I’ll start out by saying that this is only a very basic guide because while I’m not sure of the total number of markets in this city, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was in to the hundreds.
There seemed to be no shortage of them to find while I was there and you’d need years to visit every one but with only a couple weeks I managed to get myself to a few.
Included in this post will be Portobello Road, Camden, Borough, Covent Garden and Brick Lane markets.
Hopefully the selection gives you some idea of where to start when it comes to the selection of markets on offer in London!
PORTOBELLO ROAD MARKET
The well known market is nestled among the colourfully pretty streets of Notting Hill.
I enjoyed the houses that lined the street equal to the overwhelming amount of goods on offer from the stalls.
Most famous for being the place to get antiques, there is enough available to delight collectors for days.
Besides the street there are many permanent shops which run alongside offering their wares too.
Fashion lovers can also find some reward if looking around with your standard market varieties of sunglasses, t-shirts and when you first enter the market, an assortment of stores with lovely dresses too.
There was actually one store which had a fantastic display of old sewing machines covering an entire wall – amazing!
My friend and I had been sightseeing all day and so busy we hadn’t stopped to eat.
We scavenged the entire Portobello Road until we got to the food area, once we laid eyes on these potatoes we were immediately sold and they were luckily very delicious.
Saturday is the best day to check out Portobello markets as there’s the most amount of stalls and variety available. Fresh food markets run through out the week too.
For more detailed opening times visit portobelloroad.co.uk
BRICK LANE MARKET
So good I went twice!
Actually I went once during the week which I wouldn’t recommend since I was just there to check out the area of Shoreditch mostly, but definitely wait until the weekend when the market come alive and the street is swarming with people.
I wish I had extra stomachs for the amount of delicious food from all over the world on offer here, it is pretty incredible.
Having only come from breakfast my friend and I were stuffed (such a dumb move) and had to wait a while before we could manage anything else.
As my full belly glimpsed some legit smelling poutine from a friendly Canadian guy I cursed my past self for eating so much that morning!
Despite this, we still couldn’t go past some fresh pineapple juice served up so fancily though!
There’s a variety of stalls like any regular markets but really Brick Lane is about the food.
A vintage market is also underneath the food section at Brick Lane which had some great retro threads on offer too.
Besides the markets themselves, they’re close to Boxpark which has a variety of shops set up inside old shipping containers. Worth a look at if you’re in the area for the sheer awesomeness of its setup.
Check out bricklanemarket.com for more details.
COVENT GARDEN MARKET
I would describe this place as almost an indoor shopping centre with a market incorporated within it.
There’s a variety of permanent shops inside but also a selection of stalls offering a variety of antique goods.
Some violinists were set up in the middle of the building and had a captive audience which added some life to the place.
I wouldn’t say this was one of the must see markets, I prefer the feel of Camden or Brick Lane but if you’re nearby (since there’s a good selection of shops in the area) definitely still have a look in though.
As I was staying in a hostel at the time I wasn’t look out for my weekly grocery shopping but apparently the fruit and veg offering here is of great quality too.
More details can be found at coventgardenlondonuk.com/markets
When you first get off the tube in Camden there’s a section called Camden Lock Village next to a canal with a relaxed atmosphere.
I thought this small area might’ve been it for the famous Camden Market, until I crossed the road and walked a little further.
The sheer amount on offer that awaited was impressive and immediately made these my favourite markets.
There’s majority fashion related stalls which made me wish profusely that I had another bag to take home with me rather than just a backpack.
Among the shops and stalls, many of which are undercover, there’s also furniture, art and music along with your standard souvenirs.
Choosing a meal is also challenge when there’s so much variety in cuisines but since the weather was getting a little fresh in the late afternoon I opted for a spicy soup from a Thai stall which was quite nice.
As one of my favourite artists, I was happy that I managed to find the statue of Amy Winehouse within the markets which was erected here as she lived in Camden.
For detailed information including opening times visit camdenmarket.com
I included Borough Market briefly on this list because I checked it out on a Monday since I just happened to be walking nearby.
While it was open with some yummy lunch options, it wasn’t operating at full capacity though so there wasn’t much happening.
Apparently the weekends however are fantastic with fresh fruit and veg, plenty of food and assorted stalls so it would be worth paying a visit then!
For more information visit boroughmarket.org.uk