Traveling to Manchester doesn’t need to cost break your wallets. In fact, the city has an astounding array of attractions you can access for free. From visiting museums and art galleries to meeting cute donkeys, here are 10 activities you can do for free in Manchester.
1. View classic masterpieces at Manchester Art Gallery
Manchester Art Gallery, located in the heart of the city centre, is a haven for art enthusiasts. The gallery houses one of the largest art collections in England outside of London, with almost 13,000 paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, and craft and design.
The collections include works by Flemish masters of the 17th century, pre-Raphaelites, French impressionists such as Gauguin and Monet, German artists like Max Ernst, and English artists including Stubbs, Turner, and Constable.
2. Discover the best street murals in the UK
Not all art pieces are meant to be trapped in a gallery and appreciated by only a few. Some artworks are freely showcased on the streets and seen by people from different walks of life — like murals. Manchester has a plethora of vibrant street murals painted by amazing independent artists, who aim to bring life to the gray facades.
If you’re in the Northern Quarter, a ten-minute stroll can lead you to a goldmine of Manchester’s signature murals. You can even play a game of counting as much street art as you can, starting at Piccadilly Gardens. World-class street artists come to the Northern Quarter to show off their work, so find them and snap them for your IG feed.
3. Science geek? Visiting Science & Industry Museum is a must
If you’re a science and history geek, especially on the aspects that involve the Industrial Revolution, you shouldn’t miss the Science and Industry Museum. The museum is set on the site of the world’s oldest railway station, originally Liverpool Road Station.
The museum has 12 galleries including the Power Hall, a gallery with water, and steam-driven machines from the golden age of the textile industry and vintage cars, like a rare 1904 Rolls Royce. Air and Space Gallery is also a must-see, as it showcases historic aircraft collections.
4. Bring the kids to the Manchester Museum
Traveling with kids can be expensive, because the things they need to be happy often come with a steep price tag. Aside from opting for serviced apartments in Manchester instead of staying in costly hotels, you can take them to free family-friendly attractions — like Manchester Museum.
If you’re visiting Manchester with your kids, this museum is a must-visit. Be amused with the museum’s vast collection of fossils and artifacts. But wait – not all of the creatures displayed are dead. The museum also has a load of crawlies, chameleons, and other live species.
5. Travel back in time by visiting these historical museums
Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Museum, and the Science and Industry Museum are just three of the must-visit, family-friendly museums in Manchester. The list goes on, as Manchester is packed with more fascinating museums you can visit for free.
- Greater Manchester Police Museum
This small museum on Newton Street shows a glimpse into some of the history behind many local crimes and criminals, including authentic Victorian prison cells and weapons, plus countless stories of gruesome murders.
- National Football Museum
The Footy Museum has four levels dedicated to the beloved game, including an array of kits, trophies, and interactive games and experiences for fun-loving guests.
- Imperial War Museum
The museum has access to extensive collections of war artifacts and stories, which can help you understand the history of modern war. It also has stunning temporary exhibitions.
- People’s History Museum
Known as “The National Museum of Democracy”, the People’s History Museum showcases the history of British democracy and its impact on the population. The museum houses vast collections of artifacts about trade unions and women’s suffrage.
6. Discover history at John Rylands Library
John Rylands Library is both a tasty treat for the mind and the eyes. The library looks more like a grandiose castle or a cathedral – a masterpiece of Victorian Gothic architecture. It is home to some of the world’s oldest and most significant books.
One of the most noteworthy is the oldest known piece of the New Testament, the St. John Fragment.
7. Unwind at one of Manchester’s lush gardens
Isn’t it lovely to see a patch of green in the middle of the bustling city? Manchester has a couple of wonderful green spots for walking, sightseeing, reading, picnic, and relaxing. We’ve got Heaton Park, Dunham Massey, Arley Hall, Platt Fields park, and Fletcher Moss Park and Botanical Gardens.
8. Walk around the Castlefield Urban Heritage Park
This park is like no other. Here. you’ll discover a different side of Manchester as you see old and charming houseboats gliding through the picturesque canals.
9. Get up-close and personal with friendly donkeys
Because horses are so mainstream. The kids will have a great day out at the Manchester Donkey Sanctuary. You’ll get up-close and personal with these adorable and friendly creatures.
10. Step inside Chinatown for some tasty treats
While you can explore Chinatown for free, we can’t guarantee that you’ll last a day without pulling out your wallet. The colorful Chinatown, which is the home of the largest Chinese communities in Britain, is packed with an astounding array of shops and restaurants. I bet you can’t resist the culinary delicacies from Beijing and Hong Kong (hello noodles and dumplings!).
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a content writer during the weekends, and a travel and food blogger 24/7. She may be an awkward introvert but she’s got a lot to say about travel, food, and cultural appreciation. To know more about hotels and travel blogs, you may visit PREMIER SUITES Manchester.