Things to Do in Shoreditch
WHAT IS SHOREDITCH?
Located in London’s East End, Shoreditch is a neighbourhood in the boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets.
Previously, the area was predominately working-class but since the 1990s, it has become associated with creative industries.
As property prices in London’s affluent West End grew, many artists and musicians moved further east for more affordable rents, helping bring in a wave of cultural creativity.
The huge influx of art, music, food, and craft beer has brought more and more people to Shoreditch both to live, and to visit. Today, the area holds the top spot on many visitors London ‘must-see’ lists.
Nearly every neighbourhood and borough in London has its’ own vibe, and Shoreditch is no exception.
Think untold amounts of street art, dozens upon dozens of street food options, countless markets, vintage shopping, speakeasy bars, and trendy instagrammable restaurants.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
See World Renowned Street Art
London is known throughout the world for the level and quality of our street art and Shoreditch is a true treasure trove. Nearly every street in this area has art of some kind!
From paintings to murals, statues to signage, the art in Shoreditch is varied so there’s something for everyone.
Many of the pieces are obvious to find and some run the entire length and height of buildings – and some are hidden away, just waiting to be discovered.
You can wander through the area to check out the art, or come with us on one of our Street Art Tours to uncover all the area has to offer!
Eat a Salt Beef Beigel 24/7
At the north end of Brick Lane sits one of London’s landmarks: Beigel Bake. This Jewish-style bakery is open 24 hours and sells some of the most delicious filled beigels in London.
The classic is Salt Beef but there are also classics like smoked salmon, and sweet treats, too.
The best is that this is one of the cheapest places to grab a bite in town – a HUGE filled beigel is less than £5.00!
- Address: 159 Brick Lane, London E1 6SB
Do Some Vintage Bargain Hunting
Love a good bargain? Then Shoreditch is the place for you! Filled with second-hand shops, as well as vintage markets, the East End is a vintage bargain hunter’s dream.
Find treasures at places like:
Rokit Vintage – One of the most prominent vintage brands in London, Rokit has four London locations including one on Brick Lane. With designs made by the Rokit brand as well as second-hand clothing and accessories, there is a huge array of goods to buy at Rokit.
Hunky Dory Vintage – Here you’ll find a huge selection of high-quality original products, carefully selected by the stores’ owner. You’ll find entire outfits, accessories, and unusual pieces like an entire 1970’s silk suit!
Beyond Retro – Now an international label, Beyond Retro began right here in London. With a retro playlist blaring over the speakers, and a huge selection of vintage and recycled items, Beyond Retro has boxes, shelves, and racks that are just waiting to be uncovered.
You’ll find even more retro recommendations below in our section for Shoreditch Markets.
Take an East End Food Tour
If you want to explore Shoreditch with a guide and are a fan of food, why not come along on our East End Food Tour?
This tour tells the eclectic history of the East End as told through its’ food.
With delicious treats at every stop (and options for vegetarians, vegans, and those who are gluten-free) this is a tour that delivers an enchanting stroll through the area and some of the tastiest dishes in town.
This tour runs on Tuesdays (seasonally), Thursdays, and Saturdays at 10:30.
Visit Curry Mile
Brick Lane is colloquially known as the “Curry Mile” owing to the literally dozens of Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants located here.
Shoreditch was a neighbourhood filled with immigrants for centuries and the wave of Bangladeshi and Indian immigrants who have come here over the past few decades has brought with it authentic, delicious, and affordable cultural cuisine.
Sit down at a restaurant, grab a take-away sweet, or tuck into some street food because a trip to Shoreditch isn’t complete without a visit to this legendary street!
Play Some Games
Pub games are a popular pastime in London these days, and there are plenty of places to play and different games to choose from!
All of these locations have full bars and many with street food, too, to keep you going as you play.
- Ping Pong: Bounce
- Shuffleboard: London Shuffle
- Mini Golf: Plonk & Junkyard Golf Club
- Darts: Flight Club
- Table Football: Cafe Kick
- Bowling: All Star Lanes
Go Back in Time at the Dennis Severs House
This is a truly unique experience. Decades ago, an artist named Dennis Severs purchased a period house here in Shoreditch and turned it into one of London’s most interactive art displays.
