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Science and Industry Museum visual story

This visual story provides images and text to help you prepare for your visit to the Science and Industry Museum.  

You can also explore our museum collection online or explore our main entrance via Google Maps.

Before you arrive

OPENING TIMES AND TICKET BOOKING

The museum is open Monday – Sunday, 10.00–17.00.   

You need to book a free ticket before coming.

You don't have to wear a face covering to visit the museum, but you can if you want to.

QUIET TIMES

The museum tends to be less busy on weekday afternoons and Sunday mornings.  

During school holidays or bank holidays it is busy throughout the week.  

We have a quiet room that can be accessed through the Textiles Gallery.

A dimly lit room with an armchair and a sofa in it Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

The sign on the door will tell you if the room is in use. Please wait for the space to be available before entering.

A sign on a door Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

You can borrow ear defenders from the New Warehouse information desk if you would like to. 

Getting here

The main entrance of the Science and Industry Museum is on Lower Byrom Street, not far from Manchester City Centre.

KEY TRANSPORT ROUTES

Tram

The nearest Metrolink stop is Deansgate–Castlefield.

Free city centre bus 

The museum can be reached on both Route 1 (closest stop: Opera House) and Route 2 (closest peak time stop: Opera House; closest off peak stop: Deansgate, near junction with Quay Street). 

Car 

There are three accessible disabled parking spaces in front of the museum on Lower Byrom Street which Blue Badge Holders can use.  

You can find more directions and options for getting to the museum on the travel information page

When you arrive

MUSEUM ENTRANCE

This is the museum entrance:

Exterior view of the entrance to the Science and Industry Museum Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

At busy times like school holidays or special events there may be queues outside the entrance.  

Please speak to a member of staff if this is an issue and we'll help you get to the front.

ON ARRIVAL

When you enter the museum, staff members will welcome you at the information desk and scan your ticket.

A white information desk at a museum Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

If there are other visitors waiting, you might need to queue. Please speak to a member of staff if this is an issue and we'll help you get to the front.

Museum staff wear black and green T-shirts with green lettering.

A woman and a man wearing black and green uniforms Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

You can ask them any questions you might have about your visit and also book tickets for any additional exhibitions or experiences in the museum if you would like to.

You can pick up a map at the information desk or download one in advance.  

At the information desk you can also borrow:  

  • Ear defenders (some of our galleries can be noisy and contain working machinery or live shows) 
  • Trails and activities for you to do if you would like to
  • A sensory pack with a selection of toys and resources to provide additional sensory support when exploring the museum
Three museum leaflets and a pair of ear defenders Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
Some ear defenders and a selection of children's toys Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Around the museum

People

There will also be museum staff and volunteers in galleries across the museum. You can ask them questions about the museum or your visit if you would like to. 

Museum staff and volunteers wear black and green t-shirts with green lettering.

A woman wearing a black and green museum uniform giving a presentation Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

This is an Explainer. You might see them doing live demonstrations, shows and activities in certain galleries across the museum. You might hear announcements throughout the day when a live demonstration or show is going to begin.

A museum explainer in uniform conducting an experiment Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Facilities

There are hand sanitisers located throughout the museum.

A hand sanitiser dispenser Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Lockers are available on Level -1 (lower ground floor) of the New Warehouse.  

There is a charge of £1 for small lockers or £2 for large lockers, so please try to bring change with you if you are intending to use them during your visit.

A row of lockers Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

We have lifts and stairs that you can use to get to all levels of the museum (please note, there is no lift access to the locker room, speak to a member of staff if you need help to access storage space).

A flight of stairs and a lift Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

There is information at the lifts and stairs about what you can find on each floor.

A sign explaining the different levels at the museum Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Some areas of the museum are closed while construction work takes place. You won't be able to go into these areas. 

You may see scaffolding, large machinery and construction workers.

Exterior view of the upper yard at SIM, with hoarding and scaffolding around one of the buildings Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
A construction worker in yellow overalls digging Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Key galleries and exhibits

The museum is made up of five main buildings, all surrounding a large, cobbled yard which is split over two levels. Seats are located throughout the museum. 

