Exploring London's Vibrant Markets

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Curated By

Eva Garcia

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  • London

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Arts & Culture

  • Hidden Gems

  • Sightseeing

  • Shopping

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Curator’s statement

As someone who has called London home for the past 15 years, you might assume I've uncovered every nook and cranny, every hidden gem this city has to offer. Yet, I still find myself wandering through its vibrant markets and iconic sights with the wide-eyed wonder of a tourist. Each market has its own unique charm and treasures waiting to be discovered. Join me as I guide you through some of the most interesting markets in the heart of this bustling metropolis.

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Where to stay in London

Shangri-La The Shard, London

Starting on level 34, the hotel occupies 18 floors of The Shard, an architectural icon and Western Europe’s tallest building featuring sky brunch and afternoon tea.

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  • $100 food / beverage credit.

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The Portobello Hotel - Part of a Curious Group of Hotels

A luxurious boutique bolthole in a classically English Victorian building, with interiors that celebrate the bohemian spirit of the nearby Portobello Road market.

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London

Posh hotel with polished rooms and Victorian-inspired amenities.

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  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Welcome amenity.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Things to do in London

A narrow alleyway with pink, red and yellow umbrellas above

1. Borough Market:

Tips: Arrive early to beat the crowds and enjoy the market at its liveliest. Don't forget to sample the artisanal cheeses, fresh produce, and delectable pastries.

Where to Eat Nearby: Head to "Borough Market Kitchen" for a diverse range of global cuisines. Try the raclette from Kappacasein or the salt beef bagels from Monty's Deli.

2. Portobello Road Market:

Tips: Saturdays are the busiest, so aim for a visit on a weekday if you prefer a more relaxed experience. Keep an eye out for unique antiques and vintage fashion.

Where to Eat Nearby: Explore "Farm Girl" for a healthy brunch or indulge in a classic English breakfast at "The Electric Diner."

3. Camden Market:

Tips: Venture beyond the main street to discover hidden gems. Sundays are perfect for a leisurely stroll and eclectic finds.

Where to Eat Nearby: "KERB Camden Market" offers an array of street food. Try the halloumi fries from Oli Baba's or indulge in Asian-inspired cuisine at Bao Wow.

4. Spitalfields Market:

Tips: Visit during the week for a quieter experience. Don't miss the handmade crafts and unique art pieces.

Where to Eat Nearby: Savor a diverse selection at "Dishoom" for Bombay-inspired delights or try the gourmet hot dogs at "Bleecker" for a quick bite.

5. Covent Garden Market:

Tips: Weekdays are less crowded compared to weekends. Enjoy street performances in the main square.

Where to Eat Nearby: Discover "Dabbous" for modern European cuisine or indulge in classic British fare at "The Ivy Market Grill."

6. Columbia Road Flower Market:

Tips: Sundays are bustling with flower enthusiasts. Negotiate for the best deals and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.

Where to Eat Nearby: Visit "Laxeiro" for authentic Spanish tapas or try the wood-fired pizzas at "Brawn."

Places to eat & drink in London

An outdoor food stall with orange umbrellas reading "Borough Market"

As you traverse these markets, keep an eye out for hidden gems, unique handcrafted items, and the diverse culinary experiences they offer. Whether you're a foodie, a vintage enthusiast, or a lover of fresh blooms, London's markets have something special for everyone. Enjoy the vibrant energy, and let each market reveal its own story as you explore this dynamic city.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, 4 Places To Visit For Christmas and New Years.

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to London.

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Eva Garcia

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