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Columbia Road Flower Market In London – A Complete Guide

Columbia Road Flower Market has been successfully supplying flowers to Londoners since the 1960s and just seems to get more and more popular.

Located in the East End, this Sunday market attracts crowds of locals and tourists with its colourful and inviting displays of freshly cut flowers and plants.

Here’s a guide for visiting.

How To Get To Columbia Road Flower Market

Columbia Road Flower Market is located in Bethnal Green in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Underground

London Underground is one of the easiest ways to get around London.

A couple of the nearest tube stations for Columbia Road Flower Market are Bethnal Green (Central Line) or Old Street (Northern Line). Either one giving you approximately a 20 minute walk to reach Columbia Road.

Zones 1-2 contain all the central London districts, and most of the major tourist attractions. The daily cap for travelling in Zones 1-2 is £8.10 when using a contactless bank card. (Columbia Road Flower Market is in Zone 2.)

If you don’t have a contactless card that works in London, the best option is to purchase a 1-Day Unlimited Travel Card.

These can be used on the tubes, buses, trams and Docklands Light Railway.

Hop On Hop Off Bus

Standard buses are available within your daily travel card and there are plenty of bus stops close to Columbia Road Flower Market.

Bus routes 26, 48 and 55 serve Hackney Road, and 8, 388 and D3 serve Bethnal Green Road.

However, there is also of course the famous Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Tour.

This is always popular among tourists and is a great way to see many famous landmarks around the capital at ease.

All whilst travelling around on a traditional big red London bus!

Tour

For those short on time, or those that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

Also, for all tourists visiting London, I recommend purchasing a Go City London Pass.

These are a great way of saving money when visiting multiple tourist attractions during your stay in London.

If you love a good market, other London markets you should visit include Borough Market, Spitalfields Market and Leadenhall Market.

Columbia Road Flower Market Entrance Fee

It’s free to visit Columbia Road Flower Market.

Birdcage Columbia Road
Birdcage Columbia Road

Columbia Road Flower Market Opening Times

Open Sundays only – 8am to about 3pm.

Columbia Road Flower Market London
Columbia Road Flower Market London

Best Time To Visit Columbia Road Flower Market

Columbia Road Flower Market is a very popular destination on locals and tourists London bucket list.

So, for the best choice of flowers and to avoid the crowds, it’s best to get there as it opens at 8am.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a bargain, try visiting as the market is winding down at about 2pm. This is when the traders reduce their prices to try and sell any remaining stock.

During the spring and summer months (April – September) when the sun is shining and the weather is generally warmer, always makes for a better outdoor experience.

Although, there are plenty of great little eateries and shops to duck into in Columbia Road. So don’t let bad weather put you off!

Most of the stalls take card payment, but you can bet the one stall where you find something you want is the one that doesn’t! So don’t forget a little bit of cash.

What To Pack

Photography Camera

Tripod

Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle

Sunscreen

Lightweight Rain Jacket

Columbia Road Flower Market London
Columbia Road Flower Market London

Columbia Road Flower Market History

Various markets have taken place in Columbia Road over the centuries. However, from the 1920s, a combination of factors saw Columbia Road becoming a successful flower and plant market.

Initially the market was a Saturday trading fair but with the rising requirements of the local Jewish community, parliament changed it to Sunday to accommodate Jewish traders.

This gave Saturday traders from the then flower markets of Covent Garden Market and Spitalfields Market the perfect opportunity to sell-off left over stock. And so the Columbia Road Flower Market developed.

Also, the Huguenot French immigrants that moved into the East End of London at this time, loved freshly cut flowers. This is said to have been a major influence in the East End of Londons love affair with fresh blooms.

As well as the Huguenots loving their freshly cut flowers, they also loved caged songbirds. Hence the name of the Birdcage Pub on Columbia Road!

Unfortunately, during World War II food production was, of course, prioritised and the flower market died off until the 1960s.

Then, with the help of the growing popularity of gardening programmes on the radio and later TV, the flower market saw a steady resurgence.

Nowadays, Columbia Road Flower Market, and the surrounding area, has become a popular and well-loved Sunday destination.

Columbia Road Flower Market London
Columbia Road Flower Market London

What To Expect At Columbia Road Flower Market

Expect a sensory explosion of vibrant colours and beautiful fragrances as you arrive at the market. Along with an upbeat, friendly and bustling vibe.

More than 40 stalls, full of brightly coloured, fresh cut flowers, plants and shrubs draw you in for a closer look. With the help of the larger than life voices of the stall holders pitching their wares.

Many of these traders are proud to be the second or even third generations of their families to be selling at the market. They also don’t mind a bit of friendly bartering, so give it a try and you might get yourself a bargain.

Apart from the Flower Market, Columbia Road is also home to an array of trendy, independent cafes, art galleries, antique shops and boutiques.

From vintage clothing and textiles to wicker baskets, fresh oysters and new and used vinyl records, there is an interesting and eclectic mix of wares. Along with some tasty baked goods and freshly roasted coffees.

All displayed in beautifully decorated, traditional Victorian shops that definitely draw you in with their promise of more exciting things on offer inside.

Thus making Columbia Road Flower Market, with its bohemian vibe, the perfect place to head to on a Sunday morning during your London itinerary.

Columbia Road Flower Market London
Columbia Road Flower Market London
Hermanos Columbia Road
Hermanos Columbia Road
Columbia Road Flower Market London
The Royal Oak Columbia Road
Columbia Road Flower Market London
Columbia Road Flower Market London
Columbia Road Flower Market London
Columbia Road Flower Market London
Columbia Road Flower Market London
Columbia Road Flower Market London
Columbia Road Sign

Where To Stay In London

Luxury

The London EDITION

The London EDITION is located in central London’s Fitzrovia district, with Oxford Street, Theatreland and Piccadilly Circus all within a 10-minute walk. 

Inside, there is a Michelin star restaurant, 2 cocktail bars, a 24-hour front desk, free WiFi and free use of the on-site fitness centre for all guests. 

With a view of the vibrant city, each en suite room come with a flat-screen TV and air-conditioning. An iPod docking station, bathrobes and a mini-bar are also provided. 

Each evening, the restaurant offers a contemporary British menu using fresh, British produce.

Mid-Budget

Corus Hotel Hyde Park

Set within a 20-minute walk from Royal Albert Hall and boasting a stylish, spacious piano lounge , Corus Hotel Hyde Park features modern rooms with free WiFi. 

The hotel is just a 10-minute walk from Paddington Station, offering a direct train link to Heathrow Airport.

The cosy, air-conditioned bedrooms at Corus Hotel have private en-suite bathrooms and satellite TVs with on-demand movies. Rooms also feature work desks, tea/coffee facilities, iron and ironing boards. 

The conservatory brasserie serves a modern European menu using seasonal produce. 

Olio Bar offers light snacks and beverages, and overlooks Hyde Park.

Budget

The Queens Hostel

Featuring free WiFi, The Queens Hostel offers accommodation in London, just a 2-minute walk to Queens Park Rangers football stadium. 

Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Rooms come with a shared bathroom. 

You can play tennis at this hostel, and the area is popular for golfing.

For more places to stay in London, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. 

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile. 

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.