Sunset from the plane

How to reach Manchester Airport

By Train

Manchester Airport is conveniently connected to Manchester Piccadilly station by train. The service is very frequent (3/4 trains per hour) and fast (about 15-20 minutes), and the ticket is £4.10 (end of 2014). During the night there is a replacement bus that takes little longer (25 minutes), these are the times of the last and first bus of the day:

  • First form Manchester 03.55 -> 04.20
  • Last from Manchester 00.40 -> 01.05
  • First from Airport 04.05 -> 04.30
  • Last from Airport 01.34 -> 01.59

If you’re coming from elsewhere like Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds or York, you might get on the direct rout without having to change in Piccadilly. Visit the National Rail website for timetables and booking tickets. Here’s the full rail network:


By bus or coach

The National Express covers Manchester Airport. There are direct routes from Liverpool (50′), Leeds (2h30′) and Sheffield (2h). If you’re coming from, or going to, York, you will have to change, possibly in Manchester. From Manchester Coach Station to the airport the bus runs quite often and it takes 20-30 minutes, the ticket is £4.10 (end of 2014). If you want to see the full time table or for searching and booking the ticket visit the National Express website .

This is a handy map of the National Express coach network:

Manchester Airport by coach
click to enlarge

If time is not an issue you might want to take the local bus: lines 43, 44, 105 all go to the airport. The bus 43 however offers a night service to and from the airport, so you might have take the scenic route from the moss after all. I created a PDF with the timetable of the night bus 43 that you can download here, for more info about local buses timelines visit the Traveline website.

Sleeping in Manchester Airport

In this case the term “sleeping rough” is rather appropriate. On our way to Iceland we decided to spend the night at the airport rather than having to wake up at 3am. Tragic mistake.

We only found a place to sleep in T2, which means one seat each. At least they were padded but it was difficult to lean the head. I seriously considering sleeping outside in the bushes.
The best place for sleeping is a row or armrest-free seats to the right of the entrance leading to Spar supermarket. Our quiet night was spoilt by the inevitable kid crying and shouting but if you manage to get there in that gap between the last arrivals at about 1am and the first departures at 3am you might get lucky.

This is a map of the whole airport that might come quite handy:

Manchester Airport map


For more info you can leave a comment here below or visit the Manchester Airport website.

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