John Rylands Library#1 in Best Things To Do in Manchester
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 — after plans were drawn up in 1889, the library finally opened to the public in 1900. Among its vast collection are medieval illuminated manuscripts, featuring a copy of Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales;" the personal letters and papers of notable figures like Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell; and even a Gutenberg Bible. There are also a handful of rotating exhibits."
One TripAdvisor user compared the ambiance of the John Rylands Library to the library from Harry Potter's Hogwarts with its own restricted section and dragon carvings. This user also had some practical advice: "If you need to nip into the loo, use those on the second floor rather than the basement — fine old Victorian craftsmanship on display, with lovely comfortable wooden seats!"
The John Rylands Library is open Sundays and Mondays from noon to 5 p.m. and Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library is located off a street called Deansgate right in the city center, and it's free to visit. For more information, visit the library's website.
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#2 Old Trafford
Manchester United is one of the — if not the — world's most celebrated football (aka soccer) teams. The team's stadium is even nicknamed the "Theatre of Dreams." Picture a sea of red shirt-wearing fans spread across an oblong stadium cheering madly for a much-beloved bunch of talented athletes. Even if you don't get to watch the team (and the boisterous crowd) in action, you should make time for a guided tour of the stadium and a roam through its museum. The 80-minute tour takes you everywhere from the locker rooms to the tunnel where the players emerge onto the field and more. A TripAdvisor user (and huge fan of Manchester United) says: "It is well worth going to Old Trafford just to see the home stadium of the most prominent football club in the world."
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