Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Menu Share this content
Menu Search the University of Manchester siteSearch
Search type

Alternatively, use our A–Z index

Travelling to Manchester

We’re glad you’ve chosen to study in Manchester. If you are an international student we can help you make your way to your University accommodation.

There are various ways to reach the city, depending on whether you are travelling via Manchester Airport or another UK airport.

Manchester Airport’s website has lots of useful information on transport connections available. If you’re flying into a different UK airport, check their website for specific advice.

Citymapper is also a great tool to use when planning any journey. Just enter your point of departure and your destination and it will tell you the quickest way to complete your journey. We recommend that you download the app or use the online service, not just for your journey to Manchester, but for getting around the city.

If you're arriving into Manchester Airport between 11 and 16 September 2018, take a look at our Airport Service. Detailed information about the service will be available at the beginning of July.

Manchester Airport is located just over 14 kilometres south of the city centre and is about 20 minutes away by car. It serves over 190 destinations.

If you are making the journey from the airport yourself, it is quite easy and your best option will probably be a taxi.

Taxi

Getting a taxi is by far the easiest way to get to your accommodation from the airport, especially if you have a lots of luggage. Your driver can take you to exactly where you need to go and you won’t have to worry about finding your way around as soon as you arrive.

Manchester Airport’s official private hire taxi partner is Arrow Cars and we recommend that you use this service. You can book your taxi online and speak to customer services representatives in their offices, which are located in the arrivals area of all three terminals. All of the drivers are security checked and insured. The fare will be between £20 and £25 to use this service. You can find out more about Arrow Cars on the Manchester Airport website.  

If you don’t want to book a taxi in advance you can get a black cab (sometimes known as a hackney cab). These are the only types of taxis that are licensed to take passengers without an advance booking. They can be found at the taxi ranks outside all three terminals. It should cost between £20 and £25 to get to University accommodation, depending on how much traffic there is.

Train

There is a train station at Manchester Airport. It takes 5-15 minutes to walk there, depending on which terminal you arrive at:

  • Terminal 1: 5 minutes
  • Terminal 2: 10 minutes
  • Terminal 3: 7 minutes

There are trains to Manchester Piccadilly every 10 minutes and the journey takes 20 minutes.

You can also get the train to Oxford Road Station, near the main University Campus, or Mauldeth Road Station in Fallowfield - both of which are close to some University accommodation. It’s best to check which station is closest to your accommodation before you travel. These trains are less frequent, so it is advisable to check the times in advance.

Tickets cost between £3 and £5, depending on which station you’re travelling to. You can buy them in advance or on the day at the station.

To reach your accommodation from the stations you can get a taxi or bus. 

Bus

There is a bus station at Manchester Airport - it’s in the same place as the train station, so follow those signs to get there. We don’t advise getting the bus if you have lots of luggage. There is limited luggage room on most buses and they can often be very busy services, making getting on and off the bus difficult. 

The number 43 bus departs from the airport bus station and stops close to many accommodation sites, including those in Fallowfield, on the main University campus and in the city centre. You can find out more on the Transport for Greater Manchester website.  

Tram

You can travel to Manchester from Manchester Airport using the Metrolink tram system. The Metrolink stop is in the train station at the airport - the tram has its own platform.

Service 6 is the line that runs from Manchester Airport to Manchester Victoria Station, stopping at several places that are near University accommodation sites. All tram services run every 12 minutes, although this is slightly different for early morning services to and from the airport. A ticket will cost £3-£5, depending on where you are travelling to, and the journey takes about an hour. Tickets are available from ticket machines on all platforms but not on-board, so make sure you purchase before you travel.

We would advise against using the tram if you are travelling with lots of luggage. There is no luggage storage facility and space is limited when the service is busy. 

Travel from airports other than Manchester

If you are flying to the UK we advise you to fly directly to Manchester. There are frequent flights to Manchester Airport from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Southend and London City Airports. You can also find cheap flights to Manchester from other major European cities. If you are flying into London and transferring to another flight, remember to allow yourself enough time to get to your connection.

Arriving at a London airport and continuing to Manchester by coach

If you arrive in London by air and are going to Manchester by coach, in most cases you will first have to travel by underground train (tube) to Victoria coach station in the centre of London. You should be aware that most tube stations do not have lifts and some have lots of stairs. As well as this, space on trains can be limited and services are often very busy, especially in central London. 

If you decide to fly into London Heathrow and travelling to Manchester by coach, there are some direct services. The journey takes around 6 hours, and can be longer depending on trafic. Tickets are around £42. You can find out more and book a ticket on the National Express Coach website.

Manchester has two main city centre coach stations, Manchester Central on Chorlton Street and Shudehill Interchange.

If you decide to travel via London, remember to allow yourself enough time to collect your luggage, pass through immigration and travel across the city.

Information on transport in the London area can be found on the Transport for London website.

Arriving at a London airport and continuing to Manchester by train

Trains from London to Manchester leave from Euston Station in central London. The quickest way to get here from any of the London airports is to take the tube (underground train). Again, we strongly advise against travelling through London on the underground with lots of luggage because of the difficulty of navigating tube stations, which do not usually have lifts, and busy tube services with limited space.

Remember to allow yourself enough time to collect your luggage, pass through immigration and travel across London.

Information on transport in the London area can be found on the Transport for London website.

Manchester has three main train stations: Piccadilly, Victoria and Oxford Road. The train from London Euston arrives at Piccadilly and usually takes just over 2 hours. You can find information on train times and book train tickets on the National Rail website or on Trainline. The cost of train tickets vary from around £25 to over £90 depending on the day, how far in advance you are booking, and the time of travel.

Arriving at Liverpool John Lennon Airport

National Express operates a coach service from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to Manchester Coach Station in the city centre, you will have to change at Liverpool One Bus Station. Tickets shouldn't cost more than £10 and the journey can take between 2 and 3 hours.  

A faster route from Liverpool to Manchester is via train, which shouldn’t take longer than an hour. The closest station to the airport is Liverpool South Parkway and you can catch a train from here and Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria stations. This is not advised if you have lots of luggage, because of limited space on trains and potentially busy services.

If you have any questions, please email orientation@manchester.ac.uk or telephone +44 (0) 161 275 2074.