Where To Go Shopping In Manchester? The Best Places To Visit

Are you a student in Manchester wondering where to go shopping? You’re in luck! 

There are popular shopping centres such as the Arndale and the Trafford Centre, as well as a whole host of independent shops, boutique stores, and quirky shopping areas to suit all tastes and budgets.  

Manchester is also a premium destination in the winter due to its astounding Christmas Market.

Whether you are searching for that perfect last minute Christmas gift for friends and family, want to treat yourself during the year, or stock up on essentials we’re sure you’ll find a shopping hub to suit you. 

The best part is, all these shopping destinations are on the doorstep of your student accommodation.

where to go shopping manchester

Arndale Shopping Centre

If you are looking for where to go shopping in Manchester for the big brand name stores and the easiest retail experience, the Arndale Shopping Centre is the place you need to get to.  

Whether you are looking for some essential groceries and health and beauty products to get you through the week, or you want some clothes, some vintage jewellery, or you are looking to get out there and buy your Christmas presents for friends and family, this place has something for everyone.  

You’ll find shops open 7 days a week, as well as plenty of food and drink options inside the food hall. 

The Arndale has drastically improved in recent years, modernised, and extended to turn it into a welcoming and pleasant experience that includes a fresh produce market alongside the big-name brands.  

We’re talking about Apple, Foot Locker, JD Sports and Lush to name a few.

You’ll be loving life when strolling through Arndale on a shopping trip! 

Arndale Shopping Centre

The Trafford Centre

The Trafford Centre is one of the largest shopping centres in the whole country.

There is a tram line that stops right outside, running direct from the city centre.  

This makes it easy to get to and a great place to explore for a few hours with a group of friends.

You’ll find Selfridges, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, and other big department stores within the Trafford Centre – home to over 140 stores including high street brands and designer boutiques.

You can stroll along to MenKind, The North Face, New Look and Zara along with SO many others.

Remember, bring along your student ID to see where you can get some well-deserved discount. If you don’t ask, you won’t get.

You’ll for sure have a student-friendly shopping experience at The Trafford Centre.  

The Trafford Centre

Luxury Retail Areas

Not all students have the budget for a luxury retail experience, but if you are looking for something a little bit more expensive as a gift purchase or as a treat, there are some incredible shopping options in Manchester.  

King Street, Cross Street, and Exchange Square are the places to be for this type of retail therapy.

It is in this area that you will find up-market designer stores, jewellers, big department stores, and designer boutiques like Vivienne Westwood, Austen Blake, Jack Wills and Mint Velvet. 

If you are after a big-ticket purchase and one big item for Christmas, this is the part of Manchester that is a great place to come to buy those gifts for close friends and family.  

It’s close to the main railway stations, tram stops, and is easily walked to from most areas in the city where students live. 

King Street shopping

Northern Quarter Shopping

The Northern Quarter is where it’s at for most students in Manchester.

NQ is full of cool and chic independent boutiques and stores, quirky outlets, record stores, vintage clothing shops, second-hand and more.

It’s where the cool kids hang out, artists, musicians, writers, and designers.  

 The best example of the independent spirit in the Northern Quarter must be Affleck’s Palace with its 60+ independent stalls.  

It is an absolute vintage dream, a treasure trove of vintage and retro gear.  

The multi-floor set-up means you can get lost for a few hours inside this old department store, home to independent clothes stores, vintage book shops, tattoo and piercing parlours, and record stores galore.  

The Northern Quarter is the perfect location for students, between Piccadilly and Ancoats, and close to the major university buildings.

Although full of independents, you’ll also find places to pick up your essentials throughout the week in the Northern Quarter. 

Northern Quarter shopping

Stores For Music Lovers

If you love music, there are some amazing record shops and vintage second-hand vinyl stores to get your teeth stuck into and to find the next album to be spinning on repeat.

Manchester has always had a booming music scene that is still exciting to this day.  

What this means is that there is a day-time scene in full-flow where you can buy classic records or new greats, hang out with local musicians and get a feel for what’s going on around the many music venues and bars.  

Piccadilly Records is an institution, the most famous of all the record stores in Manchester, running from the heart of the city for over 40 years.  

Vinyl Exchange, Clampdown Records, FOPP, and Vinyl Revival are all worth a visit too! 

Music stores in Manchester

Christmas Markets

The Manchester Christmas Market is one of the biggest in Europe.

If it’s your first year as a student in Manchester, you’ll be blown away by the sheer size of the festive cheer on show! 

This year, the Christmas Markets run between Thursday 10th November and Thursday 22nd December.  

Spread throughout the city centre there are over 220 stalls in total. You’ll find festive cheer at every turn throughout the long city streets and the squares of Manchester.

Piccadilly Gardens is transformed into the Winter Gardens and the Christmas lights will illuminate your way around. 

Manchester Christmas Markets

If you were wondering about where to go shopping in Manchester, we hope we’ve helped you figure out where to start with all these different places. 

Manchester is a fantastic city to live in as a student, and as a shopping destination it is one of the best in the country.  

Let us know your own personal favourite places when thinking about where to shop in Manchester @_homesforstudents.

We’re always excited to hear about new places and shopping locations not on our radar! 

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