With more waterways than Venice, one of the most famous sporting rivalries in the world and some of the biggest bands ever, Manchester genuinely is a place for 24-hour party people. What’s that? You don’t happen to be a millionaire midfielder with tons of twitter followers or rock god raking it in that knows where all the best hangouts are? You want some Manchester stag do ideas? But don’t know where to start?
Easy, leave it to iamthebestman.co.uk. We’ve got our ear to the ground in and around Manchester, we’ve spoken to the coolest cats in town and found out where all the best spots are so every best man that visits Manchester with us will know exactly where to go for all the top stag ideas our kid.
It’s worth mentioning at this point that there are a tonne of Manchester stag do packages, which take some of the hard yards out having to organise the tom foolery yourself and you can compare the price of the leading providers by clicking the link which will help save you money. The benefit of these deals is that they take care of collecting the cash (a tricky task as best man) and get good discounts on group stuff on account of their size. Alternatively, if you are more of a hands-on kind of a guy then read on.
Manchester Stag Do Ideas: A Brief Guide to the Main Parts of the City
Manchester, like most cities, has a few different areas to go out in. It has a well-connected tram network and a compact city centre area with a diverse range of bars, clubs and eateries to suit all tastes. In the centre itself, you have got St. Peter’s Street, Deansgate & The Printworks, The Northern Quarter, Whitworth Street, Oxford Road and Chinatown & Portland Street all within walking distance of each other. These districts combined with a few of the outlying areas like Rusholme, Chorlton and Levenshulme offer great options for food before taking a short cab or tram ride into the city itself.
If you are arriving at Oxford Road Train Station or the Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop, you can get straight into the action in Manchester along Whitworth Street. With archway-clubs and bars, warehouse-sized nightclubs at one end to bowling alley and venue bars at the other, this is one of the better Manchester stag do ideas if you’re looking for a slightly more sophisticated bar/club type affair.
This is where the hipsters hang. Exiting Piccadilly train station, you’re going to find some of the more quirky establishments in this part of town. Here you’ll come across live bands aiming for the big time, seasoned guitar outfits and big name DJ’s in Northern Quarter’s lively entertainment scene. They’re also partial to a craft beer or two round this way. Well they would be wouldn’t they being hipsters and all?
Chinatown & Portland Street
You’ll be forgiven for thinking you are in 1970’s New York with some of the dark alleys’ steam rising up through the metal fire escapes being used as Big Apple backdrops for the odd film crew. Pretty much smack-bag in the middle of Manchester, there’s a certain atmospheric edge to Chinatown that makes you feel like you’re in an Al Pachino movie or something. It may come as no surprise then this part of town is where you’re going to find a few gambling dens, karaoke bars and strip clubs. If you’re looking for Manchester stag do ideas that are more based around traditional boozers and clubs, including the smallest bar in Manchester, then this is a good area for you and the boys.
This area is definitely stag friendly and your best bet if you want to bump in to some hen parties. It’s a bit more mainstream so you’re going to find familiar chain pubs, dive clubs and bright and bolshy night clubs serving up shots and a bit of cheese (music that is). Connected via the Shudehill tram stop and nestled between the massive Arndale Shopping Centre and the National Football Museum, The Printworks is probably the most popular choice for best men seeking Manchester stag do ideas on account of its large scale selection of casinos, bars, pubs and nightclubs.
In a word – students. This where you’re going to find the young bright things owing to its proximity to the University. Oxford Road starts at one of the biggest student neighborhoods out in Fallowfield and makes its way into the heart of city with some of the most lively bars & pubs in Manchester along the way. With university faculties, museums, galleries and huge music venues leading in to the city, a unique mixture of culture and top quality entertainment can be found here amongst the drinking dens.
Manchester Stag Do Ideas: Where to go Drinking
Okay, so now that you have a better idea of what’s what, let’s take you on a bit of a tour of the recommended places to go in each area, staring off with the Whitworth Street.
