10 Best Things To Do In Manchester

Manchester is England’s second biggest city, having been settled since 79 AD by the Romans. Manchester is a vibrant urban hotspot with excellent nightlife, arts and culture. The city is surrounded by countryside and the gorgeous Pennine mountains, making it a great base for exploring wilder regions of the country. Manchester has an extensive history and is important in many fields, including music, science and transport. It is home to the world’s first inter-city passenger railway station and a thriving culture scene, making it one of England’s most exciting cities. Here are 25 of the best things to do in this buzzing city.

1. Manchester Museum

The Manchester Museum

The Manchester Museum

The Manchester Museum is the country’s biggest university museum with a collection of 4,500,000 items from all around the world. The museum is housed within a striking gothic-style building and showcases the best in archaeology and natural history. The museum features a number of galleries focusing on diverse topics such as fossils, the ancient world, and world culture. There is a special exhibition on the natural history of Manchester which looks at the city’s origins as an underwater world and then a swamp. Spend some time in the museum’s vivarium, a collection of live reptiles and amphibians and home to some of the rarest frogs in the world. Don’t miss Stan the T.Rex, a well-preserved skeleton of an infamous dinosaur, boasting the world’s best tyrannosaurus rex skull. There is a café on-site to offer a break after a few hours exploring this wonderful museum.

 

 

2. John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library is perhaps the most well-known of Manchester’s famous libraries. Opened in 1900, the library exterior features beautiful gothic-style architecture popular amongst the university buildings. The library is worth a visit for the architecture alone, boasting gorgeous vaulted ceilings, soft illumination and ornate archways. John Rylands Library is also one of the best academic libraries in the UK, featuring a number of special collections. The library houses medieval manuscripts, early printed texts, as well as personal letters from a number of notable figures. For lifelong learners, students, academics, and architecture-lovers, John Rylands Library is a peaceful haven set in the heart of the bustling city.

 

 

3. Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery is situated in the city center, in a building that has stood on this space since 1823. The gallery celebrates local and international work with an extensive collection that spans centuries. Here you will find paintings by artists such as Gainsborough, Turner, and Pissarro. The gallery also features collections of crafts, from ceramics to metalwork and home items, as well as clothing and accessories dating from 1600 to the modern day. Take a guided tour to make the most of your visit, and stop by the café for an afternoon tea or a slice of cake. Be sure to check the gallery’s events listings for unique one-off and temporary exhibitions, workshops, and tours. Manchester Art Gallery is one of the best places to go for art and culture in the city.

 

 

4. Manchester Town Hall

Manchester Town Hall

Manchester Town Hall

An iconic element of Manchester’s skyline, Manchester Town Hall is the unmissable heart of the city. Featuring dramatic gothic-style architecture that dates from 1877, spend some time admiring the Town Hall from picturesque Albert Square. The clock tower reaches 85 meters and looks out upon the city. Book a tour to explore the gorgeous interior, with tall arched ceilings and beautiful spiral staircases, gilded in gold. Visit the Sculpture Hall, home to a number of statues and busts celebrating people of importance to Manchester. Manchester Town Hall has been used to film scenes in several big-budget movies, including The Iron Lady, Sherlock Holmes, and Victor Frankenstein. This historically important location is a great way to learn more about the city and view some stunning architecture.

 

 

5. Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry

Manchester has played an important role in the fields of science and technology throughout its existence. The Museum of Science and Industry celebrates this contribution with a number of displays and exhibitions on areas such as transport, power and computing. Learn about Manchester’s role in the booming transport industry with a ride on a train from 1830, and demonstrations of original machines used over the last 300 years. The museum is ideal for families, with a number of hands-on activities suitable for children and adults alike, including scientific experiments, virtual reality booths, and games. The museum offers a fun and entertaining way to learn about the city and industry, and how science is still an important part of Manchester’s heritage today.

 

 

6. Old Trafford

Old Trafford

Old Trafford

For football fans, a visit to Old Trafford football stadium is a must. Home to Manchester United FC since 1910, the stadium is the largest in the country and one of its most iconic. Book a tour for a unique experience through the football grounds, backstage, and into the on-site museum. Learn about the history of the stadium and football club, and walk in the footsteps of football legends like Bobby Charlton and George Best. Stop by the Manchester United store for official merchandise to show your team allegiance, or grab something delicious to eat at the Red Café. Old Trafford is an important location for English culture and a great place to spend a day out.

 

 

7. Chinatown

Chinatown, Manchester

Chinatown, Manchester

Manchester’s Chinatown is the second largest in the UK and features a variety of restaurants, supermarkets, and shops. It is home to Manchester’s extensive East Asian community and marked by a large paifang arch, raised in 1987. Chinatown is colorful and diverse, with some of the best ethnic restaurants in the city. For authentic Szechuan cuisine, try Red Chilli, one of the best eateries in the area, tucked away in a store basement. For delicious buns, visit Ho’s Bakery which sells all sorts of East Asian baked goods including savoury and sweet Chinese buns. Spend some time browsing the many shops with their colorful traditional wares and bright toys, or visit a local supermarket to cook up an Asian meal in your own home.

8. Royal Exchange

Royal Exchange

Royal Exchange

The Royal Exchange is one of the city’s most popular entertainment complexes, with a theatre and shopping centre on-site. The building was completed in 1921 and has survived historical damage in WWII and beyond. The Royal Exchange still features beautiful architecture but the highlight is the theatre, considered to be one of the best in the city. The theatre produces hundreds of shows every year across a range of genres so there is sure to be something on to suit every taste. There are also a number of cafés and restaurants within the complex to visit before or after a show, making this an ideal way to experience some modern culture in a historic setting. If you’re feeling brave, try to seek out the ghosts that are rumoured to haunt the building, including an apparition of actor James Maxwell.

 

 

9. Whitworth Art Gallery

Whitworth Art Gallery

Whitworth Art Gallery

Whitworth Art Gallery is a beautiful, eye-catching building housing some spectacular pieces of art. The historic building was recently renovated to increase gallery space and provide a gorgeous and inviting exterior. Within the gallery, you will find work by legendary artists such as van Gogh, Picasso, Turner, Bacon, Hockney and Lowry, making it an absolute must-visit for art enthusiasts. The gallery also hosts regular events, including weekly talks on fascinating topics, late-night openings each week, and workshops and tours that aim to teach visitors more about the art on show. Finish your visit with a light meal – or full Sunday roast at the weekends! – in the stunning café. With floor-to-ceiling windows, the café offers amazing views out onto Whitworth Park and the gallery’s art garden, the perfect place to rest after a day of experiencing internationally important art.

10. People’s History Museum

People’s History Museum

People’s History Museum

The People’s History Museum is the only one of its kind in the country, collecting and celebrating the history of working people in the UK. The museum resides in a former industrial building, the perfect setting for its exploration of democracy and ordinary people in Britain. The collections here feature items from around the home and workplace, as well as entertainment and recreational items of interest. Here you can learn about important British historical events at home, including the suffrage movement, trade unionism, welfare and football culture. The museum also hosts a number of events from craft workshops to one-off talks, offering an interactive way to learn about British life. The People’s History Museum offers a unique and informative insight into the lives of everyday British citizens since the 1800s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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