20+ Best Things to Do in Camden Town ⋆ We Dream of Travel Blog

20+ Best Things to Do in Camden Town

Best things to do in Camden blog cover image.  Text overlaying an image of Camden Lock.

WRITTEN BY: Sophie Clapton, Born and bred Londoner.
Facebook | Instagram

Located in north London, Camden Town is one of the city’s most eclectic and iconic neighbourhoods. Brimming with character, it has a certain gritty buzz about it that’s hard to put into words. However, one thing is certain: you won’t be short of things to do in Camden!

Its markets draw in around 100,000 visitors each weekend and it’s easy to see why. With a diverse mix of cuisines to choose from and a variety of treasures to be found, it’s an experience like no other in London.

Known for its ties to the music world, Camden Town is one of the best places in London to watch live music and has hosted some of the world’s best musicians over the years.  If you’re looking for a great night out and live music – Camden is the place for you!

Disclosure: In order to keep providing you with free content, this post may contain affiliate links. If you make a booking or purchase through one of these links we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. So a HUGE thank you to you if you click one of these links 🙂

Top Things to Do in Camden

While there are a lot of ways to enjoy a day in town, the following attractions and activities are considered the best things to do in Camden.

Camden Market

Quick History of Camden Market

As the beating heart of Camden, I think it’s fun to know a little about this iconic London landmark.

Camden Lock Market on a Saturday morning.
Exploring Camden Market on a Saturday morning is one of the best things to do in Camden.

Nestled alongside Regent’s Canal, Camden Market is a fairly recent addition to London, dating back to 1974. It all began with a small, pop-up arts and crafts fair with only 16 stalls. Since then, it has exploded to become the fourth most popular attraction in London. Today, it is London’s largest market and home to over 1000 unique shops, stalls, bars, and cafes that attract 28 million visitors each year.

An exhibit that displays a brief history of the stables in Camden.

As of 2014, Camden Market now encompasses two former markets; Camden Stables Market and Camden Lock Market.

The Stables Market, as the name suggests, was once a series of stable blocks, horse tunnels, tack rooms, saddler’s workshops, and even a horse hospital. At the end of the 1800s, around 800 horses were housed here. The last horse was withdrawn from use in 1967 and the depot was closed in 1980.

Camden Lock Market has its roots in gin production. In the 19th century, it was home to a number of distilleries and warehouses known for producing some of the world’s finest gin.

Things to Do in Camden Market

Of all the things to do in Camden, a visit to Camden Market should be at the top of your list. You could easily spend the entire day just wandering around the market whilst perusing the stalls and eating your way through all the incredible food! There’s even a Vagina Museum within the market. Yes, you read that right – there is a museum dedicated to female genitalia. It’s definitely among the quirkier things to do in London but is well worth a visit!

For those that love shopping, Camden Market offers a labyrinth of vintage clothing, quirky gifts, stylish accessories, handmade jewellery, antiques, music memorabilia, knick-knacks and souvenirs. Whether you’re looking for boho, chic or goth fashion, you’re sure to find it in these eclectic markets. And be sure not to miss the famous Cyberdog – stepping inside is like being transported elsewhere in the universe! Expect loud electronic music blaring, the occasional go-go dancers, and walls of neon futuristic clubwear!

The umbrella canopy in Camden Stables Market provides one of the most Instagrammable spots in London
Camden is full of photo opportunities!

The umbrella canopy in Stables Market also provides one of the most Instagrammable spots in London. I took the photo below during lockdown when the market was closed. However, it’s honestly probably better if you can get there early on a day it’s open to capture the vibrant nature of the stalls on either side.

Camden Market is open 7 days a week from 10am-6pm, including bank holidays, and some evenings. The only day it is closed is Christmas Day. However, opening times can vary slightly from business to business.

Amy Winehouse Statue

Amy Winehouse statue in Stables Market Camden.
Amy Winehouse statue in Stables Market.

Within Camden Stables Market, you will discover a life-size bronze statue of Amy Winehouse. This tribute to the legendary Camdenite singer was made in 2014 by British sculptor Scott Eaton and sits near one of her regular hangouts, The Lock Tavern.

Buck Street Market

Buck Street Market comprised of shipping containers in Camden High Street

Buck Street Market is Camden’s newest market. It opened in 2020 and replaced the original market that had been trading here for more than three decades.

The Buck Street Market is unlike any other market in the UK. It is comprised of 88 recycled shipping containers and spread over three levels, and is the first dedicated market for conscious consumers. Within it are 26 sustainable food outlets and over 50 ethical fashion retailers. On top of this, they have a zero single-use plastic policy, multiple recycling points, and are composting food waste to generate electricity.

Shoe sculpture and shipping containers at Buck Street Market in Camden
Discovered the re-purposed beauty of the Buck Street Market in Camden.

