London is one of the largest and most diverse cities in the world and this is true also in terms of shopping and food. Choosing the best markets in London from the dozens of choices in this vast metropolis is difficult, but here are some of my favorites to share with visitors and residents alike.
Brick Lane Market
Brick Lane market is one of the better East End markets for shoppers with style. Here you will find an array of independent vendors offering a great variety of items. Everything from antiques, souvenirs and gifts to vintage clothes, organic handcrafted items and food. Speaking of which, the market is a real delight for food lovers featuring cuisines from around the world.
A big part of Brick Lane Market are the Sunday Upmarket and Backyard Market situated inside the the Old Truman Brewery. A popular choice for art lovers and bargain hunters, the market runs on Sundays from 10am – 5pm.
There are often numerous street performers and musicians around adding to the already vibrant and busy atmosphere. It is easy to get to from central London with Aldgate East being the nearest tube station. Shoreditch High Street overground station is also a short stroll away. If you’re looking for something interesting to do in London on a Sunday this is one of the best markets in London for shopping and entertainment.
Location: Brick Lane, Spitalfields, London E1 6QR, United Kingdom
Tip by Rai of A Rai of Light.
Columbia Road Flower Market
In the heart of the East End sits one of the city’s prettiest and nicest smelling markets – Columbia Road Flower Market. The area around Columbia Road originates from being built in the 1860s, after which various markets began to pop up. The presence of flowers came from the market gardens around Hackney and Islington, where producers would wheel their carts down and claim their pitch with the blow of a whistle.
Nowadays, the market has grown into something of an international reputation and a major highlight of the East End of London’s tourist trail. The market is held every Sunday from 8am to mid afternoon, “come rain or shine” as they like to say, when the street is transformed into a spectacle of colour and foliage, with stalls and vendors lining the pavements.
With stalls such as Rathbone Flowers, run by a father and son partnership, and Harnett & Sons, both established over forty years ago, you can be sure to find something for you out of the array of cut flower, shrubs and herb plants. If you are looking for somewhere to stop for grub or a drink nearby, Sager + Wilde is just around the corner, which is one of London’s top wine bars, offering an array of intriguing bottles as well as some delicious bar snacks!
The market is in the middle of one of East London’s most hip spots, and is closest to Hoxton Station, on the Overground Line, which is around a ten minute walk away. Alternatively, Bethnal Green, on the Central Line is only 15 minutes away as well, and certainly is on anyone’s list of best markets in London.
Tip by Laura and Charlie of the Traveling Stomach.
Greenwich Market might not be as popular as Borough Market but it’s a market that is loved by South Londoner’s. With an emphasis on locally sourced seasonal organic produces, handcrafted gifts and art. There is bound to be something that catches your eye as you wander through Greenwich Market.
But that’s now even the best part of the market. With stalls serving dishes from Ethiopia at Addis’s Taste, cannoli from Sicily at Casa Cannoli and Rum cakes from Jamaica at Doreen’s. You won’t go hungry either.
You can even get your hands on some locally sourced oysters from Oyster Brothers if you’re in the mood and best Churros in London at Greenwich Market. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Just lookout for the line of people waiting for their freshly made churros.
It’s London’s only historic market set in a World Heritage Site and with the Cutty Shark and the Martine Observatory within walking distance, this is one of the markets in London you should not miss.
Address: 5B Greenwich Market, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 9HZ
Nearest Station: Jubilee line runs to North Greenwich
DLR Station: Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich
Opening days and hours:
Monday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm and open seven days a week
Monday, Wednesday, Friday to Sunday: arts, crafts, designer-makers.
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: antiques and collectables.
Tip by Delahaye of Hues of Delahaye, who also has more tips and things to see in London here.
This little market is a bit away from the center and only visited by locals. I discovered it while living in London, and I loved it. It’s a great place to witness London’s multiculturalism, since you’ll see the city without the tourist crowds. Also, it’s the perfect place for foodies and you don’t need a food tour to find all the goodies. You’ll come across organic, locally produced items –like cheeses, fruits and veggies–, fresh flowers, vintage clothes, and one of a kind memorabilia and souvenirs. It’s sort of an off the beaten path hipster farmer’s market. What a find!
It was established in the 1890s, so it promotes itself as “a working Victorian street market”. It’s close to Regent’s Canal and Victoria Park, which makes it the ideal location if you want to have a stroll before or after your shopping. You’ll also find chic cafés and boutique restaurants in the street that houses the market, so you can transform your visit into a day trip.
This small but lively market is located in Broadway Market street, E8 4PH, and it opens only on Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM. The nearest tube station is Bethnal Green, on the Central Line, which is a 15 minutes walk, although only 5 minutes away is the Overground station of London Fields.
Tip by Coni from Experiencing the Globe.
