London is a top shopping destination for people throughout the world.
But whether you’re looking to break the bank, or you’re pinching pennies, there’s a variety of districts in London ready to meet your retail needs!
Each shopping districts/streets in London have their own vibe and specialties so read below to see where is the best shopping in London for your personal shopping experience.
Oxford Street is considered the centre of London’s shopping world.
Holding well over 300 shops, 4 underground stations, as well as flagship stores for numerous companies, Oxford Street is not only the busiest shopping location in London it’s the largest shopping district in existence.
Here you will find shops known around the world: Topshop, Selfridge’s, Debenhams, H&M, and Uni Qlo and the largest Primark in the world just to name a few.
Clothing, accessories, shoes, or souvenirs, London’s Oxford Street has it all.
http://oxfordstreet.co.uk/shopping/ Underground Stations: [East to West] Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus, Bond Street & Marble Arch
Once you've finished shopping, you'll definitely be ready for a bite to eat (and maybe a cheeky drink or two), or perhaps you'd like to have some tasty treats in the morning and walk it off with some shopping afterwards!
Bond Street is all about luxury! If you’re looking for designer labels, this is where to go, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co, Michael Koors…the list goes on.
Bond Street also holds the only Victoria’s Secret and Abercrombie & Fitch in the U.K.
If your budget won’t stretch to Bond Street, it is worth just walking down the road to peek into some of the most glamorous window displays in town.
Underground Stations: Bond Street, Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus is famous the world over for its' vibrant, flashing lights and the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain (the incorrectly dubbed "statue of Eros").
But, in addition to being a traffic hub, it's also surrounded by great shopping.
To the north of Piccadilly Circus is Regent Street - as we've detailed already.
It also edges on Soho which is full of funky independent shops, fascinating stores, vintage fabric and clothing, as well as great nightlife.
To the West, is the street of Piccadilly itself, which is home to the stunning Fortnum & Mason's - one of London's first department stores, erected in 1707, as well as Waterstones, one of the largest bookstores in Europe.
Nearest Tube Station: Piccadilly Circus
Perhaps the most atheistically pleasing of all the shopping districts listed here, Regent Street was designed by master architect Sir John Nash in the 19th century.
With huge sweeping vistas and different decorations throughout the year (including impressive Christmas displays), Regent Street is a picturesque place to spend your pennies.
Located here are range from the top end (Liberty of London and Ferrari) to fun and affordable.
Keep an eye out for Hamleys – the largest toy store in London and a must-visit destination for those traveling with children!
Often it is possible to visit Barbie, Captain John Sparrow and the like standing outside the shop and visiting is a sensory experience for people of all ages.
http://www.regentstreetonline.com/ Underground Stations: Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus
Carnaby Street was the heart of swinging London in the 1960s and still offers quirky and glam shops, international brands, and unique one-of-a-kinds.
Boasting over 150 different shops and over 50 restaurants and bars, Carnaby is a great place to shop off the main roads of London and is a wonderful place to get lost!
Cobbled roads, small centres, alleys, and dead ends, Carnaby Street is on the edge of Soho and is a great destination for those who like to stumble upon interesting shops and bars during their visit.
http://www.carnaby.co.uk/ Underground Stations: Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus
Shopping in Knightsbridge is definitely not for those travelling on a budget!
Here you will find some of the most prestigious and famous retail and fashion names in the world, Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Agent Provocateur, and even Christian Louboutin – this district is all about high fashion.
Knightsbridge is also home to two of the best-known department stores in Europe: Harvey Nichols and Harrod’s.
Harrod’s is worth browsing even if guests do not have the intent to buy and goods in their food halls can oftentimes be affordable.
Underground Station: Knightsbridge
After a bit of shopping in beautiful Knightsbridge, what better way to finish your retail experience than by visiting the most luxurious department store in the world - Harrods!
Once you've enjoyed the gorgeous surroundings that Harrods has to offer, consider exploring the rest of Knightsbridge with our Self-Guided Knightsbridge and Chelsea Tour that will take you through some of the most glamourous neighbourhoods in town and finishes along the iconic River Thames!
