4 Libraries That You Must Visit In Manchester

Are you a bookworm? If you are I assume you also like libraries, is that right? Well, I’m definitely not a bookworm, but I do like nice buildings, especially if they are old and interesting. So here I’m going to list libraries that you must visit in Manchester.

Before going to Manchester, I had no idea what am I going to find there. More or less all that I knew about it was their football club, hehe. Joke on a side, I was very surprised by Manchester. Very nice and interesting city.

My host in Manchester told me about this beautiful John Rylands Library in the city centre. I googled to check the photos and I was sold. It looks like something out of Harry Potter. At least on photos I thought, but I got tempted. I googled for some more libraries in Manchester and I found 3 more libraries worth seeing. So next day was all about visiting these libraries! I loved all of them. Here is the list of 4 libraries that you must visit in Manchester.

4 Libraries that you MUST visit in Manchester

  • Manchester Central Library

    Manchester Central Library is the main library in Manchester. You can already get this from it’s name. It was designed between 1930 and 1934, so it’s not the oldest, but dome makes all the difference. You can also see some resemblance with Pantheon from Rome. Manchester Central Library is second largest public lending library in England, right after the one in Birmingham.

As you can imagine, there was a lot of problems with echo where the dome is. Nowadays they’ve solved this with sound-absorbing materials. Don’t miss beautiful ceiling at the main entrance, full of crests and arms.

Entrance is free, but you can of course give some donations.

Visit their page for more informations! Click here!


  • The Portico Library and Gallery

    This is a little gem I found on internet. I almost didn’t find the entrance to it tho. On a side street you have to ring a bell so that they open doors for you. It’s a tiny one room Library, with a beautiful ceiling and and bookshelves. You can’t go all the way to the bookshelves cause there is rope, but you can sit down and enjoy cup of coffee or tea. There are usually also some paintings on display.

This beautiful building was built between 1802 andd 1806 in old Greek revival style.

This Library is also home of Portico Prize for Literature.

To learn more about library, visit their page here! 


  • Chetham’s Library

    If we are talking about old libraries, this one is definitely going to make the list. Chetham’s Library is the oldest free public library in United Kingdom. When we are talking about, I mean real old, like 400years old. This library has been running since 1653.  Even Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels met here. Chetham’s Hospital consists of Chetham’s Library and Chetham’s School of Music.

It’s not a big library, but being the oldest public library in UK means a lot. I was overwhelmed by it and if you are in Manchester you should definitely visit it.

Entrance is free, but they recommend contribution of £3.

For more informations visit their site here!


  • The John Rylands Library

    I saved the best for last! This one is definitely my favorite and probably everyones favorite! It’s just incredible. I felt like I’m in Harry Potter movie. From the outside you can already see beautiful Victorian Gothic architecture, but wait till you get inside. 

The John Rylands Library was open to public in 1900 in memory of Enriqueta Rylands late husband. He was one of Manchester’s richest and very powerful in his time.

The library itself hosts a lot of important books and even early printing devices.

There is much to be said about it, but check their page to learn more! Click here!

Entrance is free, but they recommend contribution of £5.


So this is my list of 4 libraries that you must visit in Manchester! I would really recommend it to everyone. This was not typical for me, cause I’m not a bookworm at all, but I don’t regret it! Definitely great spent afternoon.

If you need more informations just check their official pages!


Also checkout this post about – Things to do in Bristol


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