Top 5 London Markets to Visit on the Weekend
One of my favourite things to do in London on the weekend was to go to their world-famous markets. Since 1851, London markets have been a quintessential part of the bustling city. Offering everything from food to flowers to clothes to antiques to local musicians, London markets have this electric and magnetic energy about them that I’ve never experienced in any other city’s markets.
Although each of these markets were similar in some regards, it’s very clear what each market specialized in. So if you’re looking for the perfect market for antiquing, clothes & fashion, flowers and food– you’ve come to the right place!
I rounded up my favourite markets I visited during my 6-week stay in London. Without further adieu, here are the…
Top 5 London Markets To Visit On The Weekend
Neighbourhood: Notting Hill
Market days: Friday and Saturday 9-7 pm
Go for: Antiques
You may recognize Portobello Market from the 1999 classic rom-com Notting Hill starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. Although the film was made nearly 20 (!) years ago, the Portobello Market hasn’t changed much since then! The Notting Hill market stretches over a mile along the candy-coloured Portobello Road and around the corner onto Golborne Road.
Depending on what you’re looking for, the market is sectioned into five parts: antiques, bric-a-brac, vintage clothes (& other fashion items), produce and food. In between sections, there are live musicians and DJs adding to the excitement of market day. My roommate and I were definitely the embarrassing duo dancing in the streets to some unbelievably talented local artists.
Optional dance parties aside, I’d also recommend checking out their vintage clothes & jewelry, and their antiques, which is what Portobello Market is best known for. I sadly wasn’t able to bring any of their incredible antiques home with me (I only had one suitcase for a 7-week trip). But, I did leave with a beautiful vintage ring that brings back memories of my old neighbourhood every time I wear it.
Nearest tube stop: Bethnal Green
Hours: Saturday 9-5 pm
Go for: Vintage clothes & fashion
Tucked away in the Hackney borough is the best vintage fashion and clothing market in London- the Broadway Market. My roommate learned about the vintage clothing cornucopia from her co-workers at a London arts & culture magazine. Needless to say, we were not disappointed! The market had delicious gluten-free baked goods- like this donut pictured above- gorgeous flower stalls and an endless line of unique clothes and jewellery.
I ended up buying the most ridiculous coat I have ever seen (i.e. a quintessential London item) and a couple of cute vintage tops. My roommate left with a stunning embroidered pair of white overalls and a free scarf from the stall owner.
Nearest tube stop: Bethnal Green
Hours: Sunday 8-2 pm
Go for: Flowers!
The Columbia Road Flower Market is the smallest market I have ever explored. It’s literally two blocks long, and packed with some of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen. It’s also one of the busiest markets I have ever been to- it took close to 30 minutes to walk those two blocks. From succulents to tulips to orchids, the Columbia Road Flower Market has it all. And even if you’re just passing through London for a couple of days, it’s worth seeing London’s obsession with fresh flowers at one of its most iconic flower markets.
Nearest tube stop: Camden Town
Hours: 10-6 pm daily
Go for: Food
The Camden Market is open everyday, but it’s worth seeing in its full bustling glory on the weekend. The maze of streets have hundreds of delicious food booths and unique vintage shops tucked into the brickwork buildings. Camden Market is known for its food and drinks scene, so grab a hungry friend and share a plate from as many stalls as you’d like!
I stopped in for lunch when I was absolutely starving and was spoiled for choice. First, I had a Peruvian arepa and made my way over to a delicious vegan Indian meal. Then, I finished the afternoon with a warm cup of mulled wine.
I was also tempted by the Cereal Killer Cafe (pictured above), which is literally a cafe dedicated to serving you any cereal with any topping and any milk you’d like. I saw it in a Facebook video months before my London trip and it was cool to see it in real life! They had a few gluten-free options and dairy-free milk, so I will definitely be indulging in a bowl of cereal the next time I’m in Camden!
Nearest tube stop: Brixton Station
Hours: Tuesday- Sunday 8-11.30pm; Monday 8-6 pm
Go for: Food & an abundance of markets
Although Brixton Village is technically not a market, it’s surrounded by them: Market Row, Brixton Market, Bakers’ & Flea Market, Retro & Vintage Market, the Makers’ Market, and the Brix Mix Market. Although many of these markets carry some of the best budget-friendly food, clothes and knick-knacks in London, the Brixton Village offers some of the best restaurants and local shops in Brixton. (And dare I say London!) I ate at Senzala, which put a Brazilian spin on crepes. I definitely over-indulged in their gluten-free and vegan crepes, but it was definitely worth it!
What are your favourite London markets? Which markets would you love to visit?
Share your tips in the comments below and let me know which London markets are your favourites or which ones you’d love to visit!
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