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The 7 Best Sober Things To Do in Manchester

The 7 Best Sober Things To Do in Manchester

Manchester is a city that has a lot to offer for those looking for sober activities. In fact, according to a survey conducted by TripAdvisor, Manchester ranked as the 7th best city in the UK for wellness tourism, attracting millions of visitors every year.

Some sober things to do in Manchester include visiting the Manchester Art Gallery, which features a collection of European masterpieces, and taking a stroll through the beautiful Heaton Park, one of the largest urban parks in Europe.

Read on to learn about engaging sober activities that you can enjoy in Manchester. Whether you’re a resident looking to try something new or a visitor, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant and dynamic city.

1. Experience Manchester’s rich culture. 

Manchester is home to some of the most impressive cultural attractions in the UK. From world-class art galleries to fascinating museums, there’s plenty to explore and discover.

The Whitworth Art Gallery's Homepage
Highlights:Explore modern and contemporary art exhibitions and events
Address:The University of Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6ER, UK
Contact:Phone: +44 161 275 7450
Operating Hours:Mon-Sun 10am-5pm

Visitors to the Whitworth Art Gallery can experience the stunning collection of works from a diverse range of artists. They can admire paintings, sculptures, and textiles featuring famous artists like J.M.W. Turner, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh.

In addition, they can not only admire the diverse collection of art but also shop at the Whitworth Shop, which features unique and custom-made units and rotating art prints from local and international artists.

The Manchester Museum

The Manchester Museum's Homepage
Highlights:Discover natural history and world culture collections
Address:The University of Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
Contact:Phone: +44 161 275 2634
Operating Hours:Mon-Fri 10am-5pmSat-Sun 10am-4pm

Manchester Museum offers a diverse range of exhibits, showcasing the natural world and the history of civilizations, as well as changing temporary exhibitions. Visitors can have a fascinating and enriching experience, exploring and interacting with the exhibits.

The John Rylands Library

The John Rylands Library's Homepage
Highlights:Marvel at rare books, manuscripts, and archives
Address:150 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH, UK
Contact:Phone: +44 161 236 7184
Operating Hours:Mon-Fri 10am-5pmSat 10am-4pmSun Closed

The John Rylands Library is a stunning building housing an impressive collection of rare books and manuscripts. Visitors can admire the architecture of the building and delve into the collection of early Christian texts and mediaeval psalters.

2. Escape to the great outdoors in Manchester.

Manchester is home to a variety of outdoor spaces that offer the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Whether you’re looking to unwind in a park, meander, or stroll the streets, there’s a range of options to cater to every preference.

Heaton Park

Heaton Park's Homepage
Highlights:Enjoy a peaceful escape in a large park with lakes, gardens, picnic areas, and events
Address:Heaton Park, Middleton Rd, Manchester M25 2SW, UK
Contact:Phone: +44 161 643 4740
Operating Hours:Mon-Sun 8am-dusk

Heaton Park is one of the largest parks in Europe and is a beautiful place to visit for a picnic or a leisurely walk. With its rolling hills, lush greenery, and picturesque lakes, this park is the perfect place to escape from the city and relax in nature.

The Northern Quarter

The Northern Quarter's Homepage
Highlights:Immerse yourself in the trendy neighbourhood with street art, independent shops, and cafes
Address:Greater Manchester, Northern Quarter
Operating Hours:Mon-Sat 12pm-10pm

The Northern Quarter is a vibrant and eclectic neighbourhood with independent shops, street art, and quirky bars. Visitors can wander and explore, finding something new around every corner, and enjoy the nightlife experiences offered in the area.

Rochdale Canal Walk

Rochdale Canal Walk's Homepage
Highlights:Scenic walks along the Rochdale Canal
Address:Rochdale Canal Walk, Manchester, UK
Operating Hours:Mon-Sat 12pm-10pm

The Rochdale Canal Walk provides a peaceful escape from the city with scenic views and greenery. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll, cycle, or explore local pubs and cafes along the canal.

