Manchester is home to a wide extent of public transport, all easy to use and can get you from one side of the city to the other. But when you’re first moving to the city, it can be a little daunting at first. While Uber may seem like a good way to get around at first, it costs a lot and can slowly drain away your money. The public transport in Manchester is cheaper and often more time effective, so here is our guide to Manchester’s public transport.


The trams are one of the quickest and easiest transports in Manchester to use. Running from Altrincham to Rochdale, the trams run across the whole city. With a really easy tap in and tap out system, it’s one of the quickest and easiest transport systems to use.

A guide to Manchester public transport
Source: Unsplash

To pay for the tram, all you have to do is tap in at one of the scanners at the beginning and at the end of your journey, make sure to use the same card. If you are changing trams, don’t tap out until you get to where you want to go.  You can use any card, apple pay or google pay. Alternatively, you can pay for a ticket at the ticket booths at the tram station. Tickets range from £1.40 to £4.30 for an off-peak adult day ticket. This is dependent on the zones you want to travel to, the further out of the centre you go, the more the tram will cost, to break it down.

Generally, the trams run every 12 minutes, but this can change depending on public holidays. Most tram services run from 6 am to 12 am from Monday to Saturday, and from 7 am to 12 am. Some trams don’t run on a Sunday but similar services will run so you can always get to your destination.


Manchester has two main train stations, Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria. You can catch trains to pretty much anywhere, including Liverpool, Leeds, London, Newcastle and so many other cities and towns. These train stations are easy to get to, as there are trams to both Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria. There are smaller train stations across the city, such as Oxford Road and Deansgate, which can take you to many different destinations without being as busy.

A guide to Manchester Public Transport
Source: Networkrail

Don’t forget to get a rail card to get 25% off. They cost £20-£30 but can save you so much more if you regularly use trains.


The buses are one of the most efficient ways to get around Manchester. Piccadilly gardens and Shudehill are two of the main places to catch buses around the whole city. You can pay for the fare, on the bus with cash or a card. You can get a single or day pass depending on how many buses you’re planning on taking. There are also free buses that go around the city centre, that run regularly to Manchester Victoria to Manchester Piccadilly, and more stops.

A guide Manchester public transport
Source: Visit Manchester

There are over 100 routes throughout Manchester, so you can go from Trafford Centre to Rochdale all by bus. There are many different bus companies too, so if you’re travelling across several buses it’s a good idea to consider the System One passes. It’s also worth checking out the different bus websites such as Arriva, Stagecoach, and Go North West, to see what student passes they have, as some have day/week or even month passes.

General tips for Public Transport in Manchester

Make sure to check for events around the city. Football games, for example, can make the trams and buses a lot busier. Similarly, check out who is performing at the O2, Etihad or AO Arena.

Manchester Metrolink sometimes makes announcements for delays, so planning ahead can be useful here to make sure there are no delays or cancellations. Likewise, it’s worth getting to the tram stop earlier, just in case there is a delay on the trams.

All the tram stops and trams are wheelchair accessible. Most buses similarly have wheelchair accessibility.