10 Free Things to do in Manchester

Bridgewater Canal

1. Canal Trail
Starting at Deansgate, a walk along the Bridgewater Canal will be a contrast between industrial, historical iron and steel and bright modern, colourful graffiti.  It will take you along the one of the most ambitious engineering projects of its time, a success that heralded the beginning of the canal age in Britain and you will be able to hear the hidden Medlock River and see it emerge near Potato Wharf.  
Modern Urban Art
Canal Trail

2. Cornerhouse Art Gallery

Staying with the art theme, there’s the Cornerhouse Art Gallery & cafe at the corner of Oxford Street featuring a selection of international contemporary art and is just round the corner from The Font bar on Wakefield St, with a great menu and interesting urban art.


3. Meditate

If you find you're in need of some R & R, have a free meditation session at the Buddhist centre in Turner Street.  There is a daily lunchtime class “A Taste of Meditation” from 1-2 and an evening class on a Tuesday from 5.45 to 6.45.  Just turn up, there is no need to book.

4. John Rylands Library
John Rylands library in Deansgate is not only a magnificent neo-gothic building but also one of the finest libraries in the world.  Inside, the attention to detail continues with impressive architectural features including the amazing stained glass windows in the Historic Reading Room and original usable Victorian toilets.  There is a free guided tour every Friday at 3pm. 

John Rylands Library

5. Castlefield Market

The Museum of Science and Industry has 10 separate permanent galleries covering everything from Victorian sewers to modern telephones but there’s a bonus if you happen to be there on the 1st Sunday of the month.  In a building adjacent to the Air & Space Hall you will find Castlefield Market which claims to be Manchester's biggest monthly fine food, craft & vintage market.  
Air & Space Hall

The Glass Hilton Hotel
6. The Hilton Hotel
The Hilton Hotel in Deansgate has a magnificent bar with a view on the 23rd floor.  Take the lift to Cloud23 for a coffee (or a glass of tap water) at the highest point in Manchester with unrivalled views over the city.  Dress is smart casual and no sportswear is allowed.

7. The Town Hall

The Town Hall in Albert Square might not be at the top of your must see list but the neo-gothic Grade I listed building is one of the most important listed buildings in England not least for  the 12 Ford Madox Brown murals depicting scenes from Manchester’s past including the opening of the Bridgewater Canal.  
The Towb Hall

8. Nexus Art Cafe

Another chance for an arty coffee is in the Nexus Art cafe on Dale Street.  A not for profit community space, this alcohol free cafe has free Wi-Fi for customers, a relaxing living room free environment  and a pretty extensive e-zine library and a venue for lively creative workshops.

9. Roman Remains

Roman remains in Castlefield.  During the redevelopment of Castlefield in the 1990s, archaeologists uncovered roman buildings and artefacts.  In the gardens in Liverpool Road, you can see the reconstruction of the foundations of roman buildings next to the fort, which were thought to have been inhabited 2000 years ago.

10. Free Wi-Fi

Finally, there is free Wi-Fi in the city centre for 30 minutes with the _FreeBeeMcr Wi-Fi network.  Chill out and surf in Piccadilly Gardens or search for more free things to do in the city.  

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