If you are looking for the place to see and be seen while checking out the latest fun and delicious food choices, head out to the South End at Borough market. Established since the 12th century, the South End’s Borough Market is filled with many hip foodie venues along with the freshest produce, finished goods and delicious take out dishes from artisanal food vendors in the market. Borough market is easily accessible via underground at the London Bridge Station or you can also take a cab or Uber directly to the main entrance of the market.
There are plenty of outdoor and indoor dining venues surrounding the market and inside you will find colorful and aromatic odors of the most delicious food you’ll see for sale from the many take out counters so take your time to explore the market before you really settle in for your top choices to try. You can also sample wonderful local cheeses, locally baked goods, dried meats and sausages and the best of everything made locally around England brought to the market daily for sale.
If you’re spending more time visiting London, check out all these 25 cool and fun places to explore in London here for information and more pictures of unique things to do around the city.
Tip by Noel Morata from Travel, Photo, Discovery.
Old Spitalfields Market
Close by to Brick Lane Market, this market in London is one of the city’s busiest ones on Sunday. There are hundreds of stalls offering a variety of crafts, artwork and fashion items. Additionally, many local artists and sculptors have their studios there, so you are sure to find a great deal of diversity while exploring this market.
As a speciality, their antique market runs on Thursdays and draws a community of antique dealers and specialists who showcase their vintage stock and classic items for purchase.
Location and Hours: Old Spitalfields market is open seven days a week with most shops open between 10am-7pm every day.
Find it at 16 Horner Square, E1 6EW. You can use Aldgate tube or Liverpool Street station to get to the market, each around a five to ten minute walk.
Maltby Street Market
This is one of London’s smaller markets and it is just on the weekend, but it is a lovely one to visit and view, especially for the food market aspects of it. This East London stretch is best known for its abundance of curry houses, but the Maltby Street Market is the setting for culinary brilliance on more fronts than that, whether that be the street food vendors, or the cute cafes hidden in the arches.
When someone asks me what London street market the should visit, one of the places I send them is called the Ropewalk area in this market. It’s fabulous.
Location and Hours: Saturdays from 9am-4pm, Sundays from 11am-4pm. Find it at Ropewalk, 41 Maltby Street, SE1 3PA. Nearest tube station is Bermondsey.
Covent Garden Market
This central London market is an architectural masterpiece is located within the 19th century Piazza of Covent Garden. There are three different markets to explore here. Take a look around the Apple Market, East Colonnade Market and Jubilee Market for handcrafted gifts, art, and other diverse goods. Personally I find this market best for fashion and for art.
Along with the Apple Market, there are also speciality shops such as perfume boutiques, unique homeware stores, restaurants and cafes, and as well you be able to find gorgeous crafts, antiques and jewellery.
Location and Hours: Monday to Friday 10am-8pm, Saturday 9am-8pm, and Sunday Midday-6pm. The address is 21 The Market Building and obviously the closest tube stop is Covent Garden.
Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market is a two-mile long road that has a large collection of rare and sometimes weird items. The main antique sales are done on Saturday and this place can be a bit of a madhouse then since it is one of the most popular London street markets.
The fashionable market cuts through the heart of Notting Hill in West London – one of London’s trendiest areas and was made famous by the time lapse sequence in the movie of the same name. As such, it is one of the most famous markets not only in this capital city, but also the world.
The market has been around since the 1800s, and beyond antiques, shoppers can also pick up some of the freshest fruit and vegetables that London has to offer, as well as spotting what trends in fashion that London’s most posh will be wearing next season.
Southbank Centre Market
The Southbank Centre Market has two main components, a food market and a book market. The book market is massive and unlike anything else I’ve seen anywhere else before. It is one of my favorite flea markets anywhere in London.
Location and hours: The food market is open Fridays (12-8pm), Saturdays (11am-8pm) and Sundays (12-6pm), while the book market is open daily until 7pm. The market is located near the London Eye and the closest tube station is Waterloo, but it is also just across the bridge from the Embankment station.
Camden Lock Market
This is actual two London street markets in one, because they are so close to each other. Plus, Camden Lock is also one of my favorite neighborhoods in this great city.
Camden Market — Buck Street has loads of vintage clothes, bags and jewellery while the Camden Lock Market is good for arts and crafts. For me, this is the place I go when I want to buy some funky and unusual clothes, because this London street market has the same cool vibe as the neighborhood it is located in. In fact, Amy Winehouse was one of the famous residents of this area.
Thanks so much for reading. Locally based shopping in markets is one of the passions I have when traveling around the world, and these are some of my favorites in Europe on a daily basis.
So whether you are talking about markets in the West End of markets in the East End, or elsewhere, hopefully this guide will give you a start to find the best markets in London.