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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 around Manchester Art Gallery


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Best Lodging Options Near Manchester Art Gallery

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Britannia Hotel - Manchester City Centre $47
Britannia Hotel - Manchester City Centre

Britannia Hotel - Manchester City Centre

35 Portland Street, Manchester, England
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Manchester City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Canal Street, The Gay Village, and Piccadilly Gardens. Manchester Art Gallery and Affleck's Palace are also within 10 minutes. Picadilly Gardens Station and Mosley Street Station are within a 5-minute walk.

    Motel One Manchester-Royal Exchange $88
    Motel One Manchester-Royal Exchange

    Motel One Manchester-Royal Exchange

    11-15 Cross Street, Manchester, England
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Manchester City Centre, this hotel is steps from Royal Exchange Theatre and Deansgate. Albert Square and Urbis are also within 5 minutes. Market Street Station is only a 5-minute walk and Mosley Street Station is 6 minutes.

      Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa $73
      Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa

      Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa

      London Road, Manchester, England
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Manchester City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Canal Street and The Gay Village. Manchester Palace Theatre and O2 Apollo Manchester are also within 15 minutes. Picadilly Station and Manchester Piccadilly Station are within a 5-minute walk.

        Motel One Manchester Piccadilly $88
        Motel One Manchester Piccadilly

        Motel One Manchester Piccadilly

        34 London Road, Piccadilly, Manchester, England
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Manchester City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Canal Street and The Gay Village. Piccadilly Gardens and Affleck's Palace are also within 10 minutes. Picadilly Station and Manchester Piccadilly Station are within a 2-minute walk.

          Princess St. Hotel $70
          Princess St. Hotel

          Princess St. Hotel

          18-24 Princess Street, Manchester, England
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Manchester City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Manchester City Hall, Manchester Art Gallery, and Canal Street. The Gay Village and Albert Square are also within 5 minutes. St Peters Square Station and Mosley Street Station are within a 5-minute walk.

            Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester Hotel $111
            Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester Hotel

            Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester Hotel

            Free Trade Hall Peter Street, Manchester, England
               
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Manchester City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Manchester Central (GMEX), Manchester City Hall, and Abraham Lincoln Statue. Bridgewater Hall and National Football Museum are also within 15 minutes. St Peters Square Station is only a 2-minute walk and Deansgate-Castlefield Station is 7 minutes.

              Malmaison Manchester $78
              Malmaison Manchester

              Malmaison Manchester

              1-3 Piccadilly, Manchester, England
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Manchester City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Canal Street, The Gay Village, and Piccadilly Gardens. Affleck's Palace and Manchester Arndale are also within 10 minutes. Picadilly Station and Picadilly Gardens Station are within a 5-minute walk.

                Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel $79
                Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel

                Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel

                Portland Street, Manchester, England
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Manchester City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Manchester Arndale, Manchester Palace Theatre, and Albert Square. Bridgewater Hall and Manchester Central (GMEX) are also within 15 minutes. Picadilly Gardens Station is only a 2-minute walk and Mosley Street Station is 3 minutes.