As the creative hub of London’s East End, you’ll never be short of things to do in Shoreditch. Check out our video above for some of our top picks! Visit our article below on the top cultural picks from the unique bars and markets on Brick Lane and Columbia Road, to the inspired grafitti and delicious street food.
Marvel at London’s best street art
Unlike Central London, where most art is found in galleries and museums, the best place to look for visual inspiration in the East End is its streets. We recommend walking up to Shoreditch from Brick Lane to take in some of the area’s most impressive and creative murals, with Redchurch Street and Shoreditch Triangle boasting the best of the bunch. If you’re after a more in-depth experience of East London’s street art scene, the Alternative London Walking Tour offers insightful tours led by local street artists and creatives.
Shop ’til you drop
Shoreditch is a goldmine for one-of-a-kind clothes and accessories, with more independent boutiques and vintage shops than you can shake a stick at. For ultimate cool points, we recommend Atika, formerly Blitz London, which is hailed as one of the biggest vintage shops in Europe. Brick Lane’s Sunday market offers bargain hunters a mammoth selection of second-hand finds, not to mention incredible street food. For contemporary designers, make your way to Redchurch Street, which also boasts a make-your-own perfume lab (Le Labo).
Take in the sights and smells of Columbia Road Flower Market
One of London’s most popular weekend markets, you can’t visit Shoreditch without checking out the colourful utopia that is Columbia Road Flower Market. Vendors flanking the narrow street sell everything from succulents and houseplants to opulent bouquets and herbs. Meandering through the bustling market will also give you a great opportunity to hear some old-school Cockney rhyming slang.
Be entertained at East London’s finest cinemas
Shoreditch is full of dedicated art spaces and independent cinemas. Rich Mix is a creative venue offering a platform for emerging artists, comedians and musicians, as well as a cinema. For a more luxurious viewing experience, complete with blankets, comfortable couches and good wine, you must visit Electric Cinema, London’s most indulgent (and comfortable) cinema experience.
Indulge in Brick Lane street food
As well as its great restaurants, Shoreditch is famous for its street food. Brick Lane, home of much-loved bagel institution Beigel Bake, hosts a huge market every Sunday offering global street food from Canadian poutine to Thai delicacies. On top of their outdoor eateries, there are also enclosed market areas on and around the famous street, from Backyard Market to Sunday Upmarket.
Party at some of Shoreditch’s best clubs
Historically, Shoreditch has always been known for its night time entertainment: once for brothels and theatres, and now for nightclubs and bars. The bigger clubs can be quite expensive, such as Cargo and XOYO, but there are plenty of other options for a cheaper night out. The Book Club is an event space, brunch spot and, most importantly, an affordable and hugely popular spot to let loose on a Friday.
Play tipsy ping pong at Bounce
Bored of bars? Put off pubs? If you’re looking for a more unique – and active – way to socialise, Bounce Ping Pong offers a truly distinctive experience by taking a bar and filling it with ping pong tables. Following the overwhelming success of its flagship venue in Farringdon, its Shoreditch venue opened in 2015. Doubling as a restaurant and offering a great bottomless brunch every Sunday, there’s honestly no point going anywhere else. Bounce has everything you need.
Play table football at Bar Kick
Another bar profiting from how fun it is to play table sports, Bar Kick is a football fan’s dream, with large plasma screens showing live sports and a bar packed with foosball tables for half-time fun. Don’t go here if you’re after a quiet drink: the place is usually busy and loud. Feel free to join in with the football chants.
Eat, shop and party at Boxpark
The world’s first pop-up mall, this shopping/eating/drinking hub made entirely out of shipping containers is certainly one of a kind. Boxpark plays host to some of London’s most popular food pop-ups, including CookDaily, an eatery selling vegan dishes from around the world. For afters, try Soft Serve Society, a dessert spot selling the infamous freakshakes and plenty of other creative versions of popular desserts. Boxpark also hosts parties from various DJs, festivals and event organisers to help you let your hair down after a long day of eating and drinking.
Enjoy a coffee in a cool co-working space
Home to numerous tech hubs, Shoreditch has made sure it has plenty of working spaces to accommodate. For free Wi-Fi, a spacious area to get your head down and a menu of seasonal, healthy grub, we recommend Albion. For the business-minded, try Google Campus London to feel part of the thriving tech world; apart from hosting exciting tech development workshops, this space has a bright basement area perfect for a quick lunch while you work (remember to register online beforehand).
This post was originally written by Madis Kabash and has been updated.