Free City Centre Bus
The 'Metroshuttle' is a completely free bus service linking all the main areas of the city centre including train stations and tram stops. There are actually two circular routes, one operated by a service based at Piccadilly train station and the other operated by a service based at Victoria train station -- buses run every 5 or 10 minutes.
National Express to Manchester
I went to Manchester by National Express coach from Oxford, and left by coach again to Edinburgh. The coach terminal is located right in the city centre which is very convenient. The terminal does not have any information point for tourists, but the main tourist information of the city is only a short walk away.
During my UK trip, I often travelled by National Express. This takes much more time than the train, but it is usually cheaper (though not always!). I found the coaches quite comfortable and the drivers very friendly. Luggage is restricted to two suitcases/bags and one piece of hand luggage. However, I always brought an additional bag of food as hand luggage, and it was never a problem.
Just to give you an idea on how it works: I saved a lot of money going by coach when I went to Edinburgh as I got a really good fare, but the journey takes nine hours instead of only three and a half. I still think that is ok if you are travelling on a tight budget and have the time to do a long journey. I wouldn't do it again, tough, now that my very tight backpacker budget days are gone ;-)Related to:
- Budget Travel
Opened in 1992, the Metrolink tram system has proved a popular means of transport around the centre and on the main lines to Altrincham, Bury and via Salford Quays to Eccles. Hopefully the network will expand in the not too distant future to include Manchester Airport and the south Manchester area in general.
I took the attached photo in St .Peter's Square -- the round building behind the tram is the Central Library and the building in the background is the Midland Hotel
Manchester International airport is situated 10 miles south of the city centre and with 3 terminals and 2 runways it's quite a big place now -- it's the 3rd largest airport in the UK and handles approximately 20 million passengers a year -- more than 90 airlines fly to over 180 destinations.
To get to Manchester city centre you can take the train from the station at the airport -- there are 6 trains an hour (up to 4 during the night) -- journey takes about 20 minutes. Trains go into Manchester Piccadilly and from their you can travel anywhere in the UK.
You can take the bus into Manchester -- Stagecoach service 43 runs about every 10 minutes.
Taxis are outside the airport -- to avoid suprises, ask the cost before you get in.
For hotels at or near the airport, try the following link :-
For car hire try, try the following link :-
Airport parking information is on their website shown at the bottom of this page,
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Manchester has 4 train station, the main one being Piccadilly which handles services to London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow and many other destinations.
Piccadilly station is 5 minutes from the city centre and Manchester Central bus station.
The other train stations are Victoria, Oxford Road and Deansgate.Related to:
The recently refurbished Manchester Central bus station is on Chorlton Street in the city centre, 5 minutes from Piccadilly Train station.
National Express operate services to all parts of the UK from here.
Bus link to/from Liverpool John Lennon airport
Terravision offer a bus link to Liverpool John Lennon airport from Manchester's Shudehill Interchange. There is one bus an hour every day of the week, from the early hours of the morning until late at night - please refer to the website for exact times and fares.
You pay on the bus.
Please refer to the below weblink for return bus times from Liverpool airport.
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Take a ride on a Tram
The Tram system in Manchester is speedy, reliable and they look great too. It consists of three lines which converge in Manchester city centre and serve the surrounding towns of Bury, Altrincham and Eccles. We took the Eccles bound tram from Piccadilly Gardens to Salford Quays. I found the prices to be reasonable - a return ticket cost £2.20 (November 2010).Related to:
The Nightmare of City Centre Parking
If you are visiting Manchester city centre by car, parking is very very difficult around the popular areas to go. There are less car parks now than there used to be and working out the parking restrictions is a nightmare.
The train, bus, tram and metrolink and very good, but if you have to travel by car here is a quick rundown on parking.
FREE PARKING. You can park on the street on single yellow lines after 6.30 pm, unless the sign states otherwise. However, there are not many of these single yellow lines left and they are hard to find. Deansgate has a few, and the streets around Deansgate/St John St too.
Also you can park at meters free after 6.30.
METERS These are expensive and you have to be careful because some only have 1 hour and some have 2. If a meter is not working you will get a ticket if you park on it.
There are various multi-storey car parks and they vary in price. Most reasonable I have found are Chorlton Street and Gmex but they are both quite a walk to the shops. Most expensive is Kendals department store car park, as it is right next to the store and very close to main shopping areas. There is also one that is not too bad on the corner of Deansgate and Blackfriars Street.
If you don't mind a walk, you can park close to the Salford border and the car parks here area bit cheaper. They are down the end of Quay Street or Bridge Street.
If you are going to the theatre and driving to the city centre, particularly near Christmas, leave plenty of time to find a parking space!Related to:
- Road Trip
- Business Travel
This is Oxford road train station. This is where I stoped on my way from Preston. I found out that there are free bus services from the station to Manchester centre. Where I subsequently took another bus to Bury.Related to:
Got a cheap ticket from Edinburgh to Manchester with Flybe. £96.98 return with no check in bags (that little luxury costs extra).
Flight about 10 minutes late on the way out and 10 minutes early on the return.
Small planes (Bombardier turbo prop and Embraer mini jet) but comfortable enough.
Only 2 issues - they use T3 at Manchester and its a tip, plus we waited a long time in the security queue at Manchester. Airport issues rather than airline problems, of course!Related to:
- Budget Travel
The Manchester area is motorway hell (or heaven, depending on your perspective).
The M60 goes right round the city, and every 2 bit suburb has a motorway to join up to it. Then there's the M62 to Yorkshire/Liverpool, the M6 to London/Scotland etc.
I'm used to jumping in a rented car in London or New York, but this took me by surprise. Got lost 3 times!Related to:
- Road Trip
After midnite travel
Travelling after midnite can be quite a hassle if you live outside the city especially on weekends. Taxis or night buses(if they available) are hence the only way home unless you wanna be left wandering-round-the-streets-waiting-to-get-mugged. I don't normally take cabs cos i live in the city or if i have too much groceries, but i do occasionally if i'm staying over at ma sis's apartment after a night's out. Village Cars or Rainbow Cars(such gay names!)are very trustworthy and at least the don't rip us off unlike black cabs!
RAINBOW CARS 0161 236 0909
VILLAGE CARS 0161 237 3383Related to:
- Family Travel
The M62 and M6 motorways bring traffic from all parts of the country, and new links and loops seem to appear every year. Be careful if you take the motorway ring-road that you don't end up heading in the wrong direction (clockwise or counter-clockwise). It's happened to a lot of people, including me.
A Bit Different
A Mersey Ferry comes up the Manchester Ship Canal from Liverpool to Salford Quays. I don't know how often this happens, or if it's only by special charter. This one brough fans of St. Helens RLFC for the Cup Final at Old Trafford.
A nice way to do the trip, I think.
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