This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support.

The Best Markets in London

There is just something special about markets.

Maybe it’s the old fashioned-ness of them – markets have been around for centuries. 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, like the awesome London pubs, (but not the weather), but one of the things I miss the most is its markets.

Borough Market - one of the best markets in London

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. The Christmas Markets in London are also definitely worth a visit if you are there in the Christmas season.

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:

The 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

Borough Market - one of the best markets in LondonSouthwark Cathedral near Borough Market - one of the best markets in LondonCamden 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. Or if you love walking, walk the beautiful Regents Canal to Little Venice.

Location: Camden High Street, Camden
Operating Days: Every day except Christmas Day
Operating Times: 10am – 6pm

Camden Market - one of the best markets in London Inside Camden Market - one of the best markets in LondonCamden Market - one of the best markets in LondonBroadway 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

Broadway Market - one of the best markets in London

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

Columbia Road Flower Market - one of the best markets in London Columbia Road Flower Market - one of the best markets in LondonOld 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.

Make sure to explore the nearby neighborhood of Shoreditch too, there are lots of things to see and do there.

Location: Horner Square, Spitalfields
Operating Days: Every day
Operating Times: Various

Old Spitalfields Market - one of the best markets in London Richmond Duck Pond Market

This was my local market when I lived on a houseboat in Richmond, my favorite year of life in London. Small but sweet, I always found the stallholders 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

Beautiful Richmond Riverside - home to the Duck Pond Market, one of the best markets in London Duck Pond market in Richmond - one of the best markets in LondonWhitecross 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

Whitecross St Market - one of the best markets in LondonPortobello 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 colorful shopfronts 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

Portobello Road Market - one of the best markets in LondonGreenwich Market

Located in the leafy suburb of Greenwich, this covered market, which is part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage site – a London icon, is the place to go for delicious food from around the world (my fave was the churros filled with hot caramel sauce, I still dream about them), cheap art prints and homewares, antiques, collectibles, 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

Greenwich Market - one of the best markets in LondonBeautiful Greenwich, London - home to one of the best markets in LondonGreenwich Market - one of the best markets in London Brick 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 stallholders 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

Brick Lane Market - one of the best markets in London Brick Lane Market - one of the best markets in LondonSo there you have it, my absolute favorite 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, visiting Richmond, 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

If you liked this post, check out some of my other London content:

45 Comments on The Best Markets in London

  1. Really cool article. I read your posts pretty
    regularly and you always do a good job explaining the whatever
    topic you’re blogging about. Btw, I shared this on Twitter and
    my followers loved it. Keep up the great work!

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

  3. 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 🙂

  4. 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.

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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!

    • 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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

  10. 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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.