Cheap train tickets to Manchester

Manchester – a city which has more to it than people may first think. Perhaps the most well-known of these are its two major football teams, Manchester City and Manchester United, both of which are popular the world over. There’s so much more, though. A pivotal role in the Industrial Revolution, a very successful music scene, major scientific discoveries, its political & social influence, transport connections, its burgeoning media base, and more. If you’ve ever wanted to go to Manchester, then please read our guide on how to get the best-value tickets, as well as more information on the city.

Cheap train tickets to Manchester
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Manchester is well-connected to the rest of the country, with direct trains from destinations such as London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, York, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Southampton. There are also some perhaps slightly more unexpected routes, such as Norwich, Llandudno, Carmarthen, and Milford Haven. It’s also worth mentioning Manchester Airport, which is also well-connected to the rest of the UK, and could be useful if you’re planning on visiting from abroad. Even if you’re intending to travel elsewhere in the UK, we’d encourage you to visit Manchester by rail on your travels to see what the city has to offer.

Getting around Manchester itself is relatively simple. The Metrolink tram network has several services across the city centre and into the suburbs, with many journeys only requiring one change. Buying Metrolink tickets is simple – there are ticket machines at each station. You can also tap in and out using a contactless card or mobile device in much the same way as you would in London, which can save the queues at ticket machines, plus it can also help the environment by avoiding the need for printed tickets.

Train tickets to Manchester
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You’ll more than likely want to make sure you can get the best-value tickets possible. This can include booking in advance, using a Railcard if you have one, travelling outside peak times, and – of course – splitting tickets via our website. If you’d like further information on any of these, please get in touch, and we’ll do what we can to assist you. We do have a comprehensive guide on the booking process, which we hope will be very useful, and we’ve covered some of the main points below.

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Unlocking the Best-Value Tickets and City Secrets


If you don’t have a Railcard, then it can be worth looking in to getting one. There are many different types, and most will offer about a third off the price of most fares. If you’re planning on making a lot of journeys, or are travelling a long way, then it’s worth investigating – it may not take much effort for the Railcard to pay for itself through making your tickets even cheaper.

Booking in advance and split tickets

It may seem somewhat obvious, but booking in advance can really help you save money over the standard fare. For example, a direct train from London to Manchester booked on the day can cost £184.70, which is the most expensive standard-class single fare from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly we can find. This can be cut to £37 if booking eight weeks in advance. Splitting tickets can reduce this even further – an example on our website took the price down to £27.30.

Travel off-peak

Travelling in the busiest times, such as during rush hours, can inflate prices. As an example, if we have a journey from London to Manchester booked eight weeks in advance during the evening peak, this can cost £40. If booked on the day of travel with no split tickets, this can go up to £184.70. The most expensive off-peak/super off-peak single fare we can find is £96.40, and this can be reduced even further. It pays to travel off-peak where possible.

If you have any other questions, then our FAQ section can be a good place to start. If your question doesn’t appear there, then feel free to get in touch with our customer service team.

So just what is there to do in Manchester? As mentioned earlier on, there’s quite a lot in the city itself, and options for scenic days out just a short train ride away.

Manchester - More Than Meets the Eye


Perhaps Manchester’s most famous sport is football, with two highly-popular Premier League teams – Manchester United and Manchester City. The rivalry between them is one of the most hotly contested in English football, and indeed in the world. Whether you want to tour either of the two stadia, attend a match, or just visit the club’s stores, access to either ground is relatively straightforward.

Train tickets to Manchester
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For Old Trafford, the closest Metrolink stops are Old Trafford and Wharfside, with Media City being a short walk away. For the Etihad Stadium, the closest Metrolink stop is Etihad Campus.


Manchester has had a thriving music scene for many years. Its exports include big names such as Oasis, the Bee Gees, Joy Division, New Order, the Stone Roses, the Happy Mondays, and many more. There are numerous venues across the city, with two of the most famous being Manchester Arena (located above Manchester Victoria station, and it also hosts a plethora of other events) and Manchester Academy (located on the University of Manchester’s main campus). Currently under construction is the Co-op Live Arena, located near the Etihad Stadium, which is set to become the UK’s biggest indoor arena once completed. With plenty of rail travel options to get to Manchester, why not extend your stay in Manchester for a music event into a mini-break?


