Categories > Guides and Tips

Our Travel Guide for the Factory International Manchester

Our Travel Guide for the Factory International Manchester

The newly-opened Factory International Manchester is a one-of-a-kind destination for both tourists and locals to participate in an amazing cultural experience.

Home to one of Manchester’s best modern art exhibits, lively performances, and colourful influencers, the Factory International is a destination you want to put in your itinerary! 

Do you have what it takes to get inside this amazing building and have a wonderful experience? Check out our complete guide to maximise your time inside the Factory International Museum! 

Time Zone

British Summer Time (GMT+1)

Things to Know

Currency: Euro
(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: UK English

Calling Code: +44

Address: Aviva Studios, Water St, Manchester M3 4JQ, UK

Contact Details: N/A


Opening Hours: Monday, closed; Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday 10 AM to 12 AM; Thursday 10 AM to 1 AM; Friday and Saturday 10 AM to 2 AM

How to Get Around 

Trains: Manchester has a well-established train system. The nearest train station to the Factory International is Deansgate, which is just a short walk away. 

You can catch trains from major stations like Manchester Piccadilly or Manchester Victoria and get off at Deansgate.

Buses: Manchester also has an extensive bus network. You could use buses like the 255, 256, or the X50 among others, depending on where you are travelling from. 

Taxis: Taxis are readily available throughout Manchester. You can hail a black cab off the street, or book one through local taxi companies or ride-hailing apps like Uber.

Car service: If you prefer a more private and luxurious travel option, there are several car service companies operating in Manchester like Sixt and Blacklane

Best Time to Go

Time of day: Many cultural venues, such as museums or galleries, tend to be less crowded during weekdays and in the morning hours (around its opening times except Monday when it is closed). 

Season: The season you choose to visit can depend on personal preferences and the type of experience you’re looking for. Manchester has a temperate maritime climate, with mild summers and cool winters. 

If you prefer milder weather and potentially smaller crowds, visiting during the spring or autumn seasons might be a good option. Summer tends to be a popular time for tourism in Manchester, but it can also be busier. 

What to Do in the Factory International Manchester

Join post-show artist Q&As

At The Factory International Manchester, you can dive deeper into the art world through artist Q&A sessions often held post-performances or exhibitions. 

These informal meet-ups offer a unique opportunity to chat directly with artists, uncovering the inspirations and stories behind their mesmerising displays of talent.

So, after you’ve immersed yourself in a captivating dance show or intriguing art exhibition, just stick around! You’re not only going to gather some insightful discussions— but it’s also an experience that fosters deeper connections within the arts and culture scene. 

Experience Factory’s digital installations

Craving a cultural adventure with a twist? You can check out their  immersive digital installations as well! 

Picture this— your movements create a live spectacle of colours and sounds. It’s a vibrant blend of art and tech that offers interactive light shows and visual symphonies, turning you into part of the artwork. 

So, don’t stress if you’re not tech-savvy— these experiences are user-friendly and a total blast. Also, observing art is old news, now you’re part of the masterpiece. 

Create art in hands-on studio sessions

Manchester has always been known to have a lot of creatives, and they make the factory bloom with exciting ideas through their distinct art pieces that make you go ‘wow’! 

One of the key highlights here is their studio session which is a treasure trove of artistic exploration. You get a chance to immerse yourself fully in the creation process, guided by a community of professionals and fellow art lovers alike. 

Think of it as a friendly gathering around a creative campfire, right in the heart of Manchester. Whether you’re an art aficionado or an absolute beginner, this is an opportunity to craft your own masterpiece and truly experience art from the inside out.

Join live podcast recordings with personalities

Every so often, Factory International Manchester hosts a live podcast recording that you simply cannot miss. Once the stage is set, you’ll find yourself amidst a sea of like-minded folks, buzzing with anticipation for the evening’s event.

What sets these sessions apart is the unique blend of guests. Some nights, you might be intrigued by a discussion led by a Mancunian artist delving into the local music scene nitty-gritty. 

On other occasions, you could find yourself captivated by stories from an international activist who’s flown in especially for the event. These podcasts are more than just events— they’re a reflection of the diverse, global ethos Manchester embodies. 

Explore Factory’s tech and media labs

As you step inside the Factory International Manchester, it’s like stepping into a future shaped by creative innovation. 

One of the highlights is definitely their cutting-edge media and technology labs – a veritable playground for tech-savvies and media enthusiasts. 

At the Factory’s tech lab, you can jump into virtual reality, create with AI-assisted digital art tools, or edit videos and animations. It’s not just a glimpse into the future, it’s a hands-on experience, making it the most awesome school lab upgrade you could imagine.

In the media lab, there’s always a buzz of creation. Budding podcasters and filmmakers hustle alongside each other, using the state-of-the-art recording and editing suites. 

Join bespoke cocktail classes on-site

What’s really fascinating about the Factory International is its variety of activities you can do, regardless of it sticking out sometimes—like their cocktail bars (indie bars in manchester)!

The bar’s warm lighting creates an intimate and inviting ambiance, perfect for a laid-back evening of fun and learning. The charismatic bartenders really know their stuff, eager to take you on a journey from the origins of classic concoctions to the bold frontiers of mixology. 

You’re given the chance to shake, stir, and mix your way through some iconic cocktail recipes, and maybe even add your personal twist. It’s the perfect chance to perfect your Manhattan or get creative with a Cosmo. 

And the best part? Enjoying your hand-crafted beverages amidst the bustling, lively atmosphere of this unique Manchester spot. 

Celebrate Manchester’s heritage at cultural events

From electrifying live performances by renowned artists to thought-provoking art exhibitions, there’s always something exciting happening at this dynamic space. 

