Manchester museums are mostly free entry and explore the many heritage themes of the city and wider North West region including the sciences, social history, transport, police, football and the natural world. Manchester museums tell the stories of the city and have close links to global histories and invention. All are great for families, packed with recreated worlds, demonstrations and world class collections displayed in permanent and changing exhibitions.
Free entry museums are all within easy walking distance of each other around the city centre. These include the People’s History Museum focusing on the social history of Manchester with galleries linked to seven core themes including Workers, Reformers, Revolution, Time Off and Banners. Located in the Castlefield area of the city, The Museum of Science & Industry is one of Manchester’s best interactive museums and the fantastic National Football Museum is one of the world’s biggest and best football museums.
Greater Manchester Police Museum
Discover what it was like to be a police officer in Manchester during the Victorian era and visit the Greater Manchester Police Museum housed within a once busy Victorian police station, situated just a short stroll from Piccadilly Gardens in the city centre. This small city centre museum opens just one day a week.
A wide range of free or low cost museum gems sit around the city centre, all within easy reach via bus, rail and Metrolinks or a quick taxi ride away. The Manchester Museum along Oxford Road has an outstanding natural history collection on display in spectacular Victorian galleries. See dinosaurs, the museum’s famous Egyptian mummies, fossils, stuffed animals and numerous often quirky archeological finds from around Manchester.
Manchester Jewish Museum
The family friendly and fascinating Manchester Jewish Museum is located just a 10 minute walk from the city centre along Cheetham Hill Road. Housed within the oldest surviving synagogue building in Manchester, the museum focuses in on the stories of five Jewish people resident in Manchester in 1912, telling their stories through exhibits, photography and oral histories. Tours, book signings, family activities, conference days and festival events feature through the year – children receive a fun pack on arrival!
Museum of Transport Greater Manchester
Also in the Cheetham area just outside the city centre sits the Museum of Transport Greater Manchester digging deep into the area’s rich transport history via its vast collection of heritage vehicles dating from the Victorian Era to the present. Artefacts on display range from old ticketing equipment to personal items such as uniforms and transport office equipment.
Imperial War Museum North (IWM North)
Essential visiting, the free entry Imperial War Museum North (IWM North) is a multi award-winning Manchester museum housed within an iconic contemporary building located near Media City on Salford Quays. A vast main exhibition space with introductory Big Picture Show audio visual experience documents the history of conflict from 1914 to the present. Each document and artefact, large and small, tells its own story including a piece of steel from the World Trade Centre wreckage site and the remains of a car from the 2007 bombing of a Baghdad street market which sit side by side.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.