Shoreditch guide: top things to see and do

Zorica Lončar

Visiting London any time soon? You simply must swing by Shoreditch, one of the hippest and most fashionable parts of the city. It’s a fantastic place for art, culture, fashion and food, as well as shopping.

If you’re planning your trip to Shoreditch, we’re here to help. Read on for our Shoreditch area guide, featuring the top things to see and do while you’re in the area.

We’ll even throw in a handy tip to help you save on travel spending, using the Wise card.

This international debit card works in 175 countries, including the UK. It automatically converts your money to GBP whenever you spend, at a fair exchange rate and for just a small conversion fee. If you already have GBP in your Wise account, it’s free.

But for now, let’s get back to looking at trendsetting Shoreditch and what’s on offer there.

Please seeTerms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

Where is Shoreditch?

Shoreditch is an area in the East End of London, to the south of the London Borough of Hackney. It’s reasonably central, close to the boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

How to get to Shoreditch¹

Shoreditch is well served by public transport, with the nearest Tube stations being OLd Street, Liverpool Street and Moorgate. All are around a 10 minute walk from Shoreditch high street.

Many bus services link Shoreditch to the city of London, and the London Overground’s East London line also runs through Shoreditch.

Top things to see and do in Shoreditch

Now, what should be at the top of your must-see list when visiting Shoreditch? We’ve put together a list of some of the best attractions and things to do in the area, from street art and museums to shopping and bars.

Browse the stalls at one of Shoreditch’s top markets

Shoreditch is a fantastic destination for shopping, especially if you’re a fan of the hustle and bustle of a market.

It has a number of great markets to choose from, including the famous Brick Lane Market. It actually incorporates five different markets, all under the banner of the Truman Markets, but operates at its fullest on Sundays.

You’ll love the vibrant atmosphere, along with the eclectic vintage shops, bagel bars and Sunday Upmarket food hall. Taking all the different markets, pop-ups and shops into account, it’s huge - so you could easily spend a whole afternoon or even a day here.²

Another must-visit Shoreditch market is the Columbia Road Flower Market, boasting dozens of independent stalls selling a range of flowers and plants. It’s open on Sundays, and is one of the brightest sights in the city. And of course, it smells simply amazing.

Lastly, there’s the Old Spitalfields Market. This much-loved local institution has been around since the 17th century, and in modern times has become a hub for vintage clothing, antiques, artisanal food and much more. It’s open every day, but the weekends tend to be the busiest.

Explore the area’s incredible street art

Shoreditch is famous for its art, with most of the best pieces found out on the streets.

You can spend hours wandering through the area, discovering pieces which range from small works by up-and-coming artists to whole-wall facades by street art legends. This includes an original Banksy, found on Rivington Street.

You can book a guided tour to find out more about the artists and works, or set off and explore by yourself.

Shop at the BOXPARK Shoreditch

One of the best shopping spots in the area, BOXPARK Shoreditch is a pop-up shopping mall with a fabulous atmosphere. It’s a truly unique destination, as the whole structure has grown out of converted shipping containers.

You’ll find it under Shoreditch High Street Overground Station, and it’s open every day of the week.

Meet friends here for delicious street food and late-night drinks, or browse among the 50 carefully curated fashion, food and lifestyle brands.³

Drink at one of Shoreditch’s many bars and restaurants

Shoreditch’s nightlife is famous, with a thriving dining and bar scene. If you fancy a tipple, you can drop in at one of many atmospheric bars, pubs and restaurants.

There’s something for everyone, from classic East End pubs right through to trendy cocktail and wine bars. So, it’s easy to plan a Shoreditch pub crawl that everyone will enjoy. Or better still, why not embrace the Shoreditch spirit, and simply set out and see where the evening takes you?

Some of the top drinking spots to check out include the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, The Owl and Pussycat, and the Queen of Hoxton.

And when it comes to food, you can find almost every international cuisine under the sun here in Shoreditch.

For a taste of the area’s best eats, why not book a spot on a food tour? This is a great way to check out Shoreditch’s best street food vendors and restaurants, including some hidden gems.

Visit the Museum of the Home

Unique in its focus, the Museum of the Home on Kingsland Road in Shoreditch offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the home and home life in England.

It has many exhibits and galleries to explore, including interactive activities for children. Best of all, it’s free entry - with donations welcome. You can visit the Museum of the Home between Tuesday and Sunday, 10am to 5pm.⁴

Go on a cycling tour of the area

Want to see the sights of Shoreditch on two wheels? It’s a great area to explore by bike, with many cycle routes and quiet backstreets to discover. You can take a guided tour or rent a bike and explore on your own.

Visit the Young V&A⁵

While it’s temporarily closed at the moment until July 2023, the Young V&A museum in Bethnal Green is well worth a visit if the timing of your trip works out.

Formerly the V&A Museum of Childhood, it’s in the process of being transformed into a new world-leading museum of design and creativity for children and young people. The original museum was founded in 1872, and was a branch of the world-famous Victoria & Albert Museum - the UK’s national museum of applied arts.

The new and improved Young V&A is looking set to be an inspiring, colourful and imaginative space. It will have three new immersive galleries, named Imagine, Play and Design - and will showcase thousands of objects from the UK’s National Childhood Collection.

Attend a gig, show or screening at Rich Mix

This dynamic arts centre, creative hub and charity in Bethnal Green is the perfect place to catch a live show. There’s always something happening at Rich Mix, including film screenings, live music, visual art exhibitions, storytelling events and activities for families.

The venue also has a great cinema bar and cafe, serving food and drink from some of London’s most exciting producers.

Visit the Whitechapel Gallery

If you’re an art lover or perhaps even an artist yourself, you’ll be in heaven at the Whitechapel Gallery. Located on Whitechapel High Street, the gallery is housed in a beautiful historic building.

Originally founded in 1901, it’s famous as the gallery where big names such as Frida Khalo, David Hockney and Jackson Pollock have all held exhibitions. It was also the place where Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece _Guernica _was displayed on its one and only trip to Britain, back in 1939.⁶

Today, the Whitechapel Gallery is internationally recognised for its exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. The gallery is free entry and open six days a week, although it does occasionally have ticketed exhibitions.

Ready to plan your London trip? Get the Wise card to save on travel spending

If you’re planning a visit to London from abroad, you’ll need to find a convenient and low-cost way to spend while in the UK. The Wise international debit card is the ideal solution, as it lets you spend in the local currency in 175+ countries.

This clever contactless card automatically converts your money to GBP or the local currency wherever you are. It does this at the mid-market exchange rate, which is one of the fairest rates you can get. There’s just a small currency conversion fee, or it’s free if you already have the currency in your Wise account.

The Wise card is a must-have travel companion, letting you spend anywhere for low fees and great rates - without needing to convert or carry cash around with you.

Join Wise today

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

After reading this guide, you should hopefully have lots of ideas and inspiration for your trip to Shoreditch. This is a lively and exciting part of London to visit, especially when it comes to art, culture and food. There’s lots to see and do - in fact, you may not have time to fit everything in!

Sources used:

  1. Strawberry Tours - The Ultimate Guide to visiting Shoreditch
  2. Time Out - Brick Lane Market
  3. BOXPARK - Home
  4. Museum of the Home - Visit Us
  5. V&A - Transforming the V&A Museum of Childhood
  6. Whitechapel Gallery - History

Sources last checked on date: 10-Apr-2023

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

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