London shopping: an insider guide (2023)

British fashion is iconic and shopping in London is intoxicating. Vibrant shopping centers, high-end designersand quirky independent stores can be found across the capital, rewarding those who venture beyond Central London with exciting and unexpected delights.There's something for every style and every budget, with the latest fashions and new lines being added constantly. It's a must-visit destination for festive shopping, as the diversity ofshopsmeans you can usuallyfind anything you're looking for.Here is an introduction to the city’s distinct shopping areas and streets, and afew of the top shops to check out.

Central London

Oxford Street

London shopping: an insider guide (1)

This world famous street has beenEurope's top destination for shopping since the 19th century, and isnow home to more than 300 shops and flagship stores.

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Top shops:Beloved British department store John Lewis, legendary Selfridges near Marble Arch, and the huge flagship Primark store nearTottenham Court Road is heaven for bargain hunters. Trend-conscious shoppers flock to sportswear giant Nike Town or the colossalTopshop/Topman Oxford Circus,famous for its extensive collections of up-to-the-minute fashion.


London shopping: an insider guide (2)

Arching from Oxford Circus to Piccadilly Circus, this elegant street is home to some of London’s oldest, most famous shops.

Top shops: Luxury British heritage brand Burberry’s 4-floor flagship store is visually stunning. Britain’s most famous toy shopHamleys has been trading for more than 250 years and sells every toy or game imaginable acrosssevenfloors. Founded in 1875, one-of-a-kind artsy department store Liberty, right next toRegent Street, is famous for its floral prints and large selection of pieces byyoung British designers.

Carnaby Street

London shopping: an insider guide (3)

Step under the iconic arched Carnaby Street sign to this funky area between Regent Street and Oxford Street with more than 100shops – a mix of boutiques, shoe and denim brands and heritage brands like Dr Martins. This area is also notable for its incrediblelighting displays, making it an extra special visit over the Christmas period.

Top shops: Get expert make-up advice or a makeover at the Benefit Store. Check out distinctive ‘Rock & Roll Couture’ jewellery at TheGreat Frog, where every piece is hand crafted on site. Clientele since 1972 include actor Johnny Depp, rock legends Metallicaand supermodel Kate Moss.

Connaught Village

With its pretty streets and hanging baskets, Connaught feels like a world away from Oxford Street instead of a 20-minute walk. This stylish quarter is dotted with independent boutiques and stores with bespoke and made to measure services. There’s even a chocolate store and factory– London Chocolate– where you can indulge in hand-crafted premium chocolate.

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Top shops:

Connaught Village is great for fashion, homeware and accessory shopping so visit toThe Place London, KOKORO or a new luxury footwear brandSprezzaturaor grab a pair of cufflinks at Simon Carter. If you’re planning an evening out, head to Eliza Jane Howell for exquisite evening wear.

Covent Garden

London shopping: an insider guide (4)

One of London’s prettiest, most diverse shopping areas. Most notable for its tourist-attractingneo-classical market building, Covent Garden houses a series of cafes, shops and pubs, in addition toa daily craft market called the Apple Market.

Top shops: Check out arts and crafts at Covent Garden Market and then head to neighbouring KingStreet for classy brands like Sandro and Jo Malone London. Deviate from the mainstream in bohemian Neal’s Yard, a brightly paintedcourtyard lined with vegan cafés and home to ethical beauty brand Neal’s Yard Remedies for the last 30 years. Also in the area, Seven Dials is a networkof seven atmospheric streets lined with international fashion brands stores, boutiques and beauty salons.

West London

Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill

London shopping: an insider guide (5)

An unmissable London shopping experience and one of the most famous street markets in the world.It’s easy to spend hours browsing along this mile of shops and stalls selling vintage clothing, rare antiques, gifts, souvenirs, and street food. The market is in full swing on Saturday – arrive by 11:30am to avoid the crowds.

Top shops: Saddle up in Wild West style at Jessie Western – a visual feast of cowboy boots, Stetson hats, fringed suede jackets and Navajo turquoise jewellery sourced by its sister owners. Just a few shops down is Alice’s Antiques, a fascinating emporium of rare, out-of-the-ordinary vintage finds. You won’t miss it– the outside of the shop is painted bright red!

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London shopping: an insider guide (6)

This glitzy area of West London is found just south of Hyde Park, and is home to Europe's biggest department store - Harrods.

