Manchester City was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in Europe, and the city has kept on its continuous progress even up to the modern era. Its renaissance attractions highlight ancient museums, old government buildings, contemporary art galleries, theaters, religious basilicas, and cool music venues. It is also the official home court of football’s Manchester United.
Manchester has many beautiful old buildings. The Town Hall which is situated in a small square is just a little more graceful. At the Manchester Art Gallery, you will find fabulous giant canvases or minimalist artworks ranging from the contemporary to antique and classic pieces. And after a day of touring the diverse attractions of Manchester, shop till you drop at Afflecks and allow yourself to get lost in the vintage and picturesque Manchester City that is full of wonderful surprises from one corner to another.
When To Go:
The climate in the city is a bit unreliable because one moment it is sunny then shifts into an hour of drizzle and a cold breeze which is a typical characteristic of the weather anywhere you go in UK. In any case, whatever time of the year you intend to visit, there will be something happening to amuse even the most discerning guest. Huge football matches and shows can push lodging costs up and bring about numerous hotels being reserved months ahead of time.
There are also local celebrations to enjoy like; Manchester Pride (usually held every August). For the best inn rates, plan your vacation or tour during the best climate months and these are during the months of July- August. Hotel reservations likewise have a tendency to decrease during the months of January, so it is advantageous to your budget to schedule a visit around this time.
A city with a huge wealth of interesting attractions, listed below are the top things to do when in Manchester City.
John Rylands Library
The John Rylands Library stands imposing and overlooking the city of Manchester. It’s really impressive not only for its ancient books, but especially for its architecture that is really impressive. Being inside this fantastic place is like a blast from the past. It is divided into several levels and no one leaves the place disappointed because of the grandeur of the design and the quiet atmosphere. On the ground floor there is also a shop with souvenirs and a restaurant / café.
When you’re inside, the mind wanders through history, magic, and imagination. The architecture of the Gothic style building makes the library fascinating. All is silence and drawn to focus on what they see. For those who go to Manchester, it is definitely a place not to be missed.
Among other things, it is very close to the canals of Castlefield with houseboats anchored along the banks. All very nice and of course all taken care of and beautifully arranged. Admission to the Rylands library is free, plus the library offers an enviable collection of antique books and rare medieval miniature. The interior is in itself already a good reason to visit. One of the main treasure of the Catholic faith is stored here – a fragment of the earliest copy of the New Testament. But most impressive is that all this beauty and splendor of work, act not only as a museum, but as a proper library that is open to the public.
Royal Exchange Theatre
You cannot go to Manchester City without visiting the Royal Exchange Theater. It stands very close to the mall and the Piccadilly Garden. Within this historical building is where you can find the theater that resembles the shape of a spaceship. It is a very old building in the center of the city, but before the attack of the IRA this was the former Stock Exchange building of Manchester City. In fact, some of the walls or parts of the structure still have posters of exchange rates. Now, it is a theater with the stage in the center of the building with an adjacent shopping center. Come in and see why the setting is special and historical.
Manchester Art Gallery
The Manchester Art Gallery is a museum and art exposition that is not to be missed for various reasons. First, it has a rich collection, mostly artworks created by British artists or directly related to the English market in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (many, of course, the Italian presence, but a specific section is dedicated to the Dutch painting). Very noticeable is the continuous work in progress on sorting and fitting, with special inserts of works by living artists alongside antique paintings and useful educational apparatus in the course of implementation.
Easy to visit and accessible from the city center, the gallery is very accurate and also suitable for children. An interesting section with the works of contemporary art holds weekend temporary exhibition and highlights the new and emerging artists from Manchester. The interesting collection of the Art Gallery in Manchester also includes; important works of Canaletto and English landscape, pictures of Gainborough, Canaletto, Constable, Gauguin, Turner but also more modern artists such as Francis Bacon, Hockney, Spencer and many others.
The spaces are large, beautiful and full of art. There is a movie room with interesting slide shows about the creation of this gallery. Invariably there is a cafe where you can eat very well or just take a tea. There are also lockers, restrooms, and all the rest. The staff is very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. And just like any other British museums, the admission is free.
The Gallery of Art has almost 3 floors filled with works, relics and paintings of the Victorian era, Romanticism and the Pre-Raphaelites. Another note worthy feature is the gift shop on the ground floor that sell gadgets, mugs, pens, pencils, books. Equally important is the role of women in these works, there is also a jar painted with various figures concerning modernity and icons of the United Kingdom. Take time to see the gallery dedicated to memorabilia from other cultures, such as paintings of Venice and the throne of the Grand Dutch of Tuscany.
The Manchester Museum
The Manchester Museum holds interesting exhibits about natural sciences. What makes this museum truly unique among other museums you can find here in Manchester city is the way they have organized the collection of fossils, insects, dinosaur skeletons, and other objects of antiquity. The visit is rewarding for those who are not specialized in the field or particularly fond of natural science. Each item is properly marked and provided with exhaustive explanations by its diligent and amiable tour guides. The most interesting part of the museum is anything that deals with the pieces of history and paleontology.
The layout of the buildings with its huge spaces provides the spectator a relaxed and enough time to understand what is presented, you can even spend a whole day without getting bored. The works presented universally represent artifacts from all the continents of the world. A real must see when in Manchester. Everything here is really well displayed and described. And all this for free with just a kind donation request which deserves to be granted at the end of the tour.
The Lowry is a huge recreational complex in Manchester that is filled with buildings, bridges, marina, theaters, museums, and shopping and entertainment areas. The unused docks are now designed as the new media harbor of Manchester. In addition to a shopping mall that covers several floors, the environment is worth a visit. Various types of bridges can be used when crossing the harbor, the War Museum is a destination that is good and can be visited in rainy and dry weather, and the architecture of the new BBC Studios is also a visual treat.