Heading back towards Deansgate and taking a right under the tram track is Cloud 23 – Manchester’s highest bar situated in the Hilton Hotel tower. If you’re going to go here then our suggestion is to dress well and make sure this visit is at the start of the night, as rowdy stag groups aren’t going to be let in to this, one of the more exclusive bars in the city.
Downstairs from the Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop is Whitworth Street and a row of bars and club set back just across the Rochdale canal. First stop is Sakura bar and nightclub with its futuristic Japanese contemporary chic interior. If this floats your boat be sure to book your V.I.P. dance-floor tables well in advance as it’s a popular joint.
Tucked away next door for a more relaxed feel with a great terrace and a Jack Daniels pool table room, Lock 91 caters for a more sophisticated clientele under the railway arches.
A couple of doors down and with over 30 different types of shots and relatively cheap drinks, north-west chain Baa Bar can get pretty chocca of a weekend if that’s your thing.
No stag do in Manchester would be complete without a visit to one of Manchester’s three Revolution bars. As you would expect, you will probably find a few hens, plenty of cocktails and shots to be enjoyed.
Having taken over a massive warehouse space, Ark Bar across the road is a huge venue on three floors, and is one of the more popular Manchester stag do ideas if you like your clubs and bars busy with a bit of cheesy music.
Heading along towards Oxford Road next to Albion Street is the City Road Inn a good old-fashioned boozer with lots of big screens for sports and a familiar selection of drinks.
Passing the site of the now legendary Hacienda night-club (which has sacrilegiously been turned into flats) we come upon The Dog Bowl. Whether it’s all or one of, drinking, bowling and eating this is a great night out that nails the New York vibe that it’s going for. A good shout if you want an activity and drinking in one hit, particularly during the early part of the evening.
A few doors up and right on Oxford road train station’s doorstep is Gorilla that again, has the music, food and drinking down to a tee.
One of the better Manchester stag do ideas is to go where the students go. Why? Because they can drink a skinful, have a knack of finding great deals and the girls make quite an effort in dressing up which is very easy on the eye! Fancy a bit of that? Then head to the Fallowfield end of Oxford Road and be part of student massive where you will find plenty of cheap drinks as well as lively all-walks-of-life types frequenting these places.
Starting at Big Hands, this post/pre gig hangout is deceptively large inside and has a great terrace during the summer months, a good range of beers and the chance to rub shoulders with musicians from every genre and ability.
A short walk towards town opposite the Academy is Kro Bar one of Manchester’s most well-established drinking spots with long benches for socialising and an outdoor space at the back for the odd DJ session.
Further along past the Aquatic Centre, The Deaf Institute (see what they did with the name there?) is another live music venue with bars on three floors with all kinds of clientele from academics to students and plenty of room to stretch your drinking arms.
Over the road is Sandbar which has an enormous range of beers as well as guest ales and the extremely knowledgeable staff will point your taste buds in the right direction.
Passing under the Mancunian Way and over the river Medlock we come upon another of Manchester’s three Revolution bars with a host of shots, cocktails and cheap beers, loud music and a party atmosphere.
One of the better Manchester Stag Do Ideas if outdoor drinking is of interest is the Thirsty Scholar, next door to Revloution and under the archway is. This charmingly grotty venue has covered, outdoor seating a good selection of drinks and generates a lively buzz on the weekends.
If you like things a bit louder then next up is The Salisbury. With friendly staff, a decent jukebox and good selection of beverages, this traditional pub is well worth a look.
If you like your boozers unpretentious and don’t mind a bit of rock music then Grand Central is guaranteed to offer a good time. Tattoos and piercings will definitely be a familiar sight in here.
If you are ready to hit a nightclub at this stage then nearby 5th Avenue on Princess Street has all the foam party, sticky floor, mainstream indie-pop you will ever need.
