Imperial War Museum North (IWM North), Imperial War Museum North, The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M17 1TZ - Visit now
IWM North was designed by Daniel Libeskind, whose beautiful waterfront building was based on a globe shattered by war and houses a permanent collection, special exhibitions and events that consider the many ways conflict shapes society.
The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6ER - Visit now
The Whitworth underwent a £15m redevelopment in 2015, which saw it double in size; the gallery now juts out into Whitworth park, seamlessly transitioning from old to new. It’s been met with national and international acclaim – for its new architecture and for its brilliant exhibitions programme.
Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4FP - Visit now
The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) is housed in the buildings of the world’s first inter-city passenger railway; this sprawling, interactive land of scientific exploration includes a working steam train.
Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 3JL - Visit now
Manchester Art Gallery houses 25,000 artefacts across six centuries and contemporary exhibitions by world-leading artists in a beautifully-restored neo-Classic gallery, slap band in the city centre. The architect also designed Highclere Castle (or Downton Abbey).
HOME Manchester, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 4FN - Visit now
Manchester’s new, £25m arts complex boasts 500 square metres of gallery space and five cinema screens as well as its 500 seat theatre; host to UK premieres, visiting companies and internationally focused work, the offering at HOME is as ambitious as it gets.
Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 7DH - Visit now
This former trading hall underwent a £32m redevelopment after being severely damaged by the 1996 IRA bomb in Manchester’s city centre – and has been delivering stellar productions from its unusual seven-sided glass and steel theatre-in-the-round (the biggest in the UK), and smaller (but still excellent) studio, ever since. Productions here are renowned – both Vanessa Redgrave and Helen Mirren have graced the Royal Exchange’s stage.
Our top places to go rural without leaving Manchester too far behind. From water parks to national trust properties with some wild swimming chucked in for good measure.
Even more spoken word nights are joining the old faithfuls, there’s a whole lot of poetry and prose including a rare chance to catch performers from as far afield as Paris and Texas, and showcases such as Chester Literature Festival, Chorlton Book Festival and Poetry Emergency will add to your wider reading pile.