There is just something special about markets.

Maybe it’s the old fashioned-ness of them. The hustle and bustle. The community feel. The freshness of the food. The unique clothing and accessories. The smiles and laughter a great market brings out in people.

Maybe it’s all of the above.

There are many things that I miss about my time living in London (the weather certainly isn’t amongst them), but one of the things I miss the most is its markets.

London really knows how to do markets well and there are numerous variations – from food to crafts to antiques to clothing, and everything in between.

With so many to choose from, you could visit a different market every week for a year and still not have seen them all. I certainly didn’t visit every market in London, but I did manage to visit a lot of them during my seven years living in this incredible city.

Here is a list of my favourites:

Best Markets in London

Borough Market

I was lucky enough to work around the corner from this incredible food market and was a frequent lunch time visitor on Fridays. There has been a market operating here for 1000 years – yes, that is meant to be three zeros – one thousand years! I can’t even fathom that.

Borough Market is the go to place for gourmet food: Local and European cheeses, meat, poultry, game, fresh breads, cakes and pastries, ice-cream, spices, preserves, condiments, fresh juices, seafood, flowers, fruits and vegetables. Everything is of the best quality, a lot of it is organic and it is all extremely tasty. If you can’t find a specialty food product anywhere else in London, chances are you will find it here.

Permanent shops in the market zone such as Neal’s Yard Dairy (best cheese in London), Monmouth Coffee (best coffee in London), Tapas Brindisa (best tapas in London) and Applebee’s Fishmongers (best garlic prawn wraps ANYWHERE) are also well worth a visit. Make sure you don’t eat before you go because there are a lot of food stalls selling hot dishes as well as numerous taste tests. If it is a sunny day, sit in the grounds of the beautiful Southwark Cathedral with your goodies for a picnic lunch.

Location: Borough High Street, Southwark

Operating days: Thursday – Saturday every week

Operating times: Various times

Website: http://boroughmarket.org.uk/

BoroughMarket via eventseed.comSouthwark CathedralBoroughcheese via studentstipslondon.wordpress.comCamden Market

Camden Market was my go to market for cheap shoes, clothes, candles and home-wares. Made up of four different interconnecting markets, it is pure mayhem and is the most popular market in London. It is pretty much always busy and I kinda like the craziness. It wouldn’t be Camden without it.

I love the labyrinthine, dark, cobblestoned passageways that make you feel as if you are in Morocco, the food hawkers screaming and shoving samples of lemon chicken at you, the outdoor stalls that are airy and light and the voluminous warehouses crammed with treasures. There are so many different sides to Camden.

Make sure you check out the crazy Cyber Dog where it is all pulsing lights, trance music, glow-in-the-dark neon clothing and even a couple of dancers on platforms. When it gets to the point when you can’t take any more of the craziness, grab a drink and sit by the lock, watching canal boats wait their turn to pass through to the other side.

Location: Camden High Street, Camden

Operating days: Every day except Christmas Day

Operating times: 10am – 6pm

Website: http://www.camdenmarket.com

camdenlock Camden MarketBroadway Market

Another late discovery of mine, this is a fantastic market to check out for a delicious lunch in the East End, best enjoyed on a sunny day in the nearby London Fields. Locals converge on the market to shop for organic meat, fruit, vegetables and seafood which is sold at reasonable prices.

I love the Cockney Barrow Boys, shouting out their wares in rhyming slang. Barrow Boys were once an East End mainstay, street vendors hawking their goods out of barrows on the street and at markets. There isn’t a lot left these days but there are a couple at Broadway Market.

If you are feeling adventurous, try a Cockney treat – jellied eels – or pie and mash with eel liquor at F. Cooke’s Pie and Mash shop which has been an East End fixture since 1910. Broadway Market is a slice of living history in the East End.

Location: Broadway Market, Hackney

Operating days: Every Saturday

Operating times: 9am – 5pm

Website: http://www.broadwaymarket.co.uk/market.php

Broadway-Market-in-London via eurotravelblog.co.ukF Cooke via spitalfieldslife.com

Columbia Road Flower Market

I only made it to this colourful market months before I left London and I wish I had known about it sooner. It may be small but it is vibrant and full of life. The barrow boys call of ‘everythin a fiver’ rings out loud and the street is alive with colour. The fragrant smell of flowers scents the air. It is absolutely the best place that I came across in London to get cheap and good quality flowers and plants and if you are there in the afternoon, there is a good chance that everything will be heavily discounted before the stalls close for the day.

