The best way from Manchester Airport to the City Centre


Manchester Airport is on the outskirts of of Manchester – around 14 kilometres from the actual centre. There are plenty of ways to get from the Airport to Centre of town, Manchester Travel Shop will help you decide the best way to get to city centre for you.


Manchester Airport is split into three terminals, but all of them are closely connected to each other and the methods of getting from the Airport to the Centre of Manchester are the same regardless of which Terminal you are flying into or from.


The fastest way from Manchester Airport to the City Centre.


The fastest way to get from Manchester Airport to Manchester City centre is definitely by train.There are frequent trains that run from Manchester Airport Train Station directly to Manchester Piccadilly, the main station in Manchester City Centre.


The Journey time by train from Manchester Airport to Manchester City Centre by train is between 17 and 25 minutes. Some of the service run directly to the centre with no stops, whilst some have a few stops along the way but it doesn’t increase the journey time by much.


There is often a small saving to be had by advance booking your train ticket, however, if your flight is delayed it could mean that you pay again for the next train, so it is best to buy your ticket at the airport when you land.


Tickets can be purchased either from a self service ticket machine before you enter the platform, or via a manned ticket desk. There are ticket barriers and tickets cannot be purchased on the train. Tickets on the Train from Manchester Airport to the City Centre cost around £4.50 if purchased on the day.


The Manchester Airport train station is conveniently located just a short walk from Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 of the airport with the average walking distance time of 15 minutes. It is clearly signposted from all terminals and easy to find.


You can check time tables at – you can also pre purchase tickets via their app. If you are in a rush, you can buy a ticket for the next train via their app once you clear airport security, and scan via the app on the ticket barriers.


On the train platform there is a shop to buy a drink, newspaper etc if you have a wait until your train.


The cheapest way from Manchester Airport to the city centre is by bus.


If you are looking for the most economical way to get from Manchester Airport to the City Centre, then the bus is certainly the cheapest way.


Manchester Travel Shop do not really recommend this way of travelling from the airport, as it can often take a good 90 minutes to get to the centre and buses can be crowded with no place to store your luggage.


The bus station at Manchester Airport is just next to the train station and is clearly signposted from all terminals. The bus that goes from the Airport to Manchester City Centre is the number 43. The bus passes through Wythenshawe before proceeding down Wilmslow road (Didsbury, Fallowfield etc) – this is the student area of Manchester. If you are staying on this bus route then it might be worth your while considering the bus, but otherwise the Train is a much better option.


If you are planning on travelling around Manchester for a week by bus, then you can buy a Stagecoach Megarider for £16.50 for 7 days. If you plan on buying one of these anyway, it might be worth putting up with the longer travel time to the Centre to save money.


Getting the Tram from Manchester Airport to Manchester City Centre


The Manchester Metrolink has expanded significantly over recent years and is generally the best option for exploring the City during your stay. However, the journey time from Manchester Airport to Manchester City Centre is around 75 minutes on a good day. 


The only reason you would take the Metrolink from Manchester Airport, is if you are staying near a stop on the wider metropolitan area with a metrolink stop, or if you plan on buying a weekly Metrolink ticket. The metrolink weekly ticket to cover all zones costs 31.50 for 7 days.


Getting a taxi from Manchester Airport to the City Centre


After you have cleared airport security and exited to the outside area of the terminal, you will find the possibility of booking a taxi to your destination in Manchester or surrounding areas. The fare is fixed and paid in advance saving any arguments or issues.


A taxi from Manchester Airport to the centre is obviously the most expensive option but equally the most comfortable.


There are several private companies that you can call and prebook a service to the centre, including streetcars, – but Manchester airport have introduced a congestion charge and finding your driver if you do not know the airport can be an issue. It is therefore recommended that if you want to take a taxi from Manchester Airport to the city centre that you use the company based at the airport. They might be a quid or two more but it will be a lot easier for you to find and go!


Getting a cheap flight from Manchester Airport

Now that you have found the best way for you to travel from Manchester Airport to Manchester City Centre you might be keen to book a cheap flight? Manchester Travel shop have all the cheapest flights from Manchester Airport. Use our search engine to find cheap flights from and to Manchester to the rest of the world!