Portobello Market is one of the most famous and vibrant markets in London. As you would expect, the market runs up the length of Portobello Road, covering a good few miles.
The market runs 7 days a week, but the best day to visit is on Friday. On the weekend it is insanely packed, with hardly any space to move. Conversely, during the week there is not a lot of foot traffic so the best stalls are not there. Showing up on a Friday afternoon, you can enjoy everything that Portobello Road has to offer:
Portobello Road does a quick trade in antiques. You can find just about anything you could wish for - from Persian rugs to silver rings, to spoons, metal stamps, and wooden pipes. Haggling is also appropriate and you can bargain with the vendors for the best price.
The market has a world-famous second-hand and vintage clothing market that runs Friday-Sunday every week. There is infinite selection and real bargains for the sharp-of-eye (and fashion-savvy)!
The market is one of the lucky ones that hasn't been totally converted into a tourist destination - it is still quite common for locals to do their fruit and vege shopping each week on Portobello Road. Along the road you can find fresh fruit and vege (of local and international varieties!), a fish monger and some high-quality butchers. Additionally, there are bakeries hawking their wares, along with cheese-sellers, olive oil sellers, and a bunch of niche gourmet food providers. Additionally, there is a great selection of street vendors selling delicious food to eat right away - from German sausages to Falafel. A not-to-miss destination is the lovely Hummingbird Bakery - be sure to drop in and buy a cupcake if the line isn't too long!
|Bitter Melon for sale on Portobello Road|
- Notting Hill Neighbourhood
Portobello Road Market is located in Notting Hill, the it-destination for celebrity spotting and the super-rich of London. If you are lucky you might spot Stephen Fry or Gwyneth Paltrow in the area, and sightings of the super-cool and super rich are guaranteed. Even if you miss the celebrities, you can't miss the beautiful houses. Notting Hill is painted in soft pastel shades - I recommend a relaxing walk around the area just to take in the colours which you can't find anywhere else in London.
Getting There and Away
The best way to get to the market is to go to Notting Hill Gate Station or Ladbroke Grove Station on the underground (find out where to go using Travel for London's excellent tool Journey Planner). Follow the signs out of the station pointing towards Portobello Road Market. Once you are above ground, simply follow the crowds!