Another reason to visit is the delicious cafes and restaurants in the area. The Lily Vanilli Bakery in a courtyard off Columbia Road has some pretty incredible cakes. You should definitely go there.

Location: Columbia Road, Tower Hamlets

Operating days: Every Sunday

Operating times: 8am – 3pm

Website: http://www.columbiaroad.info/

Columbia Road Flower Market 3 Columbia Road Flower Market 2Lily Vanilli 2Old Spitalfields Market

One of the first markets I ever visited. Old Spitalfields is a covered market known for its cutting edge fashion. There has been a market here since the 17th Century for fruit, vegetables and meat but the focus now is less on edibles and more on wearables.

Located in a beautiful brick Victorian building, there are permanent shops as well as stalls, and the market is a popular destination throughout the week. Thursday to Sunday offers something different each day such as antiques, music, art and vintage. Grab lunch at one of the food stalls or nearby pubs.

Location: Horner Square, Spitalfields

Operating days: Everyday

Operating times: Various

Website: http://www.oldspitalfieldsmarket.com/the-market

Old-Spitalfields-Market via oldspitalfieldsmarket.com spitalfields1 via eastendtours.comRichmond Duck Pond Market

This was my local market when I lived on a houseboat in Richmond, my favourite year of life in London. Small but sweet, I always found the stall holders to be especially helpful and friendly at this Artisan food and craft market. It was never crazy busy so you could browse the stalls at your leisure. Cute arts and crafts, fresh produce and baked goods were the mainstays. I would browse the craft stalls then grab a bite to eat and take it down to eat on a grassy spot by the Thames. Very idyllic.

Location: Heron Square, Richmond

Operating days: Every Sunday

Operating times: 10.30am – 4pm

Website: http://www.duckpondmarket.com/#richmond

Richmondriverside via turks.co.uk Duck Pond marketWhitecross Street Market

A food market in the city that only operates on Thursdays and Fridays for the office lunch crowd, I had to pull a sickie from work to be able to visit. After seeing the Mexican food truck, Luardo’s, on a London edition of the US street food show ‘Eat Street’, I just had to go there. It is hard to find good Mexican food in London but after waiting in line for half an hour and taking my first bite of my chicken burrito, I had found it.

Great cakes and brownies can be had for dessert at one of the many bakery stalls and if you aren’t into burritos there are so many other amazing food stalls.

Location: Whitecross Street, London

Operating days: Every Thursday and Friday

Operating times: 11am – 5pm

Website: http://www.timeout.com/london/shopping/whitecross-street-food-market

Whitecross St MarketPortobello Road Market

This iconic London market is the bee’s knees for antiques, quirky collectables and cheap fashion. Along with Camden market, this was my go to market for cute summer dresses. I also nabbed some great boots, a couple of blazers, art prints and colourful necklaces here over my many visits.

Portobello Market is held on a cobbled street lined with colourful shop fronts in Notting Hill. The market is actually a few different markets including a Second hand market, Fashion Market, Antiques and Bric-A-Brac Market, Fruit and Vegetable Market and New Goods Market. There are also shops selling unique and vintage fashion, gifts and antiques. This market is always busy but I find it so cheerful and fun. It is firmly placed on my list of favourites.

Location: Portobello Road, Notting Hill

Operating days: Monday – Saturday

Operating times: Various times

Website: http://www.portobelloroad.co.uk/

Portobello via shopportobello.co.uk Portobello 2 via londonandpartners.comGreenwich Market

Located in the leafy suburb of Greenwich, this covered market, which is part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage site, is the place to go for delicious food from around the world (my fav was the churros filled with hot caramel sauce, I still dream about them), cheap art prints and home wares, antiques, collectables, kitchenware and pretty much everything else you can think of.

Compared to some of the other markets on this list, Greenwich Market is reasonably small but the variety of products on offer is very diverse.

After visiting the market you can explore the excellent National Maritime Museum and the beautiful rooms of the Old Royal Naval College, straddle the famous Greenwich Meridian line at the Royal Observatory and hop aboard the last surviving tea clipper ship, the Cutty Sark. Greenwich is a fantastic destination for a great day out and the vibrant market is the focal point.

Location: Turnpin Lane, Greenwich

Operating days: Tuesday – Sunday

Operating times: 10am – 5pm

Website: http://www.greenwichmarketlondon.com/

Greenwich-market-stalls via londonmumsmagazine.com GreenwichBrick Lane Sunday Up Market

Eclectic and interesting, the convivial Sunday Up Market is located in an Old Brewery off Brick Lane. It definitely has an East London hipster feel to it, and is full of an array of handmade and arty products, from fashion to accessories to jewellery.

