This post breaks down 17 fun things to do in Shoreditch, London. Written by a local, it shows what to see and cool places to vibe with the happy hipsters.
There are tons of exciting things to do in Shoreditch, as it is one of the most eclectic areas in London. Shoreditch is filled with artisan coffee shops and burger joints alike. As well as small start-ups filled with London’s youngest and brightest.
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I love Shoreditch, I spend most of my weekend milling around East London drinking artisan coffee and using the various free co-working spaces on offer in Shoreditch.
If you’re wondering what to see in Shoreditch, the Vintage shops, pop-ups, markets and speakeasies are the easiest answer.
The bars serve some of the most devilishly delicious cocktails and the famous street art will leave you buzzing with socially conscious musings. Shoreditch will remind you of all we know and love East London for.
There are more cool things to do in Shoreditch than you can shake a stick at. If you’re looking for more about London or planning a trip to the Big Smoke then read my London travel tips.
Top things you’ll need for exploring Shoreditch like a pro
- Use the Fujifilm X-T 4 to capture the spots you’ll be visiting around London.
- A GoPro HERO 9 for cinematic videos of your travels.
- To keep your devices juiced up, I use this power bank to charge my phone, GoPro, and cameras while travelling.
- A backpack to carry your snacks and a bottle of water.
- A stylish pair of walking shoes to explore in comfort.
As far as Shoreditch activities go, most people miss out on all the action as they spend their time exploring the main attractions in central London. They tend to forget to explore less famous, less expensive and sometimes even more spectacular areas in London.
So, once you get past central London’s main attractions, why not venture East? East London that is and see what this once run-down area in London offers. Keep reading to explore some cool places in Shoreditch.
A Brief History on Shoreditch, London
The Shoreditch that people see now is a far cry from the Shoreditch of 20 years ago.
This once run-down neighbourhood with its many abandoned warehouses and working-class residence has undergone gentrification into one of the hippest areas in London. Frequented by Londoners in the know and creative freelancers.
Shoreditch now has a reputation for its vibrant street art, artisan coffee shops, rooftop bars, vintage shops and food markets and is the heart of London’s hub for small tech start-ups.
Shoreditch is relatively undiscovered with so many people mainly sticking to neighbourhoods like Kensington, Notting Hill and Westminster. This is a shame as the area has so much to offer and gives you an insight into daily London life.
So, if this is your first time visiting I’ll list some of the best things to do in Shoreditch. Including the best places to eat, things to see, and much more in this guide.
Now let’s get into what to do in Shoreditch, London!
What to do in Shoreditch | Fun things to do & see
These Shoreditch attractions offer some of my all-time favourite activities in London. Here’s my full breakdown of the best places to go in Shoreditch and how to make the most of each one.
Boxpark has become synonymous with Shoreditch. Boxpark is made from disused shipping containers stacked up to two levels with the first level mostly made up of cute home and clothing shops and the upper level comprising mostly food shops.
- Soft Serve Society for all your instagrammable desserts.
- Eat Chay for some tasty vegan Asian options.
- Rudie’s Jerk Shack for a bit of Jamaican flavour (I am Jamaican, so I will always give you the lowdown on the best Jamaican restaurants or food trucks in London). Their signature jerk chicken and curry goat and Voodoo Rays.
Boxpark also hosts pop-up shops throughout the year, so keep an eye out for these when you’re visiting.
East End Food Tour
You can’t visit London’s East End without taking a bite from its rich culinary cuisine and learning about the heritage of the area from one of the many brilliant food tours and most filling things to do, Shoreditch.
Various food tours run in East London, like the Eating Europe Food tours which I’ve done or any other East London food tour.
The tour offers you a chance to sample a wide range of food that reflects the multicultural area.
You’ll get an opportunity to tuck into the chocolate truffles from the West African Cocoa House, sample samosa and curry from Brick Lane’s famed ‘curry mile’ and try the famous beef bagel.
Taking a food tour is one of the most fun things to do in Shoreditch.
Visit Dark Sugars House London
If there is one chocolate shop to visit in London’s Shoreditch is check out Dark Sugar. Dark Sugars brings the taste of West Africa to the streets of East London with their Dark Sugars Chocolate Shop and Dark Sugars Cocoa House.
Indulge in handmade chocolates, vegan truffles, and luxurious hot chocolate, so rich you won’t be needing any other sugar for months.
Don’t worry if you’re vegan as they also do vegan chocolates and vegan hot chocolates.
