10 Reasons You Need to Go to Shoreditch in London
When tourists think of London, they imagine Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, and attending a West End production. While the very central part of the city is clearly incredible with lots of things to see and do, there is so much more in the Big Smoke. If you're brave enough to venture outside of the middle of London, you can find neighborhoods with lots of character and intrigue. One of the most up-and-coming areas of the city is Shoreditch. The East London borough still has the grunge and Victorian influences of the past but combines those features with colorful street art and bohemian shops. You can feel like you've stepped into the past and like you're in a millennial, hipster future at the same time. Not to mention, your Instagram shots from this neighborhood will definitely be more unique than those sticking to Westminster Abbey. Here are 10 things you can't miss when visiting Shoreditch.
London as a whole has an older feel to it, but once you head over to Shoreditch, you really start to see buildings that have preserved that vintage style that you would know from period films. The area has a bit of bite to it, and while some of the bricks might be dirty and brown, you'll feel like you've stepped onto a set of a film set in the 1890s.
Brick Lane Market
This long and winding street is the heart of Shoreditch. During the week, Brick Lane Market is home to shops like the Cereal Killer Cafe, which serves cereal treats, as well as the rainbow bagels at the Beigel Shop. On the weekends, the whole road transforms into an exciting outdoor market with food stalls, antiques dealers, vintage shoppes, and pop-up coffee shops like this one in a repurposed black cab.
4 Princelet Street
The pinkest door in London lies right around the corner from the Old Spitalfields Market. This facade is used as the backdrop for many photos and the inside of the building can be rented out for video and magazine shoots. It's a very quiet street so it's easy to come shoot photographs here without a crowd to bother you.
There are too many lovely little coffee shops in the neighborhood to try, but one of the most interesting ones is Shoreditch Grind. This location of the Grind franchise is in a round, black building and has a cinema marquee to mark the entrance. Inside you'll find the epitome of hipster cafe aesthetics and not only can you get coffee and food, but cocktails as well.
Bars and Clubbing
Shoreditch has the quirkiest places to go out on a Friday or Saturday night. While central London has exclusive and expensive clubs, Shoreditch has cheaper options and a much younger crowd. Any bar will have a more millennial-friendly vibe and cater to an aesthetic that appeals to those who want to go out and have a good time without getting too chic. The grunge is real in this neighborhood and you'll have more luck finding a divey place that fits your budget.
Shoreditch has some of the best street art in the entire city. Entire walls are covered with vibrant art, and it's a turn from the grays and browns of the other parts of the city. Chance Street has a rainbow-inspired wall that is incredibly fun to walk past. You'll definitely see people stopping for an impromptu photo shoot as they pass by and discover it.
Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium
Afternoon tea with kitties surrounding you? Sounds like a dream, right? The most famous of cat cafes in London is Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium, right off of Brick Lane. You can sit and sip tea and play with some calm and collected felines. It's a reserve-in-advance sort of deal, but it makes for a lovely little lunch stop while exploring the city.
Old Spitalfields Market
There's something for everyone at Old Spitalfields Market. This historic spot is open every day and is perfect for a browse when walking around the area. Like most markets, you can find a mixture of food, clothing, and odds and ends for sale, but there are some booths that have unique items like these vintage printing press letter blocks or 100-year-old postcards from across the continent. It's a treasure mine for antiques hunters.
Have you ever been inside a shopping mall made out of old shipping containers? It's surreal to think the entire Boxpark was built out of repurposed materials. From boutique shops to beer gardens, this unique retail experience is something to see. It's intriguing to see how each box is used to the best of its ability with such a narrow space.
Columbia Road Flower Market
This location technically isn't officially in Shoreditch, but it's very nearby in Bethnal Green. On Sundays you can walk down this incredibly vibrant and beautiful flower market on Columbia Road. Even if you don't buy anything, it's so lovely just to walk the street and smell the floral scents that surround you. It's worth the trip out to East London to experience it at least once.