Top shops: World-famous Harrods is a spectacular emporium of prestigious brands and all things luxury, including its dedicated Shoe Heaven department, and Toy Kingdom for little shoppers. Harvey Nichols also has a flagship store in the area, and severaldesigner boutiques can be found on Brompton Road, just down from Harrods.

King’s Road

Located in swanky Chelsea, this fashion mecca of the 1960s and 1970s, was home to iconic fashion brands like Vivienne Westwood and Mary Quant. These days it’s lined with designer boutiques and high-end luxury shops.

Top shops: Pop into Westwood’s World’s End, still holding its own among the mainstream luxury brands. Pick up a designer item or two at Zadig & Voltaire, Hugo Boss and The Kooples.

North London

Camden Market

Actually a series of adjoining markets, you’ll find a maze of stalls and some of the most unusual shops in London here, with punk clothing and tattoo parlours aplenty. Full of atmosphere, the markets are open every day and busiest at the weekends. Browse home decor, boho fashion, crafts and trinkets, jewellery, books and vintage in the original Camden Lock Market. The adjoining Stables Market, a former horse hospital, has 700 stalls selling wares ranging from antiques to alternative fashion. Make sure to take a break and grab a bite to eat from the numerous street food stalls in the area too.

Top shops: Clothing clubbers for over 20 years, Cyberdog is a Camden institution. This neon-lit, three-floor wonderland specialises in dancewear and fluorescent futuristic fashion. You can’t miss it - twogiant robot statues flank the large doorway.

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East London


London shopping: an insider guide (7)

Now a shopping destination in its own right, Shoreditch is renowned for mixing vintage outlets alongside big brands, designerboutiques, indie labels and eclectic gift shops. The area is also home to Boxpark, an innovative 'pop-up'mall made out of repurposed shipping containers, featuring top class street food and chic independent creators and shops.

Top shops: After browsing indie labels like Wondaland and Knowledge Cotton in Aida, shoppers can get their hair and make-up done atthe store’s vintage beauty salon. At Boxpark, visit The Gold Gods fora curated selection of beautiful jewellery by various designers, chosen by the store’s owner. Then, be inspired byquirky, bright home accessories, creative books, artwork and funky stationery at The Gift Box.

Brick Lane

London shopping: an insider guide (8)

This buzzing area has become as famous for its shopping as its curries! The UpMarket in the Old Truman Brewery every Sunday is amélange of 140 creative traders, and lauded as one of London’s best markets for new designers.

Top shops: Pam Pam caters for ‘girls who aren’t girly girls’, with a room dedicated to women’s trainers. Rough Trade Easton Dray Walk is arguably London’s best independent music shop and stages in-store gigs. Just off Brick Lane on Hanbury Street is Atika (formerly known as Blitz), the world’s largest vintage department store, with racks of classic rock tees, Japanese kimonos and vintage knitwear.


London shopping: an insider guide (9)

London is known historically for its markets, and Old Spitalfields Market is regarded as the oldest in the city. A vibrant hub for creative traders, on Saturdays and Sundays the site is packed with stalls, including new designers and mouth-watering street food.

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Top shops: Inspitalfields is a colourful shop for humorous gifts, cards, and unique homecare, while stylish independent boutique The Mercantile London sells selected pieces from affordable European labels – and even has a cute shop dog called Robert!


Which part of London is best for shopping? ›

Oxford Street is considered the centre of London's shopping world. Holding well over 300 shops, 4 underground stations, as well as flagship stores for numerous companies, Oxford Street is not only the busiest shopping location in London it's the largest shopping district in existence.

What street in London is famous for shopping? ›

Oxford Street: Probably the most famous shopping street in London.

Is it worth it to shop in London? ›

Home to some of the top-notch brands, high-end designer stores, and unique boutiques, calling shopping in London cheap would be certainly wrong. While the best and most chic items come with expensive price tags, there are also a lot of London street markets like Camden where one can buy things at good bargains.

