Art & Museums
In a city that is immensely proud of its history and heritage, you‘ll find art and culture being celebrated everywhere. Manchester is full of stunning art galleries and breath-taking museums, many of which are free to enjoy.
Whether you prefer contemporary, traditional or experimental, you can discover art installations that suit your tastes, both in formal settings and through street art.
When you are on the move, don’t forget to check out the blue, red, black and green commemorative plaques – there are hundreds of them dotted around the city!
Manchester Art Gallery is located in the heart of the city centre, boasting an exciting calendar of visiting art and photographic exhibitions alongside the work of local icons such as LS Lowry and Pierre Adolphe Valette. Check out the world’s biggest collection of Lowry’s work at The Lowry in Salford Quays. The award-winning Whitworth Art Gallery, surrounded by a beautiful park, is also well worth a visit.
You can bring yourself up to speed on Manchester’s fascinating history in a fun, interactive way at the city’s various museums. The Museum of Science and Industry is a great starting point, for the lowdown on innovation and the Industrial Revolution, all for free. While there you will head underground to see where the first ever steam train went on its maiden journey.
The People’s History Museum offers a wonderful insight into working class life, while the National Football Museum, spread over several floors, is a dream come true for lovers of the beautiful game. If mummies, dinosaur bones and live reptiles are more up your street, the Manchester Museum is a great choice, as you will find a huge collection of artefacts from the natural world. Elsewhere, the Imperial War Museum in Salford is a poignant guide to the human cost of armed conflict.
Manchester is home to some of the UK’s most stunning architecture, from the unmistakable town hall, which often doubles as the Houses of Parliament on television, to the exquisite Manchester Cathedral. Chetham’s Library, founded in 1653, is the oldest surviving library in the English-speaking world!
Our popular festivals offer up another way to witness incredible art, photography and performances, so don’t miss out! The Manchester International Festival, which takes place biennially, showcases the work of talented artists from across the globe. Manchester Jazz Festival strikes a chord with Mancunians every July, while Manchester Literature Festival is always an exciting new chapter when October arrives.