Shopping in Manchester

Creative Tourist

Like retail therapy? Well, don’t we all. But what we like in particular about shopping in Manchester is the variety: independent shops, and the sorts of boutiques that peddle one-off goods, everything from vintage and second hand shopping to limited-run artworks, contemporary craft, independent markets and interesting interiors. We love print – magazines, posters, screen prints – and we like shopping that shows both a love of place and a love of making. So here’s our guide to the best shopping in Manchester.

  • 1. Manchester Craft & Design Centre

    Manchester Craft & Design Centre, 17 Oak St, Northern Quarter, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 5JD - Visit now

    The thing we love best about Manchester Craft & Design Centre? The fact that you can buy unique, unusual pieces direct from some incredibly talented designers. Being able to see right into someone’s studio, the place where they spend hours trying things out, refining designs and finally putting the finishing touches to the piece you then walk away with… that’s pretty special.

  • 2. Rapha Clubhouse Manchester

    Courtesy of Rapha

    Rapha Clubhouse Manchester, 5 St Ann’s Passage, Manchester, M2 6AD - Visit now

    With less than 20 Rapha stores around the world, and only three in the UK, the Manchester Clubhouse is perhaps testament to the city’s love of cycling and the place to pick up the perfect cycling gift. From African sheep leather mits and vintage merino woollen jerseys, to more everyday garb; it has it all.

  • 3. Fred Aldous

    © Fred Aldous

    Fred Aldous, 37 Lever Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1LW - Visit now

    Nearly 130 years old and still going strong, the Northern Quarter art store stocks much more than just the odd paintbrush. As well as covering all your creative supply needs, there’s wonderfully stocked gift shop and all manner of delightful knick-knacks.

  • 4. Chapter 1 Books

    Photo of a new releases bookshelf

    Chapter 1 Books, 19 Lever Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1BY - Visit now

    Independent bookshop Chapter 1 Books is everything you might hope for and more; there are Sherlock Holmes style armchairs, neat café tables and even a running fountain, as well as a fantastic mix of authors – all set in a light, modern space. Chintzy teacups adorn the café, where you can buy tea, coffee and generous slices of cake.

  • 5. Oklahoma

    Image of Oklahoma shop in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    Ben Williams

    Oklahoma, 74-76 High Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1ES - Visit now

    Kitsch homewares, kooky gifts, jewellery and a cafe all vie for attention in this busy little shop. Felt slippers, mid-century-esque vases, cards and Mexican badges are all yours for the taking.

  • 6. Afflecks

    Image of Afflecks Palace in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    Ben Williams

    Afflecks, 52 Church Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1PW - Visit now

    No trip to the Northern Quarter would be complete without a visit to Afflecks Palace, where you’ll find independent shops selling anything from vintage and contemporary fashion through to piercings, as well as superb sweet treats (at Ginger’s Comfort Emporium) and even the tiny Three Minute Theatre on the ground floor.

  • 7. OBJECT, Chorlton

    Courtesy of OBJECT

    OBJECT, Chorlton, 519 Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester, M21 8QA - Visit now

    A tiny, carefully-curated independent store in Chorlton with an unwavering devotion to quality, craftsmanship and simplicity. Well worth the tram ride.

  • 8. Chorlton Bookshop

    Chorlton Bookshop

    Chorlton Bookshop, 506 Wilbraham Road, Manchester, M21 9AW - Visit now

    If you have ever dreamed of owning a bookshop, it probably looked like this one. Pleasingly petite, family-owned with a good selection of books, and even pet-friendly. Perfect.

  • 9. Pop Boutique

    Image of Pop Boutique's shop front on Oldham Street in Manchester
    Ben Williams

    Pop Boutique, 34-36 Oldham St, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1JN - Visit now

    A clothes shop on the ground floor with a home furnishings section in the basement – the one and only Pop Boutique.

Visitor guides

Best vintage fairs in Manchester

Whether you’re looking for classic furniture designs or unique items of clothing, you’ll want our roundup of the best vintage fairs in Manchester.

Second Hand and Vintage Shopping; Manchester, Stockport, Liverpool

Second Hand Shopping

As much about the hunt as the find, the simple pleasure of searching out, rediscovering and breathing new life into forgotten objects of the past has an enduring appeal. Check out our guide to the best second hand shopping to be had in Manchester and beyond.

The inside of a Spanish and Catalan deli

Food Shops in Manchester

We’re not talking supermarkets or department store food halls here: these are Manchester’s truly independent food emporiums.

Vintage Shopping in Manchester

A roundup of vintage shops in Manchester that are pleasingly organised and have strong stock. Get stuck in.

Record Shops in Manchester

With vinyl sales reaching a 25-year high in 2016, it’s easy to argue that record shopping is in rude health. And while some may prefer to do their crate-digging online these days, there is still an integral place reserved for the humble record shop. We pick out our favourites from around the city.

Levenshulme Market in Northern Quarter photo Ed Sprake 7

Markets in Manchester

We’ve hunted out some of the best, and most eclectic, markets in Manchester.

Culture Guides

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Exhibitions

It barely needs stating; absolute top of our list of exhibition highlights this summer has to be Liverpool Biennial 2018, which opens on 14 July. But that’s by no means all there is to look forward to.

Theatre

Theatre

Who says summer is a quiet time for theatre? We’ve got open-air performances, free interactive family events, a ten-day summer festival and much more in our theatre guide.

Cinema

Pop-up cinemas, outdoor screenings and movie marathons — we’ve got it all this summer.

Just So fish festivalgoer courtesy Teneigh

Families

The best outdoor and indoor adventures to keep us all busy. Journeys of the Imagination at Quarry Bank, festival fever at bluedot and Just So and astonishing circus capers with Contact in the City.

Helen Mort. Photo by Jonathan Pow

Literature

Despite the traditional summer break of many of our favourite nights, there’s still plenty of poetry and prose to catch, from indie publisher fairs and national magazine launches to a brand-new series of relaxed lectures and an exhibition dedicated to banned books. And if you don’t like sitting still for too long, there’s even a literature trail or two to check out…

Music

While this summer’s festivals – including bluedot, The Good Life Experience and Festival No. 6 – provide a welcome distraction, the likes of the RNCM and The Stoller Hall continue to provide adventurous programming.

Things to do right now

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