Everything you need to know about Camden Market

Monday, 22 January 2024

Eat, drink, shop and dance in Central London’s coolest market. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and alternative scene of Camden Market with a diverse mix of culture, style and creativity across more than 1,000 stalls.

What started as just 16 stalls in the early 70s has grown to become one of London’s best-known trendy markets. Browse the food and drink, fashion, homeware, unusual gifts and everything in between at the welcoming and quirky Camden Market. Local budding artists and chart-topping stars take the stage at regular gigs and numerous immersive experiences will keep you entertained.

As well as its history and infectious energy, Camden Market is great for bagging a bargain – making it favourable over Borough Market for many. You could spend a few hours to an entire day haggling prices and exploring what’s on offer. The best days to visit are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the main stalls open between 10am to 6pm.

Hop on a train to Euston, and then a short hop on the underground and check out this colourful London borough.

To help you make the most of your visit, we’ve created an essential guide with everything you need to know about Camden Market.

Know where to go

Across the 6.5 hectares of Camden Market are four areas, each with a distinct style, speciality and atmosphere. The most iconic and first to open in 1974 is Camden Lock . Swing by for a canalside pint, to try Tik Tok trending dishes and to browse quirky craft stalls. For a bit of everything, Stables is a historic labyrinth with global and local brands, immersive experiences, fine dining and creative workshops.

Family-friendly experiences are found in Hawley Wharf , alongside small independent shops selling homeware and gifts, pampering salons and street food stalls. The new eco-friendly Buck Street made up of shipping containers is a hub for vegan eateries and upcycled garms from ethical fashion traders.

Highlight: Camden Lock is the market's most iconic and oldest section.
Price range: It’s free to enter all four areas of Camden Market.

Don’t skip breakfast

Arrive as the gates open at 10:00 to fuel up for a big day ahead with Camden’s best breakfast foods. Like all of the eateries here, you’ll be spoilt by the diverse choice – from Portuguese pastries, revitalising fresh fruity bowls and classic fry-up favourites.

Start with something spectacular at Pancake Art Cafe for a picture made of pancake mix that will look almost too good to gobble. Choose from the fun designs in the shapes of animals, landmarks and well-known faces.

Nourishing lightweight Açaí Bowls, sweet smoothies and New York-style bagels from Lili’s Healthy Bar are excellent options to grab on the go. Meat Your New Breakfast Obsession is a top choice for a hangover cure and classic bacon, egg and sausage bap breaky fans.

Highlight: Pancake Art Cafe’s The Rainbow Pancake Stack is a seven-layered tower of fluffy American-style pancakes in each rainbow colour.

Best area for breakfast: Hawley Wharf

Price range: Depending on your appetite, you can spend anything upwards of £4.

Grab some unique garms

Forget high street fashion; Camden Market’s clothing stalls stock limited edition, one-of-a-kind alternative apparel which has been cool since the 70s. For whatever look you're going for, you'll find a small retailer catering to every kind of style - from vintage, gothic, alternative and luxe. Most items are premium-quality, handmade or preloved.

Reworked Camden's rails are filled with reimagined preloved clothes for eco-shoppers – think classic vintage with a splash of contemporary detailing. Dapper gentlemen can combine velvet suits, dickie bows and boldly printed ties at Camberry for an eccentric statement outfit. Bursting with colour and contemporary prints, Moda Camden is the place to pick up eye-catching items for a wardrobe refresh.

Best area for fashion: Buck Street – 1 mile from London Euston station

Highlight: Keep an eye out for second-hand designer bargains in the vintage shops.

Price range: From £1 bargains to £100 for long-lasting, high-quality pieces.

Choose street food for a midday pit-stop

Competing to be the best, the world street food stalls in Camden Market strive for perfection with authentic, indulgent and unforgettable menus. Chefs give attention to detail down to the finishing touches with a drizzle of secret recipe sauces and sprinkles of complementing trimmings.

Feast on an enormous helping of Funky Chips ’ fresh-cut fries topped with fiery spices, crunchy crispy onions and dollops of warm cheesy sauce. Bite through the crispy outer layer of a fluffy Peruvian arepa with grilled meat or vegetarian filling and homemade limeña sauce at Quinoa Arepa . Zingy sauces, soft breads and marinated meats from 2 Lads Kitchen will give you a taste of traditional Afghan BBQ food.

Best area for lunch: Buck Street

Highlight: Sink your teeth into the popular Chicken Quinoa Arepa with black beans, mozzarella, plantains, avocado, kale and spinach at Quinoa Arepa – 1.1 miles from London Euston station.

Price range: A hearty street food lunch will only set you back around £8.

How to find some super quirky buys

Camden is famed for its unique bargains, but if you dig deeper you’ll find ultra-unusual and niche buys that you probably never knew existed. Themed shops selling anime characters, skin-head memorabilia, Mexican groceries and retro phones are a few of what you’ll stumble upon in Stables Market.

Eyes are the gateway to deep connections and are more unique than fingerprints. At the Iris Galerie , a highly detailed photograph of your iris can be transformed into a striking piece of art to be cherished forever. Fast forward to futuristic Cyberdog for neon dancewear and space cadet gear to glow at your next rave or festival. Step back in time to the world of the Sphinx and pyramids at Egyptomania to stock up on hand-painted papyrus, perfume bottles and pendants.