Some of the buildings are closed while construction work is happening. 

Here are some of the galleries that you can visit. You can read more detail about what you can expect to see and do on a visit on our what's on pages.

Level 0, Revolution Manchester

In this gallery you can see some of Manchester's industrial innovations, scientific discoveries and ideas that changed the world.

Interior view of the Revolution Manchester gallery Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
Interior view of the Revolution Manchester gallery Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

You will see a Rolls-Royce motor car and a replica of an original computer. 

An old Rolls Royce car on display in a museum Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
Replica of an early computer on display in a museum Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

You might also see a live show in this gallery. This show will include loud bangs and bright lights. There might be a large crowd watching the show. You can ask staff at the information desk about what time this will happen.

A museum explainer using a leaf blower to keep a beach ball in the air Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Level 0, Textiles Gallery

Our Textiles Gallery tells the story of the people, places and products of Manchester's textiles industry. 

You will see large machinery and small objects.

Old textiles machinery on display in the museum Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

You might see a museum Explainer turn on some of the machines and do a machinery demonstration. This will be very loud and there might be a lot of people watching. 

You can ask staff at the information desk about what time this will happen.

Level 1, Experiment

This is an interactive gallery with lots of hands-on activities and things to do. You can touch and try the experiments if you want to.

Two people playing with an interactive display in the Experiment gallery Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Some areas of this gallery are dark. Some of the activities make noises, some have moving parts and some might have bright lights.

A man and two young boys playing with wooden blocks Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
Two boys making shadow puppets with their hands Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

During busy times there might be lots of people in this gallery and it might be noisy. 

Level 1, Power Up

Power Up is open on Saturdays and Sundays during term time and daily during school holidays.

In this gallery there are lots of different games consoles and video games. You will need to buy a ticket from the ticket desk to go into this gallery and play the games. 

Show your ticket to the museum staff at the ticket desk and they will let you into the gallery.

A set of open double doors leading to the Power UP activity Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

This gallery is dark and there are lots of different noises. There are lots of screens with moving images and red lights around the gallery.

Rows of computer consoles and TVs inside Power UP Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Level -1, Special Exhibitions Gallery

The exhibitions in this gallery are temporary and changing. You can ask a member of museum staff what you can expect to see in this gallery during your visit.

A reception desk in a museum gallery Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

 

Operation OUch! Food, Poo and You

In this exhibition you can learn about the digestive system. This is an interactive exhibition with lots of hands-on activities and things to do. 

You will walk through a big mouth shape and explore different areas that are themed about different parts of the digestive journey.

A giant mouth on display in bright red room Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

In this multi-sensory exhibition, there are lots of bright colours, big objects, different sounds and smells. You can view the sensory map to find out more about what it is like inside.

A bright yellow exhibition space at a museum Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

You will need to buy a ticket on our website or from the ticket desk to go into this exhibition. Show your ticket to the museum staff at the ticket desk and they will let you into the gallery.

Current closures

Other areas of the museum are currently closed for construction work. 

These are the Power Hall, 1830 Station and Station Master's building. The Air and Space Hall is also closed.

Café and picnic areas

You can buy food and drink at the Warehouse Café on Level 0 of the New Warehouse.

Interior view of the museum café Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
Interior view of the museum café Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

There is also a picnic space with furniture and highchairs through the Bistro Restaurant on Level 1.

Shop

There is a shop on Level 0 of the New Warehouse.

Interior view of the museum shop Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
Interior view of the museum shop Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Toilets

Accessible toilets and baby changing facilities are located on Levels 0 and 1 of the New Warehouse.

A Changing Places facility is located in the Bistro on Level 1 of the New Warehouse.  

Other toilets are located across the museum. Look out for these symbols on the signs or on the map.

Toilet sign above a set of double doors Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Alarms and announcements

In the event of an evacuation, you will hear a siren and staff will show you to the nearest exit. 

During your visit you will hear announcements to let you know when shows and demonstrations are about to begin. Closing announcements will be made at 16.55 each day.