Manchester Museum#12 in Best Things To Do in Manchester
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Located on the campus of the University of Manchester, Manchester's own natural history museum boasts four floors of exhibits. Highlights include a T. rex fossil, ancient Egyptian mummies and a vivarium that's notable for its large collection of Costa Rican frogs. In total, the museum's collection comprises more than four million items. Note: The museum is undergoing a restoration and some galleries are temporarily closed.
Past visitors said the museum boasts an interesting collection housed in a beautiful building. Others warned the museum is quite compact, but said it's easy to get through in about an hour.
The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free. It is accessible via Metrolink tram; hop off at the St. Peter's Square stop, which is about a 20-minute walk. Tours are offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week at 2 p.m. For more information, visit the museum website.
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#1 John Rylands Library
The University of Manchester's John Rylands Library is known as much for its beautiful architecture as it is for its collection of rare books and manuscripts. The impressive Gothic structure took 10 years to build and opened to the public in 1900. Among its vast collection are a fragment of Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales" manuscript, as well as the personal letters and papers of writers, military generals and more. There is even a papyrus fragment of the Gospel of John from the Bible. The fragment is believed to be the earliest part of any New Testament writing ever found.
Recent visitors said that the architecture is stunning, likening it to a scene out of the world of "Harry Potter." Though tripods and flash photography are not allowed, reviewers suggested snapping several photos of the interior (with no flash). Others recommended a stop in the restroom to have a look at the Victorian toilets, which have remained largely unchanged since 1900.
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