The smell of fresh-cut flowers mixes with the aroma of delicious food as you browse the wares of a local London artisan. Can you picture it in your mind? This is exactly what it’s like to visit one of the many London markets dotted across the city.
London’s markets aren’t unique in that many cities around the globe have markets; London does have a huge number of markets, in basically every neighborhood. And the vendors at these markets offer all kinds of incredible wares: arts and crafts, fresh produce, dairy, and bakery, and of course incredible food.
If you’re planning a trip to London and want to visit a few of the markets, this guide will help. Here I’ve highlighted 11 of the most popular London markets, plus 14 other off-the-radar markets where you can escape the crowds. After reading, you’ll have a good sense of what each market offers, where it is located, and whether you want to visit.
1. Billingsgate Fish Market
Billingsgate Fish Market is a fascinating experience – but for most London visitors, it’s more of a sight to see than a market you’ll shop at.
Originally, Billingsgate Fish Market was located in the City of London; you can still see the old market building from the river, topped with fish weathervanes. Now it is out in Canary Wharf – a bit more of a journey – but is still the best place for consumers (and some restaurants) to get fresh fish.
As I said, most people don’t buy a London souvenir at Billingsgate Fish Market – it would be fresh by the time you got home… – but if you enjoy markets like Pike Place Market in Seattle where they also sling fish, this is a fun stop.
2. Borough Market
It is tough to choose a favorite London market, but Borough Market is definitiely in my Top 3.
I love that Borough Market is the foodie’s market, where you can find incredible ingredients and incredible meals. I’ve spent many a weekend morning queued up for take-away brunch at one of the food stalls, and my husband and I have made Borough market a must-visit at least once on every return trip since I moved from London.
My best advice for visiting Borough Market is to arrive early – the place gets buzzing early, especially on weekends!
3. Brick Lane Markets
Brick Lane is known for many things: street art, great Indian and Bangladeshi food, and hipsters. But it is also a great market on weekends when vendors line the streets and inside the Old Truman Brewery.
You can easily spend an entire weekend day in East London strolling the stalls, between Brick Lane and Spitalfields. Vendors vary from day to day, ranging from vintage finds to international food stalls.
4. Brixton Market
Located way out in SW9, Brixton Market is a bit of a journey for most visitors staying in Central London. However, being off the beaten path helps you escape the crowds you might encounter at Camden or Spitalfields on a weekend day with plenty of food and crafts vendors to rival those more popular London markets.
Brixton has changed a lot over the past few years as more people have moved from central areas out to the once heavily Afro-Caribbean community – but the market still retains its international flair.
5. Camden Market
There’s nowhere quite like Camden in London – or possibly in the world. While punk was born in New York City, it is still alive and kicking in its own British way in Camden. And the Camden Market too is unique among London Markets, thanks to its neighborhood vibe.
Camden Market is a great place for music fans, alt lifestyle folks, and lifelong rockers to find the perfect gift. In the labyrinth of stalls, you can find really unique handmade arts and crafts, along with plenty of food choices from nearby vendors and restaurants.
6. Columbia Road Flower Market
I love Columbia Road Flower Market, because the name says it all. Located along Columbia Road in E2, this market is focused almost entirely on flower vendors. It’s the perfect spot to buy a bouquet to brighten up your hotel or vacation rental during your London stay!
Most vendors sell flowers – both cut and planted – but you can also find pre-made bouquets. This is a Sunday-only market; keep that in mind if planning a trip out to Bethnal green for the blooms.
7. Greenwich Market
I visited Greenwich Market on my very first trip to London, way back in 2011. To be fair, it was by complete chance: I was out spending a day in Greenwich and just happened upon the market.
Now the Greenwich Market is open seven days a week; you don’t need to time your Greenwich day trip for a weekend if you want to also visit the market. Among the stalls, you’ll find artists, craftspeople, and food enough to satisfy your souvenir needs and fuel you up for the climb to the top of Greenwich Park.
8. Leather Lane Market
Leather Lane is one of the lesser-known markets, as it only happens on weekdays and is quite small. I know about it as I went to school right in Clerkenwell where the market takes place – and my local pub was basically across the street!
