Shoreditch is a district that has been relevant since the 16th century, being the centre of Elizabethan Theatres, and today its importance is no different. Here you can find fashionable bars, trendy clubs and an electric dining scene. Explore everything from vintage to modern, trusted chain stores to artisan shops.
This blog post will cover all the best things to do in Shoreditch, London, whether you’re planning a fun trip with friends or a family holiday. Let’s get started.
Best Things to Do in Shoreditch London
Shoreditch is an up-and-coming neighbourhood in London that is quickly becoming a hub for creativity and art. If you’re looking for things to do in Shoreditch, look no further, here’s what to do in Shoreditch.
This blooming flower market is a 5-minute walk from Hoxton and Shoreditch. It is open every Sunday from 8 am to 2 pm, with traders setting up stalls as early as 4 am. Find the perfect gift for you or someone special, all at affordable prices.
You can take your pick from bedding plants, freshly cut flowers, shrubs and bulbs. Events include bread and cheese pairings, a showcase of the latest garden accessories, antiques, displays of exotic international foods and other sentimental crafts such as scented candles and exquisite soaps.
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium
A first for London and a welcomed one at that. A calming cat café for feline lovers and a soothing sensational spot for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium has a Basement Forrest and a Mad Catters Tearoom with quiet yet content rescue cats.
Pre-made food and drinks are available, and cat carers are there to help you with our feline friends, showing you how to play with them and generally lending a hand.
Make sure to book in advance, or you can make a walk-in booking, but we recommend the latter.
Go on a Street Art Tour
Shoreditch is described as ‘Artsy’ due to the creative energy it oozes with ease. Shoreditch Street art has the highest TripAdvisor and Google reviews. Why, you might ask? Well, because here you get passionate insights to the origins, inspirations and purpose of the art on display. This is all on offer through their guided in-person/private tours and virtual tours to suit your mood.
Here is a sample of the tours that they offer: Banksy, Political Street Art, Street Art Techniques, Night Photography and more. There is also a Street Art Photography Workshop for those who want to get emersed in the experience.
Delight Your Taste Buds at the Spitalfields Food Truck Market
Keep it fresh and eat at the Spitalfields Food market. When they say “variety is the spice of life” these guys take it to heart and stomach! There is an excellent choice of food experiences available seven days a week, with some traders offering takeaway and home delivery options.
Try Indian Street food from the Mr. Bombay stall, mouthwatering Brazilian Steak wraps, or maybe a sweet treat from Crosstown Doughnuts. There is a lot more to expect; go check it out!
Learn about the History of Shoreditch
As mentioned before, Shoreditch has been relevant since the 16th century. This is due to the influence it had on the culture of that time. But the district is not a one-hit-wonder.
Over the centuries, it just kept coming with more relevance and historical gems. Track the changes that Shoreditch experienced from its inception to the blitz of the second world war and its later restoration from the 1950s onwards.
Spend the Night at Bounce
Who says you can’t play sport in the evenings? Check out Bounce, right in the heart of Shoreditch, Old Street, a place to party, let loose and play some good ping pong with your friends. Chill out to some sporty goodness, great food and fun drinks from 4 pm till 1 am.
If you are all ping-ponged out, then how about catching a Premier league game or a European Football game? Bounce also gives back to the community by offering discounts for Emergency Services personnel, those who work in the NHS, and not forgetting the sweet 20% off student discounts.
Dubbed “The Future of Bingo”, Hijingo Bingo is a whole different ballpark. It is a multi-sensory bingo experience, bringing together live entertainment, dazzling lights and mind-blowing motion graphics. But wait, there’s more.
Participate, and you could be in line to win epic prizes, including a European Holiday for two.
Start at the Lucky Cat bar for some pre-show drinks from draughts, bottled beers, wines, cocktails and yummy snacks to go with your refreshments. Hijingo Bingo (really fun to say) is a walk-in hotspot, but if you would rather book beforehand, that option is also available. Booking the venue for private parties and award night meeting conferences is also available.
Explore the Authentic Geffrye Museum
The Geffrye is an interesting museum that focuses on the history of English homes zooming in on interior and furniture aesthetics.
The displays show period rooms furnished from a specific time starting from the 1600s. The spectacular Christmas season is special here as each period room would be decorated as it would have been during the holiday. The museum is located in almshouses that Ironmornger’s Company built in the early 1700s.
Related: Best Free Museums in London
Junkyard Golf Club
Indoor golfing with a difference. “Ever partied with an eight-foot bear?” as their website asks, and, of course, who wouldn’t want to? The Junkyard golf course is excellent for Over-the-Top dates or group fun.
The place does have flashing lights, UV lights and loud music, so if that is your type of scene, then you are in the right spot. Four golf courses, each with a specific theme, blend in with a different mood every time you go out.
