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This post covers the top 10 things to do in Brick Lane, a vibrant street in the East End of London.

We include information on how to get here, what to do, and where to eat.


HOW TO GET TO BRICK LANE

Brick Lane is located in East London and runs south from Swanfield Street to Whitechapel. It is 3/4 of a mile long (1207 meters).

You can start your visit to Brick Lane at either the north end or south end.

Where is Brick Lane

To the Southern end

To the Northern End

Bus Lines: 

  • 388, 8

TIP: We have more information on navigating the London Underground here.


TOP THINGS DO, EXPERIENCE AND EAT

Located in London’s vibrant East End, Brick Lane is a single street with loads to do.

Whether you’re hungry, thirsty, looking for something to do, or hoping to find a bargain - this is the place to do it! Check out our top things to do on Brick Lane below.

London Travel Tips and Hacks

Go on a Street Art Tour

Banksy made it famous but street art has a long history in the East End. Brick Lane is absolutely covered in amazing street art and graffiti and people come from all around the world to explore it.

There’s plenty to see no matter where you look but if you want to find some truly hidden gems, and learn about the people who create this incredible art then your best bet is to come along on a Street Art Tour.

Ours is run multiple times a week and is led by artists, locals, and experts ready to share their knowledge and their favourite neighbourhood with you!

Book online HERE.


Go Vintage Hunting

If vintage clothing is your thing, then Brick Lane is where you need to be!

The Brick Lane Vintage Market is open 7 days a week and features vintage specialists from all across Europe who travel here to trade in this popular spot.

Aside from the spacious indoor market, there are also a number of vintage shops selling clothing and accessories on Brick Lane that are definitely worth exploring to find yourself a hidden bargain: Rokit, Beyond Retro, and Atika (formerly Blitz).


Enjoy a Food Tour

The best way to get to know a city is to eat its’ food, and Brick Lane is one of the best places to do it.

The story of London’s East End is played out in the sights, smells, and tastes of Brick Lane. Immigrants from all over the world have called this area home - and they brought their food with them.

To get to grips with some of the best food (and drink!) in town, come along with us on our East End Food Tour.

On our tour, you will learn about the history of this vibrant neighbourhood as told through the delicious treats your guide will share with you.

Think fish & chips, samosas, chocolates, and beigels. Savoury, sweet, traditional, and modern, there’s something for everyone and our tour runs twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:30.

Book online HERE.


Visit a Market

For a unique market experience, Brick Lane hosts a fabulous market every Sunday.

The Brick Lane Market is popular with visitors and locals alike (although note that the shops and galleries along the road are open 7 days a week).

Street performers, food stalls, handmade crafts, and treasure troves of second-hand goods are all available for browsing and purchase at one of London’s best market experiences.

Find out more HERE.


Buy a Vinyl or Hear some Music at Rough Trade East

Operating since the 1970s, Rough Trade is an independent record shop based here in London.

With exclusive releases and routine visits by musicians from all across the world, Rough Trade is a music lovers' paradise - and a great place to pick up a treat to take back home.

Open daily, their Brick Lane branch, Rough Trade East isn’t just a place to buy music.

There are constant performances and events taking place here.


Grab a Good Book

For literary lovers, there is something for you on Brick Lane as well!

The Brick Lane Bookshop is an independent bookstore that has been operating here for over 30 years.

With dozens of categories of literature in stock, there is bound to be something to pique your interest - and purchases here help to support the local owners and staff!


Explore the Old Truman Brewery

Previously a London brewery, the Old Truman Brewery is now a cultural hub of London’s East End.

An arts and media centre, it’s home to dozens of creative businesses.

Think shops, galleries, markets, restaurants, and bars.

With live performances, events, and exhibitions all year ‘round, the Old Truman Brewery is a must-see for anybody wanting to get the feeling for the “real” Brick Lane.

See what’s on during your visit HERE.


Buy Some Crafts

If you're into handmade goods, then the Backyard Market is a must.

Located in the Old Truman Brewery, this market specialises in arts and crafts made by locals.

From jewellery to clothing, bric a brac to home goods, and art to crafted snacks this is a showcase of London's artisanal styles!


Visit the Brick Lane Tea Rooms

There's always time for tea! If you need a break during your busy day exploring Brick Lane and the surrounding streets, consider a break at the Brick Lane Tea Rooms.

Located within the Truman Brewery, this charming cafe is also a shop selling antiques, furniture, and collectables.


See the Unique Brick Lane Mosque

One of London's most unique buildings, the Brick Lane Mosque has been a site of worship for Christians, Jews, and Muslims throughout its varied history.

Photo by Fred Romero CC2.0

Originally built in 1743, it began as a Protestant chapel for London's French Huguenots who had fled France to escape persecution by the Catholics.

In 1891 it became the Spitalfields Great Synagogue, used by Jewish refugees who had fled Russia and Central Europe.

