Our guide to Manchester nightlife for students.

29 March, 2023

It's easy to still have a good time on a student budget in Manchester. Here's some of the most cost-friendly clubs you can enjoy as a student.

Manchester nightlife

Manchester’s vibrant nightlife beckons students to the city year after year. The electric buzz of the city after dark is second to none. From the eclectic cluster of bars in the Northern Quarter, to the stretch of brightly lit bars on Deansgate locks, tucked away in the heart of the city you’ll find your calling place to unwind after a day of study.

We know money’s tight when you’re a student, so we’re suggesting some of the best cost-friendly clubs, pubs and bars for a night out in Manchester, putting money back into your pocket. 

Student nightlife in Manchester

There are so many great student bars and clubs in Manchester and more appear every month. So, if you’re studying in Manchester, let your curiosity guide your exploration of the pubs, clubs and bars. Expect drink deals, banging tunes, and a buzzing atmosphere!

Lola Lo

Are you ready to get on your dancing shoes? With two floor levels of music to choose from and a mezzanine overlooking the dancefloor, you’ll be partying away all night. Both floors have DJs playing a range of Chart, House, Hip-Hop and RnB hits! Lola Lo brings the tiki to Manchester and offers exotic cocktails and drinks for a great price. 

Their Paradise Thursdays club night even includes £1 drinks! Now that’s a steal. Located in one of the biggest party areas in Manchester, Deansgate Locks, you’ll have a great night dancing the night away until 3 am. Sign up for their advanced guestlist for free admission! Flamingo Fridays at Lola Lo are also popular with students and is one of their biggest nights of the week! Get down before 8pm for free entry.


FAC251 is a big name on the Manchester nightlife scene. With links to the great Peter Hook of New Order and designed by Ben Kelly of the Hacienda nightclub, FAC251 knows how to throw a party!

 Quids in Mondays are designed for students with £1 entry before 10pm! You can rock out in their indie anthems room, or try out their Hip-hop and house music rooms. That’s not all, FAC251 have student club nights Monday-Friday including Rewind Tuesdays and Toxic Wednesdays; because parties aren’t just for weekends!


The staple Manchester nightclub for those indie/rock lovers. You’ll always hear bangers from legendary local bands like the Courteeners, Oasis and the Smiths, but depending which event you go to, there’s a great variety of songs played by the amazing Manchester DJs. 

Skint Thursdays are ideal for students. As well as your classic indie hits, DJs will be playing pop and disco to add a funky feel to your Thursday night. 42’s Dirty Dancefloors events on Fridays are a fantastic way to start the weekend. Partying with your best mates listening to Indie, Rock, Hip Hop and Disco tunes, how does that sound? You could easily get a night out at 42’s for less than £10!

It’s a small club, but the atmosphere is electric when packed. Huge singalongs, tunes that take you well back to when you were younger, sensational strobes and just all round good vibes! Not to forget the iconic sticky dance floor at 42’s! It’s also known for its cheap drinks and popping wall art. It’s a brilliant place for a student night out in Manchester.


In the heart of the Manchester student area, Fallowfield, 256 is the place to be if you want to have a dance, drink, and meet some new like minded students. With lots of DJ nights spinning Indie, Hip Hop, and House most nights, live bands and comedy nights, there are lots for you to enjoy at 256. Plus, it’s open 12 pm-2 am, Monday to Saturday, so you can have a late one anytime! Check out their Society Wednesdays for the ultimate student night. You’ll hear the odd cheesy hit because, well, why not? Most importantly, you can get your hands on a pint for £2.50!


Now, this is gaming heaven. The guys at NQ64 came up with the genius idea of combining an arcade and a bar! There are classic games like PacMan and MarioKart, and more modern ones like GuitarHero. You can play anything you want with a cocktail in your hand. Although it’s a bit more on the expensive side, it’s great for a little treat every now and then. 

It’s awesome for a post-lecture gaming session; plus, 4pm – 7pm Monday – Friday is Happy Hour, so you can get a pint and 15 game tokens for £10. What’s not to love? Not only that, it’s open until 2 am every day of the week. The gaming party never ends! 

During the weekend, you might catch a DJ from 10pm – 2am playing a range of chart hits, classic anthems and dance. There’s no set student nights but that’s no bother, you don’t need to book and can just turn up with your mates!

Best areas for nightlife in Manchester

Northern Quarter

Manchester’s Northern Quarter is the epitome of the thriving nightlife scene in the city. You’ve got Tib Street Tavern which is an essential visit if you want to watch the late night sport on one of their many huge screens; or the New York style bar, Cane and Grain, on Thomas Street features a secret speakeasy with an insane selection of cocktails. But if you’re looking for some late night food then Wolf at the Door is your place. They offer a selection of bao buns and tacos for as little as £1 each! Fill your boots we say.

In Stevensons Square, you’ll find Lost in Tokyo; a bar serving unique Japanese-inspired cocktails until 2:30am on Fridays and Saturdays. Let’s not forget NOHO, in what they describe as the Northern Quarters answer to New York City!

Oldham street is always worth a visit! At Junior Jacksons, you can get £1 sliders to accompany your drink of choice, and there’s a vegan option too! Ignite your memories of choosing films by heading to Blockbuster Bar, kitted out to replicate the old movie store. Now that’s a blast from the past. 

Deansgate Locks

The bars and clubs on Deansgate Locks offer so much in such a small space. With a row of places to go for a club night, it’s hard to choose which one. ARK is student central on Wednesday nights at their Out Out event with £1 drinks all night and RnB tunes non-stop.

Revolution is always packed out on Deansgate Locks, especially when it’s their Happy Hour. They offer 2 for £10 on selected cocktails Sunday – Wednesday until 9pm & Thursday – Friday until close (2am & 3am). 

Deansgate Locks looks magnificent at night with its neon lights reflecting off the canal and projecting its rays over the row of bars. It’s a place that students in Manchester will always remember. Now it’s time for you to experience the hype!

Canal Street (aka The Gay Village)

Based around the great Canal Street, the Gay Village is one of Manchester’s most vibrant and exciting areas. It’s packed inside and out of the Canal street bars; that’s how you know this area is highly rated!

You’ve got places like Via, Bar Pop, Oscars Bar and more, all ready to entertain you with drag shows, karaoke, and cabaret throughout the week! Championing its support for the LGBTQ community, Canal Street is thriving during Pride week and is the place to party after the day’s events!

Start your student life in Manchester!

Are you almost ready to become a student in Manchester? That’s great news! Spirit Studios has a range of courses available if you’re looking to get into the music industry. Whichever area of music you have a passion for, we have a course for you! 

Whether you’re an undergraduate or postgraduate looking for our Music Production courses, we offer a BA (Hons) Music Production course and a MA Music Production course. Or if you prefer to get into music management and event organisation, then our Music Business courses are just for you!

Our Sound Engineering courses are fantastic if you’re interested in learning how to record and deliver high-quality audio. We’ll help you gain the essential skills you need to rock the music industry! Want to plan some incredible shows? Well the skills you’ll develop on our Event Management courses will help you do exactly that! 

You’ll get real opportunities, learn from industry experts, and develop your skills on your journey to a music and sound career. Take a look at our expansive range of subject areas, or see first-hand how student life with Spirit Studios would be on one of our open days.

If you’re ready to kickstart your career, apply now for the course that suits you. Our helpful team is ready for a chat any time, so contact us today if you want to find out more.

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