The Lowry theater should definitely be part of your tour program and watching a show or a concert is worth it because of the excellent acoustics and the state of the art stage presentation that always leaves a good impression. Getting hungry is not an option because the many surrounding restaurants have adjusted to the needs of the culture fans and offer before any performance the complete dinner menu. However, solid footwear is recommended because the distances between the various quays are quite long.
Manchester Town Hall
The Manchester Town Hall is a large and beautiful building situated n the city center of Manchester. It stands next to the John Rylands Library. The town hall of the city of Manchester is an imposing relic of the Victorian era when Manchester was virtually the first most important center of industrialization. The old town hall, which was not yet 50 years old, was too small and had to give way.
The new city hall that now stands at the Lloyd Street offers a lot of contrast to the many other neoclassical buildings that are located in this area. The massive government building is impressive. Inside it’s a little dark, but an interesting architecture. At the right side is the tea place just after the entrance to the Hall. Here you can enjoy the traditional high tea or tea / coffee and cake combination that is a very typical English snack. It is an absolute gem in the city with a quiet atmosphere and comfortable setting.
The Manchester Cathedral is certainly one of the outstanding cathedrals you can visit in England. It’s a big church that is both historic and monumental. If you’re in the area, you should go through here before going to any land marks and places of interest in Manchester. It is a bit dark and the ceiling seems in comparison to most other cathedrals a little low, but it is quite nice. A small portion of the cathedral is currently being renovated. It is built in the English style and has a beautiful collection of Coats of Arms and flags. This church is well worth seeing and gets really crowded especially on Sundays when the service mass is offered from morning until afternoon. Admission is free and everything is very accessible.
It is located right in the center close to some very nice pubs. The church is incredibly well preserved for her age, but much has already been rebuilt to make it durable and last for many years to come.
There is a row of old houses surrounded by the large and modern shopping centers on Deansgate and the post-modern pyramid on the other side. The cathedral is Always open for a visit and the effect it has on the visitor and its pilgrims is also very nice. She may not be the continent’s largest cathedral, but one gains a good first impression on the role of this Anglican church and understands it very well as a cross between Protestantism and Catholicism. Be sure not to miss it when you’re in Manchester City.
People’s History Museum
The People’s History Museum is an important museum that highlights the people of Manchester City and full of vital information about their culture and history. There is no entrance fee and on two floors you can learn a lot about social-historical changes that evolved since Manchester was first discovered. It is a museum to see, play, learn, and enjoy. Sometimes you will be flooded with some added information from everything that you will see here but worry not for the able guides are quick to explain the connection of one story or image to another. Currently there is a temporary exhibition about the subject of Temperance, which is also done very nicely.
The entire visit presents a summary of the British history that covers the political and civil aspect. It is truly interesting to visit this museum because there are many relics that bring the rights of women, homosexuals, and workers. In addition, it has revived the myth of Winston Churchill and his aversion to Nazism. There are many references to the Labor Party, with lots of pictures depicting electoral campaigns and political claims. One room is also dedicated to politics and shows banners, posters and memorabilia of 200 years of struggle for democracy in the UK.
Imperial War Museum North
The Imperial War Museum North in Manchester offers an opportunity that other museums do not have; to tour and learn everything about the war through excellent multimedia installations. With this interactive and state of the art museum you feel like being lowered or present during the times and when the reality of the Second World War as if it were in progress and happening in these modern times, a truly unique experience! It makes the vision of war so clear and concrete.
The Imperial War Museum is not a museum (only) of war. It is something that prompts everyone to reflect on the heaviness of conflicts from the past and present so that certain atrocities will never happen ever again. How many British museums is interactive and prompts for an experience rather than a real visit, only this one. Do not miss the projections proposed every half hour in the central hall.
There is a beautiful Harrier and also other instruments of war from various ages. You will also be impressed with the session of visual images and sounds that are played on the walls while the multimedia system is being played. There are also thematic exhibitions, like the maritime experience of the Royal Navy in the various conflicts. Admission is free, but you will be prompted to buy the catalog that is not mandatory but you need to buy so the museum can self-finance the property. However, it maybe a little remote and hard to reach by public transport, but using the MetroRail service from the city, it is impossible not to get close enough and explore what this attraction has to offer.
National Football Museum
The National Football Museum is dedicated exclusively to soccer in a modern architectural setting with a comprehensive display of the history of the most popular sport on earth. The visit can be made in less than an hour and there are varieties of activities for the enjoyment of the children. This is close to the cathedral and it’s worth spending a few minutes, especially if you are an avid football fan
The location is very good and all around there are department stores, restaurants, and a large shopping center. The museum has an interesting architecture and everything is covered with glass. The rooms are very easy to navigate and there is a projector screen at level two that shows the story and passion for football from different kinds of people and places. The staff is friendly, and if you do not really like football you can still go for it and learn so much about Britain’s favorite sport.
Manchester Central Library
The upgraded Manchester Central Library was also recently inaugurated with its new and modern facilities. Seriously, you will never see such a modern library and the hard work it has entailed to accomplish it aside from being inside an old and beautiful building in the center of the city. They have absolutely scanned all files, documents, old reading materials (newspapers, magazines, books, etc.), marriage records, and preserved old movies, and everything can be accessed by a computer that contains a huge database of all the files stored in this library. They even provide private rooms for all kinds of graphic documents of the city, and another huge room dedicated exclusively to music. In short, this museum is spectacular and a visit is strongly recommended when in Manchester City.