You have the Bozo course that tests your bravery as you tee-off nine holes while manoeuvring circus freaks and funky creeps. Then there is the Gary Course and all its disco glory. For the “flower-child” it will be a great trip down memory lane.
The Pablo course is tropical and spicy with a twist- pirate speedboats, skulls of failed players and glitter temples. Talk about feeling a little loco. Then there is the Dirk course, inspired by 90s grunge culture and angst. How far can you go to get to the ninth hole?
Related: Best Mini & Crazy Golf in London
Cue the giant ball pits and feel like a kid again. Ballie Ballerson is open Tuesday through Sunday and has a million balls, two ball pits and cocktails that leave you wanting more. There are three ticket options where you can be balls deep in fun for two hours.
All offer the option for either a private affair or a more festive group adventure. There is a full food and drink menu to keep your energy going as you dance the night away or at least slow down and sink into a kaleidoscope of colour.
For our’ sustainability first’ travellers, how about supporting the pop-up mall built from shipping containers, creating space for independent and global fashion and lifestyle stores and cafes? You can eat, shop and drink at this trendy location.
Guest brands are occasionally invited to Box Park to keep the environment exciting, so you never know what you might find next time you visit. Larger businesses use the space for special product launches to showcase their work.
Check out pop-up stores like Batch1, a sustainable clothing brand, or Aigoo, a fun-loving clothes, gifts and cosmetics store or Get Drip, an affordable vitamin drips and booster shot store. There are many more to check out, so head on out.
Read More: Best Cafes & Coffee Shops in Shoreditch
Grab a Drink at Queen of Hoxton Rooftop Bar
You’re welcome to bottomless brunch and the Cherry Blossom Garden. You do not have to book a table; instead, just show up and let yourself blow off some steam while sipping on some Prosecco with your friends.
The Cherry Blossom Garden is the bar’s current theme that went big on the pink petals, brightly coloured lanterns and scrumptious food. Previous themes included “The Lost Boy Hideout”, “Lost Las Vegas”, and “Alice in Winterland”. The bar operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so don’t wait till it’s late.
Read Next: Best Rooftop Bars in Shoreditch, London
This beautiful yet historic building houses modern and contemporary art from around the world. This gallery has premiered masters such as Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo and Hannah Hoch. William Kentridge, Zarina Bhimji and Cindy Sherman have also exhibited there.
Whitechapel is regarded as one of the UK’s great cultural hubs, with collection displays, free exhibitions, film screenings, and world-class bookshops and restaurants.
Shop the Best Books at Libreria
Designed by Spanish architects, Libraria is a bookstore that helps you to discover new books to encourage interdisciplinary thinking. The books are not arranged in the traditional “self-help” or “adventure” categories.
Still, instead, there are broader themes like “Wanderlust”, “Enchantment for Disenchanted”, and “The City”, making it possible to encounter books that you might have skipped and never found. The bookshop is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am till 6 pm.
Go crazy at Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Store
Creepy but tasty – London’s oldest supplier of goods for the living, dead, and the undead has a home delivery service across the UK. Recently voted as the “No1 Kids Shop in London by Time out Magazine.
Not just a sweet shop, there are gifts such as the “Swamp Spa Set” with an exfoliating scrub and tantalising bath salts, a “Claw and Paw Sanitizer”, and of course, a “Chocolate Brain and chocolate Heart” to get the Halloween spirit going.
Hoxton Street Monster Supplies does well to give to the living by donating all profits to the Minister of stories, a creative writing and mentoring charity for young people.
Find Your Way Around All the Pubs
Shoreditch is one of the coolest areas in London, and it’s also home to some of the best pubs in the city. And when hunting for a place to grab a pint and soak up the atmosphere, then you can’t go wrong with any of these great watering holes.
The Old Red Lion is a traditional pub with a cozy fireside lounge, while The Crown & Shuttle offers a more contemporary take on the British boozer, with exposed brick walls and an industrial-chic vibe. If you’re feeling adventurous, then head to The Golden Heart, a vintage-looking yet vibrant pub to spend the night out.
These days, it’s better known for its excellent selection of craft beers. So whatever your style, you’re sure to find a pub in Shoreditch that’s perfect for you!
Shop Till You Drop at AIDA
Shop curated apparel and housewares with sustainability in mind. AIDA goes out of its way to support smaller independent brands and promote more organic and recycled materials in each season’s collection. They have a broad and trusted range to shop from, and the best part is that they thoughtfully curated for the tasteful shopper.
Wash the Night Away at Village Underground
Nothing gets more unique than a live music venue housed in repurposed tube carriages and shipping containers in a warehouse. The village underground was started in 2006 to build affordable studios for creative people who were struggling to get a foothold in London.
