Manchester Art Gallery - © Manchester Art Gallery
The gallery is home to some stunning Pre-Raphaelite art; highlights from the three floors of its permanent collection include Rossetti's Astarte Syriaca, notable pieces by Modigliani and Turner, and a superb collection of Impressionist paintings of early 20th-century Manchester by the underrated Adolphe Valette, Lowry's early art teacher.
There is also a programme of international exhibitions. The building itself, designed by Charles Barry in 1824, had a £35 million extension and refit in 2002, letting in more light, and opening a new wing and interactive children's gallery.
A good café, restaurant and shop round out the mix.