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Manchester is an exciting hub for culture and offers a myriad of museums and galleries for visitors to explore. Many of the museums are free to visit and provide a fantastic day out for all ages and interests, whether you’re a science and industry buff, a historian at heart, football fan, or simply curious about how the world works. With this in mind, we’ve put together a selection of our favourite culture vulture attractions to check out while visiting the city, peruse below the Jurys Inn’s Guide to…Manchester Museums.
Imperial War Museum NorthImperial War Museum North by DRH60 / CCBY (image size has been modified)
Learn, engage, and discover as you explore this unique museum of people and stories. The award-winning Imperial War Museum North takes you on a journey through time, displaying the wars of Britain and the commonwealth from WWI to present day. Situated on Trafford Warf Road, the museum not only provides a glimpse into our history but explores current conflicts, providing thought-provoking displays and exhibitions centred around the effect war has on the world in which we live.
The building design by Daniel Libeskind was created to reflect the subject of war, with “three ‘shards’ pieced together represent a globe that has been shattered by conflict, and though put back together again, will never be the same.” The museum is unlike any other museum, aiming to be a little disorienting and a truly immersive experience.
Admission to the museum is free and doors are open daily from 10am-5pm.
The Manchester MuseumElephant Skeleton by Becks / CCBY (must indicate if changes are made)
The Manchester Museum offers a fantastic attraction for all ages with dinosaurs, mummies, fossils, and much more awaiting your discovery. Situated on Oxford Road, the museum is home to a variety of exhibitions from the ancient worlds and living cultures to rocks, minerals, money, and the natural world. The museum also offers an engaging calendar of events and a museum shop. There’s a café to grab a bite to eat, however, if you’d rather bring a packed lunch, there is also a designated indoor picnic area!
The museum is open 10am-5pm daily and entry is free.
Museum of Science and Industry
Museum of Science and Industry by Keith Williamson/ CCBY (image size has been modified)
Celebrating Manchester’s industrial and scientific legacy, this internationally recognised museum offers an interesting and creative exploration of “how science, innovation and industry created and sustain modern society”. Situated on Liverpool Street in the heart of Manchester, The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) offers a variety of collections and exhibitions spread across six themes: Industry & Innovation, Science & Technology, Energy, Transport, People, and Communications.
In addition to the exhibitions and collections, MOSI also offers workshops and activities for all ages – take a look at ‘What’s on’ for the current shows, talks, and activities. The museum is open daily from 10am-5pm with free entry, but voluntary donations are welcome.
National Football MuseumNational Football Museum Manchester by tatchie/ CCBY (image size has been modified)
Immerse in the world of ‘the people’s game’ at the National Football Museum and learn about its heritage as “a key part of England’s way of life”. Situated at the Cathedral Gardens, the museum offers an impressive collection of over 140,000 items, with extensive collections and exhibitions of all things football. Explore the Hall of Fame, the FIFA Collection, World Cup History in 24 Objects, The People’s Collection, and many more exhibitions for an inspiring journey showing the power the game has to change and improve people’s lives. Whether you are visiting as a family or a football fan, this museum has plenty to entertain, engage, and educate.
The National Football Museum is open daily 10am -5pm (opens an hour later on Sundays) and admission is free.
The People's History Museum
Discover one of Manchester’s truly unique treasures. The People’s History Museum takes you on a journey through 200 years of history, exploring Britain’s struggle for democracy, starting with the Peterloo Massacre of 1819. With engaging and colourful displays, the main galleries’ themes are ‘Revolution’, ‘Reformers’, ‘Workers’, ‘Voters’, ‘Citizens’, ‘Time Off?’, and ‘Banners’. There are also a range of temporary exhibitions and events running – take a look at ‘What’s On’ for more information.
A short walk from the heart of the city, The People’s History Museum is open daily 10am-5pm and entry is free, but donations are always welcome!
Situated in the centre of the city, our Manchester hotel is a short walk to many the city’s attractions, offering the perfect base for your visit - browse our city guide for our top picks of things to do and see in Manchester.