The most central Manchester hospitals with 24-hour Accident & Emergency departments are listed below. The UK number for police, fire and ambulance is 999.
Manchester Royal Infirmary
Oxford Road, M13 9WL (276 1234). Bus 15, 16, 41-44, 46, 47, 50, 53, 111, 130, 140-143, 145, 147, 157, 191, 197, or Oxford Road rail.
North Manchester General Hospital
Delauneys Road, Crumpsall, M8 5RB (795 4567). Bus 51, 52, 88, 89, 115, 118, 149, 151, 156, 294, or Crumpsall rail.
Stott Lane, Salford, M6 8HD (789 7373). Metrolink Ladywell, or bus 10, 33, 55, 63, 67, 70, 71, 100, 484, or Eccles rail.
American Express 01273 696933
Diners Club 01252 513500
MasterCard/Eurocard 0800 964767
Visa/Connect 0800 895082
For allowances, see www.hmrc.gov.uk.
University Dental Hospital
Higher Cambridge Street, M15 6FH (275 6666, 0845 601 8529 out of hours). Bus 15, 16, 41-44, 46-48, 53, 85, 86, 99, 101, 104, 108, 109, 111, 140-143, 145, 147, 157, 191, 197, 250, 253, 263, 290, 291, or Oxford Road rail. Open 8.30am-4.30pm Mon-Fri.
A limited number of patients can be seen (on a first-come, first-served basis).
The majority of buses and trains have disabled access. Metrolink stations are equipped with ramps, lifts or escalators and most platforms have modified edges to help visually impaired travellers. The www.manchester.gov.uk website lists hotels, restaurants, attractions and shops in the city that comply with most access requirements. Shopmobility (839 4060), at the Arndale Centre, provides mobility aids and information for people with physical disabilities.
The UK uses the standard European 220-240V, 50 cycle AC voltage via three-pin plugs.
Contact the relevant embassy or consulate in London:
Australian High Commission
020 7379 4334, www.uk.embassy.gov.au
020 7499 9000, www.usembassy.org.uk
Canadian High Commission
020 7258 6600, www.canada.org.uk
020 7235 2171, www.dfa.ie
New Zealand High Commission
020 7930 8422, www.nzembassy.com
South African High Commission
020 7451 7299, http://southafricahouseuk.com
An explosion of free and paid-for Wi-Fi access in cafés, bars and hotels means that dedicated City Centre internet cafés are few and far between. Most public libraries do, however, have terminals. Free Wi-Fi is also available at:
70 Oxford Street, M1 5NH (200 1500, www.cornerhouse.org). Metrolink St Peter’s Square, or City Centre buses, or Oxford Road rail. Open Bar 9.30am-11pm Mon-Thur; 9.30am-midnight Fri-Sat; 11am-10.30pm Sun.
Waterstone’s, Arndale Centre, M4 3AQ (839 4732, www.costa.co.uk). Metrolink Market Street, or City Centre buses, or Victoria rail. Open 9am-8pm Mon-Fri; 11am-5pm Sat, Sun.
Carver’s Warehouse, 77 Dale Street, M1 2HG (236 3043, www.anoutlet.net). Metrolink Piccadilly Station, or City Centre buses, or Piccadilly rail. Open 8am-5pm Mon-Fri; 11am-5am Sat.
9am-4.30pm (some close at 3.30pm, some 5.30pm) Mon-Fri; sometimes also Saturday mornings.
Normally open from 9am to 5pm Mon-Fri.
10am-6pm Mon-Fri, but many stores now open until 8pm. Most shops in the City Centre are open on Sunday, either from 11am to 5pm or noon to 6pm.
Britain’s best-known pharmacy chain is Boots, with branches in the City Centre and most of the surrounding town centres. The main branch in Manchester is on Market Street, open until 8pm (5pm on Sun). There are no 24-hour pharmacies in Manchester, but a handful are open late. A&A Pharmacy (58 Wilmslow Road, Rusholme, 224 8501) is open until 10.30pm (10pm on Sun) and is just a few minutes out of the City Centre on the 42 bus.
Call 999 in an emergency and ask for the police, or call 872 5050 for non-emergencies. The main police station is on Bootle Street, but all suburbs are served by a local neighbourhood station. Call Directory Enquiries for details (118 118/500/888) or visit the Greater Manchester Police website at www.gmp.police.uk.
Bootle Street Police Station
Bootle Street, Manchester, M2 5GU (872 5050). Metrolink St Peter’s Square, or City Centre buses, or Oxford Road rail.
Post offices are usually open 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday and 9am to noon Saturday.
Manchester Post Office
26 Spring Gardens, M2 1BB (0845 722 3344). Metrolink Market Street, or City Centre buses, or Piccadilly rail.
Manchester is generally a safe city to visit. Visitors should remain vigilant in crowded areas – buses, busy streets, train stations – for petty criminals. Keep your valuables in your hotel room or safe and make sure the cash and cards you carry are tucked away in your bag.
Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public places, including bars, restaurants and stations.
The dialling code for Manchester, Greater Manchester, Salford and Stockport is 0161.
If you’re dialling from outside the UK, dial your international access code, then the UK code (44), then the full number omitting the first 0 from the code. To dial abroad from the UK, first dial 00, then the country code.
US mobile phones will operate in the UK only if they are equipped with tri- or quad-band facility.
Public payphones take coins or credit cards. The minimum cost is 20p. International calling cards offering bargain minutes via a freephone number are widely available from newsagents.
The main venues in Manchester sell their tickets through third parties. (Note that there’s normally a booking fee involved.)
Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.co.uk, 0844 844 0444) and Ticketweb (www.ticketweb.co.uk, 0844 477 1000) have tickets for the major theatres and venues in the centre. Quay Tickets (www.quaytickets.com, 0843 208 0500) also represents a good number of venues. Small, independent places generally sell tickets from their own box office or through promoters.
Manchester operates on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of North American Eastern Standard Time.
In spring, the UK puts its clocks forward by one hour to British Summer Time. In autumn, clocks go back by one hour to GMT.
You should tip in taxis, minicabs, restaurants, hotels, hairdressers and some bars (not pubs). Ten per cent is normal; note that some restaurants add on a service charge of up to 15 per cent.
Manchester’s main tourist office is at Piccadilly Gardens, and offers a wide variety of information on accommodation and sights and more general details on Manchester and the surrounding suburbs. Stockport and Salford have their own centres.
Manchester Visitor Information Centre
Piccadilly Plaza, Portland Street, M1 4BT (0871 222 8223, www.visitmanchester.com). Metrolink St Peter’s Square, or City Centre buses, or Oxford Road rail.
Stockport Tourist Information
Staircase House, 30-31 Market Place, Stockport, SK1 1ES (474 4444, www.visit-stockport.com). Stockport Bus Station buses, or Stockport rail.
Salford Information Centre Lowry
Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ (848 8601, www.visitsalford.info). Metrolink Media City, or bus 69, 290, 291.
EU citizens do not require a visa to visit the UK; citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand need only a passport for tourist visits. Check current status on www.ukvisas.gov.uk well before you travel.