Categories > Guides and Tips

Your Ultimate Guide to the Palace Theatre Manchester

Your Ultimate Guide to the Palace Theatre Manchester

Ah, the Palace Theatre Manchester—a place where the footlights flicker, the curtains rise, and the heart of Manchester’s cultural scene beats strongly. Whether you’re a die-hard theatre fan or someone who simply fancies a night of entertainment, this theatre is your ticket to awe and wonder.

Ready to step into the limelight? Pull up a chair and let’s dive into the nitty-gritty details of this Mancunian icon, peppered with some of my go-to tips.

How to Get There

By Car: Feeling fancy with your own set of wheels? Head to the NCP car park on Whitworth Street; it’s only a 5-minute jaunt to the theatre. But brace yourself; city centre parking rates are as steep as some of the plot twists you’ll see on stage!

Public Transport: For the public transport in Palace Theatre, the Metrolink tram service and several bus routes will drop you at Piccadilly Gardens, which is but a quick walk away. Prefer the train? Oxford Road Station is ridiculously close, almost a hop, skip, and a jump!

On Foot: Manchester city centre isn’t exactly sprawling, so if you’re nearby, why not walk? Trust me, a pre-theatre stroll sets the tone for a cultured evening.

Things to Know

Built in 1891, the Palace Theatre has been the cornerstone of Manchester’s performing arts scene for well over a century. 

Originally named the “Grand Old Lady of Oxford Street,” this venue has hosted legendary performances that range from classical Shakespeare to modern musical sensations like ‘Les Misérables’.

Now, this venue hosts an eclectic mix of performances: Broadway musicals, West End transfers, ballets, and even the occasional rock concert.

The Palace Theatre boasts a seating capacity of around 1,955, ensuring there’s room for everyone.

And let’s just say, if the walls could talk, they’d regale us with tales of iconic performers and awe-stricken audiences—a true treasure trove of cultural history.

Did I mention setting off early? With a full house, the parking situation can get a bit ‘dramatic,’ and the last thing you want is to miss the opening act. Tickets can often be purchased at the theatre, but I’d recommend booking in advance, especially for those blockbuster shows.

No, you can’t bring your own tipple—the theatre has its own bars for that. And as tempting as it is, photography during performances is a no-no. 

Also, if you’re planning to rush out before the final applause for an early exit, let’s not. It’s poor form and distracts the performers and fellow audience members.

Arrive early: If you fancy having your pick of the merch or want to sip a glass of bubbly before the show, arrive at least 45 minutes before the show. 

Choose seats according to your preference: The seat you choose is a personal choice. The stalls offer an up-close experience, whereas the circle seats give you a panoramic view. I personally love the front row of the circle—it’s the best of both worlds!

Where to Stay near Palace Theatre Manchester

Address: 101 Portland St, Manchester M1 6DF, UK

Phone: +44 161 228 7511

Pricing: £££

Book Now

Have you ever walked into a place and instantly felt like you’ve been upgraded in life? That’s the vibe at MacDonald Townhouse. The rooms here practically scream sophistication, but not in an obnoxious, snooty way—it’s more of a whisper, really.

For a view that’ll make you do a double take, ask for a room overlooking Portland Street. Seriously, Manchester never looked so good. But let’s get to the most important bit—their breakfast. Ever heard the saying, “An English breakfast can settle any unsettled Englishman”? 

Well, if you haven’t, I just made it up, and it’s 100% true. The eggs are fluffier than a cloud with self-esteem issues. A morning here, and you’ll be set to tackle anything—even a packed theatre evening!

Address: Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA, UK

Phone: +44 161 288 1111

Pricing: £££

Book Now

How about staying in a hotel that’s almost as theatrical as the Palace Theatre itself? Welcome to the Palace Hotel. 

This place is brimming with character, from the grand staircase that could put any stage set to shame, to the rooms that feel like a cosy backstage lounge—minus the stage jitters. Located a stone’s throw away from the theatre, this hotel gets bonus points for convenience. 

But here’s the real showstopper: their rooftop bar. Grab a cocktail and let Manchester unfold beneath you like the plot of a dramatic play. And if you’re a gin lover, don’t leave without trying their house-infused botanical gin. It’s like a standing ovation but for your tastebuds.

Address: 16 Peter St, Manchester M60 2DS, UK

Phone: +44 161 236 3333

Pricing: £££

Book Now

The Midland is to Manchester what a matinée performance is to theatre—an age-old classic that never fails to impress. With a history that dates back to 1903, this hotel could almost get a lifetime achievement award.

The rooms are so comfortable you might debate actually going out. Each has its own blend of old-world charm and modern amenities, kinda like a Shakespeare play adapted for Netflix. A word on their spa—don’t skip it. It’s the encore performance after a wonderful show. 

