London is well known for its awe-inspiring city views and cultural heritage, but it is also heaven on earth for vintage market junkies.
If you want a change of scenery after all the time you spent in extravagant shopping centres, London is also home to many vintage and antiques markets, selling antique jewellery, fashion items, cutlery and other artisanal crafts from Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian styles and Oriental Art- of Chinese, Persian, and Indian origins to name but a few.
For those with magpie eyes, you’re in for a treat. With the vast amount of items for sale, you are guaranteed to be spoilt for choice. Enough with the hemming and hawing, book a flight to London now and embark on one of your long-awaited trips. Here’s our pick of the five must-visit vintage markets in London.
1. Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market is a six-day street market located in Notting Hill district in West London, stretching over three kilometres. On Saturday—the main market day, over 1,000 vendors selling anything from second-hand goods, household products, fashion items, fruit, vegetables and other food to antiques.
Friday is the second busiest day of the market, with fewer shopping options. Throughout the week, you can still find antique, bric-a-brac and clothing stalls down the street. Shops and cafes are opened daily.
The antique section of the market is the most popular, with hundreds of visitors flocking to the market on Saturday to find their favourite collectibles dating from Roman times to the 1960s. With hundreds of stalls, shops and cafes, you can explore to your heart’s content and easily get engrossed in various finds. Go early to avoid the crowd!
Opening hours for Portobello Road Market: Monday – Wednesday 09:00 – 18:00;
Thursday 09:00 – 13:00; Friday – Saturday 09:00 – 19:00; closed on Sunday
2. Grays Antique Centre
Grays Antique Centre (aka Grays Antique Market) is another top attraction and must-see in London. It is located in Mayfair and near Bond Street station. The market is inside a terracotta building established in 1977 where over two hundred dealers sell watches, jewellery, antiques, vintage fashion, etc.
In addition, there are also other artisanal crafts such as glass, porcelain, Asian art, etc. It offers a mesmerizing antique-hunting experience like no other. When compared to other vintage markets in London, prices here are on the more expensive side.
However, if you feel up to it, there’s always room for haggling. Whether you’re going on a shopping spree or just browsing, the Grays Antique Market is the ideal place to be. The Alfies Antique Market is nearby, which also offers a sea of relics to get lost in.
Opening hours for Grays Antique Centre: Monday – Friday 10:00 – 18:00; Saturday 11:00 – 17:00
3. Old Spitalfields Market
Situated in East London, this covered market is said to be the best antiques market in London. The site has had a long history as a market ever since 1638. Some parts of the buildings are Grade II listed buildings.
In 2017, prominent British architecture firm Foster+Partners redesigned the stalls in the market. Visitors can immerse themselves in nostalgic vibe, while going on a treasure hunt in the Old Spitalfields Market. It is home to a plethora of items, including postcards, cameras, ephemera, ceramics, jewellery, etc.
A broad range of vintage clothing and fashion items from Victoriana, American Workwear to vintage Chanel can also be located here. You can easily spend a few hours plowing through various finds here, or even a day!
Opening hours for Old Spitalfields Market: Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri 10:00 – 20:00; Thur 8:00 – 18:00; Sat 10:00 – 18:00; Sun 10:00 – 17:00
4. Alfies Antique Market
Alfies Antique Market is the largest indoor antiques market situated south of Regents Park, a 5-minute walk from Marylebone station. With nearly 100 dealers selling vintage fashion and accessories,collectibles, interior furnishings, silverware, antique jewellery and so on, the 4-storey market ensures antiques and vintage shoppers get their share of a happy treasure hunt.
Expect less people and hassle since it is less touristy than Portobello Road Market, which makes it feel like a hidden gem to be discovered. On the top floor of the Art Deco building, visitors can have lunch and coffee on the rooftop terrace overlooking a great city view.
If the shopping in this market is not gratifying enough, Grays Antique Centre is only 2.6 kilometres away. It could easily be a full day of retail therapy with your well thought-out budget on the line!
Opening hours for Alfies Antique Market: Thursday – Saturday 10:00 – 18:00
5. Bermondsey Square Antiques Market
This market was originally a busy place thanks to a curious law known as “marché ouvert”, which allowed the sale of stolen goods between sunrise and sunset until its abolishment in 1995, although the tradition of dealing in terms of its business hours is still kept very much alive.
This antiques market is one for the early birds. Situated in South London, the market opens exclusively every Friday at six in the morning, with over 200 stalls selling silverware, china, hand-crafted jewellery and furniture, pottery, glassware and so on. This is surely the playground for every bargain hunter as a lot of items here are marked at more reasonable prices.
After much treasure-hunting, you might want to explore nearby streets which are lined up with artisan bakeries and quality restaurants. The cozy yet quintessentially London dining experience is the icing on the cake after a happy treasure hunt. Some dealers may start to pack up as early as lunchtime. Go earlier to get the most out of this market.
Opening Hours for Bermondsey Square Antiques Market: Friday 6:00 -14:00
Are you itching for an upcoming trip to London? Begin your treasure hunt by booking a flight with Cathay Pacific! With its generous baggage allowance, bringing home a baggage full of loots is hassle-free.
But not sure about spending long hours in the air? Travelling with Cathay Pacific is safe and comfortable, ensuring every passenger feel well-rested after a long-haul flight!