What designer should I buy in London? ›

  • Burberry. Let's start with a classic British designer brand, Burberry. ...
  • Alexander McQueen. Born in Lewisham, London, Alexander McQueen has taken his artistic fashion creations from the UK capital to the world. ...
  • Stella McCartney. ...
  • Louis Vuitton. ...
  • Ozwald Boateng. ...
  • Prada. ...
  • JW Anderson. ...
  • Rigby & Peller.
8 Jun 2022

What things are cheaper to buy in London? ›

Top 25 Things that are Cheaper in the UK
  • British Tea.
  • British Chocolate.
  • Museum Gifts.
  • Union Jack Items.
  • Bath Items.
  • Beauty Products.
  • Fashion.
  • Sports Clothing.
29 Nov 2018

Is it cheaper to buy luxury in London? ›

According to research from Deloitte, many luxury goods now cost less in dollar terms in Britain than in any other country. According to the research, the Speedy 30 Louis Vuitton handbag is $802 in London, compared with $850 in Paris, $970 in New York and $1,115 in China.

Where should a first time tourist stay in London? ›

Mayfair is the best area to stay in London for first time visitors to the city because of its proximity to Hyde Park, Green Park, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. The architecture and tiny side streets also make Mayfair one of the most instagrammable spots in London.

Is Burberry cheaper in London? ›

Is Burberry cheaper in London? As Burberry is a British brand, it's cheaper to buy direct from Burberry stores in the UK than in the US or other countries where import and sales taxes are added.

Do you tip in London? ›

Typically, people tip around 10-15% in London, except for when using taxis or public transport, where a smaller tip is frequently accepted. Tour guides do not need to be tipped, but this is up to the customer to decide. Some restaurants add an automatic tip to your bill.

Why is it so hard to buy in London? ›

Rising house prices, high rents and low salaries are to blame, according to Michael Edwards, a University College London lecturer and expert on the relationship between property markets and planning. He said those factors prevent young people from getting on the London property ladder.

What is the best time for shopping in London? ›

Best Time for Shopping: All the best sales in London, including Harrods's ultra-popular summer sale, happen in late June and early July. Shops are busiest and generate most of their revenue during December – expect much in the way of festive atmosphere during this month, but not many bargains.

What designers are cheaper to buy in London? ›

British fashion brands like Burberry, French bits from Dior, and Italian brandnames like Balenciaga or Gucci. And all of that, for much cheaper.

Is Designer cheaper in London or Paris? ›

It is substantially cheaper to buy luxury products from brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior, or Gucci in Paris, their prices being on average between 30% and 40% cheaper in France than in other countries, especially those outside the European Union.

Is Zara cheaper in London? ›

Zara, Europe's biggest clothing retailer, has some of the biggest percentage price differentials between the UK and the rest of Europe. A British shopper pays £49.99 for a linen blend tunic dress at one of Zara's stores in the UK, equal to €58.70 at current exchange rates.

What is the cheapest area in London? ›

Take a look at the London and Home Counties market trends to keep up to date on cheap flats to rent in London.
  • Lewisham. ...
  • Sutton. ...
  • Enfield. ...
  • Harrow. ...
  • Hillingdon. ...
  • Bromley. ...
  • Barking and Dagenham. ...
  • Croydon. Photograph: A Croydon tram leaves East Croydon station, two great methods of transportation in this borough.
11 Mar 2022

What is the most bought item in England? ›

UK's top-selling grocery items revealed
1Smirnoff 38% 1000ml Vodka Spirits£191.4
2Walkers Crisps 6ct 150gr Crisps£179.1
3Smirnoff 38% 700ml Vodka Spirits£165.2
4Pringles 1ct 190gr Snacks£161.0
6 more rows
26 Nov 2014

Why is Louis Vuitton cheaper in UK? ›

The trend in luxury pricing in the UK is being driven mainly by the depression in sterling – thus making the same item more affordable in the UK market than any other major luxury market. People don't like paying more for the same product,” Nick Pope, the head of fashion and luxury at Deloitte, told the BBC.

Is Louis Vuitton cheaper in London or Italy? ›

Depending on the price of the bag, you can save from 20% to 40% if you buy an LV bag in Europe. Please be aware that the EU has the same pricing policy, so the price is exactly the same in France, Spain or Italy.

Is Louis Vuitton cheaper in London or Paris? ›

As a French brand, Louis Vuitton is cheaper in Paris than it is in the US or UK. The combination of lower prices in euro, as well as the VAT refund system, means you will get a better deal in Paris.

What is the poshest street in London? ›


What is the poshest neighborhood in London? ›

What Are the Traditionally Posh Areas in London? Knightsbridge, the City of Westminster, and Chelsea are traditionally posh areas of London.

