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9 Aug 2020 - 6 minutes

Our guide to Manchester’s museums, galleries and more!

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As the saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. But we’re not in Rome, we’re in Manchester, so do as the Mancunians do! And what is it that we do exactly? Well, when we’re not attending world-class sporting fixtures, dining in our booming restaurant scene or taking a stroll along our network of canals, we love to take a trip to some of the city’s amazing art galleries and museums!

The front of Manchester Museum and the University of Manchester

For those who have a penchant for a good painting and are curious about culture and history, we’ve put together a list of Manchester’s best galleries and museums for a great day out! From the National Football Museum to the Whitworth, Manchester has something for everyone! Let’s start with...

Science and Industry Museum

Reopening to the public on Friday 14th August, the Science and Industry Museum is located on Liverpool Road, just off Deansgate. The museum is devoted to inspiring its visitors through ideas that change the world, from the Industrial Revolution to today and beyond.

In the free interactive gallery, get hands-on by staring into the mirror of infinity, find out if you have the strength to lift a Mini and watch your own skeleton ride a bicycle! Alternatively, go on a journey through Manchester’s rich legacy of industrial innovation in ‘Revolution Manchester.’ Here you can meet ‘Baby,’ a working replica of the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine – the ancestor of every modern computer.

To find out more about what the museum has to offer and its reopening, click here.

Interior of the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery is a publicly owned art museum on Mosley Street in the centre of the city. The main gallery is housed in a premise built for a learned society in 1823. The gallery has a collection consisting of more than 2000 oil paintings, 3000 watercolours and drawings, 250 sculptures, 90 miniatures and owns more than 13,000 decorative art objects including ceramics, glass, enamels and so on.

The gallery is free to enter and reopens Thursday 20th August. Entry will be by advanced booking only. Learn more about the gallery and reopening here.

Exterior of Manchester Art gallery

The National Football Museum

Based in the Urbis building in Manchester city centre, the National Football Museum is England’s national museum of, you guessed it, football! It preserves, conserves and displays important collections of football memorabilia. With two of the country’s biggest football teams based in the city, it’s clear to see why Manchester was chosen for such a venue.

The museum is split out across 4 floors, and there is plenty for visitors to see and do. In the Pitch Gallery, see replicas of the FA Cup and Premier League trophies alongside the Hall of Fame, a full list of the museum’s inductees.

The Match Gallery houses items such as the first ever rule book from 1863, and a shirt from the first ever international football match between England and Scotland. Here you can also see the match ball from the 1966 World Cup Final with Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God Shirt.”

The Play Gallery features a variety of paid-for interactive games and the Score Gallery is a changing exhibition space that in 2018/19 hosted ‘The Game: Thirty Years Through the Lends of Stuart Roy Clarke.’

The museum has already reopened, Thursday – Sunday from 10.30am to 4pm. Book your tickets online here!

Exterior of the National Football Museum


HOME is Manchester’s centre for contemporary theatre, film, art, music and more. It was formed by the merger of two Manchester-based arts organisations, Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company. 2.9 million people have visited since 2015 to experience thrilling theatre and dance shows, great independent films from across the world and to dive into new art in its galleries.

HOME is currently due to reopen on the 4th September. Visit here to find out more about its ‘at home’ programme and what’s in store when it opens its doors.

Exterior of HOME, Manchester's centre for contemporary theatre, film, art and music

Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum is the UK’s leading university museum and a proud part of the University of Manchester. It displays works of archaeology, anthropology and natural history. Their collection spans millennia, from dinosaur skeletons to mummies of Ancient Egypt. It would be impossible to list everything you can see and experience at the museum, but here are some of them: Ancient Egypt and Sudan, a Vivarium, Living Cultures, Earth Sciences, Money, Archaeology, Animals, Archery, Plants and Fungi and Entomology.

The museum gained worldwide interest in 2013 when a time-lapse footage showing a 10-inch Egyptian statue spinning around unaided. The university’s professor, none other than Brian Cox, suggested that “differential friction” was to blame between the glass and the shelf, possibly caused by vibrations from visitors.

The museum is scheduled to reopen on 1st September, when visitors will once again be able to explore the two main galleries, see the 2020 Banner Exhibition and discover the recently launched augmented reality (AR) experience exploring radical history makers on strike. Click here to find out more about the museum.

T-rex dinosaur skeleton in Manchester Museum

The Whitworth

As winner of Visit England’s gold prize for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2016 following a major £15 million redevelopment, the beautifully designed Whitworth Art Gallery is a must-visit attraction for a day out in Manchester. Located in Whitworth Park, the gallery is part of the University of Manchester and houses around 55,000 items in its collection.

While the gallery itself remains closed, its ‘gallery in the park’ is open, so head for this leafy Oxford Road oasis to check out works such as Gustav Metzger’s Falling Trees and Emily Young’s Maremma Warrior Head V.

Exterior of The Whitworth art gallery in Manchester

Castlefield Gallery

A small but influential gallery featuring though-provoking pieces from both local and national artists.

Saul Hay Gallery

A canal-side gallery welcoming visitor back from September 5th. Its first exhibition will be dedicated solely to sculpture.

The Holden Gallery

This gallery belongs to Manchester School of Art and currently remains closed. You can enjoy the work from a special online edition of its Interruptions series here.

We hope this has helped you to plan a great day out in Manchester! Whilst we’re not a museum or gallery, AXIS and Manhattan are pieces of art in their own right and we would love you to come and visit one of our apartments! Click here to book a viewing today!

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