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Our Complete Travel Guide to the Empire Exchange Manchester

Our Complete Travel Guide to the Empire Exchange Manchester

If you’re looking for a shop that sells, buys, and trades different collectibles like comic book toys, materials, and any other pop culture timepieces, then the Empire Exchange Manchester is the place to be! 

The best part about this place is there are a lot of good finds and they are reasonably priced as well! If you’re interested, here is our complete guide to one of Manchester’s more interesting travel destinations! 

Time Zone

British Summer Time (GMT+1)

Best Time to Go

Off-peak hours usually fall on weekdays and outside of typical work hours at the Empire Exchange (10 AM to 6 PM). It’s usually also best to visit the store during the holidays where there are massive discounts on shelf items. 

Things to Know

Currency: Euro
(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: UK English

Calling Code: +44

Address: 1 Newton St, Manchester M1 1HW, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +44 161 236 4445


Opening Hours: Daily 10 AM to 6 PM

How to Get There

Train: Manchester boasts an extensive rail network. If you’re coming by train, the nearest train station is Manchester Piccadilly, and from there, it’s about a 10-minute walk to Empire Exchange.

Bus: There are multiple buses servicing the area. Manchester Piccadilly Gardens Bus Station is conveniently located close to the Empire Exchange, just a 5-minute walk away. 

The specific bus you would need to take will depend on your starting location, so make sure to check a reliable route planner or a bus app for the Manchester area.

Taxi: You can take a taxi from anywhere in the city. Just provide the driver with the address of Empire Exchange— 1 Newton Street, Manchester M1 1HW. They’ll know the quickest route to get you there.

Car Service: If you prefer ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft, these operate extensively in Manchester. Simply input Empire Exchange as your destination in the app. 

Be aware that during peak hours, these services may have surge pricing, so the cost might be higher than usual.

What to Expect and See at Empire Exchange

Eclectic Range of Collectibles 

From vintage fashion accessories to age-old coins, badges to military memorabilia, Empire Exchange is a collector’s paradise. Each item holds a unique story from the past, waiting to be rediscovered and appreciated once again. 

The shop is like a museum where you can not only look but also touch and buy the artefacts. So whether you’re looking to start a new collection or find a rare piece for an existing one, Empire Exchange offers endless possibilities.

Music Galore 

Empire Exchange houses a vinyl collection that would impress even the most avid music collector. 

Ranging from obscure records from the ’50s and ’60s, through punk classics of the ’70s and pop sensations of the ’80s and ’90s, to the latest indie releases— the shop caters to all tastes. 

Vinyl collectors will enjoy crate digging through the extensive range, while CD and cassette enthusiasts will also find a broad selection to suit their interests.

Film and TV Memorabilia

The store is filled with a plethora of movie and TV memorabilia that will make any cinephile’s heart skip a beat. 

Original posters of iconic films, DVDs of classic and contemporary series, rare movie scripts, and autographed stills— these are just some of the treasures you can find here. A trip to Empire Exchange is like stepping onto a movie set, immersing yourself in the cinematic world.

Retro Games

The gaming section at Empire Exchange is a nostalgia trip for any gamer. You’ll find classic gaming consoles like the Sega Mega Drive, Nintendo Entertainment System, and vintage Game Boys. 

They also stock a broad array of games for these systems, including iconic titles and some lesser-known gems. This is a fantastic chance to revisit the golden age of gaming or to discover it for the first time.

Books and Comics

Amid the bustle of modern technology, Empire Exchange offers a quiet corner for bookworms. Here you’ll find a diverse range of second-hand books – from classic literature and modern novels to cookbooks and travel guides. 

Their comic book section is equally impressive, with a collection that covers everything from popular Marvel and DC superheroes to indie comics and graphic novels. It’s a perfect place to find your next favourite read or add a rare comic book to your collection.

Fascinating Atmosphere

Beyond the collectibles and memorabilia, Empire Exchange entices visitors with its unique atmosphere. 

The store exudes a distinct charm filled with nostalgia and fond memories. Every corner, every shelf, and every item tells a story, making you feel like you’re on a journey through time. 

The scent of old books, the sound of vinyl records playing in the background, and the visual feast of memorabilia all combine to create a unique, memorable experience.

Friendly Staff 

Empire Exchange is not just about the merchandise; it’s about the people too. The staff at the store are not only welcoming and friendly, but they’re also incredibly knowledgeable about the items they sell. 

They’re always willing to help, provide information, or simply engage in a chat about shared interests. It’s this level of personal service and passion that adds to the overall experience of visiting Empire Exchange.

Best Finds Inside the Empire Exchange Manchester 

The Beatles’ ‘White Album’ Original Vinyl 

The ‘White Album’ is officially named ‘The Beatles’ but earned its nickname due to its stark white cover. Released in 1968, it’s renowned for its eclectic mix of musical genres, ranging from folk, hard rock, blues, country, and avant-garde. 