Along the walk, visitors can also observe the diverse wildlife, listen to the tranquil sound of water, and appreciate the unique architecture of the canal-side buildings. It’s a great opportunity to unwind and enjoy the beauty of Manchester from a different perspective.

3.  Find serenity in the heart of Manchester.

Find serenity in the heart of Manchester's Homepage

Manchester is a city that offers plenty of opportunities to find inner peace and relaxation, even amidst its bustling atmosphere. From finding inner peace in a yoga class to indulging in a luxurious spa experience, there’s an adventure for every taste.

Yoga and Meditation Classes

Manchester is home to a variety of yoga and meditation studios, offering the perfect chance to unwind and find inner peace. From hot yoga to gentle restorative practises, there’s a class for everyone. 

Spa Experiences at the Lowry Hotel Spa

Spa Experiences at the Lowry Hotel Spa's Homepage
Highlights:Luxurious spa experiences and treatments
Address:The Lowry Hotel Spa, 50 Dearmans Pl, Chapel Wharf, Manchester M3 5LH, UK
Contact:+44 161 827 4000
Operating Hours:Mon-Sun: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

The Lowry Hotel Spa is a luxurious spa located in Manchester that offers a range of spa experiences and treatments. Guests can unwind in the indoor pool, sauna, and steam room or enjoy a range of treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps. 

The spa also features a relaxation room where guests can lounge and enjoy refreshments. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day out or a pampering spa experience, the Lowry Hotel Spa has something for everyone.

The Chill Factore Indoor Ski Slope

The Chill Factore Indoor Ski Slope's Homepage

For those looking for an indoor activity, the Chill Factore Indoor Ski Slope is the perfect place to go. With its state-of-the-art facilities, you can enjoy the thrill of skiing or snowboarding without having to worry about the weather.

Highlights:Enjoy indoor skiing and snowboarding
Address:7 Trafford Way, Trafford Park, Manchester M41 7JA, UK
Contact:+44 161 749 2222
Admission:Costs vary from £25 for a 1-hour lift pass to £40 for a 4-hour lift pass.
Operating Hours:Varies

4. Discover the culinary delights of Manchester.

Discover the culinary delights of Manchester's Homepage

Manchester is known for its thriving food and drink scene, and there are plenty of options for those who prefer to stay sober. Whether you’re seeking a cosy café or an exceptional dining experience, there are a range of options available.

The Tea Room at Albert Square

Highlights:Savour traditional afternoon tea and cocktails
Address:10 Albert Square, Manchester M2 5PF, UK
Contact:+44 161 833 2022
Operating Hours:Mon-Sun 12pm-10pm

The Tea Room at Albert Square is a charming and elegant café that offers a range of delicious tea, coffee, and light bites. With its beautiful setting and friendly staff, this is the perfect place to unwind and relax.

The Koffee Pot Café

Highlights:Enjoy coffee and light bites at an independent café
Address:84-86 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE, UK
Contact:+44 161 236 0685
Operating Hours:Mon-Sun 8am-6pm

The Koffee Pot Café is a sought-after spot for coffee lovers, offering a relaxed atmosphere, quality coffee, and nutritious food options to recharge and refresh.

Whether you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up or a leisurely brunch, the Koffee Pot Café is the ideal destination for those in search of a warm and welcoming atmosphere and delicious bites.

Vegetarian and Vegan Dining Options

Manchester boasts a vibrant vegetarian and vegan community with diverse choices to cater to different preferences. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a gourmet meal, you’ll find plenty of options that cater to your dietary needs.

With its commitment to plant-based cuisine, Manchester is a hub for ethical eating and a destination for those who want to experience vibrant, flavorful food that’s kind to the planet.

5. Shop for unique treasures in shopping centres and boutiques.

Shop for unique treasures in shopping centres and boutiques' Homepage

Manchester is a shopper’s paradise, with a range of options for those looking for something unique and special. Whether you’re seeking an indoor market, or unique boutiques, Manchester has it all, including a variety of gift shops for perfect presents.