Visit Dinerama Shoreditch Yard
Dinerama Shoreditch is where it’s at on the weekends in East London. Dinerama is a food and drinks market from the food genius Street Feast. It is London’s leading street food market company.
At Dinerama you can tuck into everything from jerk chicken to spicy steamed dumplings at Yum Buns and nitrogen ice cream from the famous Chin Chin Labs.
Dinerama is open from 17:00 until 01:00, Thursday to Saturday. This split level 1,000 capacity space has a party atmosphere with food, drinks, and good vibes – What’s not to love? A visit here is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Shoreditch this weekend.
Catch a movie at the Queen of Hoxton. On a warm summer’s night, there is no other place to be than on the rooftop at the Queen of Hoxton bar. In my eyes, it’s definitely one of the best places to visit in Shoreditch.
But you won’t go there just for the panoramic views across the East, it’s also the place for London’s most famous outdoor cinemas. Sprinkled with comfy deckchairs, the venue hosts nightly movie screenings of old classics and new releases.
Check their website to see what’s showing and book in advance as tickets go fast here, especially for cult classics.
Visit Brick Lane
You can’t visit Shoreditch without exploring every nook and cranny of Brick Lane, with its rows of vintage shops, markets and curry houses. There is something for everyone on Brick Lane.
If you want to know more, check out my post on things to do in Brick Lane, Shoreditch.
Visit Brick Lane Market
Brick Lane market comprises five different markets collectively known as the Truman Markets. This includes the Brick Lane Backyard Market, Boiler House, Sunday UpMarket, Brick Lane Tea Rooms and Vintage Markets.
Brick Lane Vintage Market
Brick Lane vintage market is one of the top things to see in Shoreditch because vintage shopping gets no better than in Brick Lane for one-of-a-kind accessories and clothing.
Brick Lane’s vintage market and vintage shops are a goldmine for vintage lovers or anyone looking for unique pieces. Many vintage shops and independent boutiques in Brick Lane like Atika Shoreditch (previously known as Blitz London).
The Sunday Market on Brick Lane has a vast collection of second-hand vintages, while Redchurch Street (which even has a make-your-own-perfume lab) is the go-to place for contemporary designers.
Visit the Old Truman Brewery
They have transformed the Old Truman Brewery into a creative space for some of London’s most exciting events like London’s first brunch festival, London annual coffee festival, and a street food market with everything from Mexican to vegan cakes and so much more.
Your visit to Shoreditch and list of cool things to do in East London isn’t complete without visiting Old Truman Brewery, Sunday Upmarket, and Backyard Market.
Cereal Killer Cafe
Bring your childhood breakfast dreams to life by visiting Cereal Killer Cafe, the UK’s first cereal themed cafe with over 120 (and growing) branded breakfast cereals.
Get your sugar rush on with my favourite childhood cereal lucky charms, but don’t stop at one cereal, no don’t be basic. Go for a Unicorn poop which has as many E numbers as the UK allows in a packaged food or if you like balls go for the salty balls bowl of cereal.
They also have a vegan menu, so they leave no one out of their sugary goodness. Unfortunately the Cereal Killer Cafe in Shoreditch has closed permanently.
Visit Old Spitalfields Market
Spitalfields Market is a one-stop-shop for fashion, art, food, and events in East London.
You’ll be able to find local artists with one-off pieces in Spitalfields Market, along with some of the best street food London offers from Japan to Jamaica. Spitalfields market is a foodie destination in London waiting to be explored.
Brick Lane Beigel Bake
One of the best things in Shoreditch is the Beigels. Brick Lane is home to Beigel Bake, the much-loved bagel institution that’s been serving freshly baked bagels since 1974.
This 24-hour bakery is a clubbers’ and late-night sneakers haven, especially if they’re looking to carbo-load.
Beigel Bake focuses on traditional style beigels with hot salt beef, pickles, and mustard (English or American – I personally think it tastes better with the English mustard, but you can decide for yourself).
There is usually a queue at this place, but it moves relatively quickly. Beigel Bake accepts cash-only, but there is a cash point (ATM) across the street where you can withdraw money.
Visit A Curry House On Brick Lane
For the best curry houses in Brick Lane, check out my guide on cool things to do in Brick Lane. You can even check out my Instagram highlight for this tour.
Central London may be known for its high-end art galleries and museums, but East London’s street art is where you’ll find real visual inspiration. Right there in the streets, on the shopfronts, and in the tiny always for all to see.
