The 10 Best Museums in Manchester

Manchester, a city steeped in history, innovation, and culture, offers a treasure trove of museums that cater to a wide array of interests. From the industrial revolution to football fame, the city’s museums are as diverse as they are engaging. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, a visit to one of these cultural havens is a must. Let’s dive into the heart of Manchester’s museum scene and explore the top 10 must-visit museums that promise to enrich your understanding of this vibrant city.

The Science and Industry Museum

First on our list is the Science and Industry Museum. Nestled in the heart of the city, this museum is a nod to Manchester’s industrial past. It’s a place where science meets history, and you can’t help but feel inspired by the innovations that have shaped the modern world. From the world’s first railway station to contemporary science exhibitions, it’s a hub of knowledge and fun for all ages.

Art enthusiasts, rejoice! The Manchester Art Gallery is a visual feast, boasting a collection that spans six centuries. With its blend of contemporary and historic art, it’s a place where you can ponder over Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces or contemporary works that challenge the status quo. It’s not just about looking, though; interactive exhibits invite you to engage with art in new and exciting ways.

The National Football Museum

Football fans are in for a treat at The National Football Museum. This isn’t just any sports museum; it’s a Celebration of the beautiful game. With memorabilia from legendary players and interactive games, it’s a place where you can relive iconic moments and understand why football holds such a special place in the hearts of many.

Imperial War Museum North

War history takes a poignant turn at the Imperial War Museum North. This architectural marvel on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal offers a deep dive into the impact of conflict. Through personal stories and powerful exhibits, it’s a place that doesn’t just recount history; it makes you feel a part of it.

The People’s History Museum

Ever wondered about the struggles and victories of the working people? The People’s History Museum is where you’ll find answers. It’s a testament to democracy, social justice, and the fight for equality. With its rich collection of political artifacts, it’s a museum that doesn’t shy away from telling it like it was—and is.

Manchester Museum

At the Manchester Museum, you’ll embark on a journey from the ancient world to the present. With its extensive collection of artifacts, including a T-Rex skeleton and Egyptian mummies, it’s a place where history comes alive. It’s not just about the past, though; the museum also focuses on contemporary issues, making it a relevant stop for the curious mind.

The Whitworth

Art and nature intertwine beautifully at The Whitworth. This gallery, set in a picturesque park, is where you can admire modern art and textiles amidst the tranquility of greenery. It’s a place that encourages you to slow down and appreciate the finer things in life.

The Lowry

Named after the famed artist L.S. Lowry, The Lowry is a cultural hotspot. With its theaters and galleries, it’s a place where performing arts and visual arts come together. Whether you’re there for a thought-provoking play or to view Lowry’s matchstick men, it’s an experience that stays with you.

Greater Manchester Police Museum

For a taste of crime and punishment through the ages, the Greater Manchester Police Museum is your go-to spot. Housed in a former police station, it offers a glimpse into the life of a Victorian bobby. It’s a unique museum that tells the story of law enforcement with authenticity and intrigue.

Chetham’s Library

Last but not least, Chetham’s Library is a hidden gem for book lovers. As the oldest public library in the English-speaking world, it’s a haven of knowledge. With its ancient books and timbered Reading room, it’s a place that transports you to another time.


  • Do these museums charge an entrance fee?

    Many of Manchester’s museums offer free entry, though some may charge for special exhibitions or events. Always check their websites for the most up-to-date information.

  • Are the museums accessible by public transport?

    Absolutely! Manchester boasts an excellent public transport system, making all these museums easily accessible by bus, tram, or train.

  • Can I take photographs inside the museums?

    Photography policies vary from museum to museum. Some allow photography without flash, while others may have restrictions. It’s best to ask upon arrival or check their photography policy online.


Manchester’s museums are as varied as they are vibrant, each offering a unique window into the city’s soul. From the industrial might at the Science and Industry Museum to the serene beauty of The Whitworth, there’s something for everyone. These institutions not only preserve history but also provoke thought and inspire future generations. So, whether you’re a history buff, art aficionado, or football fanatic, Manchester’s museums are sure to leave an indelible mark on your heart. Next time you’re in town, make sure to carve out time for these cultural jewels—they’re the stories of Manchester, waiting to be discovered by you.

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