2. John Rylands Library
John Rylands Library is perhaps the most well-known of Manchester’s famous libraries. Opened in 1900, the library exterior features beautiful gothic-style architecture popular amongst the university buildings. The library is worth a visit for the architecture alone, boasting gorgeous vaulted ceilings, soft illumination and ornate archways. John Rylands Library is also one of the best academic libraries in the UK, featuring a number of special collections. The library houses medieval manuscripts, early printed texts, as well as personal letters from a number of notable figures. For lifelong learners, students, academics, and architecture-lovers, John Rylands Library is a peaceful haven set in the heart of the bustling city.