What Can You Do For Free in Manchester?

The short answer: quite a lot! As the third most visited city in the UK, it should surprise no one that the city offers travellers a wealth of things to do. But what if you are on a budget? We’re pleased to report that many of Manchester’s best-loved attractions are perfectly free, and for those looking for quiet time away from the crowds, the city is also home to a range of parks and green spaces. 

Join us at Manchester Bites for a list of some of our favourite things to do for free in Manchester. And if all the exploring works up an appetite, why not join us for one of our Foodie Walking Tours of Manchester, where we dive into Manchester history and culture while enjoying plenty of the delicious food served up across the city.

A steam train outside of the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry | Advice on free things to do from the folks at Manchester Bites food tours
Manchester Museum of Science and Industry (Image SourceLicense)

Travel Through Time in Manchester Museums

Manchester is home to around 50 museums and, happily, many are free to enter! The quandary that visitors will have is picking which museums they want to prioritise. 

Manchester is widely known as one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution and has produced a long list of revered scientists and inventors, such as Alan Turing who is credited with developing one of the world’s first computers. 

The Manchester Museum of Science and Industry is located in the city centre and provides an interactive insight into the city’s past. Nearby, the People’s History Museum uncovers Manchester’s proud tradition of fighting for social justice and political equality. 

Similarly, the Pankhurst Centre focuses on the groundbreaking life of Emmeline Pankhurst, who pushed Britain to extend voting rights for women. 

A little outside the city centre, the Imperial War Museum North and the Museum of Transport are sure to fascinate the whole family. Centuries of human history to discover, and all for free!

Image of a building in the Northern Quarter in Manchester that says "Where the Modern World Began." | Advice on free things to do in Manchester from the folks at Manchester Bites food tours
Image from the Northern Quarter (Image SourceLicense)

Manchester’s Northern Quarter

Manchester’s legendary Northern Quarter is known for its creative energy — pubs and cafes playing good music, indie shops selling vinyl records and secondhand clothing. 

Even if you don’t want to spend money, it’s worth exploring the Northern Quarter for its mix of architectural styles and to soak up the general atmosphere of the place, an atmosphere that is quintessentially Manchester. Grab a coffee and watch the world go by in this vibrant part of town. 

If you are open to the idea of a little retail therapy, Afflecks is not to be missed. Describing itself as an “eclectic emporium” and a “totem of indie commerce”, Afflecks is an ind