Free bus: The best new addition for many years are the wonderful Metroshuttle FREE city bus services which operate on three circular routes covering all main city centre areas. 

Service 1 goes from Piccadilly Station in a loop via China Town, King Street, John Dalton Street, Deansgate, Marks and Spencer, Cross Street and back via King Street and China Town once more. 

Service 2 starts at Victoria Station and loops via Deansgate, Deansgate Locks, Oxford Road Station, Deansgate Station, Museum of Science & Industry, Spinningfields, Deansgate, Shudehill and back to Victoria. 

Service 3 runs from Piccadilly station up Portland Street, down Peter Street and Quay Street pas the Opera House, round Chapel Street to Salford Central Station, through Spinningfields, past Albert Square for the Town Hall, round the Gay Village and back to Piccadilly Station.

In other words, the Metroshuttles link all city centre railway stations, the main NCP car parks and many Metrolink bus and tram stops.  Service 1 is every five minutes (ten minutes on Sundays) and Services 2 and 3 every ten minutes.  They operate between 7 am and 7pm from Monday to Saturday and 10am - 6pm on Sunday, but beware the fact that the 3 doesn't run at all on Sundays.

Rail: the city is served by two main rail stations - Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly - which are supported by other stations around the city centre - Oxford Road, Deansgate and Salford Central.  Train enquiries 08457 484950. www.nationalrail.co.uk

Metrolink Rapid Transit System - Trams: provide a link through the centre of Manchester with on street stations around the Piccadilly Gardens area and St Peter's Square.  The trams also run out to Bury in the north, Altrincham in the south and Salford Quays and Eccles in the west.  (Eccles also boasts a huge park and ride site at Ladywell).  Metrolink enquiries 0161 205 2000. www.metrolink.co.uk

Bus: There are two main bus stations: the ridiculously congested Piccadilly Gardens and the gleaming new Shudehill. Piccadilly generally serves the South and East of the city plus a few buses heading west through Salford, while Shudehill handles services to the North.  Like the whole of Britain apart from London, Manchester's bus network is deregulated which means there are several companies operating in the city, often on the same route. Fares vary wildly as some routes attract competition while others are left to the mercy of one operator's monopoly.

Day tickets are generally good value though, and TfGM (the local transport executive  www.tfgm.com) will tell you about the ones that can be used on all bus companies, this is called a SYSTEM ONE ticket, day tickets can be bought from any  bus driver and are valid on any bus operator in the Greater Manchester area, weekly and monthly tickets are also available but for these you would be advised to contact one of TfGM's TRAVELSHOPS, situated on main bus stations.

The TfGM Bus Station Supervisors at Manchester Airport Bus Station are always helpful and can give advice and directions to most places.

A network of night buses operate from Piccadilly Gardens in all directions on Friday and Saturday nights, running to the early hours of the morning.  The buses run from Manchester city centre to most other Greater Manchester town and city centres for a flat rate fare. 

TfGM, are the people to ask about any aspect of public transport in Greater Manchester. They are impartial and will tell you about all available services and tickets. Visit www.tfgm.com or telephone 0161 228 7811 (8am - 8pm). 

 Information and tickets are also available from TfGM Travelshops at main bus stations across Greater Manchester.

TRAVELINE 0871 200 22 33 (call charges will apply)

Airports: Manchester Airport is a 15-30 minute train ride from Piccadilly station in the heart of the city. Trains run every 10 or so minutes through the day and generally hourly-ish overnight.

There are also several bus services to the airport from Piccadilly Gardens, the 43 and the 105 services- the  bus services take up to 60 minutes and the 43 service operates 24 hours per day. 

 Liverpool Airport is easy to get to as well,  from central Manchester to Liverpool Airport:  a  service from Italian company Terravision ( www.lowcostcoach.com).the . Terravision stops at Shudehill Bus Station and near the Coach Station only.