Free things to do in Manchester

Posted Jul 24, 2020
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Spending the day in the city and don’t want to spend a fortune? Or perhaps you want to show off Manchester’s rich heritage and culture to your friends. Either way, there are plenty of things to do in the heart of the city that will not cost you a penny. 

Science and Industry Museum

The Science and Industry Museum is home to 5 buildings full of Manchester’s industrial past. From the first computer to artefacts from the textile industry, the Science and Industry Museum showcases and preserves so many of Manchester’s inventions over time. It is a great eye-opener to Manchester’s industrious past. The museum re-opens to the public on Friday 14th August and entry is free! There is a café on site serving hot and cold drinks and snacks, but you’re also welcome to take a picnic and enjoy on one of their many picnic benches. 

The Makers Market

The Makers Market is a popular pop-up event that operates over different weekends at different locations throughout the month. Discover great homemade foods, quirky gifts and award-winning craft stall, all made by local creatives. The city centre locations are at Great Northern on the first Sunday of each month, and in the Northern Quarter on the second Sunday of each month. The market is free to browse, so it’s up to you how much you spend. 

The Makers Market
Images courtesy of The Makers Market’s Instagram

Street Art Walking Tour

The Northern Quarter is Manchester’s hub of independent restaurants, bars, shops and creativity. Incredible works of art can be found dotted around the Northern Quarter in places you would least expect them. Street Art Walking Tours are becoming increasingly popular around the city, but there’s no reason not to explore and try to find the art yourself. Look towards the sides of buildings, shop shutters and even on the ground, it really is everywhere. The Occasional Traveller have created in interactive map to show you the street art, artist and description. A great place to start if you’re new to the city and not sure what to look for. 

National Football Museum 

The National Football Museum, located between Manchester Cathedral and The Printworks, is a great day out for any football fanatic. Their vast archives of football memorabilia, kits, medals and balls are just some of the items on display in the museum. Entry is free to Manchester council taxpayers, and if not, there is a small charge. Funds raised from tickets go back into the charity to help bring more exhibitions, workshops and events to the museum. 

National Football Museum

Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art

Located in the Northern Quarter, the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art leads the UK in exploring Chinese contemporary culture. The centre aims to make contemporary art and visual culture accessible to everyone, through a range of exhibitions, films screenings, performances, talks and workshops. centre hopes to re-open in September. Keep an eye on their website for more re-opening information.

Manchester Art Gallery 

Sat in the heart of the city, next to St. Peters Square is Manchester Art Gallery.  The picturesque gallery is home to works of fine art, ceramics, glass and even historic costumes. Their modern extension is home to numerous exhibitions throughout the year, from famous artists, painters, and photographers. Entry is free but the gallery are asking people to pre-book online. 

Manchester art Gallery

Visit Heaton Park 

Heaton Park is a historic destination in North Manchester. Covering over 600 acers, it is one of the largest outdoor spaces in the city. The huge park is home to numerous café’s, an animal centre, bowling greens, a golf course, boating lake and even donkey rides (weather and coronavirus permitting). It’s a great day out with gorgeous scenic walks, and only a short journey from the city centre. Catch the Bury tram from St Peter’s Square, Market Street or Victoria Metrolink station, and the Heaton Park tram stop is a only short journey away.

Take a day trip to the countryside

We’re lucky to have such beautiful towns and countryside within easy reach of our buzzing city. Take a picnic and your walking shoes and get out exploring. We’ve written a full blog post of day trips around Manchester.

Heaton Park

We hope this post has proven you don’t need to spend a lot of money for a great day out in Manchester. There is so much to be explored right on your doorstep, we hope you enjoy getting out and learning about the city! Make sure you tag us in your photos on Instagram.

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