This house has been furnished and decorated in the period manner and everything is authentic – including the fact that there is no electricity!
The idea is that there is a Huguenot silk weaving family that has moved into the house and you are there to visit them.
Still smoldering cigarettes, laughter from other rooms and live animals create the sort of atmosphere where you feel as though somebody has just left the room as you entered.
It sounds a bit creepy but is, in fact, a truly magical and illuminating experience.
- Address: 18 Folgate Street, London E1 6BX
- Opening Hours: Monday: 12 – 14:00 and 17:00 – 21:00 / Wednesday: 17:00 – 21:00 / Friday: 17:00 – 21:00 / Sunday: 12:00 – 16:00
- Cost: £5.00 – £17.00 depending on the day, time, and time of year
BoxPark is a unique East End feature. Entirely within a series of stacked shipping containers, BoxPark is a location for global fashion and lifestyle stores as well as restaurants and cafes.
With rotating street food, live events, quizzes, pop up shops and more, BoxPark is a great place to explore as you never know what you might find!
Walk in the Footsteps of Jack the Ripper
For centuries, London’s East End was a poverty-stricken area, filled with thousands of immigrants who had moved here to find work and a better life.
The slums of this part of town was a hotbed of vice and violence and were also the site of the most famous unsolved crimes in history: the Jack the Ripper murders.
Jack the Ripper was a prolific serial killer in London’s Whitechapel district who is responsible for the brutal slayings of at least 5 women.
His true identity has never been solved which is part of what makes his crimes so famous.
To find out more – and maybe solve the mystery yourself – check out our web page HERE.
Or better yet, come with us on our Jack the Ripper Tour and let us take you back in time as we walk in the footsteps of London’s most famous mystery.
Experience one of London’s Most Unique Cinemas
You may not think that visiting a cinema is something to add to your list of activities while you’re visiting London, but these two cinemas will show you why it’s a great way to spend a few hours!
With three film screens, a live music venue, and dance performances, the Rich Mix Theatre is a five-floor hub of activity.
The seats in the screening rooms are huge and comfortable, surrounded by art and state-of-the-art lighting you can enjoy your performances while drinking local beers and ciders, Shoreditch-made snacks, and classic British sweets, all making this a truly unique East London experience.
Part of the Rooftop Film Club, the Queen of Hoxton Cinema is exactly what it says: a cinema on the top of a Shoreditch building. Huge screens are erected and guests wear high-tech wireless earphones to listen in.
The rooftop provides great views, and there are classic theatre snacks to enjoy while you watch.
Plus the Queen of Hoxton pub is right downstairs for a pre or post-theatre drink!
Eat Street Food
London Street Food is delicious, cheap, and plentiful! And so much of it can be found here in Shoreditch.
Between Brick Lane Market, the Old Truman Brewery, and Spitalfields Market, there are literally dozens of street food options.
Get classic fish and chips, tasty Asian dumplings, Bangladeshi delights, Turkish kebabs, artisan desserts and more.
No matter what you like to eat, you will find it in Shoreditch – and all without blowing your budget!
See the Iconic Gherkin
Built in 2003, 30 St. Mary Axe – better known as The Gherkin – became an immediate international sensation.
Originally built to be an office with public space on top, the unique shape of the structure made it an iconic London landmark.
Shaped like a cigar, egg, gherkin, pickle, eggplant (depending on who you ask!) the Gherkin no longer has a restaurant or viewing gallery at the top.
But, it is always worth a visit, especially for those who love to take photographs as the structure appears to rise out of the ground before billowing out above our heads!
- Address: 30 St. Mary Axe, London EC3A 8BF
MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES
*Note that the Museum is closed for redevelopment until Spring 2020
The Geffrye Museum describes its’ purpose as “to reveal and rethink the way we live” and as such, this museum chronicles the home and home life from the 17th century up to today.
With various rooms set in various time periods, it’s documentation in the way that Londoners have lived for centuries.
Find out what’s on when you’re in town HERE.
