When it comes to shopping, Manchester has it all and Skiddle.com aims to provides you with the best Manchester shopping guide online. Trust us, if you can't find it in Manchester, you'll struggle to find it anywhere. To make things a little easier to grasp, here are some of the main shopping areas in this retail paradise:
High Street Heaven (or hell, if you're brave enough to visit on a Saturday), The Arndale Centre is Manchester's humongous indoor shopping mall which contains practically every big high street store you could ever hope to find in one clean, dry place. The Arndale Centre takes up one side of Market Street, Machester's main shopping throughfare which leads from Picadilly Gardens down to Cross Street and St Anne's Square. The Arndale Centre also incorporates a great food market, an Aldi, and plenty of places to eat and drink. Try and make the most of your student lifestyle to get your shopping fix during the week and leave the weekends to the visiting hordes.
King Street/Cross Street/Exchange Square
Looking to send your entire student loan on one handbag? Head all the way down Market Street to Cross Street, where you'll discover designer boutique heaven and plenty of ways to increase your student debt. Head left along Cross Street and you'll come across the heavyweight designer shops of King Street. At the other end of Cross Street meanwhile, you'll find Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and the Triangle shopping centre - home to loads of unique brands and specialist boutiques.
The Northern Quarter
Head down any of the streets along the Northern edge of Picadilly Gardens (the side opposite to the bus station in case you happen to be out without your compass) and you'll find the labrynth of quirky shops, bars, independent galleries and eateries that makes up the city's bohemian district. From vintage clothes shops to independent record and book stores, and edgy fashion labels to quirky gift shops, the Northern Quarter has it all - and is the perfect antidote to the big name brands of the high street. Nestled on Tib Street, behind Debenhams department store, is the weird and wonderful Afflecks Palace, which could be described as the Camden Market of the North. And each weekend there's a vintage fashion market on Tib Street where you can discover handmade and vintage threads from local designers and boutique owners.
The Trafford Centre
Loud, gaudy, and proud, The Trafford Centre is a gigantic out of town shopping centre on the outskirts of the city which boasts hundreds of high street shops as well as a Selfridges and John Lewis. It's busy. It's tacky. There are fake marble pillars, a chandalier as big as your house and an indoor cruise ship complete with a fake starry sky. Just embrace it, shop til you drop and fill your face at one of the million or so restaurants, bars and cafes in the wonderfully luxuriant food hall.
Not got a car? Regular buses run to the Trafford Centre from the bus stop outside the Royal Northern College of Music on Oxford Road.
Manchester is awash with small local supermarkets that'll keep you supplied with all the things your cupboard and fridge needs - and charge your right arm for it. So if you're looking for more of a 'big shop' option, where you can drag your parents when they visit and let them stock up your larder with more competetively priced foodstuffs, here are some of your local supermarkets:
Hulme (Princess Parkway)
Cheetham Hill Road