A huge player on the rock, punk and Britpop scenes, Camden is a historic neighbourhood known for being the stomping ground of many musicians, artists and writers. It’s not all about music and the arts, though: whether you’re looking for shopping, eating or a great night out, Camden has it all. Read on for the best things to do in the area.
Camden Market, sometimes referred to as Camden Town Market, has been one of the main draws for the North London neighbourhood for decades. Sprawled under arches and down cobbled alleyways, the market attracts those looking for alternative fashion, accessories, music and merchandise. Stables Market, located in a former horse stables, is the place to find vintage clothing and antiques. Camden’s market offering has over 1,000 shops, cafés and bars – good luck getting round them all.
Yumchaa is a cosy tearoom overlooking Camden Lock that specialises in loose-leaf tea. There are over 40 tea blends and flavours, so you’ll find something to satisfy you, no matter how you take your tea. There’s also coffee, matcha lattes and a selection of handmade cakes and pastries.
The street-food outpost of the KERB empire in Camden can be found at Camden Market every day from 11am to 6pm (7pm on weekends). Here, you’ll find 34 street-food traders ready to rustle up everything from healthy curries to smoked honey butter chicken.
Camden isn’t all markets and music venues; it’s also home to London Zoo, one of the world’s oldest zoos and a huge tourist attraction in London. As well as nearly 700 species of animals, the zoo offers the unique opportunity to stay overnight in one of its ‘lion lodges’.
A mainstay of the alternative fashion scene, Cyberdog has kitted out ravers for decades. It’s a neon-lit palace of futuristic fashion with plenty of plastic and PVC. Far from your average Sunday afternoon shopping experience, Cyberdog pumps out loud electronic music and even hires go-go dancers.
London’s home of soul, jazz and disco, the Jazz Café is one of Camden’s most iconic venues. It has previously welcomed the likes of Amy Winehouse and Bobby Womack, and continues to host local and international stars in an intimate setting. With live music seven nights a week, there’s never a bad time to go; if you’re looking to dance the night away, a soul-themed club night takes over at the weekends. There’s also a mezzanine restaurant and a superb cocktail menu.
All year round, you can pick up a water bus at Camden Lock and take it along Regent’s Canal to Little Venice. You’ll cruise past celebrity homes, across Regent’s Park and right through the middle of London Zoo.
You can take a water bus along Regent's Canal and make getting around a little more fun
Go to a gig at one of Camden’s legendary music venues
You simply can’t go to Camden without enjoying the live music the borough is famous for. For big-name headline acts, head to Koko or the Roundhouse, or check out up-and-coming bands in one of Camden’s many pubs. We recommend the Dublin Castle and the Lock Tavern.
Have a pint in a Camden pub
When you’re ready for a cold pint after a day of trawling the markets, Camden has plenty of boozers to choose from. There are rock ‘n’ roll pubs, craft-beer bars and plenty of spacious beer gardens. For the best of the bunch, read our roundup of Camden’s best bars and pubs.