- Address: 136 Kingsland Road, London E2 8EA
- Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 7:30 – 16:45 / Occasional Saturdays: 10:00 – 16:45
- Cost: FREE
Described as the “artists’ gallery for everyone” the Whitechapel Gallery is jam-packed with galleries, displays, archives, and exhibitions.
With a focus on contemporary art, there are pieces from masters like Picasso and Pollock as well as newer artists like Mark Wallinger and Paul Noble.
The Gallery also happens to be next door to our meeting point for the London Graffiti and Street Art Tour so consider visiting before joining us on a walk!
- Address: 77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX
- Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 11:00 – 18:00 (Thursdays until 21:00)
- Cost: FREE
The Brick Lane Gallery holds a forever-changing array of works by artists from all around the world.
The exhibitions change constantly and the gallery also holds a number of events throughout the year.
Although small, this is a great place to visit and you never know what you will find!
- Find out what’s on when you’re in town HERE.
- Address: 216 Brick Lane, London E1 6SA
- Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10:00 – 18:00 / Sundays 12:00 – 18:00
- Cost: Varies depending on the exhibition
This museum, located in the former Shoreditch home of John Wesley, tells the story of Methodism from Welsey through to today.
With a highlight on Methodism’s contribution to Britain’s history, this museum will leave you with a new understanding of Wesley’s legacy.
- Address: 49 City Road, London EC1Y 1AU
- Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10:00 – 16:00
- Cost: FREE
Brick Lane Market
A bustling hub for art, antiques, second-hand goods, and vintage clothing, Brick Lane Market is held on the northern end of the iconic lane which makes it a great place to shop before or after a delicious Bangladeshi meal.
Keep an eye out for hidden art deco gems as well as art by local artists.
- Address: Brick Lane, London E1 6QR
- Opening Hours: The shops that line the lane are open daily but the market is only active on Sundays 10:00 – 17:00
Spitalfields Market is a bustling hub of activity. With independent vendors as well as shops, and street food as well as restaurants, there is something for everyone.
On weekends the market features a vintage or antique area for those who like to treasure hunt!
This huge market is an East London staple and is always worth a visit for a bite to eat, and a spot of shopping.
- Address: 56 Brushfield Street, London E1 6AA
- Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 – 23:00 / Saturdays and Sundays 9:00 – 23:00 The various changing stalls, shops and market outposts all have varying hours so check out the website HERE for detailed information.
This unique market sits within the location of a former brewery. Today it is an art and media centre, home to a number of businesses as well as shops, galleries, bars, restaurants, and a market space with ever-changing vendors.
It’s also a great place to view the street art that Shoreditch is best known for! Find out what’s on when you visit HERE.
- Address: 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QR
- Opening Hours: As it houses a number of stalls, shops, markets, etc there are varying hours but the main courtyard space is accessible 24 hours a day.
Hoxton Street Market
This is the oldest street market in the area, dating from 1687! Recently refurbished, this is a market that really only comes alive on Saturdays.
This market is unique in that there is something for visitors (quirky stalls, second-hand goods, clothing) as well as locals (household goods and groceries).
- Address: Hoxton Street, London N1 6SH
- Opening Hours: Some stalls are open Monday to Friday 10:00 – 15:00 but to really enjoy the market you need to visit on a Saturday from 10:00 – 16:00
Columbia Road Flower Market
A unique Victorian creation, the Columbia Road Flower Market contains a beautiful array of flowers and foliage, as well as antique shops, art galleries, vintage clothing stores, a farmers market, and cafes!
A popular spot for those who love to take photos, there’s an endless amount of plant life here to be explored – and purchased.
- Address: Columbia Road, London E2 7RG
- Opening Hours: Sundays – 8:00 – 15:00
PLACES OT EAT AND DRINK
Getting food in Shoreditch is incredibly easy as there is so much to choose from!
If you’ve had all the street food you can handle at the markets listed above, check out our list of places to relax with a bite (and a drink!).
Casual Sit Downs:
Tower of London (City of London)
The Tower of London is one of our cities most iconic landmarks.
Begun as a palace and fortress by William the Conquerer in the 11th century, today the Tower is a series or turrets, walls, and buildings, encompassing centuries of history.
