Museums in Manchester

Polly Checkland Harding, Exhibitions Editor

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 top 5 picks

  • 1. Museum of Science and Industry

    Jonty Wilde

    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

    Image courtesy of National Football Museum

    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

    Political banners in the People's History Museum
    Image courtesy of the People's History Museum.

    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)

    Image courtesy of Visit Britain

    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 Weekender, Nature's Library, Manchester Museum

    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.