Forego the crowds and mass retailers at Oxford Street and go local at the best markets in London, where you’ll be able to snatch bargains, indulge in street food and see some of the capital’s most exciting local craftsmen and women. From historical indoor markets to vibrant outdoor occasions, here’s a list of some of the best London markets.
Camden Market is a quintessential choice for any traveller with eccentric vendors, vintage clothing stalwarts and colourful crowds contributing to the market’s infectious energy. While in recent years it’s become a little more touristy (avoid the overpriced souvenir stalls lining the roads), over 200 stalls clamour for attention selling everything from independent jewellery to gothic clothing. Don’t miss out on Cyberdog, a bizarre yet incredible store that specialises in clubwear and all things subculture.
Open daily, this eclectic market is best explored in the morning before the crowds rush in to snag the best bargains. With everything from antique furniture to unique vintage fashion finds, the markets’ vendors rotate from day to day so it’s worth checking on their website what kind of sellers are going to be there whenever you’ve planned your visit (for the full experience, head over on the weekend).
Located just off of Brick Lane, this indoor market bustles with activity come rain or shine – making it one of the top markets in London. Filled with independent designers, food vendors and vintage stalls alongside more traditional retailers, it’s a great alternative to the crowds of Camden. Grab an indulgent burger served with a thick slice of black pudding at Bleecker Street and buy a vintage map of London from one of the maps stalls to take back home as a unique souvenir.
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Greenwich is one of London’s most charming neighbourhoods, with the rolling green hill of Greenwich Park boasting an unforgettable view over the Thames and the tea clipper Cutty Sark harboured nearby. It also hosts a fun market full of artworks by local artists, a diverse range of food stalls and clothing by independent designers.
Covent Garden Market
Come for the market and stay for the architecture at Camden Market, where London’s talented craftsmen and women tote their wares in the breathtaking 19th Century Piazza. Open daily, you’ll be able to buy everything from fine leather goods to handmade organic soaps and then enjoy the live performances by street musicians and the occasional magician outside.
🌈 SOOOOOMEWHERE over the CHURRAINBOWWWW 😁 was planning on posting all the food before dessert but I couldn’t resist this! Toppings: Chocolate flakes, M&Ms, rainbow sprinkles cause I’m basic like that & some chocolate 🍫 sauce with CHURROS &🍦! Shoutout to @lachurrerialdn for this amazing creation!! @kerbfood @camdenmarketldn
Go beyond the clothing stalls of Camden Market and slip into KERB, one of the best food markets in London specialising in street food with over 30 exciting vendors. Hosted in a roomy courtyard along the canal, you’ll be able to sample exciting highlights from London’s street food scene from The Mac Factory’s adventurous takes on mac and cheese to Swedish-Mexican fusion tacos.
Step out of London Bridge station and follow the smell of freshly made food to London’s iconic Borough Market. As one of the most famous markets in London, this sophisticated venue is a favourite with tourists and full of refined produce From cheese stands specialising in comté and brie to fishmongers shucking fresh oysters flown in from Ireland, it’s a cut above the traditional farmers’ market. Walk past the main entrance with its stunning green metal and glass ceiling and explore the diverse food stalls in the back – try the hog roast sandwiches served with pork crackling and apple sauce for a meal you’ll never forget.
Elephant and Castle may not seem like a top choice for a hidden Italian market, but dip down the gravel path and through the arches to the gigantic complex for a world of culinary adventure. You’ll find mostly locals and savvy tourists here hanging out by the DIY tiramisu stall with an artisan coffee, or gulping down organic wine with a piping hot plate of pasta in hand. If Italian food isn’t your jam, they’ve started adding more international delights to the roster as well.
Columbia Road Flower Market
This tiny Sunday market packs a punch of colour and is perfect for photographers and plant enthusiasts. A wander through is a sensory overload with smells from gigantic mountains of dried lavender wafting by, the sounds of Cockney sellers hawking their wares and the rainbow assortments of freshly cut flowers and tall houseplants. While it’s not one of the most famous markets in London, it is one of its most charming. Skip over to the next street over when you’re done for vintage shopping and a cup of coffee at one of the area’s independent cafés.
Maltby Street Market
Quality over quantity is the name of the game at Maltby Street Market, one of the top markets in London if you’re looking for a decadent bite to eat. Located just off the railway arches, the stalls here tout everything from piping hot plates of raclette cheese (drizzled liberally over young potatoes and gherkins) to a dessert from Bad Brownie positively oozing with salted caramel. This weekend market isn’t open just on Sundays, but it’s also one of the best Saturday markets in London.
Brick Lane Market
Nestled in the heart of Shoreditch, East London’s coolest neighbourhood, Brick Lane Market is suitably a hipster’s dreamland and one of the best markets in London. One man’s trash is another’s vintage bargain here, with ornate mirrors, leather jackets and the occasional designer find packed into its numerous stalls. Keep your camera close as the neighbourhood’s graffiti is worth the snaps.