubs are behind you (or you can’t stomach a pint at the time of day you’re reading this) check out Chapter One Books.

Chapter One Books combines the joy of reading with the pleasure of sipping coffee in a cosy environment. This independent bookshop and cafe is a sanctuary for book lovers, offering a range of titles and a relaxing ambiance. It's an ideal spot for those seeking a quiet retreat or a leisurely browse through an eclectic book selection.

Have a Pint at Manchester's Coolest Wetherspoons Named After George Orwell's Last Essay

- Bill Boaden / The Moon under Water, Deansgate / Via Wikipedia

We didn’t think we’d be including this on our list of quirky things to do in Manchester but it’s totally worthy of a spot: here’s why.

The Moon Under The Water, a Wetherspoons pub, takes its name from George Orwell's famed essay envisioning the perfect pub. This unique venue, once a busy cinema, retains its grandeur while offering the classic Wetherspoons experience. It's a quirky blend of history, literature, and modern-day pub culture, and if that doesn’t conclude your game of quirky bingo we don’t know what will!

Sample the Doughnuts at Siop Shop

Is there anything more satisfying in life than finding a new favourite bakery? Well, a few things - but it’s up there, isn’t it? 

If you’re on the hunt for the best doughnuts in Manchester, stop looking. Siop Shop is a doughnut lover's dream, offering a range of inventive and delicious doughnuts that go way beyond the ordinary. Known for their creative flavours and high-quality ingredients, these treats have become a Manchester favourite. 


Final Thoughts

So there you have it! 15 quirky things to do in Manchester.

Want even more inspiration for things to do in Manchester? Of course you do!

At CityDays, we create fun, interesting and challenging trails around the world to help you immerse yourself in a city’s culture, history and hidden secrets.

Want to find out more?

Check out all our available activities in Manchester here and embark on an adventure in the city you’ll never forget: CityDays awaits!