If you love unique things or vintage clothes and hate catching three girls in a row wearing the same H&M blouse on the tube, London boasts a selection of places where you can find things that will help you express yourself (and eat better). Here are 9 famous markets in London that you should visit if you’re new to the city, or if you’re looking for a lovely place to stroll through – with a few author’s notes.
Located in between London Bridge train/tube station and the Northern Line’s Borough station, Borough Market is a home to great food and chilled out atmosphere. With the wealth of food from different cuisines – from street food to gourmet delicacies – it’s a perfect place to grab something during lunch, or hang out with the friends during the weekend. There are many places who offer vegetarian/vegan options, so everyone’s included!
Author’s note: So much good food it’s difficult to choose where to stop and eat. Also, filled with people and lively every time.
A short walk from Bank and Monument stations, Leadenhall Market is a gem hidden in the Square Mile. It’s a mix of high-street shops (Waterstones just by the entrance, for instance) and smaller shops in a covered space that used to be a Victorian marketplace too. It’s open Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm, so it’s a great place for a relaxed City lunch. However, the shops have varied opening times so it’s not restrictive. Very vibrant on a Friday evening – go experience the atmosphere!
Author’s note: A recent discovery for me… and did you know they filmed a couple of scenes for Harry Potter there?!
Portobello Road Market
The charm of beautiful West London streets that became home to many stalls offering pretty antiques, vintage clothes, unique books – and of course, great food. Located close to Notting Hill Gate station on the Central Line, it is a place famous for what it offers – pop in on a Saturday to enjoy what it has to offer.
Author’s note: I believe this was a first market I’ve ever heard of when I came to London!
Another covered space in London that is home to tens of great stalls to pick from. Books, jewellery, clothes, records and art – you’ll certainly find something one-of-a-kind there. There’s also a food court and the abundance of pubs nearby, which makes it a really fun place to hang out in.
Author’s note: I discovered it as I roamed around looking for a cinema – top tips of an explorer… There’s a greeting card shop there, with handmade cards with chocolate – Chocolate Situation – a really nice thing to add to a present.
Covent Garden Market
This vibrant place offers a mixture of beautiful things in different price ranges. It’s a great place to change environment after a few hours of shopping in West End, as it’s not that far from Oxford Street and popular shopping destinations. Clothes, jewellery, books will be on your fingertips – and visit on a Monday for antiques.
Author’ note: Nearby, there are also some really beautiful, colourful spots hidden… Look around!
Southbank Centre Market
If you happen to be somewhere nearby Waterloo station, go ahead and visit this popular market located by the river bank. Very often you can take part in theme days, when you can try the best of world cuisine. It’s open on the weekends and bank holidays – and because the river bank is so close, you can take a riverside walk after a great lunch.
Author’s note: I went to the Spanish day there ages ago, and oh god, churros and chorizo made delicious. Not together, to clarify.
Another popular and vibrant destination on the Northern Line – and a great place for designer or vintage clothes, pretty accessories, and unique art. It’s a good spot to stroll through on a summer day, browsing through the stalls, and grabbing some street food or organic coffee nearby.
Author’s note: I got my favourite polka dot dress there… good day indeed. Great place for finding pretty gifts too.
Located in the heart of Brixton, just by the Victoria Line’s tube station and the railway station, Brixton Market is always buzzing and lively. And rightfully so: you’ll be able to find some really nice places to eat there, pick up some fresh fruit and veg for cheap, and you won’t leave without picking up a few things for your wardrobe.
Author’s note: Bargain, bargain and bargain once again. It works. Sometimes.
Brick Lane Market
Last but not least – is there anybody who haven’t heard about Brick Lane? Nearby Shoreditch High Street station on the Overground, it gained a reputation of a hipster-y place – but don’t get discouraged if that doesn’t float your boat; it’s a place that offers everything from old records and cutting-edge fashion, or even traditional clothes, to antique furniture.
Author’s note: Some good food too: if you’re in the mood for bagels, make sure you go to famous Beigel Bake (open 24/7!)