Shoreditch has a breathtaking street art scene, full of amazing ever-changing murals, lining walls, lampposts, and buildings.
Take a walk along Brick Lane, Redchurch Street, and the Shoreditch Triangle, and you will find some of the best street art you’ll ever see.
There are, however a few museums and art galleries that are free, such as the Geffrye Museum. If you’re looking for free things to do in Shoreditch, drop in here to learn about the history of the area.
I recommend taking the Shoreditch Street Art Tour by Dave to learn more about street art, the artist, and how street art has evolved over time.
You’ll also learn what’s the difference between street art and graffiti and why many of the local businesses welcome having street artists’ murals on their buildings.
This is one of the best street art tours I’ve done in London, and I highly recommend it. You can even check out my Instagram highlight for this tour. Doing a street art tour is one of the top things to do in East London.
You’ll see art like this one from the street artist Stik created in 2010 and was ranked number 17 in the list of top UK artwork ever! The art shows an interracial couple holding hands.
Stiks even consulted with the local Muslim community before he did the piece to ensure that the community was not offended.
The piece has endured amidst Shoreditch’s ever-changing murals, tagging by lesser-known artists and even now when adverts are taking the form of murals in Shoreditch.
Columbia Road Flower Market
Take a trip down Columbia Road Flower Market. This Sunday Market in London is loved by flat (house) proud Londoners that flock to Columbia Road Flower Market, rain or shine to peruse the rows of flowers, houseplants, succulents to even herbs.
Carrying these houseplants triumphantly back on their bikes and the overground to their flats.
Columbia Road flower market lines both sides of narrow streets and gets crowded from around 10 am (the Columbia Road Flower Market opens at 8 am), so it’s best to get there early to avoid the crowds. Also, even though some flower vendors take cards, quite a few vendors only accept cash. So, have cash on you.
Visiting the Columbia flower market is one of the top things to do in East London.
East End Cinema
Visit some of the finest cinema’s you’ll find on the East End. If there’s one thing that Shoreditch boasts of is its dedicated art spaces and independent cinemas.
In Rich Mix, you can get to enjoy a performance from upcoming comedians, musicians and artists besides good cinema.
The Electric Cinema offers an indulgent and cosy cinema experience that comes with plush armchairs and a deli bar instead of popcorn and soda.
Historic Houses on Wilkes and Princelet Street
Another one of the top things to do in Shoreditch is to enjoy excellent historical scenery. There are beautiful and historic houses on Wilkes and Princelet Street that deserve mention too.
You just need to walk along these streets to witness some of the most historic buildings in Shoreditch. This is one of the most unique activities in Shoreditch.
Shoreditch things to do with a view – The best rooftop bars
The best places in Shoreditch are the ones with excellent views. Bars such as The Curtain, Queen of Hoxton, Boundary and Aviary offer beautiful rooftop experiences.
You can watch the sunset over the London skyline at Aviary. Eat, drink and swim on the rooftop at the breathtaking venues. You might need to make reservations at Boundary ahead of time, though.
There are some wonderfully scenic places to drink in Shoreditch and some fabulous dining options as well. Here’s a look at the best restaurants in the area with some stunning panoramic views while you dine.
The name is derived from the Peruvian phrase for a woman from the Andes.
Andina serves healthy traditional food like ceviche, superfood smoothies and a great brunch breakfast menu from Peru.
For more brunch spots in Shoreditch, read my guide to the best brunches in East London.
Hawksmoor opened in London in 2006 and has been the go-to steakhouse ever since. The steak at the main restaurant is supplied by The Ginger Pig.
The Spitalfields branch will wow you with their underground bar with gourmet burgers and crazy cocktails menu.
If you book the restaurant on a Monday, you can bring your own bottle of wine. This is one restaurant where you are guaranteed to get value for your money.
The Smokestak Shoreditch
The Smokestak started out as a street food joint before moving to be a full-on restaurant.
You can enjoy an affordable menu consisting of cured pig’s jowl, burnt lemon, monkfish tail and beef brisket among other dishes. Most of the dishes are smoked to perfection.
The Smokestak is your perfect Southern-style barbecue restaurant with a strong touch of British culture.
Dishoom Shoreditch London
The Dishoom brings to Shoreditch hints of old India and faded elegance.
It has created a balance between traditional Bombay dishes and modern cuisines. You will find on the menu tasty small plates of curries, naan rolls, lamb samosas, gunpowder potatoes, kebabs and more.
