It was one of those just about autumn mornings with the changing colors of the leaves, the brisk breeze, and the romantic sunlight as it pours inch-by-inch over the entire city of London. Now that I feel slightly settled, I decided to take this opportunity to start exploring various parts of London. One of the things to do in London that I saved on my list was visiting Columbia Road Flower Market! I’ve never been to a flower market before and had seen countless photos and Instagrams from Colombia Road Flower Market. It was a perfect autumn day, so I decided to walk around the market, pick up some flowers, and enjoy brunch and tea afterward!
Will it be your first time visiting Columbia Road Flower Market? Then not to worry! After visiting two weekends in a row, I thought I would share my tips and information on visiting Columbia Road Flower Market as it can be quite overwhelming and a spectacle if you’re new to the place.
How To Get There
There are several overground and underground stations that stop close to Columbia Road Flower Market! Bethnel Green is the closest underground and usually the one I take. If you’re grabbing the overground that either stop at Hoxton or Cambridge Heath.
Show Up Early
When visiting Columbia Road flower market, you have to understand that it has picked up so much momentum in recent years that the place gets overly crowded. If you’re going as a tourist or a blogger, then try to show up early right when it opens at 8 am or earlier. Lots of locals come in, even from the neighborhood surrounding it, to grab their weekly flowers and plants.
Support Local Businesses
Columbia Road is full of small business owners, gallery owners, artists, and local flower vendors. These make up a unique ecosystem that makes visiting Columbia Road Flower Market such an incredible experience. With that said, make sure you take the time to support your local vendors. Buy flowers, pick up postcards, ask if you can take a photo and tag them on social media. Every little bit helps!
Be Quick with Photos
Nothing is more irritating than a bunch of Instagrammers trying to get the shot. People are trying to run their business and shop for their weekly bits, so be mindful of that and get your photos as quickly as possible. I usually refrain from taking photos of myself where people are shopping and just focus on capturing images of the flowers. It’s also very nice to ask too! There has been an influx of influencers visiting and taking photos, so just know that most people won’t appreciate the antics!
Know What You Want
If you’re going as a shopper like I did, then when visiting Columbia Road Flower Market you’ll want to know exactly what you’re looking for and don’t be shy to ask the vendors how to take care of a certain plant or bouquet. Alternatively, you can let the vendors know your situation and they can suggest some plants to you. I’ll always walk through the flower stalls once or twice before approaching certain vendors with a question or two.
I believe lots of vendors will take contactless, but there usually is a surcharge to those transactions. I always take cash with me and about 5 pound coins too. Try to have exact cash and it will make life easier! The closest ATM is quite a distance away and often out of order, so you’ll want to plan acquiring your cash earlier than Sunday morning!
- Just 15 minutes walk away you’ll find yourself in Shoreditch, the Brooklyn of London! It’s funky, cool, and has lots to do. Here’s my guide to and staycation in Shoreditch!
- If you want to head to a food market afterwards, then make sure you head to Old Spitalfields Market for good food, vibes, and shopping.
- Need a break? Enjoy a wellness and spa day at The Ned with a day pass!
The Best Spots for Photos
On either side of Coumbia Road Flower Market is a set of neighborhoods and coffeeshops. There are plenty of pretty places around to take photos! You’ll find vintage cars, colorful doors, and vibrant murals. Just take the time to walk around the entire area! Here are some spots I love!
- Paper & Cup is a cute cafe
- Around Ravenscroft Park you’ll always spot vintage cars and bikes
- Peach doors on Elwin Street
Where To Brunch
You’ll see a restaurant or two on Columbia Road that serves up some epic brunch meals. Here are suggestions for food around Columbia Road Flower Market:
- Hanoi Cafe is on a street that I would label “little Vietnam.” They’ve got banh mi for summer days and soups and curries for cooler days.
- Brawn is a Mediterranean small plates restaurant that gets very busy on market days, so get there early!
- Laxeiro is a very popular restaurant in this part of town specializing in Spanish cuisine!
- The Royal Oak is your spot if you want to grab a traditional Sunday roast with a pint!
- The Lily Vanilli Bakery is a must stop for picking up fresh baked goods! Go for any seasonal treat or a sausage roll if you want something savory!
When are you planning on visiting Columbia Road Flower Market?