When you move east, the stories of buildings reduce and the people around you are less business, more hipster. Whether this sounds like you or not, East London should never be underestimated – it’s quirky, it’s cool and it’s got so much to offer.
Where to stay in East London
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East London really is the place to be – spend your time here and you’ll be sure to enjoy the relaxed vibes of hipster territory, with trendy third wave coffee shops, cafes, bars and restaurants dotted on every street corner. Stroll along Columbia Roadon a Sunday and you’ll see it transformed into a bustling oasis of flowers and foliage as the weekly flower market takes place, with street sellers haggling off their goods at the end of the day.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a bit of heritage, be sure to visit the Museum of the London Docklands – you’ll learn all about the history of the River Thames and the docks, dating back to when the ancient Romans lived there and stretching through to the modern day development of Canary Wharf.
Showcasing works of art from modern masters, Whitechapel Gallery represents all that makes East Londoners tick. With art by iconic modern masters such as Pablo Picasso, through to more alternative contemporaries, a visit here is truly an experience to relish whilst visiting East London.
Take in the surroundings, experience sports and watch all sorts of events at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – a lovely place to spend an afternoon. Be sure to visit the sports venues, such as the London aquatics, hockey and tennis centres. You can also learn more about the Park at the centre of culture and education or enjoy a refreshment from one of the many food outlets, such as the Podium Bar and Kitchen located in an iconic setting.
East London Restaurants
East London is bursting with new and exciting cuisines bound to tickle your fancy. If you want classically modern British dining, opt for the Leman Street Tavern for hearty Gastropub food, or Rivington Shoreditch for the finest dishes with ingredients sourced from around the British Isles. Of course, East London doesn’t stay inside the status quo - with its international mix of inhabitants from across the globe, it means there’s an eclectic variety of foods to try. The understated façade of Mangal in Stoke Newington offers Turkish barbecued food like no other, with a casual setup that allows you to bring your own wine.
If you’re looking for a caffeine fix, the Shoreditch Grind is the perfect place to get it – with cool interiors complete with artisan coffee and delicious pastries on the iconic Old Street Roundabout.
Shopping in East London
The independent boutiques of Brick Lane are the perfect place to pick up that vintage treasure, whilst Spitalfields Market also provides a savvy shopper’s sanctuary with its quirky stalls and grungy vibe. For bigger stores, head to the quirky mall Boxpark, made of old shipping containers, which houses brands like Nike and Dockers, alongside more indie brands. If your craving that all-out shopping spree, venture further East to the abundance of retail outlets in Westfield Stratford City.
The central over and underground station for the east is London Liverpool Street Station, with direct links to the whole London underground and overground network. London buses link you to all areas too, although when staying in the hubs of East London such as Aldgate, Shoreditch, or Whitechapel, most hot spots you’ll wish to visit can be reached by foot.