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Football Museum Manchester: Guide to a day at the NFM

The National Football Museum in Manchester is a must-visit for any football fans in the United Kingdom.

Located in the heart of Manchester city centre, adjacent to Manchester Cathedral and Exchange Square, the museum is home to more than 40,000 football artefacts from football league trophies to paintings of retired football legends. If you are planning a visit to the National Football Museum, then here's a guide for the day.

National Football Museum Manchester guide

Ground Floor at the National Football Museum

Once you are in, you will start your day on the ground floor and make your way up. The ground floor thrusts you straight into the world of English football memorabilia and it is here that you will be able to get your photograph taken with various iconic trophies including the Premier League and Women's Super League trophies.

One artefact that proves to be particularly popular on this floor is George Best's Mini Cooper. The former Manchester United winger had a large collection of cars but this Mini was one of his most iconic. The museum acquired the car ten years ago and has proven to be a hit with visitors ever since.

The ground floor is also home to special exhibitions and workshops. These are continuously changing so you're best off checking out the museum's What’s On programme to find out what's running when you visit.

National Football Museum Manchester | Guide to a day at the NFM
Photo by Icon Sport

National Football Museum: Level One

Once you're done with the ground floor, you'll move up to the first level which is called “The Match Gallery”. This is the largest display space in the entire museum and it's here that you'll find the rarest collections on offer.

Go back in time and learn about the world's first football association, the formation of the FA Cup and the England national first performance on foreign soil. Within the exhibition, you will be able to inspect an original copy of the laws of the game and a very fragile-looking FA Cup trophy from the 1800s.

One major highlight from level one is a replica of the 1966 World Cup trophy and match ball. This was of course the year England were crowned world champions.

Level Two at the NFM

After you've finished with the World Cup trophy, you will make your way to level two, the penultimate floor. Level two is called the “Play Gallery” and it's here that the interactive fun truly kicks into gear. Additionally, this floor takes a look at the impact football has had on popular culture in the United Kingdom.

As well as being able to look at match-worn football shirts from the likes of Ian Wright, Wayne Rooney and Peter Schmeichel, guests are able to test out their own football skills via several interactive games. These include a penalty shootout, a pass-master game and a shot-stopping test for any goalkeepers in attendance.

You are also able to try your hand at commentary on level two via the Match of the Day Commentary Challenge. You will watch classic goals on a screen and be given the chance to either call the action yourself or follow an autocue of some classic commentary.

The junior discovery zone is also located on level two which is typically most enjoyed by small children at the museum. This zone is exclusive for under-5s and features a soft play area and some junior football magazines and colouring books.

One of the match-worn shirts at the National Football Museum Manchester is a Wayne Rooney shirt
Photo by Icon Sport

Level Three at the National Football Museum

The final floor inside the National Football Museum is reserved exclusively for special exhibitions. As with the ground floor, these exhibitions change fairly regularly so check out the museum's what's on page before you visit to discover what will be there when you get there. In 2023, an exhibition on the Lionesses and their impact on the country took centre stage.

FAQs about National Football Museum Manchester

National Football Museum tickets

Do you have to pay to go in the Football Museum Manchester?

Yes. Here are the prices:

Type of ticket Walk-up Online
City of Manchester Resident Free Free
Adult (16+ years) £14 £13
Child (5-15 years) £8 £7
Under-5s Free Free
Family Saver (2 adults, 2 children) £36 £33
Concessions (students, seniors) £12 £11
Blue Light Card holders £11.20 £10.40
National Art Pass and Museum Association members Free Free

One key thing to know is that if you buy your ticket directly from the National Football Museum, rather than any online service, you will have unlimited access to the museum for a full year. This means you can come back on another day if you miss anything, or if they launch a new exhibition you'd like to see.

However, if you are a resident of the City of Manchester, you will have free entry to the National Football Museum. You will be eligible for this if you are a council tax-paying resident in any of these postcodes: M1, M2, M3, M4, M8, M9, M11, M12, M13, M14, M15, M16, M18, M19, M20, M21, M22, M23, M40, M90.

To benefit from this free entry, you'll need to bring ID and something to prove your address.

How long does it take to go around the Manchester football museum?

You should give yourself an hour at least to make it worthwhile, but if you're a Manchester resident and thus have free entry, you could pop in for 20 minutes and have an enjoyable time, and return another day for a fuller visit.

Is the National Football Museum worth it?

Yes, read above! There is a fantastic variety of artefacts and exhibitions in the National Football Museum.

Is the Football Museum good for kids?

Yes, there are loads of areas of the museum designed especially for kids with great interactive activities.

National Football Museum opening hours

The museum is open from 10am-5pm every day, but last admission is 4pm.

The museum is closed around Christmas, normally between 24 and 27 December and 1-2 January.

Football Museum Manchester directions

What is the closest tram stop to the Football Museum?

Exchange Square, on the pink line that travels between East Didsbury and Rochdale Town Centre. You can also walk easily from Piccadilly Gardens or Market Street (5-10 minutes), as well as Manchester Victoria train station and Shudehill (under 5 minutes).

How to get to to Football Museum Manchester from the train station?

Piccadilly Station is a 15-minute walk from the National Football Museum, and you can jump on a tram to Exchange Square to speed this up.

Manchester Victoria is less than a five-minute walk from the National Football Museum.

Can you park near the National Football Museum?

Yes, here are some options.

AO Arena CitiPark: https://citipark.co.uk/car-parks/manchester/arena

Car Park Manchester Printworks | APCOA: https://citycentre.apcoa.co.uk/carpark/location/manchester-printworks/3878

Q-Park Deansgate North: https://www.q-park.co.uk/en-gb/cities/manchester/deansgate-north/


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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