And in the 1970s it was transformed into a mosque for the Bangladeshi community who flocked here looking for work and a better life.

If walls could talk this building would tell us quite the story!


WHAT AND WHERE TO EAT IN BRICK LANE

Have Indian and Bangladeshi Food

Brick Lane is the heart of London’s Bangladeshi community and is sometimes referred to as Banglatown.

In fact, any of the street signs are written in English AND Bengali.

This means that there’s no better place to try authentic Bangladeshi cuisine.

Known locally as the “Curry Mile” Brick Lane is host to dozens of the most delicious and best curry houses serving up some of the best - and cheapest - south Asian cuisine in the city.


Eat a Traditional Jewish Beigel

Founded in 1974, Beigel Bake is a London icon that produces 7,000 beigels every day!

Open 24 hours, this bakery focuses on Jewish-style beigels (bagels) which you can order with fillings such as hot salt beef, chopped herring, and cream cheese and salmon (just to name a few!).

There’s also something here for those of you with a sweet tooth as this bakery creates mouth-watering pastries and sweets.

They don’t have a website (it’s not that kind of place) so head down and check it out for yourself: 159 Brick Lane, London E1 6SB.


Taste the Best Chocolates of Your Life

Dark Sugars isn’t just a chocolate shop, it’s an experience!

Here you can get your fill of handmade chocolates, truffles, and numerous tasty treats - many of which are vegan-friendly.

The friendly staff is always on hand to guide you through the dozens of chocolates on offer and there are usually plenty of samples to be had.

In the wintertime, their incredible hot chocolate cannot be beaten and looks like the kind of creation made in another world!

In the summertime, unique and delicious ice creams are available to satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you cool!


Visit the Upmarket

One of the best Sunday markets on Brick Lane is the Upmarket.

This is one of London's biggest and most diverse food halls.

The Sunday Upmarket has everything you can imagine to eat: street food, artisan creations like fancy cheeses, hand-crafted beers, luxury crepes, hand-made chutneys to take home, food from all over the world...the list goes on!


See the Iconic Crane Mural

One of the things that make street art so unique is its' ephemeral quality - now you see it, now you don't!

But some pieces of art are so well received and loved by locals that they stick around for a long time.

Photo by MsSaraKelly CC2.0

One of the most famous artworks near Bricklane is the Crane Mural by an artist named Roa which was painted in 2011!

To find it, just turn onto Hanbury Street, one of Brick Lane's many side streets.


THINGS TO DO NEARBY

Christ Church Spitalfields

Christ Church Spitalfields is a 17th-century building designed by noted architect Nicholas Hawksmoor.

Part of an Act of Parliament to build new churches in London's growing neighbourhoods, Christ Church was intended to be an Anglican site of worship targeted at the growing French Huguenot population in the area.

The beautiful church is made of stone, with high windows and the inside is light and airy with decorative touches of gold.

A stunning restored 18th-century organ can be seen and the church is open for both public and private worship.

Find out what's on when you visit HERE.


Shop for Flowers at Columbia Road Flower Market

One of London's best-known markets, the Columbia Road Flower Market, is located just a few minutes walk north of Brick Lane.

Open on Sundays from 8:00 am - 3:00-ish pm, this market showcases nothing but beautiful flowers and plants.

From small bouquets to take home, to towering trees fit for a large back garden, Columbia Road explodes with vibrant colours when the market is on and is worth exploring even if you don't have a green thumb!


Just around the corner from Brick Lane stands the incredible Spitalfields Market.

Explore Spitalfields Market

There has been a market in Spitalfields for over 300 years and the newest version has its origins in the 19th century. 

A vast regeneration programme in 2005 expanded the market into one of London's largest markets.

It is actually made up of smaller and often temporary markets as well as permanent shops and restaurants.

Here you will find antiques, vintage clothes, handmade goods, jewellery and accessories, used books, and stall upon stall of delicious food.

Different markets and shops have their own opening hours so always check the website HERE before you go.


Walk Through Time at Dennis Severs House

If you've ever wanted to travel back in time, this is the closest you'll likely ever get!

This beautiful Georgian Home is located on Folgate Street, just a couple blocks away from Brick Lane.

The house was bought in the 1970s by an artist named Dennis Severs who transformed it back to its' 18th-century glory and carefully laid the building out as though a French Huguenot family is living inside.

As you walk through you'll explore only through candlelight, and you'll encounter the sounds and smells of centuries gone by in this fully immersive experience.

Find out more and book tickets HERE.


Geffrye Museum | Museum of the Home

A 15-minute stroll north of Brick Lane will take you to the Geffrye Museum, or the Museum of the Home.

Held in a former almshouse, this museum is dedicated to the home and home life from the 1600s to the present day.

Exhibits, special speeds, and talks and events take place throughout the year so find out what's on when you visit HERE.


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About The Author

Margaret

An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home and she's been guiding here now for nearly a decade. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries.
Updated: May 25th, 2023
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