Museums in Manchester

Polly Checkland Harding

We do like a good museum, from those old-fashioned slightly dusty numbers (who shall remain nameless) to the hipper variety, such as The Manchester Museum, which of all UK museums arguably does the best job in combining a historic collection with 21st century details. Manchester is studded with gems, from the sprawling Museum of Science and Industry to the small but perfectly-formed Police Museum. Read our picks of the best here.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Science and Industry Museum

    Jonty Wilde

    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.

  • 2. National Football Museum

    National Football Museum, Urbis Building in Cathedral Gardens, Manchester
    Image courtesy of National Football Museum

    National Football Museum, Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 3BG - Visit now

    The National Football Museum attracted 100,000 visitors in the first six weeks of opening. It continues to be hugely popular – expect football-related displays and exhibitions, a café and an extensive shop.

  • 3. People’s History Museum

    People's History Museum Manchester
    Image courtesy of the People's History Museum.

    People’s History Museum, Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3ER - Visit now

    The national museum of democracy, couldn’t have a better home than Manchester, the birthplace of the British Labour Party and universal suffrage.

  • 4. Imperial War Museum North (IWM North)

    Imperial War Museum North (IWM North)
    Image courtesy of Visit Britain

    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.

  • 5. Manchester Museum

    Manchester Museum, The University Of Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M13 9PL - Visit now

    Manchester Museum boasts six million pieces in its archive, an impressive Egyptology collection and new discovery space The Study all in one gothic, Grade II*-listed building.

  • 6. Quarry Bank

    Quarry Bank Mill / National Trust

    Quarry Bank, Styal, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 4LA - Visit now

    A visit to Quarry Bank in Cheshire is a must for anyone wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the North West.

  • 7. Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

    Image courtesy of Marketing Manchester / © Joel-Chester-Fildess

    Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M13 9LW - Visit now

    Elizabeth Gaskell’s House has been lovingly restored; you can now sit at her desk, see where Charlotte Brontë hid behind the curtains, and have tea in the downstairs café.

  • 8. Salford Museum and Art Gallery

    Salford museum and art gallery exterior
    Tom Jeffs

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

    Salford Museum and Art Gallery is a friendly city museum close to Peel Park with special appeal to families; the highlight is Lark Hill Place, a charming Victorian Street installation

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