Getting around Manchester

Getting around Manchester and to the rest of the UK is made easy by the city’s rail and road connections. Indeed, you can travel even further thanks to our international airport.

Around Manchester

For such a major city, Manchester is surprisingly simple to get around. The city centre is accessible on foot from our campus, or you can use the cycle lanes and travel around quickly by bike.

Manchester has an excellent transport network of local bus, rail and tram services, all operating at very reasonable costs and with discounts for students. It’s easy to plan your journey across all forms of transport, thanks to Transport for Greater Manchester.

Local bus and rail timetables are available from the Advice Service within the Students' Union.

There are several options, most at an affordable price:


Cycling is probably the cheapest method of travel. There are cycle paths running across Manchester, particularly in student areas.


Manchester's buses are our students' favourite method of travel. There are several bus companies in the city, all competing for passengers, which means tickets are very cheap.

The Magic 147 bus offers free travel for University of Manchester staff and students between the Sackville Street and Oxford Road areas of the campus. The buses run every ten minutes throughout the day, Monday to Friday between 7.15am and 6.15pm. A single journey costs £1.50 (outside of the Sackville Street and Oxford Road campus zone). It is £4.50 for a day ticket valid for use on all Magic buses services and Stagecoach also offer a 7 day ticket for Magic bus services that is £11, and an annual bus pass designed to offer discounted bus travel to University students.The 147 service starts near Piccadilly Rail Station, and calls at the following locations:

The service starts at Bus Stop D on Fairfield Street, near Piccadilly Rail Station, and calls at:

  • Bus Stop C on Fairfield street (Piccadilly Rail station)
  • The University of Manchester (Sackville Street area)
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • The Royal Northern College of Music
  • The Dental Hospital
  • The University of Manchester (Oxford Road area)
  • Manchester Royal Eye Hospital
  • Saint Mary's Hospital
  • Accident and Emergency, and Manchester Royal Infirmary

It then goes onto stop at Owen Park campus in Fallowfield and finishing at West Didsbury.


A more expensive method of travel, a taxi across the city centre will cost around £5.

Getting hold of a taxi during the day is no problem, but like most big cities it's a little harder late at night. The city has many taxi ranks, including a large one at Piccadilly Station.


Manchester has two main train stations: Piccadilly and Victoria. There are also other smaller stations within the city centre, including Manchester Oxford Road, which is just a ten-minute walk away from both the Oxford Road and Sackville Street areas of the campus.

There are numerous bus links between stations, some of which are free.


Manchester's tram service, the Metrolink, runs frequent services to Altrincham, Eccles, Bury, Rochdale. East Didsbury and Ashton-Under-Lyne. It also runs a service to the Trafford Centre and The Lowry.

The nearest station to the University is St Peter's Square; alight here and then walk down Oxford Street, which becomes Oxford Road.

Find out more about transport options including walking and cycling routes on our sustainability website.

Getting away

With Manchester Airport offering regular flights to more than 200 destinations, and excellent road and rail links with the rest of the UK, Manchester is one of the most accessible cities in the country and the perfect base for exploring.

The national parks of the Peak District and the Lake District, along with the historic castles of North Wales, are all within easy reach, as are picturesque destinations such as Chester, York and Buxton. The north-west coast is less than an hour away by train or car, offering the unspoiled beaches of Formby and the bright lights of Blackpool. 

We are:

  • 45 minutes from Liverpool and Leeds (car)
  • 1.5 hours from the Lake District (car)
  • 2 hours from London (rail)
  • 2.5 hours from Barcelona (air)
  • 8 hours from New York (air)
  • 13.5 hours from Singapore (air)