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Great Museums and Galleries to visit in Manchester

Manchester, the birthplace of my father and an incredibly vibrant city in the north west of England which is close to my heart

If you find yourself in the city and are looking for some great attractions to visit, you’ll be delighted to know that Manchester is home to a number of world-class museums and galleries that offer visitors a chance to explore the city’s rich cultural heritage, and discover new and exciting art from around the world.

So, whether you’re a local resident or just visiting for a few days, these institutions should be at the top of your list:

The Manchester Museum

The Manchester Museum is one of the oldest in the city and is affiliated with the University of Manchester. It is home to a diverse collection of artefacts and specimens from around the world, including Egyptian mummies, ancient artefacts from Greece and Rome, and a collection of natural history specimens. The museum also features several special exhibitions, and its website provides a wealth of information on the collections, exhibitions, and upcoming events.

The Whitworth Art Gallery

This renowned gallery is a part of the University of Manchester and is renowned for its collection of modern and contemporary art, including works by Picasso, Van Gogh, and Hockney. The gallery also has a strong collection of textiles, prints, and drawings, and its exhibitions often explore the theme of landscape and the relationship between art, science, and technology. There is also a nice park behind gallery and a great little cafe inside, too.

National Football Museum

Manchester is known for being the birthplace of football and the city is home to the National Football Museum. The museum is dedicated to the history and culture of the beautiful game and features a wide variety of artefacts, including jerseys, footballs, and other player & club memorabilia. The museum also offers interactive exhibits and events that are great for visitors of all ages, most notable anyone who is a fan of football!

The Lowry

This cultural centre is named after the famous artist L.S. Lowry and is home to a theatre, gallery, and studio space. The Lowry is known for its diverse program of exhibitions and performances, including contemporary art, theatre, and dance. The Lowry is also home to the largest collection of works by L.S. Lowry in the world, including his famous ‘matchstick men’ paintings.

Manchester Art Gallery

The Manchester Art Gallery has been a prominent cultural institution in the city for over 150 years, and is home to an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The gallery also has temporary exhibitions on contemporary art, fashion, and design. The gallery is quite easy to access by walking from the city centre, or with a short bus/tram ride (St Peter’s Square or Market Street stations are the closest on the Metrolink network)

Imperial War Museum North

This military museum is dedicated to the stories and experiences of those affected by conflict, from World War I to the present day. The museum features a number of interactive exhibits and a variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions. There is also a strong focus on education and community engagement, with a range of programs and events for visitors of all ages.

The People’s History Museum

Ever wanted to know more about our social past? We Manchester has a museum dedicated to the history of working people and the labour movement in the UK. It features a wide range of exhibits on the social, political and economic history of the country and provides a unique perspective on how working people have shaped the country over time.

The Science and Industry Museum

This rather incredible museum is dedicated to the history of science, technology, and industry in Manchester and the northwest of England. It features a range of interactive exhibits, including a restored steam engine and a replica of the world’s first stored-program computer. There are also regular special events and workshops, making it a great option for families.

The Manchester Jewish Museum

This museum tells the story of the Jewish community in Manchester surrounding communities. It features a wide range of artefacts, photographs, and interactive exhibits, as well as special exhibitions and events throughout the year. It’s also a great resource for anyone interested in Jewish history and culture around Manchester over the years.

The Greater Manchester Police Museum and Heritage Centre

The GMPMHC (quite a mouthful) tells the story of policing in Manchester, from the early days of law enforcement to the present day. It features a wide range of artefacts and interactive exhibits, as well as an extensive collection of photographs, documents and uniforms. Just don’t outstay your visit… a cell is the last place you want to spend the night…

This round up showcases just a few of the many museums and galleries that Manchester has to offer, and we have plenty more attractions in the city and surround area on Monty’s Guide which you may wish to check out.

So, whether you’re an art lover or just looking for something to do on a rainy day, these institutions are sure to provide an enriching and enjoyable experience.

About the author

Having worked across the heritage and tourism sector for over 10 years, Monty Beaumont is an expert when it comes to discovering new places to visit and great days out for the whole family. 

He has previously worked for the National Trust as a General Manager in Cornwall, coordinated the complex operations of running a castle in Devon and the mastered the intricacies of providing exceptional hospitality and service at some of the finest historic houses in the UK. 

As part of his vision and drive for Monty’s Guide, Monty travels across the country to find new places to visit and explore, and sharing his finding on, which is used by 1,000s of people each week to find their next great day out.

His experience and knowledge of the historic and cultural sector gives him a unique insight into the elements that make tourism and learning so important in our quest to understanding more about our heritage.

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