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BlogDestinations6 can’t-miss markets in London—for street food, antiques, and more
woman shopping in store at market in london
Destinations

6 can’t-miss markets in London—for street food, antiques, and more

Jun 07, 2023 by Courtney Keller

Museums, landmarks, and parks abound in this England’s capital, but London’s markets are high on our must-visit list, too. The array of vibrant street bazaars offers something for every traveler. Here are six of the best markets in London, what they’re known for, and how to get to them—plus the best places to explore nearby, so you can plan your free time on our London tours accordingly.

Staffer Jules holding up a pork sandwich covered with shredded parmigiano cheese in Borough market

1. Borough Market

Known for: This culinary hub has an incredible food selection—you’ll find everything from fish to fruit and poultry to pastries. There are over 100 different stalls filled with both British and international treats, making it one of the best markets in London to snack your way through.

Closest Tube stop: If you’re taking the Tube, the easiest way to get there is to get off at London Bridge Station. Then, walk just two minutes to arrive at this bustling bazaar.

Nearby landmark: Visit the Sky Garden and the London Bridge after you’ve explored all the shops and stalls Borough Market has to offer. It’s a quick walk across London Bridge to get to the Sky Garden and enjoy a refreshment with a view. (And what a view!) Visit Sky Garden on our new London, Paris & Rome for Solo Travelers tour.

Fun fact: This market in London has existed in some form since traders began congregating in the area during the 13th century.

First time traveling to London? Don’t go without our complete London travel guide.

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the upper windows of the brightly colored townhouses on Portobello Road in London

2. Portobello Road Market

Known for: Antiques, clothing, food, household items, and even secondhand goods are just some of the treasures you’ll find at Portobello Road Market—one of the best markets in London to visit. Different stretches have stalls dedicated to each of these items, and you’ll also find plenty of stores and restaurants lining the streets of Portobello Road.

Closest Tube stop: Hop off at the Ladbroke Grove or Notting Hill Gate Tube stop—it’s an easy walk to this London market from either.

Nearby landmark: Portobello is nestled in the charming neighborhood of Notting Hill in West London. Famous for the romantic comedy of the same name starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, this colorful nook of London is worth a stroll during your free time on any of our trips to London.

Fun fact: Once called Green Lane, this area started out as a place to sell food. In the 1940s, vendors transitioned to selling antiques and handmade goods, a trend that soon became what this London market was known for.

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people sitting at picnic tables and exploring around a brick building with food stalls at Camden Market

3. Camden Market

Known for: Whether you’re on the hunt for global cuisine, fashion, or music and art, you’ll find something unique here. One of the most eclectic of London’s markets, Camden is near Regent’s Park and is comprised of three different bazaars: Camden Lock, Camden Stables, and Union Street.

Closest Tube stop: Take the Tube to the Camden Town stop—you can’t miss this food market in London.

Nearby landmarks: Queen Mary’s Rose Garden—London’s largest collection of roses—is a must-see sight near Camden Market. Take in this vibrant oasis of more than 12,000 roses at the Inner Circle within Regent’s Park.

Fun fact: Dingwalls is a live music venue that makes this London market even more unique. First opened in 1973, it’s located inside Camden Market and has hosted legendary acts like The Ramones, Blondie, and The Clash.

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clothing on wooden hangers hanging on a rack

4. Brick Lane Market

Known for: If you’re a thrifter, consider this famous market in London your mecca. Vendors specialize in vintage clothing, jewelry, and art—so whether you’re looking for once-in-a-lifetime thrift finds or a good window shop, this is the market in London for you.

Closest Tube stop: Shoreditch High Street will drop you off a short walk away.

Nearby landmarks: Just a 15 minute walk from Brick Lane Market is Whitechapel: a once rugged, impoverished, and crime-stricken area. Now trendy and gentrified, Whitechapel is most famous for the unsolved murders committed by Jack the Ripper. If you’re looking to learn more about this case, book our Halloween Tour: Dublin, Edinburgh & London to take a Jack the Ripper tour through Whitechapel and nearby Spitalfields, where the murders occurred.

Fun fact: Brick Lane Market started in the 17th century as a Jewish food market that was only open on Sundays. Check out more international culinary influences throughout the city in our guide to the best food in London.

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5. Covent Garden Market

Known for: This is the place to go for a social hour—and to run some errands, too. Shop for produce from local farmers, grab a bite to eat, and relax at one of the various picnic tables with your snacks and friends. Plus, in the winter, you can ice skate!

Closest Tube stop: The stop you want is easy to remember: Take the Tube to Covent Garden for quick access to the market.

Nearby landmarks: Don’t miss out on visiting Trafalgar Square while you’re shopping your way through Covent Garden. Built to commemorate the British victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, it has a marble column in its center topped by a statue of Admiral Lord Nelson, who led the British fleet and died in the battle.

Fun fact: Covent Garden Market was founded in 1845 as a place to sell meat, produce, and trinkets. Today, it remains one of the best markets in London for food and goods.

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6. Leadenhall Market

Known for: Consider this your one-stop-shop experience. Treat your tastebuds to a meal, cheers to your tour with a chic cocktail, or get yourself some high-end skincare. Leadenhall is one of the best markets in London because it has it all—and then some!

Closest Tube stop: Hop off at the Monument stop and stroll just five minutes to this historic marketplace.

Nearby landmarks: The Tower of London is a short walk from Leadenhall Market. After seeing the Crown Jewels and more, spend some free time browsing the marketplace on any of our tours to London.

Fun fact: This market stands in the center of Roman Londinium—the capital of Britain when it was under Roman rule sometime around 43 A.D.

Ready to thrift, sip, and feast your way through these markets? Explore any of them during your free time on one of our London tours.


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About the author | Courtney Keller
A lover of travel since studying in France, Courtney strives to inspire others to get out and see the world. When she’s not writing, she’s trying new restaurants, reading, doing yoga, baking, walking her rescue pup, or planning her next trip.

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