The Afflecks Palace Indoor Market

Highlights:Unique shopping experience with independent stores selling vintage clothing, handmade jewellery, and more.
Address:Afflecks Palace, 52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW, UK
Contact:+44 161 839 0718
Operating Hours:Tue – Fri 10.30am -6.00pm Sat 10am – 6pm

The Afflecks Palace indoor market is a unique shopping experience that offers a range of independent stores selling everything from vintage clothing to handmade jewellery. This is the perfect place to find something special and explore its eclectic atmosphere.

The Manchester Arndale Shopping Centre

Highlights:Traditional shopping experience with a range of high-street stores and department stores.
Address:Manchester Arndale, High St, Manchester M4 1HQ, UK
Operating Hours:Mon – Fri 9:00am to 8:00pmSat             9:00am to 8:00pmSun           11:30am to 5:30pm

For those who prefer a more traditional shopping experience, the Manchester Arndale shopping centre is the perfect place to go. With its range of high-street stores and department stores, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

Independent Boutiques and Shops

Manchester is also home to a range of independent boutiques and shops, selling everything from accessories to gifts and homeware. With their unique offerings, these shops are the perfect place to immerse oneself in the local shopping scene.

6. Find sober fun in various non-alcoholic nightlife activities.

Find sober fun in various non-alcoholic nightlife activities' Homepage

Manchester is known for its bustling nightlife, but there are plenty of sober activities to enjoy as well. Manchester offers a diverse entertainment scene with a variety of options for a night of laughter, music, or film.

The Comedy Store Manchester

Highlights:Stand-up comedy venue
Address:The Comedy Store Manchester, 3-4 Watson St, Manchester M3 4EE, UK
Contact:+44 161 839 9595
Admission:$53 – $129 (depending on the performance and venue can exceed per ticket)
Operating Hours:Mon-Wed 11 AM–6 PMThur     11 AM–12 AMFri-Sat     11 AM–2 AMSun     10 AM–12 AM

The Comedy Store is a popular destination for those looking for a night of laughter and entertainment. With a range of stand-up comedy acts, you’re sure to have a great time without the need for alcohol.

The Comedy Store also features a variety of comedic styles, making it a great place to discover new talents. Whether you’re a fan of observational humour, satire, or something in between, you’re sure to find something that tickles your funny bone.

Live Music Venues like Band on the Wall

Highlights:Live music venue with local and international acts.
Address:Band on the Wall, 25 Swan St, Manchester M4 5JZ, UK
Contact:+44 161 834 1786
Membership:£30 per year
Operating Hours:Mon-Sun 10am-2am
Live Music Venues like Band on the Wall's Homepage

Manchester offers a diverse array of music options, catering to fans of jazz, rock, and more. One popular spot is Band on the Wall, which features a range of local and international acts.

Cinema Screenings and Movie Events

For those who prefer a quieter night out, there are plenty of cinema screenings and movie events to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a new release or a classic film, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste.

7. Experience the thrill of arcade gaming at speciality bars.

Experience the thrill of arcade gaming at speciality bars' Homepage

Manchester is home to some of the best arcade bars where you can enjoy classic games like pinball, air hockey, and arcade machines, all in a lively and social environment. Here are a few of the best arcade bars to check out in the city:

Arcade BarHighlightsAddressContactOperating Hours
The Liars ClubClassic arcade games and craft beers85-87 Lever St, Manchester M1 1FL0161 236 8090Mon-Thurs: 5pm-11pm, Fri: 5pm-12am, Sat: 2pm-12am, Sun: 2pm-10pm
Two Minutes to Late NightRetro gaming and cocktails11-13 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1DH0161 832 9245Tues-Thurs: 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat: 5pm-1am, Sun: 5pm-12am
B.Y.O.C.Arcade games and street food39-41 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HW0161 839 0664Mon-Thurs: 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat: 5pm-1am, Sun: 5pm-12am

Our Final Thoughts

Manchester is a city that offers a wealth of sober activities and experiences. From its cultural attractions and outdoor spaces to its food and drink scene and shopping options, there’s something for everyone. 

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, be sure to take advantage of all that this vibrant city has to offer.

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