How many days in London is enough? ›

For first time visitors, we recommend spending at least four or five days in London, which will give you enough time to get a feel for the city and see many of its main sites. With so much to do and see in London, we've come up with some bucket-list suggestions on how you can make the most of your time in London!

What is the cheapest month to stay in London? ›

The most affordable time to visit London will almost always be the winter months of January and February, as the holiday season is over and there's not a whole lot going on. Hotels in London are almost always busy, so there usually isn't a season in which you can expect much better prices on your hotel room.

Where should I stay in London to walk everywhere? ›

Mayfair, South Kensington, Knightsbridge, Belgravia, Chelsea – all these are largely safe to walk around any time of day. Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia are also very safe, but standard precautions apply at night. Covent Garden is generally fine but things can get lively late on weekend nights.

Is Chanel cheaper in London? ›

Are Chanel Handbags Cheaper in Europe? Yes. The European region is a heavenly place for luxury shopping. The initial cost of Chanel bags may be the same as in the States, yet you don't pay any additional sales tax and get a VAT refund (if you are a non-EU shopper!).

Is Gucci cheaper in London? ›

With the UK being seen as the cheapest country to buy Gucci, closely followed by its neighbours on the continent of Europe, it is only fair that these bargain prices are available no matter where you live.

Is Burberry London or Brit better? ›

London is just an interesting fragrance. It is spicy, woodsy, dark, and kind of boozy. London is the most masculine of the three while Brit is the softest. London won't be for everybody and plenty of guys will enjoy the rose, tonka, and ginger notes of Brit; but I'm going to give the edge to London.

Do I need cash in London? ›

It's good to carry some cash for smaller purchases or to use for tips. You'll easily find ATMs at banks, stores and gas stations — but try to only use your debit card. You'll pay steep fees getting a cash advance from your credit cards.

Is it rude not to tip UK? ›

Tipping is not expected in Britain the way it is in some other countries. Workers don't officially have to rely on their tips to live and all staff in the UK must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage. Employers are also banned from topping up wages with tips from customers.

Is it rude to leave a tip in London? ›

Tipping is always appreciated in London, and is an expectation in most restaurants (unless service is already included) and for porters in high-end hotels. While tipping isn't quite as ingrained as it is in the US, it's certainly an expectation in many parts of the capital.

Is 2022 a good time to buy in London? ›

The Land Registry's UK House Price Index indicated that there was a 12.8% average increase in house prices year-on-year in May 2022, while property purchases fell by 55% in June 2022 compared to last year, according to HMRC.

Is it a good time to buy in London 2022? ›

The market will remain strong, but house price growth will slow and may revert to pre-pandemic levels. Buyer Demand. In December, the Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in more than three years. This is likely to quell buyer demand, which in turn will help to stabilise prices.

Should I buy a flat in London in 2022? ›

My forecast is that the London property market will accelerate in price growth in 2022 and 2023 versus the regions. London is London, after all and offers not just a reassuring financial return for property buyers but is also a destination like no other in cultural, commercial and financial terms.

What do you wear for a day shopping in London? ›

No matter what time of year you are visiting, if you are planning what to wear in London there are a few key items which are great all year round. Always make sure you have a crossover bag, sunglasses, a small umbrella, comfortable shoes, a jacket, jeans and layers and you can't go far wrong.

How do you buy in London for the first time? ›

Buying your first home in London: What you'll need to do
  1. 1 Get your finances in order. ...
  2. 2 Speak to lenders or a mortgage broker. ...
  3. 3 Instruct your solicitor early. ...
  4. 4 Speak to your local agent. ...
  5. 5 Start your search. ...
  6. 6 Make an offer. ...
  7. 7 Finalise your mortgage. ...
  8. 8 Be efficient.
26 Oct 2020

Can you haggle at designer stores? ›

Note that every major designer brand, except Louis Vuitton, has sales, so you can try to negotiate with them all.

Are luxury bags cheap in UK? ›

The study concluded that 64 percent of luxury products are now cheapest in the UK. Balenciaga's Foulard fringe dress will set you back the equivalent of $1,312, compared to $1,560 in Paris, $1,665 in China and $1,765 in the United States.