St. Peter’s Street, Deansgate & The Printworks
Crossing Whitworth Street and grabbing a snack to soak up the booze is a short trek to The Paramount. This enormous Weatherspoon’s boozer is a popular post-work/pre-club pub place with a good selection of drinks deals and quick service.
Over the tram tracks and past the Central library we find ourselves on St. Peter’s Street, which goes from high-end hotels and restaurants to the downright dirty Brew-Dog bar with a massive range of own-brand, strong drinking delights.
A few doors down is Revolucion De Cuba whose strict door policy gives way to a cheesy Live Latino vibe that gets absolutely rammed on the weekends. If you like your crowd loud, then this is definitely a revolution you want to be part of.
Heading north on Deansgate at the John Dalton Street junction, we have got the Sawyer’s Arms which is a heritage pub with big screens, plenty of room, a great range of drinks and a traditional atmosphere.
If you are ready to hit the dance floor at this point, then around the corner on Ridgefield Street is the basement dive South Club. Playing plenty of massive tunes from house to indie, this will definitely get your dancing shoes shuffling.
Further along Deansgate, just off the St. Mary’s Street junction, is the Liquor Store, which does exactly what it says on the tin. This hidden gem plays Manchester music and serves high-quality drinks until 3am.
Passing Manchester Cathedral, a visit to one of Manchester’s most ancient pubs the Old Wellington we finally arrive at a mecca of nightclubs and perhaps one of the main recommendations for best men looking for Manchester stag do ideas, not least because its popular with hen dos – The Printworks. This place describes itself as ‘an urban entertainment venue’. To you me that means there are a bunch of places under one roof, a bit like a shopping mall, that are primarily about eating or drinking. In other words you’re more likely to find Nandos than Next, or a Tiger Tiger instead of TK Maxx (thank god).
If it’s some of the craic you are after then look no further than Waxy O’Connor’s, which offers a friendly Irish atmosphere while you down the odd cheeky Guinness or sup on a superior whiskey from the Emerald Isle.
When it comes to nightclubs, The Printworks has quite a selection under its roof. Starting with Norwegian Blue, this cheap, cheerful and often packed out place has plenty of cheesy tunes from the resident DJ.
With its Lucky Voice karaoke room, chain club Tiger Tiger has five dance-floors all belting out different music from mainstream pop to seventies classics. Cheap drinks and plenty of like-minded people will make it a night to try and remember.
Opus is another huge nightclub, battling for supremacy by playing some of the biggest dance anthems from three different dance floors and four bars. Expect a strict dress code and the mostly youthful clientele that are out for nothing less than a good time.
Chinatown & Portland Street
Chinatown is one of the better Manchester stag do ideas if you’re looking for something a bit more edgy. Here you can find strip joints, massage parlours and masses of Asian food.
Just between Piccadilly and St. Peter’s Square tram stops, tucked-away Chinatown stretches out over a few streets and has all the sights, smells and sounds you would expect to experience in any thriving metropolis.
Starting at the K2 Karaoke Bar and Nightclub this futuristic neon-nightspot is great for groups of out-of-towners to come and experience Manchester’s cultural nightlife and have a great time whilst doing it.
If you find yourself in this area at any time of the night, you won’t have any difficulty locating any of the massage parlours and strip-bars around the way. There are also loads of places to eat around here with every cuisine in Asia pretty much covered before venturing out onto Portland Street.
Opposite the Piccadilly tram stop on Portland Street, the Bar Rogue & Bar Wave under the Britannia Hotel will transport you back to the nineties with its sticky carpets and blaring pop tunes. Maybe one for the slightly older crowd but always worth a look for that retro feel.
The smallest pub in Manchester the Circus Tavern is also one of the friendliest. Whether that’s because it’s so small you will end up sitting on someone’s knee is anyone’s guess. Large groups might struggle to squeeze in this one but it’s certainly worth a go for a bit of Manchester’s drinking history.