There’s a lot of history to Manchester and the surrounding area, including its history of social justice. The Co-operative Group was founded in Manchester in 1863, and its roots can be traced to nearby Rochdale in 1844. The city has history dating back to Roman times, and grew massively during the Industrial Revolution thanks to textile manufacturing. Manchester Museum recently reopened after a major refurbishment. Located on Oxford Road and owned by the University of Manchester, it’s home to about 4.5 million objects across many collections, including archaeology, botany, zoology, and more.

Transport & Science

There’s also a history with transport – Manchester is host to the terminus of the world’s first inter-city passenger railway that ran to Liverpool, which was appropriately named Liverpool Road. The station itself closed to passengers in 1844, and the site is now used by the Science & Industry Museum. The Science & Industry Museum has exhibits on transport, power, Manchester’s industrial past, and scientific discoveries from Manchester & the rest of the UK. Perhaps one of the most important scientific discoveries to have happened in Manchester was back in 1917 when Ernest Rutherford managed to split the atom.

Split tickets to Manchester
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Days out

If you fancy a more scenic day out, then Manchester’s a decent location to base yourself. The Peak District is to the east of the city, and is within easy reach by train. As one example, Buxton is a delightful town just over an hour from Manchester Piccadilly known for its spring water, Pavilion Gardens, and large number of historic buildings. Advance Single fares from Manchester can cost as little as £5 each way, and a flexible Day Return ticket is from £12.70. Another option is the city of Chester, with its well-preserved city walls and large number & variety of listed buildings. It takes roughly 90 minutes to get to Chester directly from Manchester. The cheapest tickets start from £6 for an Advance Single and £13.30 for a flexible Day Return.

There are many more things to like about Manchester, with the Northern Quarter containing a wide variety of restaurants, and a wide variety of shops in the Arndale Centre & the rest of the city. For shopping, there’s also the Trafford Centre, which takes 17 minutes by tram from Cornbrook. If you have any questions about getting to Manchester, then please contact us, and we’ll do what we can to assist you. If you decide to visit Manchester after reading this, then we hope you have a very pleasant time in the city.

Rail tickets to Manchester
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Top Tips for Saving Money on Train Travel to Manchester

Book in advance

One of the top ways to save money on train travel to Manchester is by booking your tickets in advance. The earlier you book, the more likely you are to secure a cheaper fare. Take advantage of discounted Advance Purchase tickets and plan your journey ahead of time.

Split your tickets

Trainsplit, a leading online platform, specialises in finding cheaper alternative journeys through split ticketing. Instead of purchasing a single ticket, consider exploring split ticketing options for different legs of your journey. By comparing prices and utilising tools like Trainsplit, you can easily discover the best split ticketing combinations that maximise savings. Don't miss out on the opportunity to save money – give split ticketing a try with Trainsplit and see how it can make your journey more affordable.

Use a Railcard

If you're eligible for a Railcard, it can significantly reduce the price of your train ticket. Railcards offer a third off the fare and are available for various groups, including students, seniors, and families. Invest in a Railcard that suits your circumstances and enjoy the savings on every trip to Manchester.

Travel off-peak

Consider traveling outside of peak hours to secure cheaper tickets. Off-peak train fares are often more affordable than those during busy commuting times. Check the specific off-peak hours for your route and plan your journey accordingly to save money.

Consider a slower, alternative route

When searching for the best fare, it's essential not to limit yourself to a single train company. Trainsplit specialises in finding cheaper alternative journeys that could save you money. By exploring different options, comparing prices, and considering alternative train companies for your trip to Manchester, you open up opportunities for significant savings. Don't underestimate the potential benefits of exploring different options and finding the most budget-friendly solution for your journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Remember, if you have any questions about train travel or need assistance, feel free to reach out to our team. We're here to help you plan a memorable journey.

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