Manchester Airport is situated 14km (8.6 miles) south-west of Manchester city centre. In addition to taxis, a regular train service operates between Manchester Airport and Manchester city centre (Manchester Piccadilly and Oxford Road train stations), with trains running on average every 10 minutes and with the average journey time of 20 minutes.
Getting from the Airport to the City Centre by train
A single (one-way) ticket from Manchester Airport to Piccadilly or Oxford Road costs around £5.00 during peak travel hours. It is always better in the UK to buy a return ticket as they are nearly always the same price as a single.
The train station is located in the airport. Train services run frequently 7 days a week through national train operators ‘TransPennine Express’ and ‘Northern Rail’ and this is the fastest way to reach city centre.
From Manchester Piccadilly and Oxford Road train stations, you can easily reach the University Place (the conference venue) – approximately 10 minutes on foot from Oxford Road train station and 20 minutes on foot from Piccadilly train station. A word of warning – if you are using a GPS to look for the University, it will not help if you put in the University’s postcode and it is advisable to use the campus map.
Getting from the Airport to the City Centre by taxi or car
A car journey to most city-centre locations from the airport, including the venue, will take around 25 to 30 minutes and is likely to cost between £25 and £40 by taxi. The train is probably preferable unless you have mobility needs or heavy bags.
Note the distinction between two varieties of taxi in the UK: true taxis (‘black cabs’, ‘Hackney cabs’), available for immediate hire, and private hire vehicles (‘minicabs’), which must be pre-booked by telephone. Manchester Airport offers an uncomplicated booking service on arrival. Private hires are generally cheaper, but you may have to wait for your car. You can hire a black cab straight away from the rank outside the terminal building. They can all give receipts for business travellers.
Getting from the Airport to the City Centre by Airport Shuttle
Some of the larger hotels offer shuttle services from the Airport, but we cannot advise on this. Please check directly with the hotel you have booked.
Getting from the Airport to the City Centre by Bus
The number 43 bus is a 24-hour service running directly from the Airport to a range of city-centre locations. Few travellers use it for this journey though, as it is much slower than the train (around 65 minutes) and only slightly cheaper.
Visitors with an amateur or professional interest in the history of urban and suburban change may, however, be interested to approach Manchester this way. You will pass, in sequence, through a section of flat Cheshire farming country; the vast twentieth-century social housing scheme of Wythenshawe, laid out as a “garden suburb”; the Sharston industrial estate; West Didsbury, a leafy commuter suburb; Fallowfield, dominated by University students; the largely South Asian district of Rusholme; and the zoned modular concentration of the city’s hospitals and universities.
All buses leave from the Airport’s combined bus, train and coach station signposted as “The Station”. For bus services from the Airport to other locations in the area, see the Manchester Airport bus advice page.
By Rail within the UK
Manchester has four key railway stations, the principal one being Manchester Piccadilly, which is the fourth busiest station in the United Kingdom outside London and is located very closely to the University of Manchester Campus. Regular direct services run between Manchester Piccadilly and most of the other major cities in the Great Britain (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham) including the service to/from London (Euston) that runs every 20 minutes and with a travel time of just over 2 hours. Further information regarding timetables can be found at National Rail.