It’s not long now until the new BIMM academic year begins, which means that BIMM Institute Manchester Freshers’ Week is just around the corner! To help you arrive at BIMM Manchester with a bang, graduate Emanuel J Burton has taken time out of his busy schedule drumming for Lil Simz, FKJ, Tom Misch, Misha B, Children of Zeus and more to write a handy guide exploring the best bits that this city has to offer for new students.
Go to Gigs
Manchester is home to the likes of Morrissey, The Stone Roses and Bee Gees. In Manchester, you are spoilt with gig venues that provide you with some of the best talent in the world. This city is a hub for great music. You can experience your favourite vibe at smaller and intimate places like The Peer Hat, One Eight Six, Night & Day, Kraak Gallery, Soup Kitchen, Matt & Phred’s Jazz Club, YES, Gullivers, The Fitzgerald, Aatma, Night People, Rebellion, and Jimmy’s.
Bigger venues include, AO Arena, Castlefield Bowl, Victoria Warehouse, Albert Hall, Bridgewater Hall, The Warehouse Project, Gorilla, Manchester Academy, and O2 Apollo.
You can always catch your peers and friends at these spots, and BIMM is good for hosting events and giving out free tickets to gigs, so keep on the lookout!
Piccadilly Gardens is in the city centre, and it’s just as beautiful in the day as it is at night. Many people gather here to busk, lay in the sun, relax, eat food and chill with friends and loved ones. There’s a beautiful water show at nighttime, and you can be sure to bring visitors here for a nice view.
Other parks for you to get outside and in nature are Alexandra Park, Fletcher Moss Park, Chorlton Water Park, Cathedral Garden and Heaton Park.
With all the great food choices you have in Manchester, you’ll be spoilt, but your food won’t be rotten.
The best quick bites are: Go Falafel (vegan-friendly), Little Aladdin (vegan-friendly), Arndale Food Market, Salt & Pepper, Archie’s, Tzatziki’s.
For wining and dining there’s The Eighth Day Shop & Cafe, Curry Mile (world-famous, mainly thanks to the sheer number of bright neon-lit Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian restaurants, and takeaways), Vapianos, Mowgli Street Food, V Rev Vegan Diner, The Allotment Vegan Eatery, Manchester Vegan Cafe, Fuel Cafe Bar, COSMO World Buffet Restaurant, Akbar’s, Zouk Tea Bar & Grill.
There are wonderful galleries for you to experience and get some inspiration and a creative spark. The Whitworth Gallery, Science and Industry Museum, Manchester Museum, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester Art Gallery, People’s History Museum, The Lowry, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Rogue Studios and Holden Gallery are my favourites.
My favourite places in Manchester are:
HOME Manchester – HOME is a centre for international contemporary art, theatre, and film in Manchester. This is a go-to place to watch independent movies and see great art exhibitions. It also has a cafe where you can meet with friends, with the choice to sit indoors or outdoors and eat some good food!
Arndale Shopping Centre & Printworks – Arndale is excellent for shopping with a plethora of shops. They also have a food market with many options for cultural food. Printworks is a few minutes walk away, and this place is the real deal! Manchester’s number one destination for food, drink, cinema and leisure, day or night, is based right in the heart of Manchester City Centre.
Northern Quarter – AKA Hipster central! This place caters to all your quirky needs. It’s filled with vibrant street art and independent shops where you can get rare vinyl, retro clothing, and collectable comics. You can also catch some excellent music in the venues there along with some buzzy restaurants. A top place to go is Twenty Twenty Two, a basement venue where you can eat, dance, and play ping pong!
Hatch – Manchester’s award-winning food, drink, and retail destination. This is a place to shop, eat and drink, seven days a week, with over 30 independent traders.
Honourable Mention: Chorlton – This is a bustling community in South Manchester with plenty of independent bars and cafes, as well as a beautiful outdoor space.
Check out more about this amazing city on our Life in Manchester page.