Updated January 2021
The Manchester United Tour is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Manchester. It’s not surprising as the football team is world famous – we have had people call ‘Man Utd’ to us in Russia, Mongolia and Costa Rica!
The Manchester United Tour at Old Trafford
Where is Old Trafford?
The tour is also called the ‘Old Trafford Tour’, named after the suburb south-west of Manchester city centre in which the team’s home stadium is found.
The Old Trafford football stadium should not be confused with the Old Trafford cricket stadium (sometimes called Emirates Old Trafford) which is a ten-minute walk from the home of Manchester United.
How to get to Old Trafford?
The easiest way to visit Old Trafford football stadium is to catch the Metrolink tram from Manchester city centre to Old Trafford tram stop. From here, it is ten-minute signposted walk to the football stadium.
You will need a zone 1 – 2 ticket if travelling to and from the city centre and tickets can be bought from machines on the station platforms.
Alternatively, Old Trafford is a 30 minute drive from Manchester city centre. Fee paying parking available at the stadium.
Or you can catch a bus to Old Trafford – check out the Greater Manchester transport guide for up to date routes and timetables.
You cannot access Old Trafford by train. Trains only stop at the stadium on match days.
What is the Manchester United Stadium Tour?
Old Trafford stadium is the biggest club football stadium in the United Kingdom with a capacity of 76,000. The historic stadium has been Manchester United’s home ground since 1909 and was extensively rebuilt after sustaining significant bomb damage during World War Two.
The Manchester United Stadium Tour is not self guided; the group tours are led by a guide and last for approximately 80 minutes. Visitors get to see different locations and viewpoints around and inside the stadium including the players dressing room, press room and the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand. There is also a museum dedicated to the team and a shop on site.
Manchester United Tour tickets
Old Trafford tour tickets are available online in advance; you will need to choose a date and a time slot for your visit.
The tours sell out quickly for weekends and peak season days and are not available on match days.
Tour upgrade options include an ex-Manchester United player as your tour guide or a trip on a Manchester canal barge.
Manchester United Tour prices
Tour tickets include the stadium tour and access to the excellent Manchester United Museum.
Groups of 4 – 8 people get a 15% discount online and all tickets are valid for one year after your initial visit should you wish to visit again.
Current 2020 prices are £25 for adults and £15 for children.
If you travel to Manchester by train, the Old Trafford tour is included in the 2 for 1 Go by Train offer but both the voucher and your tour must be booked in advance. Simply show your relevant train tickets when you collect your tour tickets at the stadium.
We saved £25 on our Manchester United Stadium tour tickets by travelling to Manchester by train.
Manchester United Museum
The museum can only be accessed as part of a tour ticket.
Make sure you leave enough time to visit the museum before your chosen tour starts as you cannot retrace your steps after the tour has finished. The museum was bigger than we expected it to be (it has two levels) and we would have liked more time than we had.
On the first floor, there is a sparkling trophy room and a room charting historic European wins.
There is also a sombre and moving section on the Munich air disaster.
On the lower level, there is display of football shirts through the years and profiles of past Manchester United players.
The museum is colourful and engagingly presented but due to limited space, there are only a couple of small, interactive exhibits for children. There is a lot of reading required but dedicated Manchester United fans will love the museum. My small fan loved it and soaked up every photo and piece of information.
Manchester United Stadium Tour
The tour begins on the lower level of the museum where your timed ticket is checked. Non English speakers can pick up an audio guide here. My son was delighted that he was allowed to keep his Man Utd lanyard. Bonus!
The tour visits the stadium’s public areas as well as private areas. You will see places familiar from television as well as places with restricted access such as the players dressing room.
There are a lot of stairs and steps on the tour and sadly, visitors are not allowed to touch or walk onto the hallowed pitch.
Sir Alex Ferguson Stand
First stop is the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand named in honour of the Scotsman who was the manager of Manchester United for 25 years.
It is the largest stand in the stadium with three tiers and a capacity for 26,000 people.
Corner Pitch view
This corner of the stadium is used by wheelchair users on match days. The terrace provides fantastic views of the stadium and you are given plenty of time to take panoramic photos (and spend time day dreaming of future glory).
The tour then moves inside the stadium to the surprisingly small Press Room where pre and post-match interviews are recorded in front of the media. There are only 60 seats in this room so large press events – such as new player signings – are held at the team training ground.
Everyone on our tour was excited to see the players’ dressing room with the current teams’ shirts hanging in their individual stalls.
My son’s day was made when a security guard pulled my son’s favourite player’s shirt off the wall for him to take a photo with!
The players’ tunnel at Old Trafford unusually enters onto the corner of the pitch, not into the middle of it.
Our tour group divided into two lines and, to accompanying Premier League music, we walked down the players’ tunnel. For a non football fan like me, this was impressive and I think this was my son’s favourite part of the tour.
The Dug Out
You can see the pristine condition of the Old Trafford pitch as you walk alongside it to the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand.
The enormous pitch is gently rounded to allow for surface runoff and hides a network of pipes underneath it that creates an effective, underground heating system.
The pitch costs a staggering £1 million and lasts for ten years. It is 97% grass with 3% nylon weaved into the grass to prevent churning and damage to the surface.
At the dug out, you are allowed to sit in the managers and players seats above the old players’ tunnel, which is the only surviving part of the original 1910 stadium.
The Sir Bobby Charlton Stand is the smallest stand in the stadium with just a single tier but houses the VIP seats and suites as well as the media centre.
The tour ends all too quickly at the entrance to the Munich Tunnel, above which a clock displays the exact time of the Munich air disaster.
Manchester United Tour tips
Arrive on time for your tour; the tours run every ten minutes and your allocated tour group will not wait for you.
Leave enough time to explore the Old Trafford Museum before your tour starts as you cannot visit the museum after your tour.
If you want to visit the official Manchester United shop/megastore, book a tour for early in the day or visit the shop before your tour time. Some tours start after the shop has closed and you cannot gain access after your tour.
Tours last approximately 80 minutes but our tour lasted only one hour. It was one of the last tours of the day so maybe an earlier tour would have lasted longer?
Take the Old Trafford Tour at off-peak and mid-week times – weekends are busy. Our Saturday afternoon tour group had 45 people. With so many people it took time to move around, people talked over the tour guide’s narration and we had to wait for people taking photos before we could move on as a group.
You can go to the toilet on the tour but the whole tour will wait for you whilst you go; to avoid embarrassment, go to the toilet before your tour begins!
My Manchester United Stadium Tour review
Unlike my son, I am not a football fan (I prefer rugby) but even I found the tour interesting and fun. However, for £25 an adult, it needs to last longer than one hour.
The museum is packed with information but needs more interactive exhibits to engage children.
There were new and interesting facts given in the tour but I would have liked more information on how and when the stadium was built, how the pitch is maintained and the countless jobs that take place behind the scenes such as physios, nutritionists, gardeners etc. It would be great for children to see that it is possible to have a career in the sport they love without being a footballer. Manchester United are missing a great educational opportunity here!
The staff we encountered are an asset to Old Trafford football stadium. From the security guard who quizzed my son about his role in our village football team and told him to ‘always play his best because you never know who is watching’ to the guard who whipped the shirt belonging to my son’s favourite player off the wall in the dressing room to the ever patient tour guide – these people made the tour for us.
If you are a lifelong, die-hard Man United fan, you will love the Manchester United Tour at Old Trafford. And for those that aren’t, the tour of Old Trafford is still worth it!