One of United Kingdom’s largest airports, Manchester Airport serves as the international gateway to Northern England. The airport operates with more than 100 airlines offering direct flights to over 225 destinations globally. The structure of the airport and its amenities include three terminals, two runways, 42 air bridges, 254 check-in counters and over 500 washrooms and 940 information screens (as of 2014).
At the Manchester Airport, travellers can enjoy a variety of more than 120 retail and food options. There are seven hotels situated at the airport, just minutes away from the terminals. These hotels, rated three to four stars, are complete with facilities like restaurants, swimming pools, free wifi and more.
Fun fact: Manchester Airport has a Runway Visitor Park featuring a retired aircraft, which had been used as a filming location for blockbuster movies like The Wedding Video. Fashion labels and music videos by pop artists have also been filmed and photographed there.
Travellers can easily get to Manchester City Centre, Piccadilly, from the Manchester Airport using the extensive Manchester Rail Network. Manchester Piccadilly is a national station connected to major stations like Birmingham New Street, Bristol Temple Meads, Edinburgh Waverley, Glasgow Central, Leeds, Liverpool Lime Street and Reading, making travelling to other parts of the United Kingdom hassle-free. Other than Piccadilly, Victoria is also a key railway station in Manchester, serving rail routes throughout Northern England.
Besides the railway system, the developed Metrolink system ensures other parts of Manchester are accessible by tram. The Metrolink is one of the most popular ways to get around. Presently, it operates on six lines branching out from the city centre. Expansion of the South Manchester line to include a direct link to Manchester Airport is currently in progress, due to be fully open in 2016.
Apart from the Metrolink, bus services are available as well. Otherwise, flag a taxi, rent a car or hire a chauffeur for easy travel.
Within the city centre, free Metroshuttle buses connect the main rail stations to various places of interest. Cycling is also a feasible way to get around – simply rent a bike from shops around the city such as the Brompton Bike dock at Piccadilly Train Station.
What to See & Do
Manchester is an urban city pulsing with social and sporting activity. Must-visit tourist attractions, located near the airport, are easily reached via Metrolink trams.
For true Manchester United fans, taking the Museum and Stadium tour at Old Trafford is mandatory. On the other spectrum, fans of Manchester City Football Club should visit the City of Manchester Stadium instead. Additionally, the National Football Museum, which showcases exhibitions of FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) and the Football Association, is a must-visit for football fans.
Travellers interested in shopping can visit the famed Manchester Markets, a collection of specialist stalls held throughout the year, and the Arndale Centre, a go-to place for shopping with more than 200 shops and large department stores. The Arndale Centre also offers an array of restaurants and fast food outlets.
The People’s History Museum, Whitworth Art Gallery and Lowry Arts Centre at Saiford Quays are just a few of the many sites rich in art and heritage. Participate in cultural festivals like the bi-annual Manchester International Festival, and Manchester’s buzzing nightlife to get a feel of its lively culture.
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Airports near Manchester
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