The Best Things to See and Do in Crystal Palace, London

Crystal Palace Park
Crystal Palace Park | © Geograph
Lizzie Thomson

London Writer

Crystal Palace is more than its popular football club. Packed full of vintage shopping spots and tasty eateries it’s no wonder Londoners can’t get enough of it. Here are the best things to do and see in Crystal Palace next time you’re visiting the South London area.

1. Spot dinosaurs at Crystal Palace Park


Crystal Palace Park
© Geograph
If you’re a Jurassic Park fan, Crystal Palace Park may be your new favourite hangout with full-size dinosaur models lurking around every corner. The unique dinosaur trail (also known as Dinosaur Court) brings dinosaurs and other extinct animals to life through a series of sculptures. The collection of 30 statues were first unveiled in the Victorian era, much to the delight of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who were fascinated by the dinosaur displays in Crystal Palace and visited the site multiple times. If pre-historic figures aren’t to your taste, the park also boasts a great selection of cafés and attractions to keep you entertained.

Indulge in some vintage shopping

One of London’s best kept secrets, Haynes Lane Market is a vintage lover’s paradise. With books, vinyls, clothes and antiques around every corner, the market has everything a shopper could ever wish for. Weave your way through the bric-a-brac style stalls set over two floors and soak up this genuine treasure trove. This go-to spot for vintage shopping is located just off Westow Street and is an attraction any Crystal Palace visitor must check out.

2. Pig out at Crystal Palace Food Market

Market, British

Haynes Lane Farmers Market
© Commons Wikimedia
If you’re a true London foodie, don’t miss this community farmer’s market, located on Haynes Lane. The market has a real emphasis on locally sourced and organic produce, giving it an edge over many other markets in London. Interestingly, the market was formed out of the Crystal Palace Transition Town scheme, and focuses on two key concepts, cutting carbon emissions and building community resilience. Over the years, market visitors have been treated to free recipes by food writer Rachel de Thample using ingredients found on the market that week.

Sample some French-Algerian dishes at Numidie

This cosy bistro situation in the heart of Crystal Palace has captured the hearts of locals with its unique charm. The stripped back, miscellaneous décor gives the drinking spot a rather charismatic feel. Named after the ancient nation of Numidie, (now known as present day Algeria), the restaurant’s menu offers North African inspired food fused with French dishes. Dishes are beautifully spiced and well-put together, plus diners can enjoy a generous wine list with labels from all over Europe. South London night owls will also be pleased to know that Numidie also has a basement bar underneath it that hosts weekly live music and DJs.

48 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace, London, UK

Book a table at Joanna’s

Joanna’s has been a hit with Crystal Palace locals for over three decades, most famous for its burgers, drinks and service. The menu boasts many Brassiere-style dishes including steak frites, haddock fillet and chargrilled chicken and the décor is upmarket and sophisticated and reminiscent of West End restaurants. The American-inspired restaurant is known on the London food scene for its excellent service and good-quality food in stylish surroundings.

56 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace, London, UK

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