Following an incredible year for Manchester in 2023, including the much-anticipated reopening of Manchester Museum, complete with three new gallery spaces; the milestone opening of Aviva Studios, a major new arts venue for the North; and, Chanel rocking Manchester with their prestigious fashion show, Manchester enters 2024 with a swagger and a clear signal as the place to be.
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.
There’s plenty to get excited about in Manchester for 2024 – and many reasons to visit.
Last chance to see Golden Mummies at Manchester Museum
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.
Last chance to see Life of Pi
Life of Pi is a five-star hit show at The Lowry based on the best-selling book by Yann Martel. Jaw-dropping visuals and world-class puppetry combine in a visual feast that immerses the audience in a world of wonder and mystery. Get your ticket here
Last chance to see Hamilton
Hamilton is the multi award-winning musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and its on at Palace Theatre Manchester until Saturday, 24 February 2024. Get your tickets here
Just opened: Sexy Fish
Featuring lavish interiors with custom artworks by Damien Hirst, and Murano glass columns, Sexy Fish opened in Manchester’s Spinningfields in October 2023, 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.
Just opened: Kargo at Central Bay
Named after the original dock that was once heart of the industrial revolution, Kargo at Central Bay is a new food hall that opened in the heart of MediaCity in October 2023. 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.
Just opened: House of Fu
The second location of popular ramen and karaoke restaurant House of Fu arrives in Manchester following popularity in Leeds. Upstairs you’ll find delicious ramen, homemade gyoza and Sake flights, whilst the basement hosts karaoke rooms for up to eight people.
Just opened: Fenix Restaurant
The first new restaurant to open in the new St. John’s neighbourhood – the home of new Aviva Studios – Fenix brings Mykonos to Manchester with a modern Greek concept from chef’s who have graced some of Greece’s finest restaurants. It’s a must try.
Just opened: Dear Sailor
Spinningfields has welcomed an intriguing new bar to its neighbourhood. Dear Sailor is veiled in mystery, with a private Instagram page and no listing on Google Maps, with its own set of rules and inspired by the speakeasies of prohibition-era Japan. The drinks menu includes a Yuzu Meringue Martini and its food menu is broken into three sections – Import, Naval & Tidal and Export.
Just opened: Dainā
The first kitchen residency in Side Street Studios’ collaboration initiative has arrived in the new St. John’s development. Dainā is a cool new Chinese dining concept hidden in a creative studio off Quay Street. Chefs Jake Huxley and Samuel Jethro present a creative menu of bao buns and small plates from an open kitchen.
Will Higher Ground get a Michelin Star in 2024?
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” before announcing that Manchester’s Midland Hotel will host their official ceremony in 2024. Higher Ground was also mentioned in Rick Stein’s favourite restaurants in the country.
Renowned Michelin Guide ceremony to be held at The Midland Hotel
One of the most prestigious global events of the year, Manchester will host the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2024. Taking place at the iconic and recently revamped hotel The Midland, home to Adam Reid’s The French, the ceremony will unveil the much-awaited 2024 guide, while also recognising gastronomy pioneers with Michelin Stars and Michelin Green Stars.
John Rylands Library: transformation of city’s first public library
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.
Reopening of Manchester Town Hall?
Manchester’s impressive 19th century Town Hall was scheduled to reopen in 2024 but will now reopen to the public in 2025/26 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. Get an update on the ongoing project here.
Co-op Live: UK’s biggest new music venue announces first live concerts
The new 23,500 capacity live music venue planning to ‘put Manchester back as a global entertainment powerhouse‘, 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 bands, Take That and Elbow who plan to make triumphant homecomings in 2024. The venue is planned to have 32 bars, restaurants and lounges, and features a smart bowl design to bring fans closer to the stage.
Diecast to be extended
Set inside a former metals factory, Diecast opened in July 2023 offering locals a post-industrial style bar, kitchen, and event space in which hosted Manchester’s biggest ever awards ceremony this year; the very first I Love MCR Awards. 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.
Skof: L’Enclume and Simon Rogan chef to open first restaurant
Northern-born and L’Enclume trained prodigy Tom Barnes will open his first restaurant, Skof, in the city’s NOMA neighbourhood offering a 36-cover restaurant with a vision to create unpretentious yet ambitious dining. The opening is Barnes’ first solo restaurant venture and comes with a glittering career including The Roux Scholarship, 12 years with Simon Rogan as Head Chef at Rogan & Co, gaining a Michelin star, and work as Executive Chef at L’Enclume.
Treehouse Manchester: second UK location for playful hotel brand
Taking over 14-storeys, with 224-bedrooms, Treehouse Hotel Manchester is set to open this summer 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 to open with rooftop bar views
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.
Station Agent’s House: historic property on museum site to become holiday property
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.
Mollie’s at Old Granada Studios
Its most ambitious project to date will see Mollie’s, the ‘budget luxe’ 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 128-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.
Soho House Manchester
Located in the St John’s area in the heart of the city, Soho House Manchester will give members a proper Soho House experience across five floors of the former Granada Studios.
Membership includes access to everything the House has to offer, including an extensive members’ gym with a free weights area, studio space for classes, plus a steam room and sauna that will open on to a balcony; changing rooms will have showers, vanity areas and lounge spaces for members to unwind after training; an outdoor rooftop pool with sunbeds and a bar. A spiral staircase connects to the 9th floor above, where a late-night bar and live music space will overlook the pool; casual lounge areas for food and drink on the 8th floor, plus a members’ restaurant for more formal dining; flexible events space on the 7th floor with a large central bar and DJ booth; 23 bedrooms on the 6th floor, ranging from Cosy rooms to Large suites, plus an 80sq meter two-bedroom private apartment.
Victoria Warehouse 200-room hotel
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.
World Snooker Tour Championships, at Manchester Central
One of the biggest events on snooker’s global circuit, the World Snooker Championship Tour will bring the world’s best snooker players together in Manchester for the first time, with events taking place at Manchester Central over seven days.
The Padel Club is coming to TraffordCity, Manchester
The courts are built for high performance, with the highest quality padel surfaces and lit by sports LED lighting.
A clubhouse will be built for players to relax and socialise in a luxurious and welcoming place.
There will be nine ‘premium covered courts’ and two outdoor courts, currently in planning and due to commence building early 2024.
RHS Urban Show at Depot Mayfield
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 award winning 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
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.
I Love Manchester Awards 2024
Following a successful inaugural event in November 2023, which saw over 750 guests fill Diecast in the biggest Manchester awards ceremony the city has ever seen, the I Love MCR Awards show and ceremony will return in 2024 even bigger and better.