1. Imperial War Museum North
The northern branch of the Imperial War Museum is right across the Manchester Ship Canal from the Lowry. The IWM North is one of the best museums in the north of England, a startlingly modern setting for the age-old subject of warfare. There are changing exhibitions as well as a permanent collection and the museum deals unflinchingly with the story of war right through to recent conflicts.
2. John Ryland's Library
This fascinating building and collection is a little gem in the centre of Manchester. Founded in 1890 by the widow of the industrialist and philanthropist John Ryland's, from nearby St Helen's, the Library contains Ryland's collection of rare books, with the building itself also well worth seeing for its beautiful stained glass amongst other features
3. The Lowry Centre
An essential part of any visit to Manchester situated in Salford on the Salford Quays. It naturally has a fine collection of work by Salford's most famous artist, LS Lowry, but the centre itself couldn't be more in contrast to Lowry's gloomy image. In addition to the art galleries there are also two theatres and a studio space, providing a home for all kinds of music, dance, drama, comedy, and other performances.
4. Manchester Town Hall
One of the most impressive Victorian Town Halls in the country. This building often astonishes visitors with its breathtaking grandeur. It is one of the best free attractions in Manchester and is open on weekdays for visits.
5. Manchester Museum
The museum has a huge collection ranging from ancient history to the modern day, and is especially well-known for its collection of Ancient Egypt artifacts.
6. Manchester's Music Scene
From Oasis and Joy Division to Morrissey and the Smiths, not to mention Happy Mondays, the Hacienda Club and sixties bands like the Hollies with Graham Nash, Manchester's music scene. This has always been lively to say the least.
7. Manchester United
Even if you can't get a ticket for a home game, you can still visit Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United. There are tours of the stadium and the museum every day. Telephone 0870-442-1994 for times and prices. You can also book online or do a virtual stadium tour at the Manchester United website.
8. Museum of Science and Industry
Manchester was at the heart of the Industrial Revolution, and that is just one of the stories told here. The collection spreads over several adjoining buildings and is every bit as impressive as London's Science Museum.
This modern mix of museum and gallery has a permanent collection which tells the story of what it is like to live in Manchester, as well as changing exhibitions that are often quite provocative. A visit to Urbis is usually both fun and educational.
10. Whitworth Art Gallery
One of the city's prime art collections, the Whitworth includes a fine display of works by British artists such as Turner, Constable, William Blake, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, and William Hogarth.