How to Spend a Perfect Sunday in East London – Markets & More!

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East London has so much going on that you can happily save yourself a lengthy stint on the Tube without compromising on shopping, eating, street art or in fact, anything. If you plan to explore the area fully, I’d highly recommend visiting East London on a Sunday.

EAST LONDON ESSENTIALS

Copy of Lonely Planet London

Getting to London: Trainline /  Busbud

Getting around: Tube / Bus / Overground

Where to stay: Booking.com / Hostelworld

Activities: GetYourGuide

From blooming flower markets to vibey outdoor markets, there are countless things to do in East London on Sundays. I’m going to run them in this blog to my favourite area of London, England.

Read next: a complete guide to travelling the UK on a budget

How to spend a Sunday in East London

Not visiting East London on a Sunday? Grab a coffee, skip Columbia Road Flower Market and follow along anyway.

10am – breakfast

Start your Sunday in East London with a delicious feed.

Foodies are in for a win around East London. Trade on Commerical Street is one of my favourite breakfast spots. The eggs, asparagus and prosciutto on toast makes even the earliest/most hungover of Sunday starts feel bearable.

Trade Cafe in East London on Sunday
Brunch of champions

11am – Columbia Road Flower Market

One of the best (and busiest) things to do in East London on a Sunday is visit Columbia Road. Between 8am3pm, this famous London street springs to life with sunflowers, roses and chrysanthemums blooming from every angle.

Traders call out everyfin‘ for a fiver!’ like only Londoners can and the streets are basically packed with hipsters. It’s a must to experience the East London vibe.

Colourful bouquets at Colombia Road Flower Market
Busy street Colombia Road Flower Market

Getting to Columbia Road Flower Market: the nearest train station is Hoxton Overground but lots of buses drop at the end of the road.

Explore Brick Lane Market

This Shop Rocks Brick Lane
Bubble waffles Brick Lane London

Just a 15-minute walk from Columbia Road you’ll find one of the most multicultural, vibrant and exciting areas of the city – Brick Lane. If you want shops, galleries, artisan coffee, record stores or craft beers, you’ll find it here whatever day of the week.

However, one of the best things to do in East London on a Sunday is head to Brick Lane Market. It will be booming with street performers and bright and beautiful bric-a-brac, furniture and fashion. You can also tuck into world cuisine at the Boiler House Food Hall.

Explore the Sunday markets with a guide & taste dishes from 40 regions of the world with an Exotic East End food tour.

Lunch in East London

For a quick and delicious feed if you didn’t already indulge at the market, get yourself to Brick Lane Beigel Bake. This place is no-frills, straight-up taste. I mean, just look at that salt beef! It’ll only set you back £4.80, too.

Salt beef bagel Brick Lane
The best bagel in London

2pm – see the street art

Join a Free Tours by Foot walking tour at 2pm (or 11am) which will take you to the most colourful and vibrant spots around Brick Lane. The benefit of a tour is that you’ll get lots of backstories and facts about the art from a chatty guide.

East London street art showing purple woman
Street art Brick Lane
Street art on restaurant Brick Lane
Easy London street art showing a giant bird

Saying that, if you fancy just wandering and finding the art by yourself, I’ve got you. Here’s a Brick Lane street art guide.

Feeling arty? Tour the street art and paint your own mural with GetYourGuide.

4pm – make new pals at Spitalfields City Farm

Donkey at Spitalfields City Farm Sunday in East London
Hi pal

Another thing to do in East London on a Sunday is chill out at Spitalfields City Farm where pigs play and donkeys are bound to become your best friends. It’s free – but if you do want to spend money you can pick up some fresh farm produce.

The farm closes at 4.30pm on Sundays.

4.30pm – explore an indoor market

Take a break from your Sunday in East London by catching your breath over coffee or browsing the shops at either Old Spitalfields Market (pictured) or BOXPARK. Both are a 5-minute walk from Brick Lane.

Colourful goods Old Spitalfields Market
  • Old Spitalfields Market – a lovely bright and airy indoor market known for its clothes, jewellery and accessories, plus lots of food and coffee shops.
  • BOXPARK – a retail and dining space made from giant recycled shipping containers. I like the Gift Box store for quirky and kitsch goodies and Soft Serve Society for their heart-attack-inducing freak shakes.
Matcha freak shake in BoxPark East London

Dinner in East London

There are so many places to eat around East London that you’ll be hard pushed to choose. One of my top picks for finishing your Sunday in East London is Dishoom. This Bombay-style restaurant right beside BOXPARK serves heavenly grill and curry dishes as well as small plates.

We tried black dahl, lamb samosas, paneer tikka and fried okra (with a garlic naan and a carafe of wine because obviously). Dinner and drinks for two came to £40.

Indian food at Dishoom East London Sunday

Mix it up – if you like the idea of trying an Indian brunch, head here in the morning and order the big Bombay breakfast or the bacon naan.

Drinks in East London

Again, you’re spoiled for choice. When it comes to nightlife, East London has warehouse raves that blast house music ’til the morning as well as cosy pubs with craft beers and film nights. I like:

  • The Book Club – at this Shoreditch pub you’ll find ping pong tables, pub quizzes, movie sessions and club nights.
  • The Owl and Pussycat – go here for a cosy, vintage feel plus pub grub and an extensive cocktail and wine list.
  • All Star Lanes – why not sink some beers and some bowling balls at this retro hang out?

Where to stay in East London

End your Sunday in East London by staying at one of the area’s many hostels or hotels. I would suggest:

Park Villa Hostel – a perfect hostel for those that don’t usually love hostels! This boutique hostel in a refurbished Georgian townhouse has a kitchenette, lounge & TV room, and breakfast from £3. Book from £26 a night.

Wombats City Hostel – a friendly home-from-home hostel with 24-hour reception and a free welcome drink. Book from £25 a night.

Affordable hotel – Point A London Liverpool Street have affordable rooms just a moment from Liverpool Street. Book from £65 a night.

Elephant street art East London Sunday

Getting to East London

Stanstead: Super easy – hop on a 45-minute Stanstead Express train to Liverpool Street station and you’ll be right in the thick of the area.

Gatwick: Catch a train to Victoria station then the Tube across London (total journey time 1 hour).

Heathrow: Catch the Piccadilly line from the airport to Holborn and change to the Central line until Liverpool Street (total journey time 1 hour).

Use Trainline to book airport trains. For a budget option, book a bus on busbud.


I hope you have a better idea of how to spend a Sunday in East London. If you have any questions or if there’s anything else you’d recommend, let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

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See you next time for more adventures,

Rose

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Sunday in east London

3 thoughts on “How to Spend a Perfect Sunday in East London – Markets & More!

  1. Scarlett says:

    I’ve yet to explore East London and I’d love to see this area next time I’m in town! All these markets and restaurants sound amazing!

    • Rose says:

      It’s such a cool area – let me know when you go and I’ll come up with some more tips!

  2. Rose says:

    Thanks for reading, Dana! That’s what I love about London – it’s so diverse. That’s a really good shout – I’ve never actually been there but maybe I need to add a ‘parks’ section to this guide, too!

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