Is Gucci cheaper in US or UK? ›

A love of high-end fashion and a love of international travel often overlap.
Gucci Supreme GG Small Dionysus Bag. Lowest Price: $1,835 in France.
CountryLocal PriceUSD Equivalent Price
United States$2,290 USD$2,290
United Kingdom£1,510 GBP$1,881
France€1,690 EUR$1,835
China¥17,400 CNY$2,460
4 more rows
23 Apr 2020

Why is Louis Vuitton cheaper in Paris? ›

Fortunately, both brands have stores in Paris, France – and yes, Chanel and Louis Vuitton bags are much cheaper there than they are in the US. That's because of the VAT (Value Added Tax) refund that you can get when you shop in Paris.

Is Dior cheaper in the UK? ›

As an American, your best option is to purchase a Dior handbag in the United Kingdom as you will be paying hundreds of dollars less than purchasing in your home country (after receiving your tax-refund, of course).

How much are Louis Vuitton bags in Paris? ›

Louis Vuitton Paris Prices
Louis Vuitton Bag Name (in monogram print)Price in Paris (€+ $)Price in the US
Neverfull MM€1,500 ($1,452)$2,030
Petite Malle€4,200 ($4,068)$5,700
Speedy 25€1,100 ($1,065)$1,490
Speedy 25 Bandoulière€1,350 ($1,308)$1,829
12 more rows
12 Oct 2022

What should I bring back from London? ›

The best London souvenirs to bring home
  • English tea.
  • Harry Potter merchandise.
  • London artisanal gin.
  • Paddington Bear plushies.
  • Royal paraphernalia.
  • English biscuits.
  • Vintage vinyl records.
  • Football accessories.
9 Jun 2022

How much cash do you need for a week in London? ›

On average, the cost of one week in London is £1,850 ($2,500) per person, including flights. However, if you're already in Europe and only need a European flight, then this average cost is reduced down to around £1,500 ($2,000).

Which is better North or south London? ›

South London parks cover 34% of the region's boroughs. The north is a little bit less green. North London parks and other green areas cover 29% of the northern boroughs. If you love getting outdoors, sunbathing, running, jogging or just relaxing, choose south London for a more tranquil lifestyle.

Is east or west London cheaper? ›

As a rule it's cheaper to live in East London than west, great news when you're on a budget. There's more great news, this time if you love to get out and about after dark. East London has a better nightclub scene, with a wider choice of places to paint the town red. It also makes for a cheaper night out.

What street in London is famous for fashion? ›

Wander along Oxford Street – one of the most famous London shopping streets – which is home to more than 300 shops, designer outlets, high-street chains and landmark stores.

What part of London is posh? ›

What Are the Traditionally Posh Areas in London? Knightsbridge, the City of Westminster, and Chelsea are traditionally posh areas of London.

What are the poorer areas of London? ›

The boroughs with the highest proportions of individuals living in poverty (measured as those living in households where the income is below 60% of the median after housing costs), were seen in Tower Hamlets (39%), Bent, Newham, and Westminster (all 36%).

What part of London is the most posh? ›

Richest neighborhoods in London
  • Made up of expensive Georgian townhouses, elite hotels, and gourmet restaurants, the neighborhood of Mayfair has long been one of the most expensive neighborhoods in London. ...
  • 2- Knightsbridge. ...
  • 3- Chelsea. ...
  • 4- Kensington. ...
  • 5- Notting Hill. ...
  • 6- Highbury. ...
  • 7- Covent Garden. ...
  • 8- City of London.
18 Jul 2022

How much is an average meal in London? ›

UK cost of Food & Drink
Average weekly grocery bill (including food, basic laundry and toiletry items for 2 people)£60
Average pub meal£6 - £10
Average restaurant meal£12 - £20
Pint of beer£2.50 - £3
2 more rows

Is East London rougher than south London? ›

A new survey of Londoners reveals a tale of four cities: The West is posh, the East is poor, the South is rough and the North is intellectual. 1,294 Londoners were shown a list of adjectives and asked which four they most associate with each area of London - East, West, North and South.

What is the best month to go to London? ›

The best time to visit London is from April to June and September to October when the weather is mild and there are fewer crowds. However, keep in mind that prices for hotels and flights are generally higher during these months.

How do I look classy in London? ›

How to Dress Like a Local in London
  1. Keep it effortless. As a general rule, Londoners favour casual, easy to wear styles over fussier and more detailed garments. ...
  2. Be bold. ...
  3. Layer up. ...
  4. Embrace the 'no dress code' dress code. ...
  5. Avoid souvenir clothing. ...
  6. Choose shoes you can walk in. ...
  7. Bring a bag with a zip. ...
  8. Hit the shops.
27 Aug 2019


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