Manchester Airport is roughly 15 kilometres south of the city. If you’re headed to the centre, your best options are the Stagecoach bus 43, the train to Piccadilly or a taxi ride (which usually doesn’t cost more than £20 when booked ahead of time). For time-sensitive travellers, allow 30 minutes for the taxi ride or 20 minutes for the train.
Manchester is extremely well connected, with regular bus, tram and train services. There are several bus operators, with Stagecoach being by far the most prominent and dependable. Timetables and route maps for the different services are posted at bus stops; alternatively, plan your journey beforehand on the Transport for Greater Manchester site. Single journeys typically cost £2–£3; get a System One travel card (for multiple operators) or a Megarider bus pass (Stagecoach) if you’re staying for a week or more. When in the centre, don’t overlook the free Metroshuttle bus service that stops at key points around the city.
Hailing a black cab can be expensive but convenient when you’re pressed for time; you’ll find stands dotted around the centre. If you can wait, book a car from a private firm, which will have set rates depending on the distance. You can find contact details online or simply ask at the nearest bar, restaurant or hotel for a reliable firm. (Street Cars, which has the largest fleet, is a safe bet.