London’s markets have it all. Shop for that little something you didn’t even know you were looking for!
London markets are perfect shopping destinations for everything from food to flowers, modern art to antiques, and vintage clothes to curios—there is something for everyone!
Most London shops and markets reopened on 12 April following the latest easing of coronavirus restrictions but be sure to do your part and follow the local guidelines and health and safety precautions. Also, be aware that some venues listed here may still be closed after that date.
We begin our tour in the northernmost region of London, highlighting one of the best and super trendy hangouts, Camden Lock, where you will find the best of everything: from punk fashion to designer clothes, from bars and restaurants to works of art, all spread across more than 100 stores.
Let’s continue our tour by exploring the south of the river. Be sure to check out the following markets in south London:
Brixton Village e Market Row – Wander under the railway archways into the covered arcades of Brixton Village and you’ll find vendors selling decorative items, crafts, clothes, as well as bars and eateries. To complete you visit, head out onto Electric Avenue and sample some of the local street food.
Mercato Metropolitano – Artisanal products your thing? This is the place! Looking for a bite to eat? Again, this is the place! Soak up the chilled vibes in the indoor and outdoor seating areas at Elephant and Castle’s Mercato Metropolitano. If you’re keen for more, check out its sister venue, Mercato Mayfair, located in St Mark’s Church, now a hub of international yet sustainable dining.
Greenwich Market – Although open every day, weekends are always busiest. With about 150 stalls selling an enticing range of jewellery, pictures, clothes, accessories and unique gifts, there is something for all. Once you’ve explored the market, grab a bite at the food court then head to the local shops to scoop even more goodies.
Herne Hill Market – The perfect market for foodies. This is the ideal place for both eating on the spot and snagging produce to take home, plus arts and crafts, all sourced from within 100 miles of Herne Hill.
The east of the city is also full of unique markets waiting to be discovered, including:
Columbia Road Flower Market – Get up early for the best selection at Columbia Road Flower Market. You can find it all, from plants to trees, shrubs to bulbs. You can also buy gardening accessories, as well as freshly cut flowers.
Brick Lane Market – Spread across several streets, Brick Lane Market is the place to discover bric-a-brac, second-hand furniture, vintage clothes, shoes and lots more, including exotic spices. Sunday is the best day to visit, with the Sunday Upmarket featuring more than 200 stalls.
Victoria Park Market – Another destination for foodies! Or perhaps this is the place to inspire your inner chef. Head to trendy Hackney and walk down The Nightwalk on a Sunday to find an abundance of food. Fill your shopping bags with fresh fish, organic meat, and freshly baked breads. You can also treat yourself right there and then by sampling some of the pies and cakes on offer. If it all gets too much, cool off with a cold craft beer.
Broadway Market/Netil Market – Shop here for delicious ingredients, yummy ready-made food, unique and unusual clothes and gifts, as well as furniture, lighting and more—it is all up for grabs at Broadway Market in Hackney. There is also the nearby Netil Market, a smaller market that specialises in art and food.
Old Spitalfields Market – Here’s another market where you can find just about anything, from artwork to food. Cutting-edge fashion and accessories are the headline acts though, whether from designer brands or independent boutiques. There are days that focus on specific categories of product, such as the Vinyl Market every other Friday and the Antiques Market every Thursday. Urban Makers Market is the last weekend of each month.
Tired? But wait, there’s more! Let’s head west:
Cabbages and Frocks Market – One of London’s more sophisticated markets, this is where you’ll find the up-and-coming designers and some true high fashion. On Saturdays, get along to the courtyard by St Marylebone Parish Church to enjoy one of London’s most upscale markets selling must-have collections.
Alfies Antique Market – Located in Marylebone, this is one of the largest indoor antiques markets in London. Among the collectible items on offer, one of the market’s specialities is vintage clothes from the 1930s and 1940s. Be sure to head to its rooftop kitchen for views over west London.
Portobello Road Market – This is one of the oldest in London and dates to the 1800s. It has been particularly notorious for antiques since the 1950s. These days, especially on Saturdays, you can also find everything from vintage clothes and bric-a-brac to music.
Last but not least, the markets of central London, in the heart of the city!
Maltby Street Market – It’s on the weekend, beneath the arches of London Bridge, that this market springs to life with a wide range of street food vendors along the Ropewalk. On a diet? Forget it. Your biggest dilemma is what to choose… Waffles or something savoury? How about a New York-style sandwich to accompany a gin and tonic? When in doubt, try a little of everything!
Borough Market – Again, shelve the diet. Come with an empty stomach and discover a gastronomic paradise at Borough Market. Located near London Bridge, here you can find a range of restaurants and delicious street food. You can also pick up specialist ingredients to take home, including organic produce and hard-to-find condiments.
Seven Dials – This used to be a banana warehouse. It was totally revamped and today, with its impressive glass roof, offers delicious food for all tastes. Head downstairs for street food or upstairs for elegant terrazzo countertop cafes.
Covent Garden – Housed in and around the iconic Market Building, this central London venue is an architectural masterpiece. Here you can enjoy one-of-a-kind shops—including perfume boutiques, homeware stores, restaurants and cafes, etc—all selling gorgeous crafts, antiques, jewellery, and unique gifts. And then there’s the entertainment: live presentations from musicians and street performers, as well as magicians.
Southbank Centre Book Market/Food Market – Hosted in Southbank Centre Square, behind the Royal Festival Hall, it opens on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and bank holiday Mondays. Street food is the main act, with vendors specifically chosen for their dedication to delicious, sustainable and ethical food and drink. Under Waterloo Bridge, peruse paperbacks and hunt for rare hardcovers at the Southbank Centre Book Market, open daily.
Market Hall West End – Surely by now it is abundantly clear that there’s no shortage of culinary options in London, right? Here is one more: the UK’s largest food hall, filled with everything you could desire. Open seven days a week, there are three floors offering nibbles from sweet to savoury. Irresistible!