Markets spread all across London, each one offering their own unique market experience.
You can spend an entire day jumping around town, eating, drinking, and shopping your way through London’s incredible market scene.
From popular food markets like Borough Market to lesser-known surprises found in Stables Market, here is the Ultimate Guide for you.
For those thinking about or already making the trip to London, these are the London markets you are going to want to visit.
Plus, they are a great alternative to eating out if you’re visiting London on a budget.
On my last trip to London, my sister and I set out to explore all the markets we could find; shopping and stuffing our face along the way.
We found our share of homemade goods, unique art pieces, hilarious t-shirts, and restaurants dedicated solely to cereal!
It was a great day indeed and in this post, I’m sharing with you all the incredible markets we found.
Of course, there are dozens and dozens of markets found across all the boroughs and I wish we saw them all.
However, we covered a decent amount and I’m sure you will be pleased and inspired to make the trip to Londontown yourself.
Here is your complete guide to my favorite London Markets!
Table of Contents
How to Prepare for Your London Markets Extravaganza
Please, please! Bring cash with you. While many places may accept credit cards, many still don’t. Even more so at a true street market.
To save the most on ATM fees, go to a bank beforehand. Those tiny ones you always find in the corners of business are way more expensive.
I can’t speak for all banks, but Bank of America (my bank) has global alliances with foreign banks (i.e. Barclays).
What that means, is if I withdraw cash from a Barclays ATM, I won’t be charged the ATM fee. Only the foreign transaction fee.
A LITTLE HACK FOR YOU: If you’re traveling with a group and have the funds to do so. One person can withdrawal from their account for everyone. You will split the fee among everyone, then have them Venmo you or bank transfer if it’s the same.
So rather than everyone get charged an ATM fee, you’re splitting one x amount of ways.
Purchase the Oyster Card
Most likely you will not be walking to each market on foot, so you will want to purchase the Oyster Card.
The Oyster Card grants you access to London’s public transportation system.
You can do single ride fare, but I recommend going for the 1-pass at least. No one has time, no desire to wait at a kiosk every single time. If I’m not mistaken, bus and tram fare for 1-day will run you around 5 pounds.
Markets are casual settings so wearing comfy, activewear is best. Also, you’re walking so much. Sneakers are best like these black Nikes. I opt for a black sneaker. Goes with more outfits.
If you’re visiting London’s markets in summer, you will want breathable shirts, shorts, and dresses. It will be hot.
Here are some of my go-to summer clothing essentials:
Loose-fitting cause jumpsuit with spaghetti straps
Elastic waist self-tie shorts (these are a cute grey and white striped style and super-duper comfy)
However, many markets have indoor restaurant options if you prefer that to street vendors. I would say with confidence that most, if not all of them, are still casual attire.
Day Bag Essentials
As I mentioned earlier, my sister and I were market hopping all day – eating and lots of shopping.
Packing light is crucial for me on long days. I don’t want to go without, but I also don’t want back pain.
These essentials are found in my day bag. They are practical and lightweight.
I also recommend packing a travel-sized travel sized deodorant (psst…this one is aluminum and cruelty-free!), Kate Spade travel perfume, wet wipes, cell phone charger, my favorite foldable water bottle, and CASH!!!
Neighborhood: Southwark (8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL, UK)
Come here for: Lunchtime: eating and drinking
Every day people of all types flock to London’s Borough Market for a grand feast, especially the brunch and lunch crowd.
You can come here every day to indulge in a variety of food and bubbles (aka Champagne). Walk around eating and drinking all the goodies until you hate yourself. Repeat!
Here are the top 5 must-visit spots in Borough Market:
Luminary Bakery (open on Thursday)
Balkan Bites (open Monday – Saturday)
Jock Stark & Son (open Thursday – Saturday)
Le Marché du Quartier (open Thursday – Saturday)
Scothtails (open Thursday – Saturday)
The common day here is Thursday if you’re trying to catch of the above mentioned.
Sadly, Borough Market is closed on Sunday. Keep reading to find one that isn’t!!
Neighborhood: Camden Town (Camden Lock Pl, Camden Town, London NW1 8AF, UK)
Come here for: Shopping, afternoon tea, food & booze (basically everything)
Camden is one of my favorite neighborhoods in London, so it comes as no surprise that Camden Market is also one of my favorite markets.
Unlike Borough Market which is predominately food, Camden Market offers a wider range of shops, plus local food vendors.
Come to Camden Market for morning breakfast at Cereal Killer, a restaurant serving bowls of any cereal you can imagine.
