Manchester Attractions

Manchester offers visitors a choice of local attractions both in the city of Manchester and in the surrounding Greater Manchester areas. The city includes a choice of attractions including museums, galleries, historic buildings, theatre, concerts and events. Manchester’s location means the countryside; country and national parks are close by with a range of things to see for visitors.

We have outlined a number of interesting attractions and places to visit for visitors to Manchester, these include:

Those with an interest in the arts are well served in Manchester with plenty of places to explore, one such example is Manchester Museum located on Oxford Road. Here visitors can explore the world, with the several floors worth of exhibitions and displays. There are also a number of galleries from all over the world. Exhibits include the world of nature featuring mammals, and birds, ethnology collections from South America and there are also Museum's collections of minerals and fossils. It makes for a fascinating and educating outing.

The Museum of Science and Industry is located in Castlefield, Manchester. The museum is among the best cultural attractions in the area, located on the site of the world’s first passenger railway. Visitors can learn about the history and industry of Manchester. If you are feeling brave you can even walk through a Victorian sewer, but given it comes with real life smells and sounds you may wish to do this before having a meal! There are a range of exhibitions covering a range of areas for visitors to explore; these include transport, industry, communications and people.

Manchester Art Gallery is a must for those with an appreciation of art. Located in the city centre in Mosley Street, it has free admission and a collection of fine and decorative art covering all periods. The museum is famous for its collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings and works by Manchester’s Adolphe Valette; you can also explore the history of art and design through the centuries up to the present day. There are workshops and tours to enjoy. The gallery has collections that include more than 25,000 objects of art, craft and design. So whether you are an art aficionado or just wish to have a quick look, the gallery is well worth a look.

Urbis in Manchester is located in the city centre, established back in 2002 the exhibition centre hosted a range of exhibitions ranging from art, music, fashion, urban living and hosted a number of special events, gigs and talks. Since 2012 the Urbis will be the home of the National Football Museum previously located in Preston. Visitors can see a wide range of football collections, historical memorabilia and events. The design of the Urbis is noticeable resembling a huge glass triangle.

Manchester Town Hall is located in a prominent position in Manchester's central Albert Square. The historic Victorian Hall first opened in the 19th century and is one of the best known sights in the city. The building is known for its design and is regarded as a prime example of gothic architecture and style. The Sculpture Hall that includes well known figures from Manchester’s history, whilst the Great Hall includes the names of the mayor and chair of the council since the 19th century. There are guided tours available for visitors to learn more about the town hall.

The John Rylands University Library is located in Deansgate in central Manchester. The library is housed inside one of Manchester's most beautiful buildings and seen as a masterpiece of Victorian-Gothic architecture. It contains one of the finest collections of books, archives and manuscripts in the UK. It has undergone extensive refurbishment to ensure the period features and historical legacy are kept whilst introducing state of the art facilities.

Manchester Cathedral is situated in the heart of the city centre in Victoria Street. The historic cathedral is one of the best known landmarks in the city and dates back to the 15th century. Known for its fine architecture, the cathedral has a magnificent interior and the ceiling is full of intricate detail. Entrance in to the cathedral is free of charge and there are guided tours available and there is a visitor centre and an exhibition room visitors can see, the cathedral is also the venue for some concerts.

The Victoria Baths are located in the Chorlton-upon-Medlock area of Manchester. The complex was first opened back in 1906, they were designed and built with no expense spared in their design and construction no expense was spared. Viewed as the most ornate and prestigious baths complex in the UK, private baths and a laundry were housed there alongside the three swimming pools and Turkish Baths. In 1952 the first public Aerotone was installed here. The Grade II listed building is still mainly intact with most of the stained glass and original tiling remaining. The Friends of Victoria Baths organise Open Days, so it is advisable to check their website for times to see if times fit in with your schedule.

Manchester Shopping offers visitors with plenty of choice, the Northern Quarter houses a number of independent fashion stores, cafes and record shops in the famous Afflects Palace. Seen as a place for the fashionable and trendy there are more than 50 independent traders. Famous as the 'creative quarter' of Manchester the Northern Quarter area is popular with new bars, restaurants and residential developments springing up, it has become a sought after area to work and live.

The Trafford Centre is one of the largest shopping complexes in the UK. Situated approx 5 miles outside the city centre close to Trafford Park, there are over 230 stores with something for everyone; there are well known high street stores and designer stores. The centre opened back in 1998 and includes over 50 outlets and restaurants serving drinks, light bites and full meals with a choice of cuisines to choose from. There is also a cinema in the complex; it has proved a popular place not just to shop but to relax, be entertained and to meet up with friends and family. With all of these facilities under one roof it is easy to see why the Trafford Centre has proved to be a big hit with the locals and visitors alike.

The ambitious redevelopment has lead to many areas in the City of Manchester and the Greater Manchester area undergoing a facelift, on such example is Salford Quays. There are now plenty of things to do there for leisure and entertainment. Water sports are available at the Salford Water sports Centre where you can row, canoe, sail and windsurf. There are theatres such as the Lowry that has a full range of drama, comedy, opera, ballet, dance, musicals, shows for children and gallery spaces.

There is also the much talked about Imperial War Museum where you can see how lives have been affected by conflict. Shoppers have their own paradise here in the form of the Lowry Outlet Mall where top designer brands are on offer at competitive prices. With a cinema also, there is plenty to see and do at the Quays and is a great day out.

It is recommended that prior to visiting Manchester; visitors do their research and ensure any sights and attractions they plan on visiting are actually open on the days you intend on coming. The transport is also worth checking as maintenance and engineering works can mean a restricted service on public transport.

For visitors Manchester offers a choice of attractions, from its creative arts and culture scene, to its lively and varied nightlife and shopping there is plenty for visitors to see and enjoy here. The city has enjoyed the substantial redevelopment and modernisation it has had in the past few decades and for visitors the historic capital of the north is an interesting and varied place to visit.

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