It is also home to the largest roof top space in London, providing a great spot to grab a drink or a bite to eat in the summer.

This version of Buck Street Market is only intended to be a temporary measure as Transport for London plans to open a new tube entrance here. However, that may take up to 10 years so you’ll be able to enjoy this eco-friendly market for a while yet.

Camden High Street

Camden High Street is one of the most famous streets in London. Known for its music venues, alternative shops, and market, its vibrant nature demands your attention. Lining Camden High Street, you’ll discover numerous shops selling gothic clothing, as well as tattoo and piercing parlours often blaring loud music.

Bright, colourful shops line Camden High Street
Vibrant shops line Camden High Street.

Stalls align the pavement outside the ground floor shops that threaten to consume your attention. However, don’t forget to look up! Adorning the first and second floor levels of the shops are bright murals and enormous objects clinging onto the brick walls.

It’s also a great place for people watching. With its weird and wonderful community, you’ll spot locals and tourists alike from all walks of life. Expect to see some neon-coloured hair, gravity-defying mohawks, tattoo junkies, and goths, alongside typical London tourists and hipster millenials – there’s no judgement here! The “anything goes” attitude is one of the best things about Camden.

Street Art in Camden

As a creative hub, it should come as no surprise that there is a huge amount of incredible street art to be discovered in Camden Town. Take a wander around and mosey down the quieter backstreets and you will inevitably stumble across a variety of spectacular street art.

I’ve included the streets for each of the pieces of street art I photographed. However, due to the nature of street art, it’s likely to change over time so don’t be surprised if you can’t find the same pieces!

Regent’s Canal

First opened in 1820, Regent’s Canal was originally developed to provide a link between the Grand Union Canal’s Paddington branch with the River Thames. Today, it provides a quiet, atmospheric haven away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Once considered London secret and true hidden gem, it is becoming increasingly popular with both Londoners and visitors.

With 8.6 miles of waterways to explore, it’s well worth enjoying this tranquil little oasis on foot or by boat. Or even better, do both!

Narrowboats on the Regent's Canal at Camden Lock
Camden Lock provides the perfect place to start your journey along the Regent’s Canal.

Walk or take a boat along the Regent’s Canal to Little Venice

If you head west you’ll reach the beautiful Little Venice; a picturesque neighbourhood with a number of cute waterside cafes, cosy pubs and delightful restaurants.

The first thing you’ll pass after leaving Camden Lock is the Pirate Castle! This crenelated building is home to a boating and outdoor activities charity.

As you venture further along the waterway, you’ll pass by colourful boathouses and street art before journeying through Regent’s Park and London Zoo. Make sure you keep an eye out for warthogs and African hunting dogs in their canalside enclosures. As well as exotic animals, you’re likely to spot a variety of waterbirds including swans, geese, mallards, moorhens, and coots.

Continuing on, you’ll see the back of several grandiose homes belonging to celebrities and diplomats, and pass through the 249m Maida Hill tunnel before arriving in Little Venice.

The total walking distance is 2.4 miles from Camden to Little Venice and is also part of the longer Jubilee Greenway. I’d recommend walking there and then getting the Waterbus back so you get to experience both! The Waterbus takes approximately 45 minutes and costs £11 per adult midweek and £12 at the weekend. At present (June 2021), they are running with a reduced capacity, and bookings are required online. Book your tickets here to avoid disappointment.

Stroll along the Regent’s Canal to King’s Cross and Coal Drops Yard

A short 1-mile stroll to the east will take you to King’s Cross and Coal Drops Yard. Personally, I feel the walk is a little less scenic in this direction. However, that’s not to say there aren’t pretty spots along the way. I’d definitely still recommend it, although if you have to choose between the two directions, the walk to Little Venice is just a little nicer in my opinion!

Colourful narrowboats are docked at St. Pancras Lock.
Colourful narrowboats are docked at St. Pancras Lock.

The advantage of taking this route, beyond just being a pleasant walk, is that it’s shorter and delivers you to another lovely part of London. You’ll find plenty to do around King’s Cross, including St. Pancras Old Church and Hardy Tree, Coal Drops Yard, Granary Square, Harry Potter’s Platform 9¾, and the London Canal Museum.

St. Pancras Lock being opened to allow a boat through.

If you have the time and are a keen walker, you could continue on another 5 miles to reach the Limehouse Basin, where the canal joins the River Thames. But I found King’s Cross was far enough for me!

St. Pancras Old Church, King's Cross, London
St. Pancras Old Church.

Regent’s Park

Covering 395 acres (1.56km2), Regent’s Park is the largest of the Royal Parks within central London. Previously used as a hunting park for Henry VIII, the land was converted into a private garden in the early 1800s for the Prince Regent, who later became King George IV.

Map of The Regent's Park London.
Map of Regent’s Park.

