• London Markets

 

The London Markets you have to visit

 

Full of history and culture, browsing a market in London can be a great way to support independent traders and discover something special. It is easy to get swept away in the buzzing atmosphere as visitors and locals flock to the plethora of markets dotted around the country’s capital.
 
For this article, we spoke to bloggers to find out which London markets they recommend visiting during a city trip. To make your London sightseeing trip go as smoothly as possible, we have made some suggestions of which four City Cruises piers to disembark at to help you plan your city market experience. Whether you choose to disembark at Westminster Pier, London Eye Pier, Tower Pier or Greenwich Pier, you’ll love exploring these charming markets.

Maltby Street Market

Hop off at: London Eye Pier

 

Maltby Street Market opened in 2010 and has quickly become one of the cities most loved markets thanks to its picturesque character, iconic railway arches and cosy vibe.
 
There are plenty of food stalls to whet your appetite, from decadent sweet treats to loaded fries, craft coffee and fresh fruit and vegetable juices, you are guaranteed to find something to enjoy as Laura from Thrifty Londoner explains: “The market is about a 10-minute walk from Tower Bridge and you just can't beat it. Food stalls and bars are tucked away in lockups underneath a bridge, with unique decor in every single one. The street is bustling all weekend long, and I always feel like I'm included in some kind of secret when I visit, because it's so hidden away, you turn a corner, and suddenly it appears.
 
“My favourite bar in the market is Little Bird Gin, in summer you can sit out on their tables on the street, and in the winter they give you little hot water bottles and blankets whilst you shelter in the bar under the bridge. A trip to Maltby Street isn't complete until you have sampled the food, though. There are food stalls to everyone's tastes- from vegan Venezuelan buns to meaty steak wraps, to waffles and more.”
 
Laura went on to explain why visitors should experience the atmospheric delights of a London market: “I think markets are essentially a pillar of London heritage. As a Londoner, it's important to visit fairly regularly to help maintain their popularity. As a visitor, a market is a great place to get a taste for true London culture, and to get an idea about what ‘living like a local’ is really like.”
 
Kamila from London New Girl says Maltby Street Market is a hidden gem and enjoys exploring the charming artisan food stalls. Markets are a staple of London life, says Kamila: “Not only are they a great way to get the freshest produce on your plate every week, but they are also a great way to discover those independent, artisanal suppliers that you'd never otherwise find. Mostly though, London markets are just a wonderful way to soak up some of that amazing London culture, with each market having its unique quirks that make them charming and irresistible.”
 
Maltby Street Market is open on Fridays noon-2.30pm, Saturdays 10am-5pm and Sundays 11am-4pm.

Greenwich Market

Hop off at: Greenwich Pier

 

Greenwich Market

Open seven days a week, Greenwich Market is the city’s only historic market set within a World Heritage site. A wonderful way to travel to Greenwich is on a Thames river cruise which not only takes the stresses of inner-city travel away, it also allows you to admire all of London’s riverside landmarks.
 
The market boasts more than 45 food stalls as well as 11 antique stalls, 44 fashion stalls and 20 jewellery stalls, as Chris from the Artisan Traveller explains: “Greenwich Market sits alongside the famous Cutty Sark and you will find more street food vendors and various stalls selling unique items such as antiques and clothing, and even artwork. Our favourite items from the market are the filled churros, with dulce de leche and chocolate, authentic Thai curries, which you can mix and match, before finishing with the fresh juices from Turnip's stall to wash everything down.”
 
Not only can visitors expect to find a cornucopia of delicious food and items, but the market also helps give school children a platform to display their artwork. In July 2019 students from The ARK Greenwich Free School installed a pop-up gallery to showcase their work. Performing arts students also entertained crowds with songs from Mary Poppins and Oliver which added to the atmospheric market experience.
 
Chris also told us why the markets are such an integral part of the city: “London is fantastic at showcasing the best cuisines, fashions and art from around the world. Markets make this a lot easier to exhibit the very best in all these categories. The atmosphere within the markets is a long-standing tradition in London. Busy yet friendly, really giving a sense of London's history to visitors coming to the city. The quality, particularly within the growing street food scene in London, is astonishing. Some of the best meals that we have had in the capital have been from the streets.”
 
Greenwich Market is open seven days a week from 10am-5.30pm.

Borough Market

Hop off at: London Eye Pier


Borough Market


Borough Market is located in the heart of central London and it is a must if you enjoy discovering new flavours. It’s a place where exceptional products can be discovered, from artisan oils and vinegar, to confectionery, baked goods and spices.
 
The market’s layout reflects its history with a warren of passageways and open spaces for visitors to explore. Sian, who blogs at Little Miss Frugal, told us that Borough Market is one of her favourite places to explore at the weekend: “If you’re a die-hard foodie than you will relish in this place! The hustle and bustle, aromas and noise all add to the fun. Whether you spend days soaking up all the culinary delights with friends, looking for the latest food trend or just hungry wanting a snack, then London Borough Market is your calling. 
 
“Not only does the market have everything on offer from fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, cheese, bread, and pastries but it also has the most beautiful surroundings and a lot of history. My favourite day in London is spent exploring the passageways and tasting the gourmet delights it has on offer. Take a seat and enjoy watching the world go by.”
 
The stallholders at Borough Market come from far and wide and are knowledgeable in their craft, so it will be easy to strike up a food-based conversation. Sian went on to explain why she believes the humble market is an integral part of London life: “The markets have so much diversity and character, from food to flowers, there is plenty to explore. Markets are the heart of many different communities, bringing people together, l personally feel they make the city a more vibrant, happy and sociable place. I worked at an East London market one summer for a friend’s business and have made friend’s for life, I felt more connected to my community each week. I also appreciated meeting tourists from all over the world and being able to meet a variety of people and hear their stories.”
 
From December 4th to New Year, Borough Market is open seven days a week. For the rest of the year it is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10am-5pm as well Fridays from 10am-6pm.

Brick Lane Market

Hop off at: Tower Bridge Pier

 

Brick Lane MarketImage credit: Garry Knight 

The Brick Lane Market is popular with “London’s edgy and artistic crowd, featuring galleries, restaurants, markets and festivals throughout the year”.
 
The market is a bustling artistic hub which attracts locals and visitors alike thanks to its second-hand furniture, quirky clothing and bric-a-brac. There are lots of authentic Bangladeshi curry houses and Jewish bagel shops to tempt your taste buds during your shopping trip. Don’t forget your camera because there are myriad colourful street art pieces to be seen around Brick Lane which celebrates the areas artistic flair.
 
Kariss from Shy Strange Manic says Brick Lane Market is a must if you want to see a realistic side of London life: “It shows London’s multiculturalism at its finest as all different cultures pool together in this one street to buy and sell everything from gifts, to homeware, to clothes and so much more. The real highlight here is the street food which people travel from across London to try, you can grab tastes from around the world as you wind through the busy streets. It's got a cooler, slightly more hipster vibe than in days gone by, but there's still an authentic heart beating strongly at Brick Lane Market.”
 
Brick Lane Market is open on Sundays from 10am-5pm.
 
Markets are part of the fabric of London life because they are at the heart of communities and offer people not only a unique shopping experience but also a glimpse into local life. London.gov.uk says there are around 280 retail markets in London to be explored and enjoyed. Visiting a market is a great way to experience the soul of the city during a London sightseeing trip, you might even discover a new favourite food.