Best area for unique items: Stables

Highlight: Iris Galerie’s re-imagined family portraits are the perfect gift or centrepiece for the living room – 1.2 miles from London Euston station.

Price range: Speciality shops sell items at a price that reflects their uniqueness with mid-range products sitting at around £40.

Keep an eye out for handmade homeware

Bring home the spirit of Camden Market with decor, furnishings and ornaments to remind you of your visit. Jazz up, transform or compliment the look of a room with a new vase, piece of wall art, kitchenware or piece of furniture.

Wander through the warm glow of the Turkish De-Light store, where intricately decorated lanterns dangle from the ceiling, which were handmade using a centuries-old technique. Crisp and minimalist designs in neutral tones inspired by female empowerment can be taken home from Cushion Talk . Is your heart in the 80s? Infuse your home with retro phones, record players or kitchenware from SoSo Retro .

Best area for homeware: Hawley Wharf

Highlight: Even if you’re not going to buy anything, Turkish De-Light is a must-see and is 1.2 miles from London Euston station

Price range: Small items average at around £20 and larger ornaments can go for £100 or more.

Find a finale evening meal

Couples, families and large groups can be catered for in the laid-back atmospheric restaurants serving perfected traditional recipes, comfort foods and fusion cuisines. Cheese fiends can indulge in an early dinner at The Cheese Wheel , which closes at 17:00 on weekdays and 18:00 on weekends. Watch the hand-rolled tagliatelle soaking up the melted cheese inside an entire giant wheel of Grana Padano.

Good food with friends is what Epicurus is all about. Blending Levantine with a traditional American diner, you can expect meat platters, succulent ribs and smash burgers with a burst of Middle Eastern flavours. If you’re craving some classic pub grub, tuck into the best British favourites at Rustic Modern Dining and Natural Wine .

Best area for dinner: Stables

Highlight: Make sure you try the Sloppy Yossef if you’re eating at Epicurus – 1.3 miles from London Euston station

Price range: A main course plus sides and drinks at an indoor restaurant averages at around £50 per person.

Where to satisfy your sweet tooth

Dedicated dessert stalls in Camden Market are just as impressive as the savoury. You can find almost anything dipped in chocolate, dusted with sugar, doused in sauce and loaded with toppings. Prepare yourself for some impressive theatrics as well.

Step into the magical storybook cottage-style immersive dessert emporium for a sugar fix at Hans & Gretel . This is the best place for traditional sweets, homemade artisan gelato and cinnamon fairytale cakes.

Behind billowing clouds of liquid nitrogen weird and wonderful flavour combinations of soft scoop ice cream are made before your eyes in Chin Chin Labs . Melted on a waffle or squashed in an ice cream sandwich, the choice is yours. Nibble on freshly rolled doughy Hungarian treats with a crisp outside and a creamy filling from Chimney Cake Lady .

Best area for dessert: Hawley Wharf

Highlight: The cinnamon fairytale cakes from Hans & Gretel are irresistible – 1.3 miles from London Euston station

Price range: People usually spend up to £10 per person.

Zip into family-friendly experiences

Finish your day with a laugh and let loose with the little ones the Camden Market’s family immersive experiences. Earthlings can hang out with the Aliens of Babylon Park for free – just pay for what you want to use inside! This mini theme park has something for every age like, bumper cars, arcade games and a neon roller coaster.

Find relics, solve puzzles and brave a zipline in the escape rooms of Tomb Raider: The Live Experience – players must be 12 and over. Tally up your points in a competitive game of nine-hole mini-golf madness at the UV-themed Plonk! Golf , which is open until 5pm.

Best area for family activities: Hawley Wharf

Highlight: The Costa Rican Jungle escape room at Tomb Raider: The Live Experience is a popular choice – 1.2 miles from London Euston station.

Price range: Per person, expect to spend anywhere from £5 for golf to £40 for Tomb Raider.

Hang around for after hours

Camden Market glows after dark, staying open until late, offering craft beers, creative cocktails and aperitifs for you to enjoy in atmospheric terraces, cosy rustic wine bars and traditional pubs. Alongside a chilled-out tipple, you'll find a handful of options for lively group activities and romantic date nights.

Book a booth and try your hand at the 180 Club darts bar. Snacks, cocktails and cutting-edge electronic boards are available alongside the darts lanes for up to 14 players. If you’re feeling creative, step into the interactive street art exhibition in Colors Festival and add your touch to the installations. Dancing on tables, rock and roll classics and all-American cuisine can be expected at Coyote Ugly Saloon , which has free entry.

Best area for adults in the evening: Camden Lock

Highlight: On Fridays and Saturdays, you can learn a dance routine at Coyote Ugly Saloon for £15 – 1.2 2 miles from London Euston station.

Price range: Most entries and experiences cost around £10.

Handy tip: When you travel with London Northwestern Railway, you can get exclusive 2FOR1 entry to some of the UK’s top attractions. You can purchase your ticket via the London Northwestern Railway app.