The Pizza East
The Pizza East housed in a former tea warehouse, offers delicious classic, antipasti pizzas and wood-oven home comforts which includes a moreish mac ‘n’ cheese.
These are just a few of the Shoreditch restaurants, you have to visit while in Shoreditch.
Best bars in Shoreditch
These cool bars in Shoreditch offer some splendid spaces to hang out, with inviting atmospheres in a variety of flavours. If you’re wondering where to go in Shoreditch for some quality cocktails, fine wine, cool beers, or tasty dishes, these places will hit the mark.
Blues Kitchen Shoreditch
Serving up hearty Texan BBQ and blues music. The Blues Kitchen brings a touch of southern soul to East London. There are luxury leather style booths, vintage posters imported from Nashville, and a string of famous artists that have played. You can expect posters of Jim Jones Revue, Norman Jay and Andrew Weatherall. This makes the Blues Kitchen the ideal spot for blues and music lovers.
The Blues Kitchen’s American style menu is also not to be overlooked with favourites, including lobsters, mac n’ cheese and buffalo wings.
I think Nightjar is one of the most unassuming speakeasy-style bars in Old Street. With just a brown wooden door with a small black bird to mark the spot of this subterranean bar.
Step inside this sophisticated speakeasy, if you have a penchant for live blues and jazz music and some wicked cocktails.
With cocktails from the pre-prohibition era starting from 1600 to 1918.
A top tip for The Toronto cocktail is a mix of Quaglia fernet coffee and pecan maple syrup, with candy floss. This is perfect for those who have a sweet tooth.
NightJar is one of my favourite bars in Shoreditch and another cocktail is The Samurai with Nikka whisky from the barrel, lime popcorn tea infusion and Akashi Tai sake.
Hoxton Shoreditch Hotel
Hoxton Hotels is a series of open house hotels in London, with comfortable rooms, all-day dining and private venue hire.
It’s also one of the coolest hotels in Shoreditch, with its welcoming lobbying for visitors, locals and freelancers.
Amazing breakfast to dinner offerings, world sounds from easy jazz, Afro-infusion beats, and everything in-between. Hoxton hotel is a whole vibe.
That vibe continues on into the evening when young professional Londoners stop by the hotel’s bar to catch up their first with a few cocktails before heading out to enjoy Shoreditch’s clubs.
The Book Club
The Book Club is well known for its excellent brunches, stylish cocktails and creative events.
Mainly popular with Londoners, the Book Club is a pandora box of fun.
Where you can enjoy art workshops, exhibitions, ping pong tournaments, live drawings plus cool club nights with established DJs on a weekly rotation. All in one night! You won’t get bored when you visit The Book Club.
Play Ping-Pong at Bounce
Bounce opened in Shoreditch in 2015 and has since then offered a distinctive and active way for patrons to socialise with each other. It is basically a bar filled with ping pong tables that doubles up as a restaurant and offers endless brunch on Sundays.
Whether or not you’re a drinker, Bounce is one of the cool bars in Shoreditch that takes care of every need you may have. Bounce is also a trendy restaurant in Shoreditch.
Best Clubs in Shoreditch
Enjoy the Shoreditch nightlife at some of the best clubs in Shoreditch.
Once known for its theatres and brothels, Shoreditch is now known for nightclubs and bars.
There is never a boring night in Shoreditch. While you may find clubs such as XOYO and Cargo to be a little expensive, they are cheaper than the clubs in central London.
Be sure to head out to some of these best-rated clubs in Shoreditch:
- Queen of Hoxton
- Colours Hoxton
- Sunset Bar
- Barrio Shoreditch
- The Lighthouse
- Catch Bar
How to Get to Shoreditch
Getting to Shoreditch should not be that difficult. There are many transport options to the East End of London.
You can use the overground on the Shoreditch High Street, the Northern line on Old Street Station, Liverpool Street Station, or the District and Hammersmith and City lines on Aldgate East if you are using the tube as a means of transport.
You can also use the city mapper app to find a bus to Shoreditch.
This list of things to do around Shoreditch highlights a ton of activities to do in Shoreditch. With many of the treasures this neighbourhood has to offer on this list, we’re sure you’ll know what to do in this bustling hipster paradise. So, go ahead and explore!
To find out more about the beauty and adventure that London holds, you can browse the rest of my top things to do in East London content, beginning here;