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Manchester Art Gallery

Enjoy important British paintings and sculptures, as well as family-friendly activities, at this award-winning and free historic exhibit space.

Manchester Art Gallery is one of the region’s most popular cultural attractions. It attracts 400,000 visitors every year. You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy the exhibits as there is plenty of accessible information on hand. Many interactive programs are aimed at children, but the museum also caters for long-time art lovers who’d like to get a close look at the 19th-century British paintings this museum is famous for.

The historic gallery opened in 1824 and today occupies three buildings, the oldest of those being carefully preserved as a heritage building. Manchester Art Gallery has won several prestigious awards and is home to more than 25,000 objects.

Many of the city’s most important works of fine art are housed at the gallery and the vast collection spans six centuries. Immerse yourself in the world of the pre-Raphaelites, Britain’s first and best-known radical art movement. Narrow your scope and discover the popular works of Manchester impressionist Adolphe Valette, including his depiction of nearby Albert Square. Alongside his paintings are works by one of his students, L.S. Lowry.

Check out the detailed program of rotating exhibits and family activities on the gallery’s website before your visit. The gallery’s temporary programs include anything from historic to cutting-edge work, of all art forms. Families with young children can join workshops and special tours. The gallery is also popular with school groups, so if you’d like a quieter visit come late afternoon on a weekday or on Thursday evenings. Enjoy a glass of wine in the café, browse the displays at your own pace or enjoying a talk from a visiting artist.

Manchester Art Gallery is located in the city center. Due to the lack of on-site parking, it’s best to reach the gallery by taking public transport to St. Peter’s Square. From there, it’s a short walk to the gallery. If you do drive, there are user-pay National Car Parks (NCP) within walking distance. The building caters for wheelchairs and prams. Admission to the gallery, and many of its special family activities, is free.

Guide to Exploring Manchester Art Gallery


Top Hotel Deals

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The Mitre Hotel

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Located in Market Street, this hotel is steps from Exchange Square, Manchester Cathedral, and Urbis. Manchester Arena and Arndale Centre are also within 10 minutes.

Britannia Hotel - Manchester City Centre

Britannia Hotel - Manchester City Centre

35 Portland Street, Manchester
of 5, from 931 reviews
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This 19th century heritage hotel is one block from Manchester's Chinatown, 500 meters from the Palace theatre, and close to Piccadilly Gardens, the Manchester Conference Center, and the city's financial district.

The Midland - Manchester

The Midland - Manchester

16 Peter Street, Manchester
of 5, from 448 reviews
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Built in 1903 to serve the central railway, the hotel stands in St. Peter's Square, near the train station of the same name. The impressive monuments of Albert Square are a 3-minute walk away, and it's only a little farther to the cultural attractions of the Opera House and Palace Theatre.

Malmaison Manchester

Malmaison Manchester

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of 5, from 191 reviews
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Located in Manchester City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Piccadilly Gardens, Affleck's Palace, and Arndale Centre. Manchester Art Gallery and Manchester Palace Theatre are also within 15 minutes.

Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester Hotel

Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester Hotel

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Manchester is one of Britain's most vibrant and dynamic cities, and boasts the UK's largest financial centre outside of London. The Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester enjoys a spectacular location on Peter Street in the heart of Manchester. This places it right next to Manchester Central Convention Centre. The hotel is also opposite the Bridgewater Hall, home of the Halle Orchestra; the Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester Hotel is only half an hour's drive from Manchester airport. St Peters Square metro stop is moments away with great connections to the city.

Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel

Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel

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This modern hotel rises above Piccadilly Gardens in the centre of Manchester. Arndale Shopping, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, the Manchester Central Convention Centre, and the Northern Quarter are within a 5-minute walk.

Motel One Manchester Piccadilly

Motel One Manchester Piccadilly

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of 5, from 168 reviews
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Located in Manchester City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Manchester Conference Centre and Affleck's Palace. Manchester Palace Theatre and Arndale Centre are also within 15 minutes.

Arora Hotel Manchester

Arora Hotel Manchester

18-24 Princess Street, Manchester
of 5, from 411 reviews
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Located in Chinatown, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Manchester City Hall and Manchester Art Gallery. Albert Square and Manchester Palace Theatre are also within 10 minutes.