Activities, Destinations

Five free things to do in Manchester

There are a wealth of free things to do in Manchester, one of the UK’s biggest and most interesting cities. Read on for some top tips on how to make the most of Manchester without breaking the bank.

Book a stay at YHA Manchester
 and you’re in prime position for some of the best shopping, nightlife, music venues and sporting action you could possible want, but there are many great things to do which are a little easier on your wallet, too. Read on for some top tips on how to make the most of Manchester without breaking the bank.

Museum of Science and Industry

The first free thing to do in Manchester is to visit the Museum of Science and Industry (MoSI). It is a fantastic experience for people of all ages. It explores the key role Manchester has played in technological development over the years, from being the centre of the industrial revolution through to its status as a media hub today. Visitors journey through Manchester’s history, experiencing the sights, sounds and smells from textile demonstrations in a 19th century cotton mill, the workings of a Victorian sewer and a host of steam-powered machines. Current exhibitions include an insight into the mobile science labs used in Antarctica and a journey of discovery into the workings of the human brain.

Urban Heritage Park

Located in what used to be Manchester’s industrial heartland – and very close to the MoSI – this area is a great place for a wander away from the busy shopping streets. Visitors can explore the Roman Fort on which the city was founded and experience the picturesque canals that allowed Manchester to develop its industrial strength. The restored warehouses by the Bridgewater Canal also provide a further insight into historic Manchester.

Manchester Art Gallery

The Manchester Art Gallery is far more than just a collection of old paintings, with exhibitions combining the old and the new in a number of interesting ways. The latest example is the All That Is Solid Melts Into Air exhibition, which runs until January. Jeremy Deller takes a personal look at the way the industrial revolution has impacted modern popular culture, combining photos past and present to great effect. You’ll also find permanent displays featuring everything from fine art to modern pop-art creations.

Imperial War Museum North

Its stunning design makes it worth the visit alone, but this museum goes beyond the simple displaying of military artefacts. The exhibitions here are in fact powerful stories looking at how war shapes lives around the world, from the impact on those living through them and the communities dealing with the after-effects of conflict. This approach means it appeals to more than just military buffs, and makes a thought-provoking day out for all the family.

The National Football Museum

An obvious must-see for football fans, the National Football Museum takes you on a guided tour of 150 years of the national sport. Photography exhibitions bring to life some of the great moments from football history with the help of personal accounts from those who were there, while a host of interactive exhibits brings these games and events to life in front of your very eyes. Even if you’re not a football it’s interesting from a historical and social aspect – and you’ll win huge brownie points if your other half is a football enthusiasts!

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