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A Guide to Shopping in Manchester

Tuesday 27 April 2021

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So you’re ready to shop until you drop? Well Manchester is the place to head. With a great mix of high street favourites and high-end boutiques, vintage and independents, you’ll be spoiled for choice! No matter your style or what you’re shopping for, there’s something for you in Manchester. Read on for our favourite shopping destinations.

Manchester Arndale

Manchester Arndale is the largest shopping mall in Manchester

The largest of the Arndale Chain, the Manchester Arndale shopping mall is right in the centre of the city and is located in a great shopping area. With all your high street favourites from Accessorise to Zara, the mall is home to over 200 shops, restaurants and cafes. You could easily spend a whole day wandering around and shopping.

How to get there: It’s just a four-minute walk from Manchester Victoria.

Take a break: In the food court, where you’ll find lots of popular chains serving up your favourites.

Don’t miss: Over the Rainbow, which stocks famous American candy brands, perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.

The Trafford Centre

The Trafford Centre is much more than just a shopping mall. Located just 5 miles outside of the city centre, The Trafford Centre offers an unrivalled selection of shops, but also other leisure activities such as a cinema, indoor silly golf, and even Sea Life Manchester.  You’ll find everything from jewellery and clothing to make up and shoes, all under one roof!

How to get there: From Manchester Deansgate you can take the X50 bus, or take the metro to Cornbrook and switch to the redline to The Trafford Centre. Both options take less than 30 minutes.

Take a break: Grab a bite to eat At Harry Ramsden’s who serve self-proclaimed world-famous fish & chips.

Don’t miss: Taking in a movie on the Imax screen at the Odeon, right in the mall

Northern Quarter

Manchester’s Northern Quarter is home to quirky shops like this neon lights shop, and old school brick architecture which can be seen in the reflection in the window.

Best known for its buzzy nightlife, the Northern Quarter is also home to some of our favourite shopping in the city. If you’re looking for second-hand vinyl, local independent fashion designers, or quirky vintage finds, you’re in the right place here. Afflecks on Church street has loads of traders under one roof, so you can dig around through band shirts, cowboy boots and leather jackets, hoping to strike gold.

How to get there: The Northern Quarter is right between Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria, and only a few minutes’ walk from either.

Take a break: At the Earth Café. Part of the Northern Quarter’s Buddhist Centre you can grab reasonably priced vegetarian food, including burgers, salads and juices, and even head upstairs for a yoga or mediation class.

Don’t miss: The Manchester Craft & Design Centre, where local artists, designers and craft makers show and sell their goods. You’ll find completely bespoke, handmade, original items here.

King Street

If you’re looking for upscale shopping in Manchester, look no further than King Street. Formerly a centre of the banking industry, in recent years the beautiful, if imposing, buildings have become home to some of Manchester’s most expensive boutiques.  You’ll find names like Selfridges, Harvey Nicholls and Vivienne Westwood.

How to get there: It’s a 15-minute walk from Manchester Picadilly, or take the number 1 Free Bus

Take a break: If you’re feeling swanky why not drop into Kala Bistro, don’t pass up the opportunity to try their truffle fries!

Don’t miss: Hervia, a local chain specialising in designer fashion, where you’ll find incredible high-end brands.


This modern glass building is currently home to the Giorgio Armani Store.

Manchester’s financial district also offers some retail therapy to the discerning shopper, with brands like Armani and Mulberry. There are even more bars and restaurants to cater for the bankers who work in the area, including favourite chains such as Dishoom and The Alchemist. Like most of Manchester, the area also offers an eclectic mix of modern and imposingly traditional architecture, such as the John Rylands library.

How to get there: Spinningfields sits between Deansgate and Salford Central Station, and is a 5-10 minute walk from either.

Take a break: Drop into Tattu Restaurant and Bar for Chinese food and cocktails in a classy setting.

Don’t miss: If you finish shopping, drop into the People’s History Museum, which tells the story of the local working class.

Barton Arcade

The beautiful glass and stone façade of the Victorian Barton Arcade, which is home to one of our favouite shopping experiences in Manchester.

Although it was originally built as a Victorian-era shopping mall over 150 years ago, these days the Barton Arcade is more-so home to cafes and eateries. However, there are a number of smaller boutique shops. Really though, you should come here for the beautiful Grade-two listed architecture and enjoy one of Manchester’s hidden gems.

How to get here: It’s just a 15-minute walk from Oxford Road station, and not much further from any of Manchester’s stations.

Take a break: Take a load off at Pot Kettle Black, an independent café known for its incredible brownies.

Don’t miss: Classic Football Shirts, which claims to have the world’s biggest collection of football shirts.

If you’re planning a trip to Manchester, find out more about the city by visiting our handy Manchester guide. And remember to book an Advance ticket via our website or our Train Tickets app.

Written by Julia

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