Now up to 30 artists, playwrights, photographers and many other creatives are thriving, working side-by-side building a communal spirit. Immerse yourself in their creative works by attending art shows and performances.
Brick Lane Market
This market is a place that cannot be visited only once. There is so much to do, such as seeing the old Truman Brewery Market, indulging in the many food stalls, and hunting for bargain antiques, stunning fabrics, rare collectables, and second-hand furniture. This is a place of culture and rejuvenation for deep thinkers.
Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery
While you’re there exploring Brick Lane Market, one of the places to go in Shoreditch is definitely Beigel Bake. Whether you’re around late at night or want a bagel for breakfast, there’s simply no better place to be than Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery.
Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery in Shoreditch London is the coolest, posh, original, and unique bakery around. The Beigel is a puffy, oblong-shaped doughnut denser than your average doughnut and coated in an everything bagel seasoning.
It’s then filled with smoked salmon, cream cheese, pickles, or hot salt beef. The combination of flavours is out-of-this-world delicious. The bakery also offers a wide variety of other delicacies, like croissants, cakes, cheesecakes, and many more.
Beigel Bake has you covered no matter what you’re in the mood for. So next time you’re in London, be sure to stop by and try one (or more) of their delicious beigels.
Don’t Forget to Laugh at City Comedy Club
City Comedy Club in Shoreditch, London, is the place to be for a night of laughs. This intimate club provides a platform for some of the best up-and-coming comedians in the UK and hosts regular open mic nights.
The club also has a delicious menu of classic British comfort food, making it the perfect spot for a night out with friends. And if you’re looking for something truly unique, why not spend the night at the club? City Comedy Club offers a range of comfortable chairs despite being packed!
Lastly, the Cinemas in Shoreditch are Worth a Visit
There’s nothing like a trip to the cinema to beat the winter blues. And if you’re in London, there’s no better place to catch a film than Shoreditch. This hipster enclave is home to a number of independent cinemas that offer an alternative to the mainstream multiplexes.
The Close-Up Cinema is one of the most popular, with its comfy sofas and vintage decor. The Everyman Broadgate is another great option, particularly if you’re looking for something a bit more highbrow. With its art-house programming and stunning architecture, the Everyman Broadgate is definitely worth a visit – even if you don’t end up watching a movie!
Finding Your Way Around Shoreditch
We are sure that something has piqued your interest in the forever fascinating Shoreditch district, but what about getting there? There are many modes of transport that you can use to explore to your heart’s content.
London Buses provides all the local bus services in the district across the wide network of routes.
You can use Shoreditch High Street Station near Boxpark on Bethel Green Road. Liverpool Street and Old Street tube stations are also nearby, which are connected to the National Rail Network.
Two Transport for London Cycleways passes through Shoreditch. The Cycle Superhighway 1 runs north-south along the area’s western perimeter, and the Quietway 13 runs east-west through Shoreditch.
Things to do in Shoreditch: FAQs
Where is Shoreditch?
Shoreditch is a fairly small area located in East London. When locals refer to Shoreditch, they may also include the nearby areas of Hoxton, Old Street, Bishopsgate, Brick Lane, Liverpool Street and Aldgate.
How Do I Get to Shoreditch?
Trains are a popular and mostly efficient way to get around London’s many suburbs. Shoreditch High Street station serves Shoreditch in the East End of London, within London Travelcard 1.
This recently updated station runs regular passenger services to Dalston and Highbury, and Islington from platform 1, and New Cross, Clapham Junction, West Croydon and Crystal Palace from platform 2. This station is also on several busy bus routes.
The Liverpool Street station is the nearest one to Shoreditch Underground Station.
How Did Shoreditch Get its Name?
Shoreditch has its origins as a medieval parish. The word ‘Soreditch’ started in 1148, although the area did not become a parish until St Leonard’s Church was built in the 13th century.
There are three popular theories about the origins of the name Shoreditch. The first suggests that the name comes from a mistress of Edward IV, Jane Shore, who is said to have tragically died in a ditch near the area due to poverty and hunger. A second, which was started by Dr. Percy, who traced the origin of the name back to the word ‘shore’, which means sewer or drain.
The most likely theory is that Shoreditch gets its name from the Soerdich family, Lords of the Manor, during the reign of Edward III. Sir John de Soerdich is said to have been a knight, lawyer, diplomat and statesman.
When hunting for a unique and trendy experience, Shoreditch is the place to be. With its eclectic mix of art galleries, restaurants, and nightlife establishments, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant area of London.
All in all, Shoreditch is one of the most exciting neighbourhoods in London, and it’s easy to see why with all the attractions. So, next time you’re in town, check out Shoreditch—you won’t be disappointed!