I’m a big fan of window shopping. I would much rather wander around an interesting store and not buy a single thing instead of going into any old Forever 21 and buying a bag full of cheap clothes. Plus, when you’re on a study abroad budget, window shopping is the only regular shopping your wallet will allow.
Thankfully, London has plenty of markets where the experience is the only souvenir you really need. Markets like Spitalfields, Brick Lane, and Camden are bursting with clothes, accessories, music and food from every corner of the globe. They’re open almost every day of the week and you don’t have to pay a single pound to get in. You just kind of dive in and you emerge two hours later usually with some sort of delicious food item in your hand.
Everyone working at the different stalls is super friendly and usually made everything they’re selling with their own two hands. That means that there’s always a huge variety of goods. Someone selling candles shaped like flowers could have their table next to someone else selling hand made wooden iPhone cases. The people making authentic French crepes are bumping elbows with the couple offering Indian food samples.
You could walk around a London market all day and not spend a thing because you’re just too busy looking around. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll probably see a million and half cool things that you want to buy. However, if you’re scatter-brained like me, you’ll keep being distracted by cool things and you won’t be able to stay still long enough to spend money.
So if you like being overwhelmed by an explosion of interesting and unique items and don’t mind stuffing your face with foreign food, then I suggest taking a trip to a London market. You can spend as little or as much money as you want and you’ll get a lot of great pictures.