Things to do in Manchester

Manchester is home to museums, libraries, nightclubs and even the occasional ghost hunting tour. When going to Manchester, the first thing locals recommend is to purchase a Metrolink Travelcard.

Travelcards allow you to use the Metrolink tram services for a day. Peak Day hours are before 9:30am and cost £7, while the off-peak cards are just £5 and are valid after 9:30am. This is a great choice for all visitors and locals because it enables you to cover a lot of attractions in one day for a low price. Families of 2 adults and 3 children can purchase family travel cards for less than an adult ticket during peak hours.

Now that your transportation needs are accommodated, it’s time to plot out places to visit and things to do.

The Police Museum

The Police Museum is a local gem, and it’s an attraction that is often overlooked. A lot of people don’t know about the museum, so if you want to avoid crowds, the Police Museum is a great choice.

The museum’s full name is Greater Manchester Police Museum and Archives, and it is currently only open on Tuesdays from 10:30 – 3:30.

On 57A Newton Street, the museum is free to enter and covers the history of:

Police uniforms

Special constables

Women in policing

Guests will learn about the history of crime in Manchester, with antique items and autos inside the museum. There are real cells in the old police station with rooms that some of the most notorious criminals in the city were held.

Levenshulme Market

Levenshulme Market is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays between the months of March and December. The market is one of the best in the city, and features a robust lineup of traders selling everything from vintage clothing to houseware, produce and delightful foods.

The venue roster changes often with 50 rotating vendors.

If you’re in the mood for shopping, this is a can’t-miss market.

Visit the Many Libraries

Manchester has numerous libraries worth exploring. The top libraries in the city include:

John Rylands Library

The John Rylands Library is housed in one of the most beautiful buildings in town. Walk down Deansgate to come across the library and expect to spend 2 – 3 hours inside. The interior of the library offers one of the best reading experiences in the world.

The building is breathtaking, but it fails in comparison to the rare manuscripts and books.

There are over 250,000 books and millions of manuscripts to explore in the library. History buffs must visit the John Rylands Library.

Manchester Central Library

St. Peters Square is where you’ll find the Manchester Central Library. The building has been renovated recently, and there is an interior cafe to grab a bite to eat. The library offers a children’s section, media lounge, family archives, a business and intellectual centre, and rare books and special collections.

A music library is present in the Central Library, too.

Interactive historical documents and digital services allow guests to work through the library’s collection quickly.

Other libraries worth a visit are:

Chetham’s Library

Portico Library

Museums and Art Galleries to Visit

There are over two dozen museums and art galleries to visit in Manchester. The top three museums and art galleries in the city include:

Museum of Science and Industry: Guests enter the library for free and get to learn about history in the process. The engine room brings a light to faces of children as they sit in amazement looking at the large engines responsible for the industrial age. Demonstrations are held daily in the museum.

The Manchester Museum: A specialty museum in the University of Manchester. The museum includes Egyptian artifacts, live reptiles and amphibians, and fossils of dinosaurs. A large T-rex is on display, too.

Manchester Art Gallery: Mosley Street is home to the Manchester Art Gallery. A beautiful display, the art gallery sparks debate as guests view international contemporary art with an outstanding collection of historical artworks.

Other museums and art galleries to explore are:

National Football Museum

People’s History Museum

Whitworth Art Gallery

Museum of Transport


Gallery of Costume

Often Missed Attractions and Things to Do

There is a lot to do in Manchester, and tourists often miss some of the best experiences the city has to offer. A few of the things every tourist to the city should do include:

Visit Castlefield which is the site of the Roman fort Mamucium.

Walk along the Rochdale canal.

Watch a game of Manchester United, or try something different and see FC United play.

Explore the city’s haunted underworld filled with ghost stories.

Watch a show at the Royal Exchange Theatre.

Visit Manchester Town Hall.

Walk through Heaton Park.

Take a moment to enjoy the beauty of the Manchester Cathedral.

There are so many great attractions and sights to see in Manchester that there’s always something to do even on a rainy day.