Things have moved on since Manchester's first horse trams in 1877. Today, Manchester Metrolink is the UK’s largest light rail network, with 93 stops on seven lines travelling in and out of Manchester city centre. The termini are Altrincham, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bury, East Didsbury, Eccles, Manchester Airport and Rochdale. You can take a tram for free in the city zone if you’ve bought a train ticket from any Greater Manchester station to Piccadilly, Victoria, Oxford Road or Deansgate. And you can use the tram at peak times with an off-peak train ticket, as peak time fares don’t apply to Metrolink.
Manchester has a great value bike hire scheme called Bike & Go, which is a handy way to get around – especially if you’re arriving in the city by train. You can hire a bike at Oxford Road Station for a daily fixed charge of just £3.80. You can then take it anywhere and keep it all day, so there’s no need to worry about fees mounting up while you hunt for a free docking station. There’s an annual subscription charge of £10 - which again is pretty low - and you’re good to go! While Oxford Road is the only city centre station to offer Bike & Go in Manchester, you’ll also find the scheme at Altrincham, Wilmslow and Knutsford train stations.
Manchester runs a free city centre bus linking all the main train stations, shopping centres, car parks and tram stops. Metroshuttle has three routes going from Piccadilly, Victoria, Oxford Road, Deansgate and Salford Central stations, and you can hop on and off as often as you like.
If you’re making a night of it, Manchester runs a late night bus service on Friday and Saturday nights until around 3.30am. Night buses run regularly from Piccadilly Gardens, Shudehill Interchange and other city centre stops, with fares of £3 or less.
Manchester has four main train stations in the city centre - Piccadilly, Victoria, Oxford Road and Deansgate - with most services running to or through Piccadilly or Victoria. You can find out about rail travel times and fares on the National Rail website.