You can step into the heart of Manchester’s creative spirit as you engage with local talents and global icons, all within the walls of Factory International. 

What’s even more incredible is you can also soak up the energetic atmosphere, connect with like-minded individuals, and create lasting memories as you participate in the cultural events that define this thriving city. 

Manchester’s heritage comes alive at Factory International, and you won’t want to miss out on the incredible experiences that await you here.

Partake in Factory’s architectural photo tour

If you’re a fan of brilliant architecture and even better photo ops, then a photography tour of The Factory International in Manchester is right up your alley. 

This isn’t your typical industrial building— it’s a standout space designed with such attention to detail, you’ll want to capture every angle.

The ultra-modern exterior is just the beginning. As you wander through the facility, you’ll notice a blend of elegant curves and striking linear elements that form a perfect backdrop for your compositions. 

Each structure, from the performance spaces to the cafe, has its own personality, and the play of light and shadow throughout the day can create some incredibly dramatic shots. 

Enjoy weekend DJ sets and electronic gigs

Weekend nights at the Factory International Manchester— let me tell you, they’re something else. 

This old warehouse turned cultural hotspot in Manchester is known to host some of the most thrilling DJ sets (bars with DJs manchester) and electronic music performances. It’s where the city’s pulsing nightlife finds its rhythm, and the beats never stop until the sun comes peeking up.

So, how about catching a set on a Saturday night? Expect an eclectic mix of both local and international DJs spinning everything from house to techno, and the occasional live electronic act that brings down the roof. 

The atmosphere is electric— dark, with colourful light shows slicing through the fog, and people moving in unison to the beat. 

Join intimate poetry slams or spoken word events

If you’re a fan of poetry or spoken word, you’ll find yourself right at home at Factory International Manchester. 

This vibrant venue often plays host to poetry slams and spoken word events, creating an intimate and engaging atmosphere for both performers and audience members. 

Whether you’re a seasoned poet or simply curious about the art form, these gatherings offer a chance to connect with like-minded individuals and immerse yourself in the power of words.

Factory International Manchester embraces the magic of poetry by providing a platform for emerging talents and established artists to share their work. 

The events are often held in cosy settings, creating an intimate vibe that allows you to truly experience the emotions and stories woven through each performance. 

Where to Eat 

The Fountain House 

Address: The Memorial Hall, 14 Albert Square, Manchester M2 5PE, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +441618341866


Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 12 to 11 PM; Friday and Saturday 12 PM to 12 AM; Sunday 12 to 10:30 PM

At the Fountain House, you’ll find a menu brimming with classic British dishes that will transport you to a bygone era. 

Their traditional and charming setting sets the stage for a memorable dining experience. From succulent roast beef with all the trimmings to hearty pies filled with rich flavours, the menu pays homage to the best of British cuisine. 

Expect generous portions, comforting flavours, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere that will make you feel right at home.

Adam Reid at The French

Address: 16 Peter St, Manchester M60 2DS, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +441612354780


Opening Hours: Daily 24/7

The culinary innovation at Adam Reid at The French deserves the Michelin-star restaurant award that pushes the boundaries of flavour and presentation every foodie should visit in Manchester! 

The seasonal menus crafted by Chef Adam Reid promise a culinary journey (culinary school manchester) like no other. Each dish showcases the finest ingredients and showcases the chef’s creativity and attention to detail. 

You can pretty much expect intricate flavour combinations, stunningly plated dishes, and a dining experience that is both sophisticated and memorable. It’s a place where food becomes art, and every bite is an explosion of taste and texture.

El Gato Negro

Address: 52 King St, Manchester M2 4LY, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +441616948585


Opening Hours: Daily 12 to 10 PM

Embark on a culinary adventure to Spain at El Gato Negro, a renowned restaurant celebrated for its authentic Spanish tapas and impressive selection of wines. 

The menu bursts with vibrant flavours, bringing together the best of Spanish cuisine. From perfectly grilled prawns drizzled in garlic-infused olive oil to melt-in-your-mouth jamón ibérico, each tapa is crafted with care and precision. 

The cosy yet lively atmosphere adds to the experience, making it a perfect spot for sharing small plates and savouring the rich tapestry of Spanish flavours.

Mackie Mayor

Address: Smithfield Market Hall, 1 Eagle St, Manchester M4 5BU, United Kingdom

Contact Details: N/A

Website: N/A

Opening Hours: Monday, closed; Tuesday to Saturday 9 AM to 10 PM; Sunday 9 AM to 6 PM 

One of my favourite culinary discoveries of the year is the haven at Mackie Mayor— a bustling food hall housed in a beautifully restored market building. 

Here, you’ll find a melting pot of cuisine options, satisfying every craving under one roof. From wood-fired pizzas (halal pizza manchester) with bubbling cheese to mouthwatering burgers dripping with juicy goodness, the menu is a delightful mix of flavours from around the world. 

This place has a lively atmosphere, communal seating, and a vibrant food scene that caters to all tastes and preferences. 


Address: 3 Hardman Square, Gartside St, Manchester M3 3EB, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +441618192060


Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday 12 PM to 12 AM; Friday and Saturday 12 PM to 1 AM 

Prepare to be dazzled by the enchanting blend of modern Chinese cuisine and contemporary aesthetics at Tattu. The menu offers a creative twist on traditional Chinese flavours, showcasing the culinary finesse of the chefs. 

From delicate dim sum bursting with flavorful fillings to aromatic crispy duck served with all the accompaniments, each dish is a work of art. The unique and stylish atmosphere of the restaurant adds an extra layer of excitement to the dining experience. 

With its fusion of flavours and visually stunning presentations, Tattu promises an unforgettable journey into the world of modern Chinese gastronomy.

Related topics