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10 Best Things to Do in Manchester, United Kingdom – Where to Go, Attractions to Visit

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor January 23rd, 2017 Posted in Europe Travel Blog, Travel Guides 3 Comments

Manchester has a lot of history and culture and boasts of an incredibly rich industrial heritage. Its museums and art galleries and centres are totally high class, but the best things to do in Manchester offer so much more than the obvious.

This major city in northwest England presents travelers a slew of opportunities for fine dining, drinking, and entertainment that sure lead to more than one happy night. Explore this top 10 list of the best things to do in Manchester and unravel the fabulous out of this city.



1. John Rylands Library

10 Best Things to Do in Manchester, United Kingdom
John Rylands Library by Michael D Beckwith

Skeptics may doubt the presence of libraries in the list of the best things to do in Manchester but a trip to John Rylands is quick to change their minds. Yes, the entrance is uninspiring, but if you go deeper, you will fully appreciate this gorgeous Victorian Gothic building. Beautiful and bewitching with its high vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows, this library is every bit a cathedral for books more than anything else. Take a book lover friend here, and you are sure to be loved for years.

Price: Free
Hours: 10 AM to 5 PM every Tuesday to Saturday; 12 PM to 5 PM every Monday and Sunday
Location: 150 Deansgate, Manchester, England

2. Chetham’s Library & School of Music

10 Best Things to Do in Manchester, United Kingdom
Chetham’s Library & School of Music by Michael D Beckwith

Marx and Engels used to wander these atmospheric halls and its dark corridors but this place has been around a long time before these couple of people made their marks. The Chetham’s Library & School of Music is the oldest structure in Manchester, established in 1421, and it has always possessed a double appeal: hushed in the library but lively in the complex dedicated to the national school for younger musicians.

Price: Free
Hours: Timed admission hourly from 10 AM to 12 PM and 1.30 PM to 3.30 PM
Location: Long Millgate, Manchester, England

Art Galleries

3. Manchester Art Gallery

10 Best Things to Do in Manchester, United Kingdom
Manchester Art Gallery by Dun.can

A visit to the city’s top gallery is definitely one of the best things to do in Manchester. On display is a grand collection of paintings, particularly Victorian, Renaissance, and European masters, plus 37 Turner watercolours and Pre-Raphaelite and 20th-century arts. All these beauties is housed in two 19th century Greek revival buildings that you just have to see.

Price: Free 20-minute introductory tours; full hour costs £80
Hours: 10 AM to 5 PM every Monday to Wednesday and Friday and Sunday; up to 9 PM every Thursday
Location: Mosley St, Manchester, England

4. Whitworth Art Gallery

10 Best Things to Do in Manchester, United Kingdom
Whitworth Art Gallery by Dun.can

High art reigns supreme at the Whitworth. Most notable is its collection of British watercolours, plus a selection of historic textiles and galleries dedicated to Dürer, Rembrandt, Lucien Freud, and David Hockney. But if you think it is all fancy, wait until you see the exhibits that glorify wallpaper. Better watch out. Otherwise, you will be possessed to take on an unplanned home renovation project!

Price: Free
Hours: Open daily at 10 AM to 5 PM; up to 9 PM every Thursday
Location: Oxford Rd, University of Manchester, Manchester, England


5. Museum of Science & Industry

10 Best Things to Do in Manchester, United Kingdom
Museum of Science & Industry by Heather Cowper

Looking for activities for a family day out? Visit the Museum of Science & Industry and find something fun to do for everyone. Located in the old Liverpool St. Station, this top museum outlines the colourful industrial legacy of Manchester. Your eyes will have a field day watching massive collections of steam engines, locomotives, and original factory machinery, plus new technology including a flight simulator and 4D cinema.

A lot of treats await the kids, too. Playtime will never be the same with interactive displays on space-age technology, fighter jets, printing press, and electric-shock machine. Endless games and challenges occupy them so you can have a good time, too!

Price: Special exhibits start at £2.50
Hours: Open daily at 10 AM to 5 PM
Location: Liverpool Rd, Manchester, England

6. Imperial War Museum North

10 Best Things to Do in Manchester, United Kingdom
Imperial War Museum North by the yes man

Most war museums come across as depressing, but the exhibits inside this aluminium-clad architectural wonder aim to make a difference. Add it to your itinerary of the best things to do in Manchester and learn a thing or two about the effects of conflict on society. Highlights include six exhibitions exploring war since the 20th century with a particular focus on the role of women and the changes brought on by science and technology.

Price: Free
Hours: Open daily at 10 AM to 5 PM
Location: Trafford Wharf Rd, Manchester, England


7. Manchester City

10 Best Things to Do in Manchester, United Kingdom
Manchester City by Airviews Photography

Ever heard of a little thing called Premier League? Manchester owns a couple of league titles plus an FA Cup. Backed by Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mansour, the boys of Manchester call the Etihad Stadium home. Catch a home game or walk the grounds on a stadium tour.

Location: Etihad Campus, Manchester, England

8. Lancashire County Cricket Club

10 Best Things to Do in Manchester, United Kingdom
Lancashire County Cricket Club by WeLiveCricket.com

You may or may not have heard of cricket, but in Manchester, it is kind of a big deal. Matches are played at the Old Trafford, and crowds show up to cheer for the Lancashire Lightning.

Price: Tickets cost £15; test matches cost £40
Location: Warwick Rd, Manchester, England


9. Rosylee Tearooms

10 Best Things to Do in Manchester, United Kingdom
Rosylee Tearooms by Tripadvisor

There is no better place to get afternoon tea than this gorgeous tea room bathing in Edwardian and Georgian elegance. If you feel like staying longer, check out the expanded menu and sample yummy British classics like beer-battered haddock and chips and steak suet pudding. You can’t go wrong – best things to do in Manchester indeed!

Price: Afternoon tea starts at £18.25; mains start at £10; 2-course menu starts at £11.95, and 3-course menu starts at £14.95
Hours: 12 PM to 9 PM every Monday to Thursday; 10 AM to 10 PM every Friday and Saturday; 10 AM to 6 PM every Sunday
Location: 11 Stevenson Sq, Manchester, England

10. The Kitchens

Lively, colorful, and vibrant, The Kitchens offer hungry visitors a world of choice. A sea of great street food producers lines these grounds from Bangers and Bacon and the Hip Hop Chip Shop to Chaat Cart and Dim Sum Su. The food is plenty so make sure you bring lots of stomach space!

Price: Mains start at £4
Hours: 12 PM to 3 PM every Monday to Wednesday; 12 PM to 9 PM every Thursday to Sunday
Location: Irwell Sq, Manchester, England

Find accommodation in Manchester, England

Extra Tip: Check out Plumguide for the best holiday homes and vacation rentals in United Kingdom.

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3 thoughts on “10 Best Things to Do in Manchester, United Kingdom – Where to Go, Attractions to Visit

  1. #1 and #2 look like buildings lifting straight out of the Harry Potter movies … Manchester is a beautiful place!

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