Home to an eclectic range of cultural attractions, entertainment, restaurants, bars and cafes, and, of course, a multitude of shops, Soho is an tempting destination for both tourists and locals. We're here to talk specifically about the last point - shopping. Soho is, after all, one of London's best known spots for retail therapy. Whether you're looking to buy clothes from international brands, pick up rare antiques from local markets or bag yourself a one of a kind goodie from a pop-up shop, you'll find it here. Read on for our ultimate guide to shopping in Soho.
Take a Stroll Down Carnaby Street
With 14 streets and over 100 shops to browse, the pedestrianised Carnaby Street is one of London's most famous shopping areas. On the pretty street, with its recognisable arched sign and colourful buildings, you'll find everything from international labels and independent boutiques to beauty brands and British designers.
If you also fancy stopping for a bite to eat, you can do that too. There are over 60 bars, cafes and restaurants at which you can take a break from shopping and sample over 30 different types of international cuisines.
To get more out of your trip to Carnaby Street, we recommend that you check out its website in advance to find out what's on - the area is well-known for hosting shopping events, live music, giveaways and pop-up shops. Nearby, don't miss trying out the restaurants and bars at Kingly Court, a three-story dining destination that includes The Rum Kitchen, Pizza Pilgrims and Señor Ceviche.
Pick Up Unique Purchases at Jubilee Market
Running along Tavistock Street, Jubilee Market is the place to pick up everything from vintage clothing to colourful sweets. Opened by the Queen in 1987, the market has a huge variety of quirky stalls where you can buy antiques, jewellery, clothing, arts and crafts and more.
It's open every day and there are three different markets during the week, as well as a variety of food options too. On Mondays, the antique market gives you the chance to snap up collectibles from different eras and in every style you could possibly imagine, from fine art to antiquarian books. From Tuesday to Friday, the general market sells an eclectic collection of goods, from picnic hampers to greeting cards, while on weekends, the arts and crafts market sells handmade items such as candles and clocks.
By Peter from Lincoln, UK - London Walk 2 042 Covent Garden 01a Exterior Jubilee Market 2pan, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58394871
Buy Gifts for Loved Ones and Yourself at Liberty
One of London's most iconic shopping establishments, Liberty, housed in a mock-Tudor department store, does things differently. Instead of huge galleries filled with racks of clothes and bright lights, goodies of all kinds are placed artistically in smaller wood-panelled rooms.
A fantastic place to not just browse for yourself, but to buy luxurious gifts for friends and family, Liberty is the place to purchase stationery, fabric and gifts in its trademark floral print, as well as a huge selection of womenswear, menswear, homeware, beauty products, kids' items, books, flowers, vintage items and accessories.
You can also make use of the services within the department store, such as getting a piercing or enjoying a spa treatment. A visit to Liberty is as much about the experience of shopping as it is about the joy of whatever you bring home.
Browse All Things Music at Sounds of the Universe and Sister Ray
Set in the heart of Soho on Broadwick Street, Sounds of the Universe is a famous record store with a connection to independent record label Soul Jazz Records. The store sells a huge range of new CDs and original vinyl records, with a wide variety of genres available including reggae, Latin, funk, disco and Brazilian. It also sells books and DVDs.
A minute's walk away, Sister Ray is another excellent establishment for music fans. Browse the enormous selection of CDs and vinyl records across a wide range of genres, and talk to the all-knowing staff to get some new recommendations.
Snap Up Toys at Hamleys
Away from Soho's often winding streets, Hamleys, on bustling Regent Street, is a must-visit establishment if you have kids in tow. The oldest toyshop in the world, Hamleys has seven colourful floors absolutely stuffed to the brim with toys, gadgets and games of all kinds.
There are also amazing events for little ones to get involved in and Hamleys can host in-store birthday parties, themed sleepovers and private tours. There are also regular toy demonstrations and events where kids can meet their favourite toys - yep, you read that right - win prizes, take part in story time, participate in treasure hunts and watch puppet shows.
And it's not just for kids either - adults will also love browsing the jaw dropping selection of goodies, from computer games and magic tricks to life-sized teddy bears and rare collectibles.
London: Westminster - Regent Street & Hamleys Hamleys toys on Regent Street is a well known shop in London and is celebrating its 250th birthday this years. - By Lewis Clarke, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14458775