Spend the afternoon strolling through all the boutique vendors and enjoy dozens of delicious food and drink options. Edible cookie dough anyone?
Wallets beware! The shopping is amazing here. More so than the other markets on this list, in my opinion.
There are so many unique boutiques. This is a good time to bust out that backpack of yours.
As if this place could not impress me more, they the cutest afternoon tea spot
And YES, Camden Market is opened on SUNDAY!
Here are the top 5 must-visit spots in Camden Market:
Neighborhood: Camden Town (842 Chalk Farm Rd, Camden Town, London NW1 8BF, UK)
Come here for: Shopping locally made goods at low prices and afternoon tea
Stables Market is inner-connected with Camden Market but still has a different feel. You will know exactly when you have left Camden Market and entered Stables Market.
The name is exactly what you think it is.
These were once horse stables, tunnels and workshops turned into what is now a market filled with local vendors, a tea room, and a bronze Amy Winehouse statue. May she rest in peace.
As you walk down narrow paths, you will predominately find handmade clothing, home decor, and jewelry at greatly discounted prices – more so than Camden.
Looking for the ultimate hidden gem?
Check out the Basement Tea Room. An afternoon tea spot is hidden in the heart of Stables Market.
Seeing at Stables Market is adjoined to Camden Market, it should come as no surprise that they are too opened on Sunday.
Looks like Camden town is the borough to be in on Sunday.
Neighborhood: City of London (Gracechurch St, London EC3V 1LT, UK)
Come here for: Lunchtime and happy hour. . . and Harry Potter fix
Located in the heart of London is the Leadenhall market. Unique in design and more upscale than the rest of the markets on this list.
I love the drink options around here, especially Brokers Wine Hall, which can be found in the center of all the action.
For all you Harry Potter fans out there, Leadenhall Market is a must-visit.
Besides its long history, their modern-day claim to fame is Leadenhall Market was the filming location for part Diagon Alley in movies 1 and 2.
If that is not enough reason to visit then I don’t know what is. Maybe it is the beautiful infrastructure or loads of boutique shops and pubs along the path.
Leadenhall Market is without a doubt the most beautiful of all the markets and quite the hidden gem.
After store hours, the pathways remain open to the public. If you’re after a Harry Potter-inspired photo, stop by on Sunday when this market is closed.
The photo you see above was taken on a Sunday, hence few people.
Neighborhood: Covent Garden (21 The Market, London WC2E 8RD, UK)
Come here for: Handmade goods and food
Once a world-famous fruit market, Covent Garden’s Apple Market today is a great place for local, handmade goods, food, and people watching.
Right outside the canopy is a large square commonly filled with street performers and entertained audiences.
You can choose to walk in further for more eateries, local street artists, and brand name retail shops.
If you’re looking to rest, soak up the sun, and watch the performers, I suggest taking an outside table at the nearby Laduree.
No better afternoon than one filled with champagne and macarons.
For all you burger lovers, there is also a Shake Shack located here. Yummm!
Apple Market is open on Sunday.
Here are the top 5 must-visit spots in Apple Market:
Street Performers (click to meet them all)
Portobello Road Market
Neighborhood: Notting Hill (306 Portobello Rd, London W10 5TA, UK)
Come here for: Antiques and Instagram pictures
Welcome to the world’s largest antique market. Roam the colorful streets of Notting Hill while shopping for antiques, fashion, second-hand thrifting, homemade goods and so much more!
Saturday mornings are the best days to visit Portobello Road Market. That’s when antique trading is in full swing. You never know what you will find.
Fashion is equally exciting. So many unique finds. I love finding pieces I know NOOO one else has. At least when I’m back home.
If you’re serious about getting your hands dirty as far as shopping goes, then prepare to arrive early for it does get busy.
But the real charmer here is all the colorful spots. You might even recognize this market in popular movies like Notting Hill. Ugh, I love that movie so much.
This market is all about what’s outside in the streets. For that, all but one of my recommended must-visit spots are outside.
Here are the top 5 must-visit spots in Portobello Road Market:
Antique stands (it spans over a half-mile)
Portobello Juice (also IG-worthy)
Hot Meals section
Are you hungry now? I know I am. I’m also feeling a strong desire to book a ticket back to London! Seriously, market days are the best. It’s a great way to soak up the local culture. In my opinion, the only way to experience new places. It truly is a great city and I hope this guide helped you get your feet wet with the London market scene.
Psst. . . Looking for more foodie travel? Check out these delicious posts:
Where are your favorite markets located? Share in the comments below!
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