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Expat Exchange - Best Markets in London 2024
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Barkingside Station in Redbridge, London

Best Markets in London

By Betsy Burlingame

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: What are the best markets in London? In this article we highlight the best markets in London.

London, a vibrant and bustling metropolis, is not only a hub for business and culture but also a haven for market lovers. The city's markets are as diverse as its population, offering everything from fresh produce to vintage clothing, artisan crafts to gourmet street food. For expats and digital nomads who have made London their temporary home, exploring these markets can be a delightful way to spend a day, pick up unique items, and immerse themselves in the local culture. Here are some of the best markets in London that you simply must visit.

Borough Market

Location: 8 Southwark Street, London
Type of Market: Food Market
Open: Monday to Saturday, Full Market: Wednesday to Saturday, 10am - 5pm; Lunch Market: Monday and Tuesday, 10am - 3pm

Borough Market is one of London's oldest and most renowned food markets, nestled under the railway arches of London Bridge. It's a foodie's paradise, with a plethora of stalls selling a wide variety of fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, baked goods, and gourmet delicacies from around the world. The market is always bustling with chefs, locals, and tourists alike, all in search of top-quality ingredients and delicious bites.

We Recommend: Try the mouth-watering raclette from Kappacasein Dairy, where hot molten cheese is scraped over boiled potatoes, pickles, and onions – a true Borough Market classic.

Portobello Road Market

Location: Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London
Type of Market: Antique and Flea Market
Open: Monday to Wednesday, 9am - 6pm; Thursday, 9am - 1pm; Friday and Saturday, 9am - 7pm

Portobello Road Market is the world's largest antique market, offering an extraordinary variety of items from vintage clothing and rare antiques to handmade jewelry and unique collectibles. Located in the heart of Notting Hill, the market stretches for two miles and is an essential visit for anyone looking for something one-of-a-kind. Saturdays are the busiest days, with the market in full swing and all shops and stalls open for business.

We Recommend: Don't miss the chance to browse the vintage cameras and classic film posters – they make for perfect nostalgic keepsakes or gifts.

Camden Market

Location: Camden Lock Place, London
Type of Market: Eclectic and Alternative Market
Open: Daily, 10am - late

Camden Market, with its labyrinth of open-air stalls and indoor shops, is an eclectic mix of punk culture, vintage fashion, and international cuisine. It's a place where you can find everything from handmade crafts to alternative clothing, and the vibrant atmosphere is complemented by live music and entertainment. The market is a favorite among the younger crowd and those looking for something a bit different.

We Recommend: Indulge in some of the best street food London has to offer, especially the vegan bakery treats that are as delicious as they are Instagram-worthy.

Greenwich Market

Location: Greenwich Market, London
Type of Market: Arts, Crafts, and Food Market
Open: Daily, 10am - 5:30pm

Set within a World Heritage site, Greenwich Market is the perfect place to find art, crafts, and unique gifts. It's a charming and historic market that has been operating since the 18th century. On weekends, the market comes alive with over 120 stalls offering a wide range of products, from antiques to contemporary artwork, and the food court serves up a variety of international dishes.

We Recommend: Look out for the beautifully crafted jewelry and bespoke accessories that make for perfect mementos of your time in London.

Old Spitalfields Market

Location: 16 Horner Square, London
Type of Market: General and Specialty Market
Open: Monday to Friday, 10am - 8pm; Saturday, 10am - 6pm; Sunday, 10am - 5pm

Old Spitalfields Market is a covered market in East London, known for its vibrant atmosphere and diverse range of stalls. From contemporary fashion and vintage clothing to original artworks and handcrafted goods, this market has something for everyone. The Victorian architecture provides a stunning backdrop, and the market is surrounded by independent boutiques, bars, and restaurants.

We Recommend: Sample the artisanal chocolates and gourmet coffee from the small, independent traders who take pride in their craft.

Columbia Road Flower Market

Location: Columbia Road, Bethnal Green, London
Type of Market: Flower Market
Open: Sunday, 8am - 3pm

Every Sunday, Columbia Road transforms into an oasis of foliage and flowers. The Columbia Road Flower Market is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, offering everything from bedding plants to 10-foot banana trees. The air is filled with the scent of fresh flowers, and the street is lined with boutique shops, galleries, and quaint cafes.

We Recommend: Pick up some fresh herbs for your kitchen or a beautiful bouquet to brighten up your living space – the peonies are particularly popular when in season.

Brick Lane Market

Location: Brick Lane, London
Type of Market: Flea Market
Open: Sunday, 10am - 5pm

Brick Lane Market is a kaleidoscope of colors, cultures, and goods. It's a place where you can find second-hand furniture, vintage clothes, antiques, and collectibles. The market is also famous for its street art and the array of food stalls that offer a taste of cuisines from around the world. It's a bustling and lively market that captures the essence of East London's diverse character.

We Recommend: Try the salt beef bagel from one of the famous bagel shops on Brick Lane – a local delicacy that's been enjoyed for generations.

Covent Garden Market

Location: The Market Building, Covent Garden, London
Type of Market: General Market
Open: Daily, 10am - 6pm

Covent Garden Market is one of London's most iconic destinations, known for its craft stalls, street performers, and elegant architecture. The Apple Market within Covent Garden offers a range of handmade crafts and unique gifts, while the East Colonnade Market has a variety of stalls selling everything from soaps to watercolor paintings. It's a great place to find souvenirs and enjoy the lively entertainment.

We Recommend: Look for the exquisite hand-painted pottery and artisanal soaps that make for thoughtful and unique gifts.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB Global

Barkingside Station in Redbridge, London

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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