The Port Street Beer House is a great place to start if you want to sample a huge selection of beers and ales and sit out on the compact terrace. Spread out over two floors, this pub has a relaxed atmosphere and a friendly vibe.
The Crown & Anchor on the corner is, as the name suggests, a more traditional pub with a pool table in the back, a decent jukebox, plenty of room, super-friendly staff and some standard beers to try out.
Round the corner The Whisky Jar has a fantastic range of whisky’s and gins, understated décor and some top DJ’s plying their trade. Downstairs is a dance-floor if you feel like throwing some shapes. Just make sure there’s some music playing first.
Kosmonaut next door is another tardis of a place which sports a free table-tennis table during the week, has a mid-boggling selection of drinks and has plenty of room over two-floors to kick back and soak up the Brooklyn-style layout.
If it is a Miami Vice meets Hawaii 5-0 vibe you want then look no further than Lola’s Cocktail Lounge. Decked out with indoor plants and leather-trim booths, this place definitely draws a fun-loving crowd that wants to bounce to the DJ’s top tunes.
Right around the corner, and sticking with the tiki-bar theme, is Hula. If it’s hip-hop and flaming cocktails until 3am that you are after, then this place will make you get a sweat on. Just don’t wear your fresh-out-the-box white sneaks as they, like you, will probably be ruined.
Taking more of a speak-easy flavor to its décor, Dusk Til Pawn is a synch to miss as the shop front façade gives way to a cosy-sized drinking den. The friendly staff really know their stuff when it comes to booze and are happy to whip up an ‘off-menu’ beverage.
When it is time to hit the dance-floor, nowhere in the Northern Quarter does it better than Mint Lounge. Partly because it’s the only nightclub in the area, but mostly because their Funkademia night has been going strong for the last ten years playing some of the finest urban beats.
Manchester Stag Do Ideas: Daytime & Nighttime Activities
Stomping-ground for some of the finest comedians this country has produced, Manchester comedy clubs offer some of the most seasoned veterans as well as plenty of up and coming stars.
First up The Comedy Store, just off Whitworth Street, is an intimate venue that hosts huge-name-headliners from Rhod Gilbert to Michael McIntyre to circuit veterans to high-quality newcomers. More suited to smaller groups. The Frog & Bucket in the Northern Quarter is guaranteed to tickle your funny bones, is reasonably priced and very relaxed and friendly.
Catering for bigger groups, household names like Russell Howard, David O’Doherty, Dara O’Briain, Noel Fielding, Josie Long, Bridget Christie etc., can be found at any of the larger venues like O2 Apollo, The Lowry, Manchester Arena and the Manchester Academy throughout the year.
Manchester BMX Racing
For something different during the day, why not try indoor BMX Racing at the Velodrome. Fulfill that boyhood dream of haring around a full-sized competitive track that has bumps, jumps and banked curves guaranteed to get the blood pumping. Just don’t attempt what this fella did is all we have say about that!
Manchester Go Karting
We couldn’t write a guide for Manchester stag do ideas without mentioning go karting now could we. Just between Old Trafford and Media City is Daytona Go Kart Racing Track. With over 150m of tarmac to blast around, a tunnel, bridge and outdoor section (weather permitting), no stag-do in Manchester would be complete without getting on the grid and racing against your mates for the chequered flag.
Manchester Indoor Skydive
For a truly unique sensation what about an indoor skydive at Airkix? Forget that fear of flying feeling; experience the rush of free-fall in the safety of an enormous purpose built venue.
Whether you are an all-guns blazing type or more of a silent assassin, the classic stag-do activity of paintballing couldn’t be done in a better place. Manchester Paintball Arena is just off the M60, has loads of different scenarios and rooms to choose from. But best of all, its indoors – so no mud or rain when you are waiting for that clean shot or blindly spraying everything insight.
Well, that’s all folks
We hope you were able to get some Manchester stag do ideas from this guide. If you find any new spots that you think is worthy of your fellow best man then please do get in touch and let us know. In the meantime – enjoy!