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Go to Retro Rehab and feed your vintage fashion habit
Stacey Body Go to Retro Rehab and feed your vintage fashion habit

Shopping for students

Whether its vintage or designer you're after, we've got your shopping needs all wrapped up

By Rob Martin

So, we've got where to eat and where to drink covered, your gigs and nightlife are organised and we've sorted you out with the best of Manchester culture incuding our best theatres, art galleries and museums in the city.

Manchester has great shopping - it's one of the main reasons people visit the city. All the chains are to be found around Market Street or out at the Trafford Centre, and Spinningfields has created a whole new area to get your glad rags, but there's a wealth of independent shopping to be had as well.

From vintage clothes, vinyl revivals, arts and crafts and independent bookshops, here's a guide to some of the best shopping in the city, plus some top tattoo artists if you're planning on marking your arrival as a Manchester student with some ink.


Shopping Arcades

Established in 1982, Afflecks is a bit of a Manchester institution. And it's easy to see why, with an admirable indie spirit courtesy of some very cool shops, bars, tattoo parlours, skate shops, events and pleasant people. Definitely somewhere to seek out.

Fred Aldous, Shopping, Manchester
© Stuart Southwell

Fred Aldous


Trading for well over a century - nearer 150 years, actually - this iconic, family-run arts and craft store in the Northern Quarter is one of Manchester's real success stories. if you want to make something, this is where to head - they've got everything.

Piccadilly Records, Shopping, Manchester
© Daniel Kennedy

Manchester's best record shops


With a supposed vinyl revival having blossomed as digital music distribution faltered in the past few years, more and more people are once again relying on their local neighbourhood purveyor of aural delights - dangerous on the wallet but delightful to the ears. Here are five of the best record retailers in the city.

Manchester Craft & Design Centre, Manchester
Photograph: Craft and Design Centre

Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Shopping Art, craft and hobbies

Awarded 'Best Independent Retailer' at the 2013 Manchester Tourism Awards, Manchester Craft & Design Centre boasts over 30 artists, designers and craft makers under one roof. MCDC lies in the heart of the Northern Quarter, offering an impressive array of quality goods that you won't find on the high street – handmade, bespoke and personal.


Five great Manchester markets

News Shopping & Style

Artisan markets offering everything from fresh produce to local crafts to vintage goods now take place across Manchester, allowing visitors to buy local and support small traders. Here’s a look at some of the city's best markets. 

Arndale Centre
Catrin Austin

Manchester Arndale, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges

Shopping Shopping centres

Considered something of a monstrosity for decades thanks to its unpleasant '70s design, a major refurb and modern extension have made Manchester Arndale Centre a very pleasant shopping experience with a great market too. All of your shopping needs indoor and in the city centre. Just over the way both Harvey Nichols and Selfridges up the anté on designer goods.



Things to do Event spaces

Between Deansgate and the River Irwell, Manchester at its most modern brings you posh shops, posh places to eat and drink and more besides. 

Trafford Centre

Shopping Arcades

A shopping and entertainment mecca to some, a gaudy retail fairground to others, however you look at it there's no denying that the Trafford Centre is a monumental success. The architectural offspring of the Taj Mahal, Ancient Rome and Blackpool (think the north of England meets Vegas and you won't go far wrong), the Trafford Centre's impressive collection of shops, themed bars and restaurants makes the place an enormous attraction. There's also a huge food hall and the busiest Odeon cinema outside London (complete with IMAX screen). 


Richard Goodall Gallery

Art Galleries

What's a study bedroom without a few decent posters? Look no further than the Northern Quarter's Richard Goodall Gallery where manga meets film meets pop meets art

Ten of Manchester's top tattoo artists

News City Life

For Mancunian tattoo fans, the choice of artists in the city is plentiful. With a plethora of talent filled studios across Greater Manchester, the selection of needle-wielding artists can be overwhelming so Time Out has selected ten of the best to showcase their work.

Back to the Manchester student guide


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