Manchester Central Library
Manchester Central Library
4.5
Points of Interest & LandmarksLibraries
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Top ways to experience Manchester Central Library and nearby attractions

The area
Address
How to get there
  • St Peter's Square • 1 min walk
  • Mosley St • 6 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • permia
    61,423 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Terrific repository of volumes and services
    A superb centre providing services to the citizens and visitors, the great Neo-Classical edifice was opened by King George V in 1934. It replaced previous iterations of the Library. It is tremendous within. A glamorous Reading Room with exquisite ornate features was full with studying and researchers. A central feature shows a florid clock suspended on four columns. Over a number of storeys multitudes of volumes and collections are kept here in trust for the country. A photographic exhibition was underway. Comprising a record of rock and pop stars at festivals and concerts. Such luminaries of that firmament as Van Morrison and Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan feature.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 30, 2023
  • Zani T
    Cape Town Central, South Africa75 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wish I had more time!
    Loved the library. Visitor-friendly (free guide available at the entrance). Treasures dotted around the iconic building. Loved the "Curry Lane" photo exhibit and would love to study in the central room! Epic!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written July 25, 2023
  • Mcgatto
    Santiago, Chile100 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Returned twice in a day :-)
    Loved this place. You can walk pretty much everywhere, use everything...sit and relax and even read a newspaper or charge your phone. The reading room is amazing and the silence is mesmerizing :)
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written September 23, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,136 reviews
Excellent
725
Very good
314
Average
74
Poor
14
Terrible
10

APCMann
Rochdale, UK476 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
This is an impressive building under a central domed roof. It is sited adjacent to the equally notable Manchester Town Hall.

It has served as a repository for books of all kinds since it's construction in the 1930s.

In our increasingly Digital Age it now serves as a hub for access to 'information', written, audible, visual, etc.. Like most Libraries it
provides Internet Connections to members of the Public.

But it also offers something that, unlike 'Data', is often in short supply these days. A place of peace and quiet, where one may concentrate
on the assimilation and utilisation of all that 'information', which we literally have at our finger-tips today. And where is that place of
peace and quiet? It is called the 'Reading Room', located under the aforementioned domed roof.

If you are in the area and have the time to spare, then drop into the Central Library and enjoy the Reading Room for what it is, a place to
think. Unfortunately it appears that thinking is also something in short supply these days.

There is a Cafe for bodily refreshment on the ground floor, and seating where you may eat your own food too.

The Metrolink Service is to be found a few yards from the Library Entrance and other transport links are readily available around
Manchester City Centre.

And it's free to enter!
Written June 25, 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.

Colin D
Bolton, UK1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
There is little doubt this is a beautiful iconic building and I have used it for many years now,
But sadly I have to say that currently I will not be setting foot in there for the foreseeable future.
The staff are and always have been very helpful,sadly they have no real protection at the main door, and once the public enter the building no one is enforcing the wearing of masks at all.
Considering the high rates of virus in Manchester at present, I find this unaccepatable.
Covid hotspot!!
Written October 12, 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.

shamsor
19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020

Manchester Central Library is the headquarters of the city's library and information service in Manchester, England. Facing St Peter's Square, it was designed by E. Vincent Harris and constructed between 1930 and 1934. The form of the building, a columned portico attached to a rotunda domed structure, is loosely derived from the Pantheon, Rome. At its opening, one critic wrote, "This is the sort of thing which persuades one to believe in the perennial applicability of the Classical canon".
Written December 21, 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.

permia
Ireland61,423 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
A superb centre providing services to the citizens and visitors, the great Neo-Classical edifice was opened by King George V in 1934. It replaced previous iterations of the Library.

It is tremendous within. A glamorous Reading Room with exquisite ornate features was full with studying and researchers. A central feature shows a florid clock suspended on four columns.

Over a number of storeys multitudes of volumes and collections are kept here in trust for the country.

A photographic exhibition was underway. Comprising a record of rock and pop stars at festivals and concerts. Such luminaries of that firmament as Van Morrison and Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan feature.
Written June 30, 2023
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.

Big_Jeff_Leo
St Helens, UK22,648 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
I have passed this impressive building many times but recently decided to call in to view the interior. It looks older than it is (completed 1934) and is modelled on a Roman Pantheon. The circular shape only adds to the feel of the building and you can actually walk round 360 degrees on the 4th Floor. The Book collection is impressive, with a clear focus on Manchester and a substantial collection on Music. There is a modern set of lifts to all of the four main floors and they have made significant investments to allow modern access to the archives, particularly the moving picture section. There is also a decent cafe on the ground floor and a small shop to round things off.
Written December 17, 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.

carolinny71
Oxford, UK30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
Quietly enter the reading room as try and hold your breath as you look up, a place where students come to study or just to read the daily newspaper. But please look up and read the beauty of this room. Also take a walk on the other floors and browse the books, and find a pop up gallery
Written March 20, 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.

Steit Slings
Calpe, Spain264 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Friends
Majestic building with an amazing collection of books. The reading room, or rather reading dome, is an experience in it self. Do keep silent as it is very well used.
A special note to the hostess at the entrance who told us many stories about the library and it's surroundings.
Written May 23, 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.

C...
Victoria, Australia82,398 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Solo
Designed by E. Vincent Harris and facing St Peter’s Square is this stunning library. This is a domed shaped building with columns.

I was instantly fascinated by the building and it was on my list of “must see” places.

There are inscriptions next to the entrance announcing that George V opened the building.

There are security people at the entrances who will greet you politely. It’s definitely worth taking time to visit this library that whilst being beautiful also meets all of your needs as a place of learning.
Written April 14, 2023
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.

Kule Dude
Bromsgrove, UK933 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
The library building is a circular, stone faced classically styled edifice. And inside, whilst there there have obviously been modern updates, items such as the reading tables and chairs have been retained, from the 1930's when it was commissioned.

Well done Manchester!
Written October 30, 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.

Matt G
Newton Le Willows, UK4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Oh, my word! The abuse my ears just suffered. For some reason the library has a piano on the ground floor, next to the cafe. Someone with no ability at all was allowed to bang away. You could hear it throughout the building. Even in the reading rooms. I wish we could have stayed and looked through the collections, had a coffee and cake, donated. But it was too painful.
The staff we spoke to couldn't do anything about it. I feel so sorry for them.
Written May 8, 2024
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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Manchester Central Library - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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