It includes classics like ‘Blackbird,’ ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps,’ and ‘Helter Skelter’ which are all famous songs from the band— the former being one of my personal favourites.  

An original pressing of this record, with its unique serial number, is a tangible piece of musical history, marking a pivotal point in The Beatles’ career when they moved towards more individualistic songwriting.

First Edition of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Comic Book 

This comic book signalled a shift in superhero narratives. Instead of depicting an all-powerful, flawless character, Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker) was a regular teenager grappling with everyday problems alongside his superhero responsibilities. 

Finding a first edition from 1963 would mean owning a piece of comic book history that reflects cultural changes in post-war America and the transformative approach to superhero storytelling.

NES Console with ‘The Legend of Zelda’ 

This gaming console and game combo harken back to a time when gaming was just beginning to break into mainstream culture. 

The NES, released in 1983, played a crucial role in reviving the video game industry after the crash in 1983. 

‘The Legend of Zelda,’ released three years later in 1986, introduced revolutionary gameplay elements like a large open world, battery backup saves, and non-linear gameplay, many of which are now standard in today’s games.

Original Poster of ‘Pulp Fiction’ 

Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Pulp Fiction’ redefined cinema in the ’90s. Its nonlinear narrative structure, intertwined storylines, and iconic dialogues made a significant impact on the industry. 

An original poster would be more than a piece of promotional material; it would be a symbol of a cultural phenomenon that brought indie cinema to mainstream audiences.

Autographed ‘Manchester United’ Football 

Manchester United’s era of dominance in the late ’90s under Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the most celebrated times in English football history. 

A football signed by the legendary squad from this period, known as the ‘Class of ’92’, would be a symbol of this golden age. Each autograph represents a player’s individual journey and the collective effort that led to some of the club’s most triumphant moments.

Penny Black Stamp 

The Penny Black marks a key turning point in communication history. It was the first adhesive stamp used for postage, issued in the UK in 1840. 

This small piece of paper signifies a major logistical achievement that revolutionised the way people send and receive mail, paving the way for the global postal systems we know today.

Vintage Omega Seamaster Watch 

The Omega Seamaster line, introduced in 1948, is known for its precision, craftsmanship, and elegant design. 

In addition to its horological significance, it has cultural relevance through its association with the James Bond franchise, appearing in several films since 1995’s ‘GoldenEye’. Owning a vintage Seamaster is like wearing a piece of cultural and horological history on your wrist.

First Edition of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ 

Harper Lee’s debut novel is a beloved classic that explores themes of racial injustice, loss of innocence, and moral complexity in the American South. 

Published in 1960 and winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, a first edition of this book offers a direct link to a critical period in American literature and societal history.

Postcard from the 1908 London Olympics

The 1908 London Olympics saw the standardisation of the marathon distance at 26.2 miles (42.195 kilometres), a legacy that continues to this day. 

A postcard from this event would provide a personal connection to this historic moment, serving as a snapshot of the global event over a century ago.

Original ‘Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon Toy

The Millennium Falcon toy, produced by Kenner in 1979, played a significant role in the merchandising boom that accompanied the ‘Star Wars’ franchise. 

This intricately detailed toy helped shape the way films were marketed, showing that a movie’s universe could extend beyond the cinema screen and into the playrooms of children around the world. 

Also, an original piece would be a symbol of this revolutionary approach to film marketing— one that would sit very well in your room if you’re an avid film fan, especially sci-fi.

Where to Eat Nearby

Mackie Mayor 

Address: Smithfield Market Hall, 1 Eagle St, Manchester M4 5BU, United Kingdom

Contact: N/A

Website: N/A

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 AM to 10 PM 

Housed in a restored Victorian meat market, this vibrant food hall offers an eclectic array of food stalls. 

Choose from artisanal wood-fired pizzas at Honest Crust, sumptuous rotisserie at Nationale 7, or the freshest seafood dishes at Fin Fish Bar. The venue’s high ceilings, communal dining tables, and lively atmosphere make for a casual, communal dining experience.

The Alchemist 

Address: 3 Hardman St, Manchester M3 3HF, United Kingdom

Contact: +441618172950


Opening Hours: Monday to Tuesday 11 to 12 AM; Wednesday to Thursday 11 AM to 1 AM; Friday 11 AM to 2 AM; Saturday 10 AM to 2 AM; Sunday 10 AM to 11 PM

This stylish restaurant and bar specialises in molecular mixology and inventive international cuisine. 

The menu includes creative concoctions like smoked bacon belly and confit duck steamed buns. Also, its sleek, contemporary decor, with its dark tones and golden accents, creates an intriguing, alchemy-inspired atmosphere.


Address: 32 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 161 537 3737


Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 8 AM to 11 PM; Friday 8 AM to 12 AM; Saturday 9 AM to 12 AM; Sunday 9 AM to 11 PM

Inspired by the Irani cafés of Bombay, Dishoom offers traditional Indian cuisine with a twist. Menu highlights include the house black daal, the lamb raan bun, and breakfast naan rolls. 

