Whether you are on the hunt for your favourite high street stores, or in the mood to explore some of the hidden gems of the Northern Quarter, Manchester really does have it all when it comes to shopping. It doesn’t make a difference if you are experiencing the city for the first time or if you feel like you have discovered every possible corner—there is always more adventure to be found. First up in this shopping guide is…
Let’s begin with an obvious: The city shopping centre. For all of your high-street essentials, this should be your first point of call. Including a 2-storey Topshop, a gigantic Boots, and opposite one of the two Manchester Selfridges, what more could you possibly need? To add a cherry to the top of the cake, the Arndale runs student events throughout the year, allowing you access to incredible discounts.
The road running directly down one half of the Arndale may feel like a battlefield on a Saturday afternoon, but it is full to the brim with amazing shops. A personal favourite is the 5-storey Urban Outfitters that juts out into the street in true UO style. Don’t be afraid to follow Market Street beyond the end of the Arndale, because you will discover little treasures such as Joy, a less-recognised Fashion and Gift chain.
The last of the city centre troves is by far the most unique, and is definitely most-loved among students. Tucked away down the various roads are chain vintage stores such as Cow, non-profit charity shops, as well as independently-run businesses. To name a few, Retro Rehab, Café Pop, and the infamous Affleck’s are definitely all worth a nosey.
Oxford Road Corridor:
Moving away from the city centre slightly, but keeping the same Northern Quarter charity shop vibe, the Oxford Road Corridor can actually be a fantastic place to grab some bargains. Charity shops are dotted throughout, stretching all the way from Fallowfield to the city centre. There is even an Oxfam on the university campus itself!
If you’re living in the most populated student areas (Fallowfield, Victoria Park, Withington), travelling to the Trafford Centre can be quite a lot of effort, making it advisable to spend an entire day there. The Trafford Centre and the Arndale do share a wide variety of stores in common, but the Trafford Centre does have its unique selling points—John Lewis being the key one, personally. It is also the home of the second of Manchester’s Selfridges, which is always exciting!
…and if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, and it all feels a bit overwhelming, you can always lose yourself in the world’s biggest Primark, right here on your Mancunian doorstep.
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