Museums in Manchester

Creative Tourist

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

Here are our picks

  • 1. Manchester Museum

    Manchester Museum Tours at Manchester Museum

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

    Manchester Museum has always been a place of wonder – it’s one of those glorious Victorian-era venues with a smorgasbord of fascinating collections crammed into a building within the complex of The University of Manchester. Now, following a £15 million transformation – as part of its ‘Hello Future’ project – the Museum moves into a brand new phase in its rich history.

  • 2. People’s History Museum (PHM)

    People's History Museum Manchester
    Image © People’s History Museum

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

    The national museum of democracy couldn’t have a better home than the radical city of Manchester, birthplace of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and universal suffrage.

  • 3. Science and Industry Museum

    Science and Industry Museum
    Drew Forsyth

    Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4FP - Visit now

    The Science and Industry Museum is housed in the buildings of the world’s first inter-city passenger railway; this sprawling, interactive land of scientific exploration is also undergoing a multi million pound restoration project to reveal how ideas change the world.

  • 4. National Football Museum

    The National Football Museum 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.

  • 5. Imperial War Museum North (IWM North)

    Imperial War Museum North exterior shot - host of story seekers
    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.

  • 6. 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

    In recent years 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.

  • 7. Greater Manchester Police Museum

    Creative Tourist

    Greater Manchester Police Museum, 57a Newton Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1ET - Visit now

    At the Greater Manchester Police Museum you can stand in the dock, see make-shift riot weapons – such as a soap in a sock – and try the feel of a wooden pillow.

  • 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.

  • 9. Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre

    Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre Copyright Geoff Wynne and licensed for reuse

    Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9DL - Visit now

    Recently declared a Unesco World Heritage Site, the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre is a great day out for all the family and home to the Bluedot Festival.

  • 10. Stockport Air Raid Shelters

    Air Raid Shelter Explorer Tour
    Flecky Bennett Productions

    Stockport Air Raid Shelters, Great Underbank, Stockport, Cheshire, SK1 1NE - Visit now

    Stockport museums are beginning a phased reopening of their sites. The first to re-open were Bramall Hall and Stockport Air Raid Shelters. You must book tickets in advance to allow for managed visitor numbers.

  • 11. Quarry Bank

    Quarry Bank Mill / National Trust

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

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

  • 12. Rochdale Pioneers Museum

    rochdale pioneers museum

    Rochdale Pioneers Museum, 31 Toad Lane, Rochdale, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, OL12 0NU - Visit now

    The Rochdale Pioneers Museum is widely considered to be the birthplace of the co-operative movement.