Getting around in Manchester: info, costs and advice

Manchester, a relatively small city, but with a great British charm. Elegant and prominent center of cultural, economic and sporting activities from all over the UK, if you decide to visit it the best way is to use public transport. Let's say that the ideal solution in a city like this that has over 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, in addition to its efficiency, is certainly the price, much higher than that of Italian transport. If you have a trip to Manchester, these are info, costs and advice on how to move around the British city.


  1. From Manchester airport to city center
  2. How to get around on foot
  3. Con i mezzi pubblici
  4. Useful Tips
  5. User questions and comments

From Manchester airport to city center

Manchester Airport is located in the south of the city, approximately 17 kilometers away. It is inserted between the 50 largest airports in the world and is in fourth place among the English ones. Before that there are London, Heathrow, London Gatwick and London Stansted. Opened in 1938, today more than 100 airlines pass through this airport. It is connected to the city with many public services such as trains, buses and metrolink (better known as tram, even if this means for a stretch involves the use of the train to Manchester Piccadilly) which, however, is not the most recommended way to reach the downtown from the airport.

  • Distance from the center: 17 km / average travel time: 25 minutes
  • By train: Skyway train, Piccadilly and Oxford road useful stops / ticket cost: € 4,48
  • By taxi: 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 city center or hotel from € 55,00 for 2 - Find out the offer

How to get around on foot

Although Manchester is not a very small city, its center can be visited on foot because many areas and more inland roads are totally pedestrian, therefore it would be impossible to discover them by any public or private means. For this it is recommended move on foot in the city center in order 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 walk it all on foot, even the peripheral areas, then the time is doubled.

Con i mezzi pubblici

In Manchester public transport works well, even if it is a lot more expensive than Italian ones. Their 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. Traffic in the center is really heavy, that's why using public transport is a smart idea, also because finding a parking space is not easy at all and even if you find it, the cost is very high. There are buses operated by Tfgm and trams operated by Metrolink which cover all the districts of Manchester, except for a few streets in the center which are pedestrianized. If you are in a hurry and have little time available, it is recommended to opt for the trams, which are much faster to reach the destination.


If you decide to use the bus in Manchester what you need to know is that there are several companies that manage the services and that each 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 various options such as one-way, round-trip and day tickets. The choice depends on what we need the most. As far as costs are concerned, it is good to know that season tickets are generally cheaper than a single ticket that can be used only once. On weekends, some lines operate the night service. There is also the Metroshuttle, the free service that connects the main train stations, car parks and shopping areas and is active in the center, in Bolton and Stockport.

  • Downloadable map:
  • 05: 00 / 22: 30
  • Ticket / single ride cost: depends on the route. Usually it starts from a price of € 1,90
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: one week pass with unlimited rides € 12,50, monthly pass € 46,00


Il tram in Manchester has been managed by the Metrolink company since 1988 and has a very extensive network in the city. Usually the waiting time between one vehicle and another is from 12 to 20 minutes. At peak times, the races can be delayed, so it is advisable to first check the appropriate apps which show the precise timetables and any temporary closures of the lines. There are 7 different lines serving different areas of Manchester, central and peripheral, each one characterized by its own color. In total there are 93 stops.

  • Downloadable map:
  • 06: 00 / 00: 00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: € 2,35
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: daily travel card € 7,90, ticket for 4 weeks € 59,00

Useful Tips

  1. Taxi. Manchester is served by public transport, but if these were not useful for our route by time or for any other obstacle, another option could be that of the taxis that are divided between the black cabs, that is the classic black cabs that can be taken wherever you are without calling and private taxis which, on the other hand, require telephone booking. Black taxis have higher costs than the others.
  2. Travel card. These cards can only be used on 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 trams and buses in Manchester, to know the precise information .
  3. App. It is advisable to always check the official apps of both trams and buses before planning an exit in this city.
  4. Bicycle. There is the possibility to cycle around Manchester, but it is useful to know that the cycle paths are simply drawn to the side of the carriageway on the road where cars circulate, so their use requires extra attention. Even if it is gearing up, it cannot yet be considered a totally bike friendly city.
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