Getting to Manchester

Information about travelling to Manchester and the University.

Before you travel

Due to COVID-19, there are currently requirements in place for everyone entering the UK including:

  • providing your journey and contact details in advance of travelling
  • providing proof of a recent negative COVID test
  • quarantining (self-isolating) on arrival

See our travel and visas page for further information. 

Our support

Want to chat with other students? Our group check-in and video chat, hosted by a University of Manchester staff volunteer, will connect you with a group of peers who are in a similar situation. To register your interest on the check in and chat group survey.

The Students Union are also running a buddy scheme to help students support each other.

Getting to Manchester 

Maps and travel advice

Our maps and travel advice will help you make your way to and around the University. Please note that face coverings must be worn on public transport in the UK.

Travel from Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport is located just 14 kilometres south of the city centre and is about 20 minutes away by car. If you're making your own way from the airport the easiest way to get to your accommodation will be by taxi, especially if you have a lot of luggage. Your driver can take you to exactly where you need to go and you won’t have to worry about finding your way around as soon as you arrive. It's likely to cost £25-£35 to get to University accommodation, depending on how much traffic there is and how much luggage you have.

As you arrive in the arrivals Hall look out for the signage for “Taxis” and you will see ranks of Black cab taxis outside each of the terminals.  Alternatively you can book with Streetcars. The details can be found on the Airport website.

Welcome service

This year we're offering an airport welcome service via our Virtual Helpdesk to all our new students arriving for Semester 2. This service has been designed to make sure that we're able to support you with every part of your journey from your home country, to your student accommodation in Manchester in a safe way.

The Virtual Helpdesk support

We understand that there are many factors that will affect when you're ready and able to join us in Semester 2. We’ll be operating the virtual helpdesk from 0600 – 2200 GMT every day from Saturday 9 January - Sunday 7 February 2021. This means that you can message us when you set off from your home and then we'll be available for each step of your journey on live chat. You'll be able to keep in touch with us using SLACK (WeChat will also be available if needed), so you can tell us where you are and what’s happening so that we're up to date with your flight. When you land you can message us on SLACK and we can talk you through what you need to do and where you need to go. Finally, we'll be available during your taxi journey and will check in to make sure you've arrived safely.

The virtual helpdesk is staffed by student ambassadors who have made the same journey as you, are familiar with the airport, the city and the University and will be supported by senior staff members. We want you to feel confident in the support the team can provide, so please do keep us updated with your plans and progress. If of course you need to get in touch with us outside of the Virtual Helpdesk hours of service, we will come back to you as soon as the team are back on shift.

Arrival information form

In order to help us make this process work, we're asking you to use our arrival information form, so we can see when you’ll be arriving. You will see that the form asks you for your social media contacts, this is to enable our Helpdesk Team to get in touch. If you don’t want to receive this help via social media, then just leave these fields blank.

Once you have completed the online arrival information form you will receive an automatic response so you know that we have your details. We will then be in touch with you by email from the week beginning Monday 4 January 2021 and make sure you have all the details you need to access SLACK and be ready to keep in touch with us from Saturday 9 January 0600 GMT, when the Virtual Helpdesk goes live.

If you are arriving outside of the times of the Virtual Helpdesk service, please follow the information provided above about how to travel from the Airport.

Complete the form

We are anticipating the offer of Hainan Airlines flights for students arriving from China; arrival support for those flights will be provided separately and you will be contacted once your Hainan flight booking has been made. 

Please read the government advice for people arriving in the UK and the Public Health England advice which we're following. 

You can also see what changes our partners at the airport have been making to cope with the current situation. 

Please also note, the University will be closed from 18 December – 4 January inclusive for the Christmas and New Year break. If you do require any urgent help during this time, take a look at our Christmas Support web pages and go to “Applicants and offer-holders frequently asked questions”:

Travel from airports other than Manchester

If you are flying to the UK we advise you to fly directly to Manchester. There are flights to Manchester Airport from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Southend and London City Airports. You can also find flights to Manchester from other major European cities. If you are flying into London and transferring to another flight, remember to allow yourself enough time to get to your connection.

Arriving at a London airport and continuing to Manchester by coach

If you arrive in London by plane and are going to Manchester by coach, in most cases you will first have to travel by underground train (tube) to Victoria coach station in the centre of London. You should be aware that most tube stations don't have lifts and some have lots of stairs. As well as this, space on trains can be limited and services are often very busy, especially in central London.

If you decide to fly into London Heathrow and travel to Manchester by coach, there are some direct services. The journey takes around six hours, but can be longer depending on traffic. The two most popular coach services in the UK are National Express and Megabus.

Manchester has two main city centre coach stations, Manchester Central on Chorlton Street and Shudehill Interchange.

If you decide to travel via London, remember to allow yourself enough time to collect your luggage, pass through immigration and travel across the city.

Information on transport in the London area can be found on the Transport for London website.

Arriving at a London airport and continuing to Manchester by train

Trains from London to Manchester leave from Euston Station in central London. The quickest way to get here from any of the London airports is to take the tube (underground train). Again, we strongly advise against travelling through London on the underground with lots of luggage because of the difficulty of navigating tube stations, which don't usually have lifts, and busy tube services with limited space.

Remember to allow yourself enough time to collect your luggage, pass through immigration and travel across London.

Information on transport in the London area can be found on the Transport for London website.

Manchester has three main train stations: Piccadilly, Victoria and Oxford Road. The train from London Euston arrives at Piccadilly and usually takes just over two hours. You can find information on train times and book train tickets on the National Rail website or on Trainline. The cost of train tickets vary from around £25 to over £100 depending on the day, how far in advance you are booking, and the time of travel.

Getting around campus

The University is located on the south side of Manchester city centre. You can find your way around our campus using our interactive map. All of our buildings are in the same general area of the city and are within easy walking distance of each other, making getting around our campus simple. There are regular shuttle buses to pick up and drop off students at various points around the campus. These are also highlighted on the campus map.