Wind down with a facial or a massage that feels like applause for your muscles.

Stay here, and you won’t just walk to the theatre, you’ll strut. Because, darling, you’re now part of Manchester’s high-society—even if it’s just for the weekend.

Address: Free Trade Hall, Peter St, Manchester M2 5GP, UK

Phone: +44 161 835 9929

Pricing: ££££

Book Now

If the Palace Theatre Manchester were a hotel, it’d probably be Radisson Blu Edwardian. I mean, just the name is regal enough to deserve a courtesy. The whole place has the vibes of an Oscar-winning period drama, but with Wi-Fi. 

From the moment you walk through the revolving doors, you’ll feel like you’re stepping onto a glamorous set.

Look, if you’re going to a theatre, your entire experience should be, well, theatrical, right? The bathrooms here are pretty much red-carpet-worthy. And oh my stars, the beds! They’re so comfy, it’s like lying on a cloud that’s been fluffed by angels. 

Address: 18-24 Princess St, Manchester M1 4LY, UK

Phone: +44 161 236 8999

Pricing: ££

Book Now

Arora Hotel is like that unexpected plot twist in Act Two—you didn’t see it coming, but boy, are you delighted! It’s chic, modern, and best of all, easy on the wallet without skimping on comfort. 

Think of it as your friendly neighbourhood theatre understudy—always ready to step in and impress. Perfectly situated, Arora is within a short stroll to the Palace Theatre, which is perfect when you’re wearing those new heels that aren’t as “comfy” as they looked in the shop. 

And let’s talk about their in-house restaurant: I don’t know what kind of culinary wizardry is going on back there, but it’s Michelin-star-worthy in my book.

What to Do in Palace Theatre Manchester

If you’re a theatre buff like me, just watching a performance won’t cut it; you’d want to go behind the scenes. Well, lucky for you, the Palace Theatre offers tours where you get to tread the boards and sneak a peek at the dressing rooms. 

It’s your chance to feel like a star—without the paparazzi or the gruelling rehearsal schedules. From spooky theatre legends to artistic quirks, this tour is an adventure worth embarking upon. Call ahead for times and availability!

If you think the drama is confined to the stage, wait till you see the cocktails at the on-site bar. With drink names inspired by the classics, like the “Romeo and Julep,” it’s like a little performance in your glass. 

Imagine sipping a “Midsummer Night’s Dream” cocktail as you discuss whether Ophelia’s madness was truly Shakespearean or a result of the patriarchy. It’s a good place to start or end your evening, depending on how dramatic you’re feeling.

Who wouldn’t want a keepsake to remember an unforgettable evening at the theatre? The Palace Theatre’s own shop has got you covered. 

We’re not just talking programs and posters; think chic merchandise, cute mugs, and even those fancy tote bags you can flex at your next book club. After all, your love for the theatre deserves to be flaunted, darling!

For many, the allure of the theatre goes far beyond what unfolds on the stage. The backstage tour at Palace Theatre Manchester is a labyrinthine journey into the behind-the-scenes magic that really makes a show. 

We’re talking costume ateliers brimming with sequins and feathers, labyrinthine corridors adorned with decades of signed posters, and the unmistakable aroma of greasepaint that lingers in the air. 

The guide will not only tell you how the technical magic happens but also spill some historical tea. Believe me, those walls have stories, and not all of them are scripted. So put on your imaginary Phantom of the Opera mask and prepare to dive into the theatre’s secrets.

Eating dinner at a theatre might initially sound as appealing as chewing on a playbill, but hear me out: the Ambassador Lounge at the Palace Theatre is in a different league. This is not just some reheated snack, but a curated culinary experience designed to compliment your night. 

The ambiance kicks off the moment you step in—the lounge’s lavish decor feels like an extension of the theatre itself. Here, you can pre-order your interval drinks and nibble on a delightful range of canapés, mini desserts, or a full-on three-course meal. 

You can wine, dine, and not miss a single second of the overture. Plus, it’s a great place for some intermission chit-chat about Act 1’s twists and turns. You might even bump into some theatre aficionados and exchange theories about how the show will end.

The performance has wrapped up, you’ve applauded until your hands tingle, and yet you’re left craving just a bit more. Enter the post-show Q&A sessions, a.k.a., the theatre fan’s version of afterparties. 

Get in the room with the cast and crew, sometimes even the director or playwright, and ask all those questions you jotted down in your program. “What’s it like to perform the same character night after night?” “How do you achieve that unbelievable set transformation?” 

And let’s be honest, it’s always a thrill to hear actors break character and reveal what they’re really thinking. With the post-show Q&A, the curtain never really comes down; the show just moves into its engrossing second act.

