Shoreditch is the place to go if you want to see a more alternative side of London. It has lots of graffiti and street art, fashionable pubs, alternative nightclubs, and more hipsters than you can shake a stick at.
Long before it became known as Shoreditch, the region that runs from Kingsland Road to Old Street Station was considered a crime-ridden enclave. When you consider the notorious Jack The Ripper murders that took place in the neighboring Whitechapel district, as well as the numerous bombs that occurred during the Blitz, visiting Shoreditch was the last thing on anyone’s mind.
However, by the 1990s, things had completely altered, thanks to the influx of innovative modern artists such as Damien Hirst who began settling in the neighborhood, as well as the emergence of bustling, fashionable nightclubs across London’s East End. Today, Shoreditch is widely regarded as the epicenter of London’s flourishing art scene, and the area is densely packed with a diverse range of galleries, art museums, and street art installations (some by the likes of world-renowned street artists like ROA and Banksy).
Shoreditch's Best Attractions
Checking out the street art in Shoreditch is a must-do among the many other things to do and see in the neighborhood. Even though there are numerous galleries and museums in London, such as the Brick Lane Gallery and the Whitechapel Gallery, the most notable areas for art are found along streets such as Brick Lane, Club Row, Bateman’s Row, Fashion Street and Bacon Street.
A large number of people go to Shoreditch just for the purpose of checking out its many markets, which usually attract a large audience (especially on Sundays). Visitors visiting Shoreditch should not miss out on the Old Spitalfields Market and the Old Brick Lane Market, as well as the Sunday UpMarket and the Columbia Road Flower Market, which are also must-see destinations.
The one thing that can be said about Shoreditch is that it knows how to throw a good party, and the neighborhood is no exception. Shoreditch is home to some of the most distinctive bars and famous nightclubs in London, including the Village Underground, the Queen of Hoxton, and The Princess of Shoreditch. From circus-themed pubs to comic book bars, Shoreditch has something for everyone.
Some of the finest venues in the city, presenting anything from established performers to up-and-coming indie bands from all over the globe, can be found in Shoreditch as well as the surrounding areas. In terms of musical genres, the venues span almost every one on the globe (although there has recently been a greater emphasis on dubstep, nu-jazz, drum & bass, garage, and reggae genres). Shoreditch music venues such as XOYO, The Blues Kitchen, Nightjar and Plastic People are excellent choices for anyone looking to see an amazing musical performance.
And, although there aren’t quite as many monuments and attractions in Shoreditch as there are in Westminster, Soho, or the City of London, the Geffrye Museum (located at 136 Kingsland Rd) is probably one of the most well-known attractions the borough has to offer.