There’s so much to do inside: Visit the old prison cells, see where Henry VIII’s wives were executed and buried, visit a branch of the Royal Armouries and admire the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.
Consider visiting the Tower after taking our City of London Tour as this will be your final stop!
- Address: Tower of London, EC3N 4AB
- Opening Hours:
- Tuesday – Saturday: 9:00 – 16:30 (Last entry 16:00)
- Sundays & Mondays: 10:00 – 16:30 (Last entry 16:00)
- Tuesday – Saturday: 9:00 – 17:30 (Last entry 17:00)
- Sundays & Mondays: 10:00 – 17:30 (Last entry 17:00)
- Adults – £27.50 / Concessions – £21.50 / Child (5 – 15) – 12:90 / Unders 5’s FREE
- These are prices at the gate. Save money by booking online in advance!
Leadenhall Market is a beautiful Victorian covered market on the edge of the City. Today it is filled primarily with restaurants and bars, although there are also a few shops.
However, today it’s primarily known for standing in for Diagon Alley in the first Harry Potter Film!
- Address: Gracechurch Street, London EC3V 1LT
- Opening Hours: The covered market is accessible 24 hours a day, although thee bars and pubs have varying hours of operation.
- Cost: Free to visit
Bank of England (City of London)
The world’s second-oldest central bank lies here in the heart of the City of London.
Worth a look from the outside, the Bank of England also has an excellent museum highlighting the history of the organisation and its’ impact on the world.
There are interesting artifacts and a real gold bar you can try to pick up yourself!
- Address: Bank of England, Bartholomew Lane, London EC2R 8AH
- Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 10:00 – 17:00
- Cost: FREE!
Museum of London
The Museum of London is truly a hidden gem.
Tucked away on a housing estate, this museum leads visitors on a chronological history through the city, beginning with fossils and ending with a glorious exhibition on the 2012 London Olympics, whilst traveling through 2,000 years in between!
- Address: 150 London Wall, Barbican, London EC2Y 5HN
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 18:00 Daily
- Cost: FREE!
Christopher Wren’s masterpiece, St. Paul’s Cathedral is an iconic London landmark.
Throughout its’ 300-odd years on this location, it’s seen royal weddings, stately funerals, jubilee celebrations and has been host to thousands of tourists.
- Address: St. Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD
- Opening Hours: 8:30 – 16:00 Daily (For Tours)
- Cost: Adults – £20.00 / Concessions – £17.50 / Children (6-17) – £8.50
- TIP: Save money by booking online in advance!
There’s far too much history to get into here (there’s been a church on this site for over 1,000, in fact) so if you want to know more, check out our blog post on St. Paul’s HERE.
Or, consider joining us on one of our walking tours that incorporates St. Pauls:
- City of London Tour – History of the City with an overview of St. Paul’s
- World War II Tour – St. Paul’s experience during the War
- Harry Potter Tour – The church was a stand-in for Hogwarts!
A performing arts centre on the northern fringe of the City of London, the Barbican holds music concerts, theatre performances, film screenings, and art exhibitions.
You’ll also find an art gallery, a library, and three restaurants!
A perfect and preserved example of brutalist 1960’s architecture, the Barbican is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of place but is worth a visit if you can!
- Address: Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS
- Opening Hours: Various. Check out their website HERE.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
Shoreditch is a large neighbourhood so is easily accessed by various Stations and stops.
By Train or Tube:
- Nearest Underground Stations: Old Street, Liverpool Street, Aldgate East
- Nearest Overground Stations: Shoreditch High Street
- Nearest Rail Station: Liverpool Street
- Liverpool Street Side: 8, 11, 23, 26, 35, 42, 47, 48, 78, 100, 133, 135, 149, 205, 242, 344, 388
- Old Street Side: 21, 43, 76, 141, 214, 271
There are a number of hotels near and in Shoreditch. Check out TripAdvisor’s list of the closest ones HERE.
Covent Garden is home to some of London’s nicest public loos! The toilets are operated by an organisation called 2theloo and cost £1.00.
There are also toilets near St. Paul’s Church which cost .50p and a disabled toilet to the side of the Jubilee Market.