Leather Lane is a food market (with some clothing vendors too). A variety of food vendors come and set up every weekday to cater to the lunch rush of business people, solicitors, and the occasionally savvy student who wanders down from the chain restaurants nearby.
If you happen to be in the area on a weekend or outside the market hours, Leather Lane is also lined with some great restaurants you can try instead.
9. Old Spitalfields Market
One of my other favorite markets, I used to live close to Old Spitalfields Market. I’ve made many trips there for souvenirs, unique gifts, and to browse the stalls. Spitalfields Market is more oriented toward vintage and hand-made goods, making it a perfect spot to try and find something nice for yourself or someone back home.
There are also food stalls around the outside of the building; it’s a nice way to spend a morning before enjoying lunch and heading out for other London adventures.
10. Petticoat Lane
London’s markets are so simple sometimes: the name says it all when it comes to Petticoat Lane. Located in east London near Spitalfields, Petticoat Lane market is a strictly clothing market; it’s named for the 17th-century commercial district that once operated here, selling second-hand clothing and other items.
Technically, the Petticoat Lane market is two separate markets: Wentworth Street Market and Middlesex Street Market. Both are open weekends; Middlesex Street Market is open on Sundays only.
11. Portobello Market
In a divergence from the rule that London’s market names make sense for what they sell, you generally won’t find mushrooms at Portobello Market – but you’ll find almost everything else! Vendors line the streets of this colorful Notting Hill road six days a week (but not on Sundays). They offer antiques, fashion and clothing, groceries like fruit and veggies, and even food vendors.
Keep in mind that Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest days at Portobello Market if you’re planning to visit.
Other London Markets to Visit
In addition to the above bigger/more popular London markets, the city and surrounds are home to a number of other markets too.
- Broadway Market – Out in Hackney, Broadway Market offers incredible international food and other vendors too.
- Camden Passage Market – Not to be confused with Camden Market, Camden Passage Market is up in Ange. It has lovely vintage and upscale vendors in a small market area.
- Cardinal Place Food Market – Located near Victoria Station, Cardinal Place Food Market is a popular lunch spot during the week (similar to Leather Lane).
- Chatsworth Road Market – Another market in Hackney, Chatsworth Road Market focuses on food and crafts – as well as craft supplies.
- Chiswick Flower Market – A West London flower market, Chiswick Flower Market is open the first Sunday of every month with blooms and bouquets.
- Duke of York Square Food Market – Located in Chelsea, Duke of York Square Food Market offers tons of posh food options every Saturday.
- Herne Hill Market – Way out in SE24, Herne Hill Market is about as local and off the tourist track as it gets on this list. This market offers food vendors, as well as art/crafts to help with finding a truly unique London souvenir.
- Horniman Market – Close to Herne Hill, the Horniman Museum and Gardens opens up on Sundays for vendors and shoppers. You can find all kinds of food staples: fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, bread, and more; this is a good spot to stock up on essentials for your Airbnb kitchen.
- Maltby Street Market – Bermondsey has become a place to be in London; the small Maltby Street Market food market certainly helps bring more people to the area on weekends.
- New Covent Garden Market – Not located near the actual Covent Garden most people visit, New Covent Garden Market is in Nine Elms and is a great place to stock up on fresh produce if you’re planning to prepare meals yourself during your London visit.
- North Cross Road Market – Located in East Dulwich, North Cross Road Market focuses on sweets, treats, and housewares. It’s pretty unique in its eclectic offering among London markets.
- Primrose Hill Food Market – Another food market, Primrose Hill Market is located near Camden; you could shop there in the morning, then stroll up here for lunch. Enjoy your meal al fresco with a lovely London view from nearby Primrose Hill.
- South Kensington Tuesday Farmers’ Market – The name says it all: head to South Ken on a Tuesday to stroll stalls by delicious food and produce vendors.
- Strutton Ground Market – Basically in the shadow of Big Ben in Westminster, Strutton Ground Market is definitely off-the-radar for most London visitors. This weekday market offers food (especially for lunch), books, and clothing.
Which of these markets do you want to visit during your London trip? Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.