If you’re looking for independent and quirky shops, steer clear of the Arndale Centre and head straight for Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Frequently included in lists of Europe’s hippest neighbourhoods, this labyrinth of side streets and back alleys is home to many of the city’s best clothing, design and music stores. There’s a diverse array of shops to discover, but here are our absolute favourites.
Conveniently located right next door to Retro Rehab, Rockers is the place to head for rock ‘n’ roll lovers. Don’t be put off by their niche window displays; even those with just a passing interest in 1950’s style and culture are welcome here, with slogan T-shirts and tote bags available for those who aren’t convinced by wiggle dresses and creepers. Embrace the look by opting for a colourful petticoat or vintage leather jacket, or simply go for a cool patch to sew onto a bag.
Rockers, 89 Oldham St, Manchester +44 161 839 9202
Originally opening its doors in Leeds (alongside a successful wholesale business), Blue Rinse also calls Manchester’s Oldham Street home. Rather than simply flogging foraged vintage gems, Blue Rinse go one step further and create wearable, contemporary clothes using vintage material and reworked garments. Think 1980s jeans hacked off into hot-pants and ill-fitting dresses transformed into flattering nineties-inspired slips. Catering to both men and women, the emphasis is on styles from the last two decades of the 20th Century with a focus on American casual wear. Head here for denim, checked shirts, sports jackets and floral frocks.
Blue Rinse, 21-23 Oldham Street, Manchester, United Kingdom, +44 (0)161 834 7877
This beloved family-run store has been a destination in the Northern Quarter for over one hundred years, providing art supplies for Manchester’s creative residents. The store is now cavernous, with the upstairs focusing primarily on stationary and gifts, whilst the downstairs contains the city’s largest collection of arts and crafts paraphernalia. Even if you’re not particularly crafty, it’s a treasure trove to explore, and taking your picture in the photo-booth makes a great memento of your day.
Fred Aldous, 37 Lever St, Manchester +44 161 236 4224
Manchester Craft and Design Centre
If you’re looking for locally crafted ceramics, prints, jewellery or art work, Manchester Craft and Design Centre is the perfect place to discover something unusual. Located in a former Victorian fish market, the beautifully restored building is home to two floors of studios, where artists, potters and craftspeople create and sell their work in one space. There’s also a great café on the ground floor and you can often discover interesting art installations or musical performances there.
Manchester Craft and Design Centre, 17 Oak St, Manchester +44 161 832 4274
One of the most iconic (and the longest standing) vintage shops in the Northern Quarter, Pop Boutique is much more than a place to browse retro clothes. Situated over two levels with a small yet popular café housed within its doorway, Pop offers everything from vintage dresses to home accessories. You’ll find everything that you need to live and breathe a retro lifestyle here, allowing you to dress head-to-toe in 1950s and 60s clothes, decorate your home with mid-century modern furnishings and even get yourself a retro ‘do’ at Barbarella hair salon.
Pop Boutique, 33-36 Oldham Street, Manchester, United Kingdom, +44 (0)161 236 5797
One of the city’s most beloved vintage stores, Retro Rehab has been located at the top of Oldham Street for many years, boasting bulging rails of vintage and reworked dresses and accessories. This is the place to head to if you’re looking for something a little different, particularly if you have a penchant for dresses from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. You’ll also find jackets, skirts, tops and knitwear to browse, depending on the season.
Retro Rehab, 91 Oldham St, City Centre, Manchester +44 161 839 2050
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.