Travel Around Manchester
Manchester has a superb public transport system and getting around town is really easy. There are also loads of travel passes and special student rates, so you can keep your travel costs as cheap as possible and still go exploring! If you’re in the city centre, sometimes just having a wander is the best way to find what you’re looking for or stumble across somewhere new. For travel around Manchester and across the city, you’ll have a number of options, from trains and trams, to buses and bikes!
Manchester is well served by hundreds of buses and a number of different operators. In fact, you’ll often hear talk of the busiest bus routes in Europe! Travelling by bus is generally the cheapest option for getting around and you’ll find all the different services & routes online. If you want to know which buses to take to get to our campuses, take a look at our Locations page. In the city centre, you can take advantage of the Metroshuttle, a free shuttle bus service that will ferry you around all major destinations. If you’re travelling out of the city, take a look at the PlusBus and SystemOne Travelcards, which could save you money when you’re using multiple routes and operators.
There are four main train stations in Manchester: Piccadilly, Victoria, Oxford Road and Deansgate. Each of them is part of the excellent commuter network in Greater Manchester, which makes it really easy to get to the centre from a number of local railway stations. If you’re planning on using the train, a 16-25 Railcard will save you up to a third off fares, and you should also take a look at weekly, monthly or annual season passes to save even more money.
Manchester has long had a tram network, and its Metrolink system has recently been expanded and modernised to include seven different lines, largely running across the city from east to west. Further line extensions are currently being developed too. It’s ideal for travelling from Ashton-Under-Lyne, Droylsden and Bury, to Altrincham, Eccles, Manchester Airport and East Didsbury. You’ll find many season tickets and passes available to help reduce costs too, as well as a helpful ‘park and ride’ programme!
Greater Manchester is encouraging everyone to get out on their bikes and cycle around the city, so you’ll find a cycle-friendly town! Cycle hubs can be found around the whole region, connecting cyclists to other forms of public transport and providing storage for bikes in public areas. There’s a whole network of routes around the area, both on tarmac and off-road, including the scenic ‘Fallowfield Loop’. You can even take advantage of free bike training lessons, which will help you learn how to maintain and fix your bike, and how to stay safe whilst cycling.
Manchester's city centre is actually nice and compact, so often the best way to get around is simply to walk. It’s also a great way to discover some quirky locations, incredible architecture, beautiful scenery and some amazing places. Many areas of the centre are pedestrianised, and if you get tired, you could always hop on a bus, hail a black cab on the street, or send an Über to your location! Around the area, you’ll find plenty of serious walking and hiking routes too, if you like getting out into the countryside.
If you need to travel around the country from Manchester, you won’t have a problem. The rail network sits on the West Coast Mainline, providing easy access to London in just two hours. Coast-to-coast services across the Pennines and over to Merseyside and Wales are frequent as well. All major coach companies serve Manchester too, but if you want to travel even further, Manchester Airport is the third busiest in the country, with international flights to hundreds of destinations.