Fodor's Expert Review Museum of Science and Industry
The venue's historic buildings, one of which is the world's oldest passenger rail station (1830), hold marvelous collections relating to the city's industrial past and present, although conservation, restoration, and expansion over the next few years will mean certain areas are off-limits or obscured by scaffolding. You can walk through a reconstructed Victorian sewer, be blasted by the heat and noise of working steam engines, see cotton looms whirring in action, and watch a planetarium show. The Air and Space Gallery fills a graceful cast-iron-and-glass building, constructed as a market hall in 1877. Allow at least half a day to get the most out of all the sites, temporary exhibitions, talks, and events.