A lot of the stall holders are up and coming designers, so if you are in the market for a one of a kind necklace or unique fashion that you won’t see anyone else wearing, then this is the market for you.

The Food Hall offers diverse dishes from around the world and it is where I tried Tibetan momos for the first time. If you manage to resist the siren song of the momos and all the other delicious treats, have a curry on Brick Lane where part of the fun is getting as cheap a deal as you can from the guys yelling out ridiculously low prices outside each restaurant. I wouldn’t go for any less than 30% off the meal and two free drinks per person.

Location: Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets

Operating days: Every Sunday

Operating times: 10am – 5pm

Website: http://www.sundayupmarket.co.uk/

sunday_up_market via ilovemarkets.co.uk Brick-Lane-Market-via meltedstories.comSo there you have it, my absolute favourite markets in London.

In my opinion, visiting a London market is right up as a London must do, along with visiting the world class Museums, having a pint in a traditional pub, attending a show in the West End and relaxing in one of the Royal Parks.

A visit to London isn’t truly complete until you visit one of its iconic markets.

Check out my guide and map on jauntful

43 Comments on The Best Markets in London (in my humble opinion)

  1. We Travel Together
    July 11, 2015 at 7:05 pm (1 year ago)

    Love London’s many markets, Old Spitalfields Market and Portobello Road Market are some of our favorites.

    Reply
  2. Becky
    May 15, 2015 at 2:05 am (2 years ago)

    Great list of Markets. I recently visited Borough market for the first time – there was so much delicious food it was amazing! 🙂

    Reply
      • travellousworld
        April 25, 2015 at 8:00 am (2 years ago)

        I can imagine! There are so many and so many types of markets

  3. Kathryn Burrington
    April 21, 2015 at 3:04 pm (2 years ago)

    Even though I regularly visit London I’ve only visited a few of these. I really must visit some more from your list soon. Thinks for the heads up!

    Reply
    • theworldonmynecklace
      April 22, 2015 at 12:45 pm (2 years ago)

      You definitely should Kathryn, one of London’s best features is its markets 🙂

      Reply
  4. karolinapatrykcom
    December 17, 2014 at 8:41 pm (2 years ago)

    We love markets as well! There are really special and unique in this electronic world around us. Thanks for sharing this list- we’ll visit this markets for sure next time we’ll be in London 🙂

    Reply
    • theworldonmynecklace
      December 18, 2014 at 11:35 pm (2 years ago)

      Glad you enjoyed reading it Karolina and I hope you make it to some of them 🙂

      Reply
  5. Jen Seligmann
    September 14, 2014 at 9:30 am (2 years ago)

    One of my favourite things about travelling is discovering new markets and I can honestly say that London has some of the worlds best! Camden is my personal favourite as it literally has something for everyone and I love the setting by the lock and in the old stables. I’m pretty disappointed I never made it to Borough Market, yet another reason to stop by London again someday.

    Reply
    • theworldonmynecklace
      September 14, 2014 at 9:56 am (2 years ago)

      Camden is a fantastic market is probably the largest and most diverse on my list. No rush to visit Borough Market, it has been there for centuries and will hopefully be there for a long time still 🙂

      Reply
  6. Adam @ Round the World we go
    September 12, 2014 at 8:00 am (2 years ago)

    Camden and Brick Lane are our favourite places to shop at markets.. We’ve been revisiting for years! (it helps being not too far away when at home)

    Reply
  7. Curb Free with Cory Lee
    September 11, 2014 at 2:24 pm (2 years ago)

    London is one of my favorite cities, but I’ve not been to any markets there. Next time, I’ll definitely visit one or two.

    Reply
  8. Shikha (whywasteannualleave)
    September 10, 2014 at 10:15 pm (2 years ago)

    Fabulous list here and I would agree with all the ones on here that I’ve been to that they should make the list – Greenwich is my nearest and one of my favourites! The other one I’d add to this list is Brockley market, which is slowly becoming my top choice 🙂

    Reply
    • theworldonmynecklace
      September 10, 2014 at 11:50 pm (2 years ago)

      Thansk Shikha! I haven’t been to Brockley Market so will definitely add it to my list next tiem I find myself in London

      Reply
  9. goingawesomeplaces
    September 10, 2014 at 7:55 pm (2 years ago)

    Thanks for this list of markets in London! I’ve only been to half of these so much more exploring to do!

