Best for Arts and Culture
Manchester was once considered the first and greatest industrial city in the world, and although the city is changing fast, its prevailing industrial legacy still remains, not only by the many industries in the area but also celebrated at a numbers of venues such as the Museum of Transport and the Museum of Science and Industry.
Manchester is a lively city known for its sporting links and music scene, there is a new shopping centre, a gay village, a colourful Chinatown, three universities, a mix of stylish bars and restaurants and a wide choice of shops that range from art and craft outlets to designer clothes.
Today, one of the city’s main focus and tourist attractions are the many Art galleries and museums; some attractions that you must include in your visit are:
1) Manchester Art Gallery: it is located on Mosley street; this public art gallery offers a free-to-view collection of paintings as well as silverware, furniture and a glass compilation; the beautiful building is the house of internationally renowned fine art that includes pieces from Hockney, Valette, Burges, Dixon, Picasso, and Ernst to name just a few; it is easy to wander throughout the 21 rooms that includes historical and contemporary art.
2) The Lowry Centre: this spectacular waterside building is 10 minutes drive from the City Centre and houses the largest collection of artwork by LS Lowry in the world. There are also theatres, galleries, restaurants, café, bars and gifts shops; you will always find something to see or enjoy in this fascinating centre; it is just 5 minutes walk from the Imperial War Museum.
3) Manchester Museum: The Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester is located on Oxford Road; the museum is a mix history of science, geology, archaeology, fossils and live animals as well as ancient cultures such as the Ancient Egypt section with its fascinating artefacts and relics and the amazing mummies. The taxidermy section has been brilliantly done and the variety of animals displayed is phenomenal. Definitely worth a couple of visits if you are in Manchester.
4) Museum of Science and Industry: this award-winning museum with full working machinery has been through a £9million science redevelopment; the new gallery was opened in January 2011 and has completely transformed the museum’s Great Western Warehouse. MOSI is a free entry attraction that explores the history of industry and science but its main focus is the contribution that Manchester has provided to the modern world; ideal for kids to visit and hopefully will serve of inspiration for them to become scientists and be part of the MOSI in the future. The museum is based on the site of the world’s first passenger railway station, opened in 1830 between Manchester and Liverpool.
5) Whitworth Art Gallery: This is truly one of the city’s brightest and hidden germs of the city and thanks to an £8 million award given in 2011 by the Heritage Lottery Fund, we will see an elegant and modern extension as well as refurbishment of the current building structure; with the free entry fee you will be able to enjoy one of the finest collection of art and design in the United Kingdom.
6) John Ryland's Library: The remarkable work of gothic architecture houses ancient texts and books, including old editions of the Bible, thousands of old tomes and the first book printed in England (Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales by William Caxton – 1476); the building is a truly architecture masterpiece.
7) Imperial War Museum: stunning and modern design located in a privilege location just outside the city centre; the building has a considerable space, with a very interesting layout; the main exhibition room runs in a chronological order and explores the social and political context of people during the war; there is an excellent photo-biography of the war by Don McCullin and a work that exhibits a concentration camp memorabilia behind a glass case; the Imperial War Museum is the place to go if you want to learn about important historical events. It offers free entrance.
8) Manchester Cathedral: this medieval church is located on Victoria Street and is the seat of the Bishop of Manchester
If you are looking for other places to visit in the United Kingdom, London is the place to go; read my article Visit London; top 10 places to visit in the city of London for more details.