Relish the bohemian vibe in this niche indoor market, which features an assortment of stalls and restaurants.
Old Spitalfields Market is a covered bazaar with Victorian architecture in east London. One of the largest indoor markets in the city, it is spread across an expansive square marketplace and has sections for fashion, arts and crafts and food. Haggle with stall owners for well-priced clothes, souvenirs and culinary treats.
Enter the market through the large arch on its red-brick frontage. The building was constructed in 1876 in typical Victorian design. Each day, the market welcomes a different mix of stalls with their own particular bargains and deals. Purchase jewelry, vintage clothes, hats, children’s items and many other types of products from the vendors here.
While the core of the market is covered with temporary stalls, the perimeter is lined with permanent shops. Peruse the beauty boutiques elegantly built into the market building to buy cosmetics and hair products. Look at the clothes for sale in the fashion shops and search for furniture in the interior stores. The market even holds a dry cleaners.
Dine at one of the restaurants in the market. In keeping with the multicultural environment of the surrounding community, the market includes such international restaurants as the Real Greek, Las Iguanas and Café Caribbean.
Take a tour of the area to learn about the history of this site, on which a market has existed since 1638. King Charles I licensed the sale of meat and vegetables in what was then a rural area on the edge of London. It adopted the prefix of “Old” in 1991, when the fruit and vegetable section moved to New Spitalfields Market in Leyton.
The market is free to enter. The shops and restaurants are open daily, though the main market days are between Thursday and Sunday. It is particularly busy on weekends. Attend special events, such as pop-up vintage fairs, old record sales and African markets.
Ride the railway or London Underground to Liverpool Street station to reach the market, which is just to the east of the City of London. The site is located in the Tower Hamlets borough and is just a short walk south from the hip bars of Shoreditch.