London is the shopping destination with a twist. Not only is it home to world famous Oxford Street, the quirky home of vintage boutiques, Carnaby Street, and Westfield, the Shepherd’s Bush shopping centre that has really raised the bar, but countless markets as well.
The British capital’s markets all have their own extremely distinct identity and flavor, so we’ve done the hard work for you and created this comprehensive guide full of all the markets we think you’d like to visit most. Use these write ups to help you decide which market is for you and then all that’s left to do is to get shopping!
Perhaps most famous of all of London’s markets, Camden Market is actually made up of several different markets - all situated in the northern Camden town area.
Looking for crafts and curiosities or something that would make a great gift? Head straight to Camden Lock Village! What about something seriously bohemian? Stables market is the place for you. Camden market is home to more than 100 shops and stalls, so whatever you’re looking for, from jewelry, to antiques, to lingerie and everything in between - this market will be a great place to visit for a taste of the ‘real’ London.
Market traders try to spot tourists, and often add a hefty mark-up accordingly. So, try to appear to know where you’re going, even if you don’t, it may save you in the long run!
Brick Lane Market
While you’ll almost certainly have heard of Brick Lane market for its range of exotic spices and colorful saris, you might not know that on Sundays, the streets are teeming with people hawking second-hand furniture, bric-a-brac, amazing affordable leather goods and all sorts of other items.
Old Spitalfields Market
Just as many people can be found at Old Spitalfields Market hoping to get snapped for a street-style blog each weekend as looking for the perfect piece of artwork or fashion. Located just a five minute stroll from Liverpool Street station, Old Spitalfields is by far the coolest market to be found anywhere in East London.
Street food goes hand in hand with street fashion these days and, just as you’ll find great quality vintage pieces, crafts, jewelry, books and soft furnishings at Spitalfields, there’s plenty of delicious things to snack on too.
Portobello Road Market
After an antique or two? Then head to Portobello on Saturdays for hidden gems galore. Get there early to beat the crowds if you’re serious about finding something special, or take a more relaxed attitude and just soak up the buzzing atmosphere later on.
Planning on buying something bulky? Portobello is a great place to find unique or rare furniture, but you might struggle to fit it in your hotel room. Get around this by renting your very own London crash pad. Staying in one of these short let apartments in London can actually work out cheaper than a pricey hotel. You’ll have loads of space to store your new purchases, and you can spend those extra pennies on a delicious market-stall meal.
Fridays at Portobello Road are great for sourcing clothing from up-and-coming designers, while fantastic shops and boutiques surrounding the market area are open all week!