“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” – that’s what Samuel Johnson once said. And boy, is he right! The capital of England has great charm; the world famous British accent of the Londoners, the many different neighbourhoods to explore, the famous sights to see and of course the rich history of the city. For both tourists and citizens, visiting a different market every now and then is a popular activity. But what if you’re only in the capital for a couple of days? Which market to choose? The city hosts many different markets, but in general there are about five which are most famous. Featured in this article are London markets Notting Hill Market, Brick Lane, Borough Market, Camden Lock and Spitalfields Market. There’s something for everyone!
Probably one of the most famous London markets: Portobello Road market in Notting Hill. Located in the beautiful neighbourhood of Notting Hill, this market is massive and always loaded with stalls and people. When exiting the tube station Notting Hill Gate, you are welcomed by the lively colours of the city houses – blue, pink, yellow; even on a rainy day these streets will brighten your mood. The market itself is huge. There are stalls on both sides of the streets; in the beginning it’s mostly antique stalls, but further onwards there is also food and second hand clothing.
If you’re looking for a bargain or a more alternative market, Brick Lane market will be your cup of tea. It is located in the heart of east London’s Bangladeshi community, and practically anything can be found here. From antiques to lots of different types of food to vintage clothing and books – and next to that a lovely flower and fruit market. Due to its multi-cultural and indie atmosphere, it is a place popular with art students and street photographers. A big part of the market is covered; which is convenient on a rainy day. Tube stop: Aldgate East or Liverpool street station.
Borough Market is one of the oldest and largest food markets in London, and sells practically any food you can imagine. It is quite overpriced, and always loaded with tourists, but despite that it is definitely a must visit. You can taste lots of food for free, and discover foods you’ve never seen in your life. If you appreciate good food and like trying out new things, a visit to Borough Market would be a perfect afternoon out! Like Brick Lane, the biggest part of Borough Market is covered so perfect for a rainy day. It is located near the tube stop London Bridge, central London.
When exiting Camden Town Station, you will wish for an extra pair of eyes. Passing huge artworks of grungy shoes hanging on buildings, street-artists performing the Tea Party of Alice in Wonderland and people dressed in all-black: Camden Town market will shock, intrigue and welcome you with its gothic atmosphere. It offers clothing such as t-shirts with quotes or pictures from popular TV-shows, phone cases, shoes, bags and many more. If you walk a little bit further, over the bridge, you enter Camden Lock on the left side of the road. This area of Camden houses many multicultural food and art stalls. From Jamaican breadfruit to Greek halloumi wraps and spicy Indian curry: you will be able to satisfy your cravings here.
Spitalfields market is most probably the smallest out of this list, but definitely has a good bit of charm. If you like shopping for clothing, jewelry, bags, soap and other beauty products, children’s items, interior items or cool signs to hang up your wall, Spitalfields will not disappoint you. It is completely covered and also hosts a couple of food stalls. Tube station: Liverpool street station.
What is your favourite London market? Which one(s) are missing on this list?