If London has a heartbeat, it pulses from the city’s markets. Whether you’re looking for a sprawling center to wander around, a quaint marketplace to shop for antiques and local art, or simply a hub to grab a quick bite, you’ll find what you need at one of London’s many markets.
Alfie’s Antique Market
This chic antique market spans five bustling floors and houses over 75 specialist dealers. The atmosphere is lively and cheerful, and every Tuesday through Saturday, you’ll discover throngs of excited Londoners exploring these decorative outlets. Need to relax? Make your way to the fifth-floor terrace, where you can grab a cup of tea or a hearty English breakfast and take in the panoramic views of this magnificent city.
Closest underground station: Marylebone
Got a hunger about you? Make your way to Borough Market. A genuine foodie’s paradise, this lively center is stacked with everything from fresh produce to flaky pastries. You can either stop by one of the many stalls to enjoy a quick, tasty meal or you can stock up on indulgent local ingredients to take home — or both! The market is open seven days a week in December and Monday through Saturday the rest of the year.
Closest underground station: London Bridge
Brick Lane Market
For a Sunday morning dose of wonder, make your way to the Brick Lane Market in London’s East End. With a crowded, yet relaxed atmosphere, the unique vibe here will quell any of your anxieties about the upcoming week, allowing you to explore the eclectic mix of stalls that offer nostalgic goods, antiques, and all sorts of tasty treats. Try on secondhand clothes, flip through vintage vinyls, or enjoy a show from one of the eccentric street performers!
Closest underground station: Aldgate East
Camden Lock Market
When Camden Market opened in 1974, it offered only 16 stalls, selling a small mix of local arts and crafts every Sunday. Today, it stands as the largest market in London, featuring over 1,000 places to shop, browse, eat, drink, and dance. The spirit of the original fair lives on, however, as Camden promotes itself as a diverse community of creative sellers and independent stores. The market remains open every day of the year except Christmas Day.
Closest underground station: Camden Town
Columbia Road Flower Market
Got a green thumb? The Columbia Road Flower Market is the perfect Sunday stop for you! With over 60 independent shops and galleries, this flowery market is a gardener’s paradise, complete with rows upon rows of colorful petals and indulgent aromas. Nearby, you’ll find countless pubs, restaurants, and cafés, so make a day of it and grab a quick bite or a pint whenever you need to refuel.
Closest underground station: Bethnal Green
Covent Garden Market
The Covent Garden Market actually houses three individual markets, but even if your pockets are empty, you could easily enjoy a day here without spending a penny. Located in the iconic Market Building and piazza, the Garden offers a gallery of architectural wonder you can explore at your preferred pace. The Apple Market features handmade crafts and curios, the East Colonnade Market contains everything from jewelry to sweets and magic tricks, and the Jubilee Market prefers to keep you on your toes with different types of goods featured every day of the week.
Closest underground station: Covent Garden
Do the ornate roofs and cobbled floors of this exquisite Victorian marketplace seem familiar? They should — Leadenhall Market served as the setting for Diagon Alley and the Leaky Cauldron in the “Harry Potter” films. It’s no wonder the producers picked it as a filming location — with its elegant architecture, fine cheese and flower shops, and eclectic selection of pubs and restaurants, it truly is a magical place to explore.
Closest underground station: Monument
Old Spitalfields Market
There’s a little bit of everything at Old Spitalfields. This popular covered market offers antiques on Thursdays, clothes and art on Fridays, and everything in between on the weekends. From top-of-the-line fashion and accessories to independent boutiques and all sorts of unique shops, food stalls, and antique outlets, you won’t grow bored at Old Spitalfields Market.
Closest underground station: Liverpool Street
Portobello Road Market
Though it’s been around since the 1800s, Portobello Road Market garnered worldwide fame in the 1950s for its spectacular selection of antiques. Today, it is one of the most popular antique markets in the world, attracting patrons who flock to its Saturday street market for posters, vintage clothing, music, and all sorts of interesting curios. There are few better ways to experience the unique spirit of Notting Hill than a walk through Portobello Road Market.
Closest underground station: Ladbroke Grove