Manchester is packed with a range of attractions in and around the city centre catering for a huge range of visitor types, and many of Manchester’s museums and galleries are free entry! Families will love the People’s History Museum with galleries featuring interactive exhibits telling the stories of Manchester people guaranteed to engage children. Next stop, The National Football Museum with Discovery Zone designed just for the under 5s, football simulators and the legendary Hall of Fame celebrating the greatest players in the game.
Enjoy a free day out to beat all at MOSI – the Museum of Science and Industry in the heart of Manchester city centre. Explore the history of the world’s first industrial city and discover just what it was like to work in a textile mill. See the many cutting edge inventions to come out of the city and learn about key themes like railways, space and aircraft! Get ready for some unusual experiences including a trip down a Victorian sewer!
A great choice of attractions and free entry museums sit on the city outskirts like those clustered around Salford Quays including the award-winning Imperial War Museum North and The Lowry with theatre and galleries. Both are iconic modern buildings by internationally acclaimed architects with galleries and exhibitions inside the IWM North including highlights like the introductory Big Picture Show and main exhibition space exploring the history of conflict from 1914 to the present.
Take your pick from a wide choice of Manchester tours, many of which are free and start and end at the Museum of Science and Industry. Take a tour of one of the city’s two world class football stadiums including the Manchester United Museum, Tour and RedCafe at Old Trafford. Unique Tours include a cruise down the canal from the city centre to Old Traffrod ground on a canal barge! Head off to the Etihad Stadium at Sportcity for a tour of Manchester City Football Club, a fantastic 70 minute behind the scenes tour.
Lesser known Manchester museum gems include the Museum of Transport on the city outskirts housing one of the UK’s best collection of restored coaches, buses and trams and don’t miss a tour of the Manchester Jewish Museum on Cheetham Hill Road with a fascinating archive of photography, oral histories, objects and documents which tell the stories of Manchester Jewish life. Book launches, tours, festivals, family events and changing exhibitions all feature at the Manchester Jewish Museum through the year.
Alongside world class art exhibitions at the Manchester Art Gallery, The Lowry and the Whitworth Art Gallery, you can also catch some real hidden gem art exhibitions at lesser known venues with treasures in their archives like the great domed Central Library with exhibition spaces, Manchester University’s John Rylands Library, the Salford Museum at Salford University and the Working Class Movement Library’s galleries and regular events.
Festivals, events and themed city markets take place in Manchester through the year from Christmas Markets outside the town hall to arts and literary festivals, food and sports festivals, the fabulous annual Manchester Pride, Food and drink, Jazz and Science Festivals. Any visit to Manchester is likely to coincide with an event or two and the city has great central squares and gardens often hosting food markets, live music and events including Piccadilly Gardens, St Ann’s Square and Cathedral Gardens.