Manchester’s Best Museums

Manchester is brimming with a history that is so rich, in culture, art and industry, that we are home to some of the country’s most amazing and interesting museums.

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 3 December 2018

Share this story

If you’re looking for a way to cool down in the heat wave, or something to keep the kids occupied over summer holidays, these top Manchester Museums are the perfect choice for an educational day out!

Manchester Museum
Despite the name, this isn’t a museum about Manchester but rather our largest and most prestigious one. Owned by Manchester University, it could almost be considered the city’s British Museum with everything from golden ancient artefacts to some very creepy stuffed animals! If you or your family are interested in natural history, the hundred beady eyes staring on you as you walk around their exhibitions will be mesmerizing! I don’t want to ruin any surprises but there is also a pretty impressive dinosaur installation that you just can’t miss…

Manchester Museum, The University Of Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PL
0161 275 2648


Museum of Science and Industry
Manchester’s industrial past is one of greatness, and this museum celebrates it all – from the machinery to the labour. Amongst the engines and piping, you can also learn about stars, the universe, and even robotics! Not just for the science geeks, it explains everything in a fun and interesting way. For an alternative day out – and to learn a hell of a lot – try heading down to this northern gem of a museum.

Museum of Science and Industry, Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4FP


Imperial War Museum North
Sitting proudly on the banks of the Ship Canal, the Imperial War Museum is a futuristic looking shard of metal that houses some of the country’s most important artefacts, uniforms, evidence and collections from over 100 years of warfare. Mostly concentrating on the 20th Century conflicts, they house a real Harrier Jump Jet, cannons, bikes, tanks and loads of other weapons as well as focusing on the true victims of war and the impact conflicts have had on the region. There’s some really poignant bits, bring some Kleenex.

Imperial War Museum North, Trafford Wharf Rd, Stretford, Manchester M17 1TZ


Salford Museum & Art Gallery
The museum started life as the UK’s first free public lending library and now houses many an exhibition and permanent displays including the brilliant Lark Hill Place – a fully recreated street which will be set in 1918 for the duration of this year (it’s usually set in 1897). There’s always a wealth of events, exhibitions and workshops to get to grips with – it’s well worth the trip to our neighbouring city to see.

Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Crescent, Salford M5 4WU
0161 778 0800


People’s History Museum
Described as the national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future, this really is the museum of choice for any socialists in the family. Labour rights, women’s lib and just about every piece of proud Mancunian social history is celebrated here, through engaging exhibitions of art and performance. Their current exhibition ‘Represent! Voices from 100 Years On’ explores women’s suffrage, and even has some artwork in there by yours truly!

People’s History Museum, New Ct St, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3ER
0161 838 9190


Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester
To release the inner Sheldon Cooper in you (the guy from Big Bang Theory who absolutely LOVES trains) head to the region’s very own Museum of Transport! Their impressive collection of buses and vehicles from throughout the ages are delightfully sentimental and will be enjoyed by any generation – although there may only be few that actually remember getting on them!

Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester, Boyle St, Cheetham, Manchester M8 8UW
0161 205 2122


The Gallery of Costume
Located all the way down Oxford Road in Platt Fields Park, a little house now turned into a museum sits. Filled with a huge range of fashion from across the ages, step in and you’ll be transported through time, from looking at Victorian pyjama sets to suffragette sashes to Kate Moss at Topshop – you can see how not only has our style changed but also our sizes!

Gallery of Costume, Platt Ln, Manchester M14 6LA
0161 245 7245


Greater Manchester Police Museum
It’s only open on Tuesdays but if you get the chance (perhaps get a day booked off from work) a visit to the Police Museum on Newton Street is a must. An old copper shop, the building has been converted into a museum showcasing as much law enforcement information as you can imagine. You can try on all of their clobber, get locked up in one of their Victorian prison cells and even visit the old court house upstairs. One of the best rooms is the evidence room where they outline many of the region’s most gruesome crimes over the last century or so, complete with actual criminal evidence and weapons. The place is run by volunteer plod so they’ve got loads of stories to tell too.

Greater Manchester Police Museum, 57A Newton St, Manchester M1 1ET
0161 856 4500


National Football Museum
Even if you’re not a fan of 11 millionaires kicking a bit of round leather on some grass you can still have a jolly good time at the National Football Museum at Urbis. There’s a wealth of knowledge and information on the game, from its greatest legends right up to the stadiums, the kits and even games and challenges to try. One of the most interesting aspects of the museum is the amount of art they house – it’s amazing how many people have concentrated on football through the years including the likes of photographer Stuart Roy Clarke and illustrator Stanley Chow.

National Football Museum, Urbis Building Cathedral Gardens, Todd St, Manchester M4 3BG