    Reply
  10. Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    September 10, 2014 at 6:27 pm (2 years ago)

    There is so much to love about London, but certainly one of the things I loved most on our most recent visit was its many markets. I generally feel like markets in the west can’t hold a candle to Asian markets, but London’s markets are definitely right up there with the best of them. Of the ones you mentioned, we only made it to Borough (where we had the BEST roast pork sandwich of all time… I still dream about it and think it is one of the best things we ate while in Europe!), but we also took a trip down to Brixton Market too, which we also really enjoyed. Such a different vibe and scene there, but one thing I also love about London is how diverse it is!

    Reply
    • theworldonmynecklace
      September 10, 2014 at 11:49 pm (2 years ago)

      The markets are fantastic in London, I loved markets in Europe in general. I haven’t been to any Asian Markets (as I haven’t been to Asia yet), but I could imagine they would be quite different to European markets.

      Reply
  11. travelingislanders
    September 10, 2014 at 4:44 am (2 years ago)

    I love how markets show the heartbeat of a culture. All the local artists, produce, bakers, etc! You can easily see what is important to any particular area by visiting their markets. I’d love to visit some of London’s markets someday.

    Reply
    • theworldonmynecklace
      September 10, 2014 at 5:37 am (2 years ago)

      So true. I hope you make it to London’s markets one day 🙂

      Reply
  12. Packing my Suitcase
    September 9, 2014 at 2:55 pm (2 years ago)

    Pretty hard to choose one!! But Im gonna have to when I visit London next time 😀 great post!

    Reply
    • theworldonmynecklace
      September 9, 2014 at 11:40 pm (2 years ago)

      Defiitely hard! You can’t really go wrong though with any of them 🙂

      Reply
      • Packing my Suitcase
        September 10, 2014 at 8:38 am (2 years ago)

        Thats good to know!! Can’t wait for my next time in London…hopefully soon!! 🙂 thank you for the tips!

      • theworldonmynecklace
        September 10, 2014 at 9:24 am (2 years ago)

        No problem. You should check out my post on cemeteries around the world too as there are some really interesting and beautiful ones in London

      • Packing my Suitcase
        September 11, 2014 at 9:30 am (2 years ago)

        That’s interesting!! I will 😀

  13. tgruber
    September 9, 2014 at 1:51 am (2 years ago)

    I love exploring markets and these pictures make me want to dive right in! I’ve pinned them for later travel planning!

    Reply
  14. sarah
    September 8, 2014 at 8:26 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m originally from London but I’ve only been to Camden and Portobello…both of which I love. I hope to be in London next year so I’ll have to save this list and try our some new ones!

    Reply
    • theworldonmynecklace
      September 8, 2014 at 11:18 pm (2 years ago)

      Camden and Portobello are amazing, you would definitely love the others on the list if you loved these two 🙂

      Reply
  15. Paul
    September 8, 2014 at 7:59 pm (2 years ago)

    Great article! Never realised London had so many great markets, been so many times and never visited any of the above lol (Shame on me). I love the atmosphere in markets and the variety of things for sale, so much colour, sights, sounds and smells

    Reply
    • theworldonmynecklace
      September 8, 2014 at 11:17 pm (2 years ago)

      Hope I have inspired you to visit London’s markets next time you visit, they were one of my favourite aspects of London life

      Reply
  16. Amy
    September 8, 2014 at 4:30 pm (2 years ago)

    Not to steal Katie’s comment but I LOVE markets, too! These all look fantastic! I’ve got to (finally) get to London one of these days and check some of these out!

    Reply
    • theworldonmynecklace
      September 8, 2014 at 11:16 pm (2 years ago)

      You definitely shoudl Amy, London is such a great city – the history, the parks, the pubs and the markets are my favourite bits 🙂

      Reply
  17. Katie@From Shores to Skylines
    September 8, 2014 at 12:35 am (2 years ago)

    I LOVE MARKETS! I need to get back to London asap and check all these out 🙂

    Reply
    • theworldonmynecklace
      September 8, 2014 at 12:40 am (2 years ago)

      You definitely should Katie! In my opinion, London has some of the best markets in the world

      Reply
  18. ashleywanders
    September 7, 2014 at 2:54 pm (2 years ago)

    Great list and thanks for the tips! I only went to Camden Market when I was in London but I’m dying to revisit- mostly for the markets!

    Reply
    • theworldonmynecklace
      September 7, 2014 at 11:48 pm (2 years ago)

      Thansk Ashley, the markets are fabulous in London 🙂

      Reply

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