New Year, new experiences…Venturing out into the City may not seem too appealing at this time of year but why not step into the warmth of Manchester’s Galleries, Libraries and Museums . We have been out visiting some of the city’s attractions and here are some of our recommendations.

The hub of the city is the magnificent Central Library located in St Peter’s Square. The building features roman style columns often likened to the Pantheon in Rome. Inside there is stunning architecture, marble statues and the stained-glass Shakespeare window. The library is the guardian of the city’s archives and local history, with a large selection of books and music. It’s also a place to experience exhibitions and events.

Exploring on foot is a great way to make your way around the city as the streets are packed with history. Experienced guides cover all areas of the city and free walking tours leave daily from the steps of Central Library at 11am.

Manchester Art Gallery Showcasing internationally renowned and designated collections of fine art, decorative art and costume and is currently hosting a major retrospective of the work from Derek Jarman called Protest! which captures Jarman’s engagement with both art and society.

Manchester Art Gallery exterior

The Portico Library has a unique collection of books, a private library and hosts exhibitions, talks and awards. This historic small building has a beautiful domed ceiling and is the perfect retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The latest exhibition shows the work of artists and local people exploring the term ‘politeness’ today.

St Mary’s Church is known as Manchester’s hidden gem and is certainly worth a visit. The history of the church is worth exploring. Admire the Stunning altar in the Italian style and its impressive carvings. This is an active church – moreover, this is the perfect place to take a moment to reflect in peace.

The John Ryland’s Library is one of the greatest libraries in Britain, and more recently became a renowned research institute. It holds many special book collections along with rare manuscripts and exhibitions – currently exhibiting an array of books, scrolls and artwork from the last dynasty of China: the Qing Empire. The interior of the building, particularly the main hall and historic reading room are spectacular masterpieces of gothic architecture especially the stonework.

Known for its pioneering past and present the Science and Industry Museum hosts its permanent exhibits of Manchester’s industrial past in the Textiles Gallery. Your next little scientist will enjoy the interactive exhibits bringing together learning and fun. Here you will also find an exhibition paying homage to the candidates to be honoured on the new £50 note. Alan Turing was the worthy winner and you will find a celebration of his invaluable work and see a reproduction of the original ‘Baby’ computer.

The People’s History Museum celebrates the triumphs of ordinary working people and the journey that led to the trade union movement that was born in Manchester along with an exhibition about the fight for suffrage and how it all began. Currently there is an exhibition More in Common: in memory of Jo Cox inspired by the legacy and values of Jo’s life.

National Football museum main entrance

The National Football Museum is here in Manchester. You will find trophies and memorabilia of the beautiful game loved by the nation and take the opportunity to visit Manchester Cathedral with its mixture of mediaeval architecture and modern stained-glass.

For loads more information on things to do contact the visitor information team at or call in to see us in Central Library.