Where to Eat near Palace Theatre Manchester

Address: 5, The Quadrangle, Chester Street, Manchester M1 5QS, UK

Phone: +44 161 233 1090

Pricing: ££


Okay, let’s spice things up! Zouk is the culinary pit stop you need to add some zest to your theatre night. We’re talking authentic Indian cuisine with a modern twist. It’s a bit like seeing a Shakespearean play but with, you know, relatable dialogue.

Do yourself a favour and get the seafood platter. Oh my days, it’s like the cast of “Finding Nemo” had a reunion on your plate, and they’re all delicious. If you’re not a seafood fan, no worries—their tandoori game is strong too.

Address: The Midland Hotel, Peter St, Manchester M60 2DS, UK

Phone: +44 161 235 4780

Pricing: ££££


Alright, feeling fancy, are we? Adam Reid at The French is the theatrical fine dining experience you never knew you needed. Imagine a gastronomic performance, where every dish is a scene-stealer. It’s like Hamilton, but for your taste buds.

The tasting menu? An absolute tour de force. Every course is the foodie equivalent of a standing ovation. Book in advance, because just like top-tier theatre tickets, seats here are in high demand.

Address: Canal St, Manchester M1 3HE, UK

Phone: +44 161 819 1441

Pricing: ££


If the Palace Theatre is your stage for the evening, think of Village Brasserie as the quirky opening act that leaves you buzzing for more. Located in the heart of the Gay Village, this place is a rainbow of flavours. Honestly, their cocktail menu alone deserves a Tony Award.

Don’t skip on their calamari. I don’t know what sort of sorcery they use to make it so tender, but it’s stage magic, I tell ya. And for mains? Try the duck. It’s like Pavarotti in poultry form—big, bold and unforgettable.

Address: 47 Peter St, Manchester M2 3NG, UK

Phone: +44 161 832 5309

Pricing: £££


Now, Asha’s isn’t just any Indian restaurant; it’s like the Bollywood of Manchester’s food scene. Imagine a spectacle of spices and theatrics, only here, the lead actors are chicken tikka and paneer.

Their kebab platter is a classic ensemble cast—each bite-size morsel playing its role to perfection. And naan? Let’s just say if it were an actor, it’d be Dame Judi Dench—elegant, yet versatile, especially with the garlic variant.

Address: Peter House, 1-2 Oxford St, Manchester M1 5AN, UK

Phone: +44 161 228 2482

Pricing: £££


Looking for a plate of elegance with a side of romance? Then sashay your way into Don Giovanni, the granddaddy of Italian restaurants in Manchester, situated just a stone’s throw away from the Palace Theatre. 

You can’t go wrong with their lobster ravioli. It’s like eating a seafood symphony wrapped in pasta, and it’ll make you question every life decision that led you to eat anywhere else before.

And let’s not forget the wine list, curated with the kind of expertise that would make a sommelier blush. So, if you’re catching a show at the Palace Theatre and want your dining to be just as dramatic and delightful, you need to book a table here, pronto!

Address: 8 Lower Ormond St, Manchester M1 5QF, UK

Phone: +44 161 237 1112

Pricing: ££


For all you fans of East Asian cuisine, this place is a must-visit. Picture yourself dining in a Wong Kar-wai film with a side of dim sum. The atmosphere is intimate, the lighting moody, and the food—well, let’s just say it’s your ticket to a culinary jaunt around the Far East.

If you can only pick one dish (though why would you limit yourself like that?), go for the Peking duck. It’s like a theatre production in your mouth, complete with a spectacular finale.

Address: Free Trade Hall, Peter St, Manchester M2 5GP, UK

Phone: +44 161 835 8941

Pricing: ££££


Peter Street Kitchen is like that avant-garde play you never knew you’d love. Mixing Japanese and Mexican cuisines? You betcha! It’s a gastronomic fusion that’s as unexpected as it is divine.

This is the place for the adventurous epicureans among us. The miso-marinated black cod harmonises beautifully with the spicy guacamole. It’s a culinary plot twist you didn’t see coming, but you’ll be glad it did.

Address: Free Trade Hall, Peter St, Manchester M2 5GP, UK

Phone: +44 161 835 8903

Pricing: £££


Here’s where we elevate the pre-theatre ritual to downright decadence. The Library Champagne Bar at the Edwardian Manchester isn’t your standard drink-and-dash locale. This is where elegance takes centre stage—quite literally.

This bar offers a luxe backdrop for sipping champagne or nibbling on delicate canapés. The wine list is a veritable manuscript, and if you’re into cocktails, well, consider it your stage for exploring new flavours.

It’s the kind of place where you don’t just ‘pop in’; you make an entrance. I’d suggest a cocktail 

dress or a dapper suit because, trust me, this place is a scene-stealer all on its own. 

Related topics