In the heart of Chelsea lies the King’s Road – a singular stretch of eclectic shops, clothing boutiques, bars, and restaurants.
From high fashion at shops owned by names as recognisable as Vivienne Westwood to antiques at the Chelsea Antiques Market, King’s Road is a broad mix of different types of shops and stores.
A true London shopping experience, King’s Road is a destination for celebrities in London as well as locals and tourists alike.
http://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/place/29445369-kings-road Underground Station: Sloane Square
Not only is Chelsea a great area to celebrity-spot and shop, but it's also a great London district for literary lovers.
Chelsea is an area jam-packed with locations associated with some of the world's best-known writers.
We've composed a helpful Self-Guided Literary Tour of London that will take you not only past the shops but also through history as you check out the homes of celebrated authors from throughout history, such as Oscar Wilde, George Eliot, Mark Twain, and Bram Stoker.
Covent Garden has hosted a market for centuries and it is still operating to this day.
Market stalls with handmade goods and crafts as well as cheap clothing and souvenirs, Covent Garden’s Market provides a true London market shopping experience.
However, Covent Garden is also home to recognisable shops based here permanently (Apple and The Body Shop, for example) and is filled with cobbled roads, eclectic boutiques…and even one of the finest cheese stores in London (Neal’s Yard Dairy)!
A great place to ‘get lost’ Covent Garden provides good shopping for any budget and a variety of retail ranges.
http://www.coventgardenlondonuk.com/shopping Underground Station: Covent Garden
Not only is Covent Garden one of the best shopping districts in town, it also happens to be one of the best places to grab a bite to eat!
And amongst the hundreds of shops, you'll find a hundred places to satisfy your appetite.
Since Covent Garden is a mix of authentic London restaurants, as well as restaurant tourist traps, we've put together a Self-Guided Food Tour of Covent Garden to help you taste the best that this neighbourhood has to offer!
The Royal Exchange
Located in the heart of London’s financial district, the Royal Exchange previously hosted the centre of commerce for the City of London.
Today, however, the Royal Exchange hosts a variety of luxury shops, Rolex, Tiffany & Co., Hermes, Gucci…just to give an idea.
Luxury restaurants and champagne bars are a great place to take a shopping break and the location of the Royal Exchange, the opposite side of town from our other shopping centres, means it is oftentimes not as busy as the better-known shopping locations of London.
http://www.theroyalexchange.co.uk/ Underground Station: Bank
Yes, these are just regular malls. Asian and European visitors are big on Westfield although Americans aren't bothered since we have them everywhere!)
The newest additions to the London shopping scene, London's two Westfield malls - Shepherd's Bush and Stratford - are two of the largest urban shopping centres in all of Europe.
Located entirely indoors, they also make excellent places to browse and shop when the London weather isn’t too cooperative!
Both Westfields are divided into two parts – the standard shopping areas and the luxury departments.
This means there are the standard names you’d expect to see (Marks & Spenser, House of Fraser, Debenhams, Primark) as well as top labels known the world over (Jimmy Choo, Tag Heuer, and Ted Baker).
With over 275 shops in each, more than three dozen places to eat overall, as well as seasonal ice rinks and cinemas, the Westfields are one-stop shops for a retail day out.
Nearest Tube Stations: Shepherd's Bush, White City, Stratford.
London's Bargain Markets - Tired of treading the shops? Or are you a bargain hunter who loves to haggle? Then perhaps you'd like to shop in some of the best-known markets in the world! We've got handy guides to help you choose which market has what you want to buy!
Located in Northwest London on the bank of Regent’s Park, Camden Market is actually a series of open-air and indoor markets, along with food stalls, retail shops, bars, and restaurants.
Open every day of the year (aside from Christmas), the weekends are still the best time to visit as that is the only time to guarantee all the stalls will be open.
For those who are adventurous, off-beat, or just a little bit quirky, Camden is the place to head.
