The Top Things to Do in Islington

Outdoor restaurants in Camden Passage, Islington
Outdoor restaurants in Camden Passage, Islington | © Greg Balfour Evans / Alamy Stock Photo
Biya Haq

Occupying a prime location between the hustle and bustle of central London and the affluent suburbs of the north, Islington is brimming with shopping, dining and drinking options. Check out our picks for the best things to do and see in Islington.

1. Catch a West End show at a local theatre


Almeida Theatre in Islington
© Peter Moulton / Alamy Stock Photo

Almeida is a small local theatre that’s made a big impact on London’s performing arts scene. Open since 1980, the theatre puts on a variety of drama productions, ranging from classics such as Orwell’s 1984 and Shakespeare’s Hamlet to new productions by contemporary playwrights. Many plays put on at the 325-seat theatre go on to be shown in London’s West End.

2. Buy some fresh produce at the local market

Market, British, Healthy

Vegetable display at Islington Farmers Market, London
© Nathaniel Noir / Alamy Stock Photo
The first and most reputed farmers’ market in London, open since 1999, Islington Farmers’ Market is the place to go for fresh seasonal produce. Open every Sunday from 10am to 2pm, the market sells everything from flowers and cakes to fresh pasta and fruit and veg.

3. Be entertained at one of London's best comedy clubs


The Bill Murray
© Angel Comedy
Consistently named one of the best comedy clubs in London, Angel Comedy takes place every night across two Islington venues: the Camden Head and the Bill Murray. At the former, you’ll catch improv acts and newbies during the week, with their packed-out pro nights taking place – for free! – on Fridays and Saturdays. The Bill Murray, meanwhile, regularly hosts big-name acts looking to test out new material in intimate surroundings.

4. Go shopping on Camden Passage

Market, Shop

Camden Passage, Islington, London
© Greg Balfour Evans / Alamy Stock Photo
Camden Passage is a picturesque walkway lined by antique stores, vintage shops and quirky boutiques, plus a handful of great cafés and restaurants. At weekends, there’s a charming little market selling clothes, knick-knacks and antiques. Most restaurants offer al fresco dining, and the street’s namesake pub, the Camden Head – one of the homes of Angel Comedy – has a lovely little beer garden.

5. Settle in for a film in a natural setting

Bar, British

The Screen on the Green cinema on Islington Green
© UrbanImages / Alamy Stock Photo
Screen on the Green is a single-screen theatre overlooking Islington Green which offers a distinctive moviegoing experience and is more than a century old. Its neon-lit exterior and retro marquee make it hard to miss, and inside there’s a licensed bar for a pre-movie tipple.

6. Soak up some culture at a local gallery

Art Gallery

sent to Gemma 14 June
© Estorick Collection

Estorick Collection is London’s only art gallery exclusively exhibiting 20th-century Italian art. The gallery’s extensive collection focusses on Futurist works from the likes of Giacomo Balla and Giorgio Morandi, plus Marini sculptures and Modigliani portraits. Housed in a Grade II- listed Georgian townhouse, the gallery also has a great café and garden.

7. Take a walk along the water

Natural Feature

Regents Canal in Islington
© Richard Barnes / Alamy Stock Photo
Regent’s Canal runs through the heart of Islington and offers a gorgeous spot to while away a sunny day. When the weather’s right, join the crowds barbecuing and drinking along the canal, or settle down at a waterside café and watch the barges go by.

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article