With its charming, vintage-inspired interiors evoking the bustling streets of Bombay, the ambiance is both inviting and nostalgic.


Address: 3 Hardman Square, Gartside St, Manchester M3 3EB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 161 819 2060


Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 12 PM to 12 AM; Friday to Saturday 12 PM to 12:30 AM; Sunday 12 PM to 12 AM

This upscale Chinese restaurant offers a modern interpretation of traditional Chinese dishes. Delights such as caramel soy beef fillet and dim sum platters grace the menu. 

The venue’s opulent interior, complete with intricate wooden screens and a blooming cherry blossom tree, offers a serene, East Asian vibe.

The Jane Eyre 

Address: 14 Hood St, Manchester M4 6WX, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 161 236 8171


Opening Hours: Monday, closed; Tuesday to Thursday 3 to 11 PM; Friday 12 PM to 12 AM; Saturday 12 PM to 12 AM; Sunday 12 to 11 PM

This cosy, independent neighbourhood bar offers a selection of small plates inspired by various cuisines, such as the Spanish chorizo and Manchego sandwich. The venue’s stripped-back decor, soft lighting, and warm woods provide a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

20 Stories 

Address: No. 1 Spinningfields, 1 Hardman Square, Manchester M3 3EB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 161 204 3333


Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday 12 to 11 PM; Friday to Saturday 12 PM to 1 AM

This rooftop restaurant offers a panoramic view of Manchester alongside a menu of contemporary British dishes like roasted monkfish and local aged beef tartare. 

The restaurant’s stylish interior and the outdoor terrace’s twinkling lights create a luxurious, sky-high dining experience.

The Oast House 

Address: The Avenue Courtyard, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3AY, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 161 829 3830


Opening Hours: Daily 11 AM to 1 AM

Known for its hanging kebabs and cask ales, this rustic pub provides a hearty British dining experience. The pub’s setting, featuring a thatched roof, exposed wooden beams, and an open-air courtyard, creates a classic, countryside ambiance right in the heart of the city.


Address: Cutting Room Square, Blossom St, Manchester M4 5DH, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 161 870 5904


Opening Hours: Monday to Wednesday 3 to 11 PM; Thursday to Sunday 12 PM to 12 AM

Offering modern Portuguese fare, Canto’s menu features dishes like the roasted octopus and the Algarvian-style chicken. The restaurant’s minimalistic decor with pops of vibrant colours and murals offers a casual, trendy atmosphere reminiscent of Lisbon’s dynamic culinary scene.

Federal Cafe & Bar 

Address: 9 Nicholas Croft, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1EY, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 161 425 0974


Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 7:30 AM to 4 PM; Friday 7:30 AM to 5 PM; Saturday 8 AM to 6 PM; Sunday 8 AM to 5 PM

This Australian-inspired cafe is a favourite for brunch, offering classics like smashed avocado toast and French toast with berry compote. The light-filled space with simple, modern decor offers a laid-back ambiance perfect for a leisurely meal or coffee.

El Gato Negro 

Address: 52 King St, Manchester M2 4LY, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 161 694 8585


Opening Hours: Daily 12 to 10 PM

This award-winning Spanish tapas restaurant offers classic dishes like patatas bravas, chargrilled lamb skewers, and crispy aubergine with spiced molasses. 

Housed in a three-story converted townhouse, each floor offers a different ambiance, from the lively buzz of the ground floor bar to the intimate dining spaces upstairs.

Where to Stay Nearby

The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel 


Situated in the historic Free Trade Hall, The Edwardian Manchester seamlessly blends traditional charm with contemporary elegance. Guests can immerse themselves in luxury, surrounded by plush furnishings and cutting-edge facilities. 

The on-site spa and the sophisticated Peter Street Kitchen, offering Japanese-Mexican fusion delights, elevate the hotel’s refined ambiance.

Hotel Gotham 


Taking cues from the whimsical Art Deco era, Hotel Gotham delivers a unique and opulent atmosphere. 

Each room is an artful blend of vintage charm and modern convenience, while the rooftop Club Brass bar captivates with its stunning city vistas and Prohibition-inspired surroundings.

King Street Townhouse 


Nestled within an Italian Renaissance-style edifice, King Street Townhouse presents an enchanting blend of historic allure and modern sophistication. 

Guests will find indulgence in a rooftop infinity pool, an elegant tea lounge, and expansive rooms that harmoniously combine classical aesthetics with contemporary flair.

The Lowry Hotel 


Marked by its striking contemporary architecture, The Lowry Hotel offers views over the river that are as elegant as the interior. 

Guests can savour award-winning culinary experiences at The River Restaurant and Terrace and indulge in the serene in-house spa, mirroring the hotel’s chic and luxurious demeanour.

The Abel Heywood 


Paying tribute to a 19th-century Mayor of Manchester, The Abel Heywood exudes a unique and nostalgic character. 

The intimately designed rooms are adorned with whimsical decor, while the ground-floor pub, serving hearty traditional British dishes, adds to the warm and sociable atmosphere of this boutique gem.

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