In Camden, vintage shops, piercing parlours, and tattoo artists reside alongside stalls selling food from all around the world.
Home to a thriving counter-culture community, Camden is a haven for those who are fans of the extreme and outlandish.
An explosion of colors and textures, art, and antiques, Camden Market is a bustling complex well worth a visit.
For the gastronomists among you, Borough Market is your sure fire stop for delicious and authentic London food and drink.
One of the oldest markets in London, Borough operates on a wholesale level on weekday mornings and is open to the public for commercial trade on weekday lunchtimes and all day on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Located under beautifully architected structures dating from the 19th century to the 1930s, Borough can be found in Southwark, just below the River Thames.
Originally focused on fruit and vegetables, Borough now sells nearly any kind of edible delight one can imagine, showcasing local purveyors from all over the United Kingdom and Europe.
Food is available to eat as soon as you buy it, or you can purchase a multitude of ingredients to create your own meal at home.
From bakeries to butchers, confectionaries to charcuterie, seafood to spices, dairy to drinks - whatever you choose to indulge in, I guarantee you will not leave Borough Market with an empty stomach!
Check out our self-guided Borough Market Food Tour, where you can easily what we recommend trying.
The largest antiques market in the entire world, Portobello showcases over 1,000 dealers in one localised area in the west of London.
The antique showcases at Portobello are a Saturday operation, with many stalls opening at 8:30 or 9:00 am and oftentimes packing up by 4 pm.
Easily the busiest market in London, it is best to visit Portobello first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds.
100’s of stalls, stands, shops and arcades are located along Portobello Road, providing some of the most unique antique items available in the capital.
Bric-a-brac, jewelry, art and artifacts, crystal, silver and gold, books or clothes - whatever you may be after, you are sure to find it at Portobello.
On Saturdays, there are also a number of food trucks and stalls set up so that you may refuel with delicious delights whilst you shop!
Portobello offers the opportunity to come face-to-face with some of London’s most experienced market operators who will be more than happy to haggle and bargain with anyone who is up to the task!
((Just a note that we don't visit in on the regular HP Tour, but it's included in the Audio Guide and on our web pages so I"ve noted that at the bottom.))
Located in the City of London, Leadenhall Market is a true treasure.
Leadenhall is a covered market and the ornate rooftop, as well as the cobbled floors, were designed in 1881 and are nearly all original, although there was some redecoration done in the 1990s.
The Market is only open Monday - Friday as most of the trade here comes from the thousands of office staff who work in the offices of the City.
Most of the shops here are upscale - again, fitting in with its' location in the financial district - but there are also affordable stores as well as great options for lunch, which makes it worth a stop.
Aside from Leadenhall's offerings, it is also well known for playing the role of Diagon Alley in the first Harry Potter films!
If you want to know more about that, check out our page on Harry Potter in London. Our Self-Guided Audio Tour includes a stop here so make sure to download before you go!
The Audio Guide also has a bonus for those of you who are big Potter-heads who like to shop, as we will guide you to King's Cross Station to the Platform 9 3/4 store - absolutely packed with everything Potter you can possibly imagine!
Nearest Tube Station: Monument, Aldgate, Liverpool Street
There has been a market in Spitafields for over 300 years and the newest version is entirely covered and filled with myriad shops, stalls, and restaurants.
The Victorian structure holds a number of smaller markets within, including street food, antiques, second-hand books, and handmade goods just to name a few. This is a great place to grab a bargain and a bite all at the same time.
In the heart of the East End, Spitalfield's has seen a lot of history, some of which you can experience if you join us on our tours!
Our East London Food Tour encapsulates the story of this vibrant section of London's East End, as told through the amazing food and drink your guide will share with you.
The bohemian and immigrant cultures here have also led to a booming street art scene which we'd be happy to introduce you to on our Street Art and Graffiti Tour.
And for those who like things a bit darker, a number of Jack the Ripper's victims lived and died along the nearby streets and our guides will show you where it all played out on our Jack the Ripper Tour.
Nearest Tube Station: Liverpool Street