Art Galleries in Manchester & Salford

Maja Lorkowska, Exhibitions Editor

Away from the buzz of London, between them Manchester and Salford arguably have one of the highest concentrations of fantastic art galleries in England!

Featuring our pick of larger institutions and smaller independent spaces, here we scrape the surface of what the city has to offer, and when you’ll be able to visit from. Exhibitions are often free, but advanced booking is required in some cases – make sure to check each venue’s website for more details.

Our top picks

Castlefield Gallery

Castlefield Gallery, 2 Hewitt Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 4GB - Visit now

A small but influential gallery, Castlefield presents thought-provoking work by local, national and international artists at key stages in their career. It includes Turner Prize winners, such as Ryan Gander, among its alumni.

Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
Castlefield Gallery

The Whitworth

The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6ER - Visit now

Winner of Art Fund’s Museum of the Year award 2015 following a major £15m redevelopment, the beautifully designed Whitworth Art Gallery is a true gem of a place. Its internationally important art collection is presented alongside a changing programme of contemporary exhibitions and outdoor sculpture, whilst the spectacular ‘café in the trees’ is well worth a visit alone.

The Whitworth
The Whitworth, Photo: Alan Williams

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 3JL - Visit now

Positioned at the very heart of the city, Manchester Art Gallery houses six centuries worth of fine art, ceramics, glass, furniture and costume, and presents a year-round programme of contemporary exhibitions by world-leading artists.

Manchester Art Gallery. Photo by Andrew Brooks
Andrew Brooks

esea contemporary

esea contemporary, Market buildings, Thomas Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1EU - Visit now

Tucked away at the end of Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter, the recently re-opened esea contemporary is the number one place for experiencing East and Southeast Asian contemporary art in the UK. Through a dynamic programme of exhibitions and accompanying events, esea contemporary aims to increase the visibility of contemporary art practices from the East and Southeast Asian communities and their diasporas.

Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art CFCCA by Michael Pollard
Photo by Michael Pollard

HOME Manchester

HOME Manchester, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 4FN - Visit now

Manchester’s much-loved multi-arts centre HOME has a fantastic programme of exhibitions throughout the year. With the multitude of styles, subjects and motifs on display throughout the different temporary exhibitions, HOME’s galleries are always worth a visit.

HOME Manchester
Paul Karalius

Saul Hay Gallery, Manchester

Saul Hay Gallery, Manchester, Railway Cottage, Off Castle Street, Manchester, M3 4LZ - Visit now

Saul Hay is one of the city’s foremost independent galleries, with fresh, exciting collections of works and regularly changing exhibitions. You might see something different every time you visit!

Saul Hay Gallery

Oceans Apart Gallery

Oceans Apart Gallery, 24-26 King Street by Blackfriars, Salford, M3 7DG - Visit now

Oceans Apart is an artist studios and exhibition space located in an industrial-type building in Salford, dedicated to contemporary painting.

The Continuous Image at Oceans Apart, artist studios and gallery in Salford

Salford Museum and Art Gallery

Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Peel Park, The Crescent, Salford, Greater Manchester, M5 4WU - Visit now

Once a favourite haunt of the great LS Lowry, Salford Museum & Art Gallery is a friendly destination with special appeal to families. Its collections focus on Victorian art and local social history, while its temporary exhibitions present work by contemporary artists from around the world.


Salford museum and art gallery exterior
Tom Jeffs

Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre

Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre, Moss Street, Bury, Lancashire, BL9 0DR - Visit now

This grand neoclassical building is home to temporary exhibitions of acclaimed international art, contemporary and historical collections, a beautifully-curated shop, and Tina’s tea rooms (serving excellent toasted teacakes). Well worth the tram ride.

Bury Art Museum

The Holden Gallery

The Holden Gallery, Grosvenor Building, Cavendish Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6BR - Visit now

Keep an eye on updates from the Manchester School of Art’s lovely Holden Gallery for its regularly changing, short-term exhibitions, often showcasing the School’s students’ work.

The Holden Gallery, Manchester School of Art

Where to go in Manchester

Smolensky Gallery

This appointment-only gallery is a hidden gem in Manchester. Art lovers and collectors can browse many high quality pieces.

Café or Coffee Shop

Sett is an art café in West Didsbury, one of the areas many thriving independent businesses.

Cheshire Art Gallery

Cheshire Art Gallery sells and displays talent from all across the UK, with pioneering and exciting works making this space a must-visit.

Next Door Gallery

Primarily showcasing local talent, as well as regularly hosting events and workshops, this gallery is a joy to visit and a prize possession of its community.

1520 Studios

1520 Studios is bigger than a film and photography studio, also functioning as an event space and community hub.

Brink Studio Limited

Home to the art of Rob Lenihan. His urban, multidisciplinary art is influenced by many genres and displayed for sale.

GK Gallery

This Chapel Street gallery and tea room hosts 8-12 week long exhibitions giving emerging artists a chance to showcase their work.

The Vale Reopening Programme
The Vale

Boasting a specially curated live programme of music, dance, cinema, theatre and visual arts, the newly renovated centre will host a special launch weekend from 10 – 12 September 2021.

Manchester Art Gallery. Photo by Andrew Brooks
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The Charles Barry-designed, Grade I-listed Manchester Art Gallery is one of the city’s leading galleries and is back open for visitors once more.

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