The John Rylands Library
The John Rylands Library
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Welcome to The John Rylands Library, one of the world's finest collections of rare books and manuscripts. The John Rylands Library is part of The University of Manchester. Please note that we open at 12noon on Mondays and Sundays
Duration: 2-3 hours
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The area
Address
How to get there
  • St Peter's Square • 6 min walk
  • Exchange Square • 8 min walk
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See what travelers are saying
  • Furbieheather
    York, United Kingdom78 contributions
    One not to miss
    It's really great you can look round and enjoy the architecture whilst it's still a working library. The exhibits were interesting and being able to see the old books and understand about investigation techniques was a unique exhibit. The local history was a bit of a walk down memory lane despite not growing up in Manchester
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 11, 2023
  • AM
    Markfield, United Kingdom29 contributions
    Amazing place
    Had wanted to visit for some time and have to say it really has the WOW factor! Beautiful architecture and the books are fascinating. I love the fact this library is open to the public so anyone can come and read or bring a lap top and study in peace in a lovely environment. Some wonderful history, envious we don’t have such a wonderful place where I live
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 16, 2023
  • Melissa M
    United Kingdom86 contributions
    Exploring Manchester!
    While exploring Manchester in an informal tour, we came across this building located in the city of Manchester. The stained glass is as colourful as the stained glass of traditional English Anglican cathedrals. It is quite similar to the library of Hogwarts, or the Trinity College Library!
    Visited June 2022
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 23, 2023
  • Jake L
    Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom9 contributions
    Great but not something to rave home about
    Very pretty building. Lots of architectural. It’s quite small, with some displays but not that much. So probably only takes no more than a half hour to look around. As I said it’s very small though so was a bit crammed and although pretty meant photo opps were hard. Great place if you want to have a coffee and get in with work. Perfect time filler
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 24, 2023
  • Penelope
    41 contributions
    Stunning library - it's Hogwarts in real life
    If you are a fan of architecture and history this building is a must do in Manchester! It's a spectacular sight. There's also an interesting exhibition on display. It's completely free to visit and depending on how quickly you go through, will take about 30min-1 hour to see everything. Highly recommended!
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written March 26, 2023
  • iamface
    Cardiff, United Kingdom1,517 contributions
    join a half hour tour
    easter holiday so that only one day getting chance to visit and opening time a bit late but ok to join the tour. that was interesting and library itself also pretty. good for visit and join a half hour tour if you got time
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 11, 2023
  • Anne F
    Copenhagen, Denmark2 contributions
    The most beautiful place in Manchester
    This is may be the most beautiful library I've ever seen. It was an absolute pleasure to explore - I only wish that I'd brought a book with me, since there were so many wonderful spaces to just sit and read or study. The staff in the entrance and shop were very helpful and kind - and the shop itself was pretty good as well!
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written April 30, 2023
  • Sophie
    Boston, Massachusetts29 contributions
    Beautiful
    I almost didn't go, because I figured, do I really need to see another old building, however beautiful? Turns out, yes, I did. It's beautiful and sometimes appealingly creepy. It's Céline Dion goes to Hogwarts. Magnificent. The exhibit on workers' leisure time in the industrial era was a nice bonus, but it wasn't even necessary to my enjoyment.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 28, 2023
  • Plattypuss52
    864 contributions
    Not seen a library like this before!
    We stumbled across this during a day wandering around the sights of Manchester. Although we were aware of it , we weren’t sure whether we should go in. We did and were amazed by the grandeur off the building and the story behind its construction. Well worth a visit.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 24, 2023
  • HJasmine
    Manchester, United Kingdom50 contributions
    Interesting
    This is a stunning gothic-style building that is worth visiting for the architecture alone. There was a very interesting Dante exhibition when we visited, but I believe they routinely have various exhibitions on. A great free attraction in Manchester!
    Visited January 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 6, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
5,587 reviews
Excellent
4,201
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1,248
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125
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4

Babsstockport
Stockport, UK663 contributions
Sep 2019
This is a must see if you are in Manchester. It is on the main road and easy to enter and free. The architecture is absolutely amazing and will take your breath away. The exhibits are fascinating - all very well documented and you can spend as long as you want looking at everything including books, manuscripts and sculptures. In the basement the toilets are also worth a visit as they are from a bygone age!
Written January 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jessica V
2 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
You can ether take your time looking at books, remains of books, science and medical utilities and reading very interesting Storys about them or just take a Quick Tour though the historical halls. They are impressing and so well contained. Great staff and nice little store.
Written February 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sofía González
20 contributions
Jan 2022
What a library! It's definitely a must do in Manchester, with it's beautiful neo-gothic arquitecture, interesting history and amazing contents.
I deeply recommend reading all the information about its creation for a deeper understanding and admiration.
Staff are very kind and helpful.
Spent round about an hour.
Written January 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

happytapeworm
Leeds, UK146 contributions
Jan 2020 • Friends
Having visited Manchester for many years I've somehow managed to miss this amazing lump of architecture until now. It's not exactly awful to look at on the outside and has dome amazing details but step inside and you'd have to be pretty cold inside not to be stunned. Really friendly staff and lots to see, photography friendly too (apart from a couple of exhibitions) but no tripods allowed.
Written January 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LeatherTraveller
Oslo, Norway320 contributions
Feb 2020 • Solo
From the outside, John Rylands Library looks kind of old and run down. But once inside, I was pleasantly surprised the high standard of maintenance and preservation the building has. Amazing to see and feel the lace wood paneling, the lightings, rows of original bookshelves. Highly recommended and in order to do justice, do spare 2-3 hours to wonder and explore the library. Better still join the guided tours so as to appreciate the history and stories behind it.
Written February 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tea Toddler
Manchester, UK7 contributions
May 2019 • Business
Excellent spot for a good read. This library despite being in the busy city centre has managed to create an ideal environment for those who need a peaceful moment or a few to have a good read. Their collection of literature is unique and unlike other public libraries their staff are very well informed about their collection. The nice little souvenir shop near the entrance is a fine touch. I’d recommend a visit if you’re in town and have a 10-15mins to spare.
Written January 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark T
Blackpool, UK15 contributions
Feb 2020 • Solo
Walked past this gothic building many times but had never been inside. The architecture inside is amazing. The gothic design is like the interior of a church but it is still a working library; a tranquil space away from the busyness of Deansgate. There are well presented displays about John Rylands and the history of the building and a small bookshop in the foyer. I highly recommend a visit.
Written February 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John M
2 contributions
Jan 2020
This is an active city library coupled with an historic site built in memory of a major industrialist in Manchester. The University of Manchester oversees the operation and provides hosts/guides from their staff. The building has some amazing architecture and even more amazing history on the woman who funded and directed the design of the structure.
Written February 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DaniAndreia
Greater London, UK77 contributions
Nov 2021
We didn't have tickets so we joined the walk in queue and entered almost straightaway. The staff at the door was very friendly.
Inside there was always a member of staff available for questions and the information displayed was very complete. The rooms were very beautiful, definitely worth a visit.
Written November 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MikaTravels86
Belgrade, Serbia61 contributions
Feb 2020
Defiantly recommend visiting library if you are fan of Harry Potter, or you just like books. Entry is free, and you can stay as long as you like. You can even grab a chair and do some reading in this beautiful place.
Written March 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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