Things to Do in Manchester

From museums to football stadiums and historic libraries, there is plenty to see and do in Manchester. Whether you’re traveling with family or solo, you’re sure to find an attraction that piques your interest.

The John Rylands Library

Fans of architecture and literature should put The John Rylands Library at the top of their must-see list. Located on Deansgate, the library boasts multiple levels and Gothic-style architecture with towering vaulted ceilings.

Founded by Enriqueta Rylands in memoriam of her late husband John Rylands, the library was constructed in 1889 by Basil Champneys. The building took ten years to build, and opened to the public in 1900.

The library houses the Special Collections of The University of Manchester Library, and became a part of The University of Manchester in 1972.

John Rylands Library is now part of the third-largest academic library in the UK, and boasts over 250,000 printed volumes and over a million manuscripts.

The library is open 10am to 5pm Tuesday-Saturday and 12pm to 5pm on Sunday and Monday.

The Museum of Science and Industry

Located on Liverpool Road, the Museum of Science and Industry makes for an excellent family outing. Admission is free (donations accepted), and kids can participate in fun and exciting hands-on exhibits, including:

Fly 360: Find out what it feels like to fly your own jet.

Creative Wonder Materials: Learn about the applications for graphene.

Experiment!: Get hands-on with 25 exhibits to see science in action.

Meet Baby: See a replica of the first computer to run and store a program, and watch it in action.

The museum is open 10am to 5pm daily.

The Museum of Science and Industry is great fun for kids – and adults.

Etihad Stadium

Formally known as the City of Manchester Stadium, Etihad Stadium is the home of the Manchester City Football Club. The eighth-largest stadium in the UK, Etihad can accommodate up to 55,097 spectators.

The stadium hosts football matches, concerts and other sports events.

Football fans visiting Manchester can buy tickets for a match, or take a tour of the stadium.

The Manchester Museum

Located on Oxford Road, the Manchester Museum is a great place to take the family for a day of learning and fun. The museum displays works of natural history, archaeology and anthropology. It’s the only place in Manchester where you can see dinosaurs and Egyptian artefacts under the same roof.

There are more than 4.5 million objects on display from every continent in the world.

The museum is the largest university in the UK, and is also a major resource for academic teaching and research. Each year, the museum receives more than 360,000 visitors.

Free to enter, the museum is open daily from 10am to 5pm.

National Football Museum

It’s only fitting that Manchester would be the home of the National Football Museum. Located on Cathedral Gardens, the museum is a must-visit for fans of football.

The museum is housed in a unique building designed by Ian Simpson Architects, and boasts six floors. The galleries encompass several floors, and admission is free (donations accepted).

Guided tours are available on weekdays.

Visitors can see some of the most important colletions of football memorabilia, including the football used in the 1930 World Cup Final, the original “Laws of the Game” written in 1863 and a variety of trophies and awards.

The museum is open 10am to 5pm daily.

Manchester Town Hall

Located on Lloyd Street, Manchester Town Hall’s impressive architecture and lovely surroundings make it an excellent place to visit during your stay in Manchester.

Built in the late 1800s, the building is one of the most iconic landmarks in Manchester, and a fine example of Neo-Gothic architecture in the UK.

The Town Hall is one of the most important Grade I listed buildings in Britain.

Tour the Sculpture Hall, which spans 53′ by 33′ and houses several sculptures, including: Richard Cobden and John Bright, Sir Charles Halle and Sir John Barbirolli.

The state rooms and Great Hall can be found on the second floor. The Great Hall features a glazed skylight which includes inscriptions of the names of mayors.

Manchester Cathedral

Manchester Cathedral sits on Victoria Street, and boasts a long history. While the church has undergone extensive renovations over the years, the Angel Stone discovered in the cathedral’s original South Porch dates all the way back to 700.

The cathedral is open daily to visitors all throughout the year. Guided tours are also available Monday through Saturday 11am to 2pm.

Stop in to admire the church’s architecture and check out the visitor centre, which has a shop and exhibition room.

Before you leave, don’t forget to check out the 15th-century Hanging Bridge. The bridge was once the main approach to the cathedral, but was buried for more than a century.