Getting around Manchester: information, costs and tips

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Martí Micolau

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How to get around Manchester? Bus, Taxi, Tram, Bicycle, on foot

Manchester, a relatively small city, but with a great British charm. Elegant and prominent center of cultural, economic and sporting activities throughout the UK, if you decide to visit it is best to use public transport. Let's say that the ideal solution in a city like this that has more than 500 thousand inhabitants is to know how to think of a program in which walks and use of means of transport that will take us to places outside the center.

The characteristic of public transport, besides its efficiency, is undoubtedly the price, much higher than Italian transport. If you have a trip to manchester, these are information, costs and tips on how to move around the British city.


  1. From Manchester Airport to Manchester city center
  2. How to get around on foot
  3. By public transport
  4. Useful tips

How to get from Manchester Airport to Manchester city center

Manchester Airport is located in the south of the city, approximately 17 kilometers away. It is among the 50 largest airports in the world and ranks fourth among English airports. Before it are London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London Stansted. Inaugurated in 1938, today more than 100 airlines fly through this airport. It is connected to the city with many public services such as trains, buses and metrolink (better known as streetcar, although this means for a stretch involves the use of the train to Manchester Piccadilly) which, however, is not the most recommended way to get to the center from the airport.

  • Distance from center: 17 km / average travel time: 25 minutes
  • By train: Skyway, Piccadilly and Oxford Road train stops / cost of ticket: 4.48
  • By cab: average cost 18,00 € / travel time: 35 minutes
  • By bus: average cost 5,00 € / lines 43, 105
  • Private transfer: private transfer from Manchester Airport to the city center or to the hotel from € 55,00 for 2 - Discover the offer

How to get around Manchester on foot

Although Manchester is not a very small city, its center can be visited on foot because many areas and most inner roads are totally pedestrianized, so it would be impossible to discover them by any public or private means. For this it is recommended to move on foot in the city center so as not to miss the most hidden nuances, unlike nearby London, which is certainly more extensive and difficult to travel on foot.

The time needed to visit Manchester city center is 24 hours. If you decide to get around it all on foot, even the outlying areas, then the time is doubled.

Getting around Manchester by public transport

In Manchester, public transport works well, although it is much more expensive than the Italian ones. Its price often depends on the routes we have to take, there is no standard cost that is valid for all means and for all routes. The traffic in the center is very heavy, so using public transport is a good idea, also because finding a parking space is not easy and even if you find one, the cost is very high. There are buses operated by Tfgm and streetcars operated by Metrolink covering all districts of Manchester, except some streets in the center which are pedestrianized. If you are in a hurry and have little time, it is recommended to opt for the streetcars, which are much faster to reach your destination.

How to get around Manchester by bus

If you decide to use the bus in Manchester what you should know is that there are several companies that manage the services and that each one covers certain areas of the city. Precisely there are: Stagecoach (mainly for the central districts), Arriva and First (for the suburbs). Tickets can be purchased directly on the bus and are divided into several options, such as one-way, round-trip and day tickets. The choice depends on what we need most. As far as costs are concerned, it is good to know that season tickets are usually cheaper than single tickets that can only be used once. On weekends, some lines operate night service. There is also the Metroshuttle, the free service that connects the main train stations, parking lots and shopping areas and is active in the center, in Bolton and Stockport.

  • 05: 00 / 22: 30
  • Cost of ticket / single journey: depends on the route. It usually starts from a price of 1,90 €.
  • Cost of ticket / pass: one week pass with unlimited rides 12,50 €, monthly pass 46,00 €.

How to get around Manchester by streetcar

The tramway in Manchester has been managed by the company Metrolink since 1988 and has a very extensive network in the city. Generally, the waiting time between one vehicle and another is 12 to 20 minutes. During rush hours, trips may be delayed, so it is advisable to first check the appropriate applications that show accurate schedules and temporary line closures. There are 7 different lines serving different areas of Manchester, central and peripheral, each characterized by its own color. In total there are 93 stops.

  • 06: 00 / 00: 00
  • Cost of ticket / single journey: € 2,35
  • Cost of ticket / pass: daily travel card 7,90 €, ticket for 4 weeks 59,00 €.

Useful tips for getting around Manchester

  1. Cab. Manchester is served by public transport, but if these do not serve our journey because of time or any other obstacle, another option may be cabs which are divided between black cabs, which are the classic black cabs that can be taken wherever you are without calling and private cabs which, on the other hand, require telephone reservation. Black cabs have higher costs than the others.
  2. Travel card. These cards can only be used in public transport, these cards have a cost that depends on the departure area and the destination area, so it is useful to visit the official website of Metrolink and Tfgm, the companies that manage streetcars and buses in Manchester, to know the precise information .
  3. App. It is advisable to always consult the official apps of both streetcars and buses before planning a trip in this city.
  4. Bicycle. There is the possibility of cycling around Manchester, but it is useful to know that bike lanes are simply drawn on the side of the road on the street where cars drive, so their use requires special attention. Even if it is being prepared, it still cannot be considered a fully bicycle-friendly city.

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