Manchester was hailed as the world’s first modern city in the early 19th century, and the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution...
... still bristles with confidence and energy today. Whether you're coming for the buzzing cultural scene, one of the two huge football teams, or something else entirely, you'll be joining over 40 million leisure and business visitors a year. Manchester shows no signs of slowing down.
Millennia-spanning Manchester Museum contains four million objects; the Egyptology collection alone is the UK’s fifth largest, with over 70 mummies. And it isn't all about inanimate objects. Hop into the Vivarium to see Costa Rican Tree Frogs, some of the first ever successfully bred in captivity.
The Whitworth is a grand Victorian museum, made even grander with the opening of The New Gallery in 2015. A work of art in its own right, the extension doubled the original exhibition space, creating more room for the gallery's 55,000-strong collection, which ranges from historic textiles to Tracey Emin drawings.
Imperial War Museum North
When you visit the Imperial War Museum North, don’t expect a mere offshoot of the London original. Manchester's IWM is a unique experience in its own right, exploring modern conflict through personal stories and art as well as military artefacts. Even the building is thought-provoking – it was designed by Daniel Libeskind to represent a shattered globe.
National Football Museum
These days, Manchester is more famous for football than factories. Explore the city’s passion at the National Football Museum. It’s the largest museum of its type in the world, covering the home teams comprehensively and putting a global slant on the beautiful game too.
The great early 20th century painter L. S. Lowry specialised in scenes of industrialised Lancashire, including Salford itself. So this Salford Quays-based cultural centre is the perfect place to discover his work. As well as hosting the world's largest collection of Lowry paintings, it is home to three theatres and several exhibition spaces. The interior is a work of art in itself, with orange staircases and strangely sloped floors.