Today, the park is open to the public, and an amble through the splendid gardens is the perfect way to spend a relaxing morning or afternoon. It has many large open spaces as well as tree-lined pathways, formal gardens, children’s playgrounds, an open-air theatre, and a boating lake. Take a picnic, or fuel up at one of the number of cafes within the park.

Queens Mary's Rose Garden in Regent's Park London
Roses line the pathway in the Queen Mary’s Gardens.

Make sure you don’t miss the Queen Mary’s Gardens, which boasts the largest collection of roses in London (featuring over 12,000 roses!) For the best blooms, it’s recommended to visit in the first two weeks of June.

As well as being absolutely spectacular to look at, the smell walking through is utterly divine. Within Queen Mary’s Garden, you’ll also find a little hidden gem; a Japanese garden and waterfall.

Waterfall and Japanese Garden within Queen Mary's Gardens, Regent's Park, London
A hidden gem within Regent’s Park.

The park is also home to a variety of British wildlife, including around 100 species of bird and a breeding population of hedgehogs. There’s also the occasional non-native wildlife, including feral ring-necked parakeets. On my last visit, I spotted a white-cheeked pintail which is native to Central and South America… definitely not your normal London resident! ZSL London Zoo is also located within the park, so you may hear some exotic wild animals too!

An unusual sighting at Regent's Park; a white-cheeked pintail, native to Central and South America.
An unusual sighting at Regent’s Park; a white-cheeked pintail, native to Central and South America.

London Zoo

Located within Regent’s Park, London Zoo originally opened in 1828 making it the world’s oldest scientific zoo. It is now home to over 20,000 animals from more than 750 different species.

ZSL London Zoo entrance in Regent's Park London

On a personal note, I’ve visited the zoo a couple of times and while I love to see animals and have fond memories of zoos as a child, I feel increasingly uncomfortable seeing them in captivity the older I get. However, I would be remiss to not include London Zoo within this guide of things to do in Camden as it is a popular London attraction, particularly for those with kids.

ZSL claims to have a strong focus on conservation, and it seems evidenced that they’ve done some great work over the years. However, the role of zoos within conservation and education is a complicated and nuanced debate. I’ll leave it up to you to decide your stance on whether it is ethical to visit the zoo.

A giraffe at ZSL London Zoo in Regent's Park.
A giraffe at London Zoo seen from Outer Circle in Regent’s Park.

If you do wish to visit London Zoo, tickets start from £26 per adult. Online bookings are currently essential as no tickets are being sold at the gates. You can also catch a glimpse of the giraffes, zebra, and warthogs from Outer Circle.

Primrose Hill

Protected view of the London skyline featuring Canary Wharf, St Pauls, The Shard and other iconic London buildings from Primrose Hill.
How many famous London landmarks can you spot in the skyline?

To the north of Regent’s Park, separated from it by Prince Albert Road and the ZSL London Zoo, is Primrose Hill. This open green space reaches 63 metres above sea level and offers some of the best views of London. In fact, it provides one of the six protected viewpoints in London. As such, the trees are kept low to not obstruct the views, and high-rise buildings are not permitted to be built between the summit and St Paul’s Cathedral or Westminster Palace.

Similar to Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill was once part of the hunting grounds for King Henry VIII. In 1841, it was bought from Eton College to extend the parkland and provide more outdoor recreation to the people of north London. Today, it is a local favourite, providing the perfect spot for a picnic or to watch the sunset.

People enjoying a picnic in the sunshine atop Primrose Hill, looking out over the London skyline.
Primrose Hill is a popular spot for picnics and to watch the sunset over the city.

Primrose Hill also gives its name to the surrounding neighbourhood. Once a deprived area, the now affluent suburban neighbourhood is home to many celebrities and is one of the most expensive places to live in London. Meander through the streets and you’ll discover many beautiful homes in pretty pastel colours… but more on that next! There are also many independent shops here that give Primrose Hill a village-like feel, in stark contrast to the chaos of Camden!

On Saturdays, there is a small market at St Paul’s school. Here, you’ll find stalls of artisan products and small-batch, local produce.

Camden’s Colourful Houses

Colourful pastel houses in Chalcot Crescent, Primrose Hill, London

With vibrant terraced houses and pastel delights, these charming homes provide a strong rival to the colourful houses in Notting Hill!

Wander off of Camden High Street onto Hartland Road and you’ll discover a quiet residential street with a difference. You’ll be met instantly by a row of technicoloured homes just waiting to be photographed!

A row of vibrant colourful terraced houses in Hartland Road, Camden Town, London
Technicolour terraced houses align Hartland Road.

Mosey on to Chalcot Square and Chalcot Crescent in Primrose Hill for some more dreamy hues! Within this upperclass area you’ll find many Instagrammable doorways and homes in an array of colours, adorned with wisteria or roses if you’re there at the right time of the year! Keep an eye out for the English Heritage blue plaques as well, commemorating the author Sylvia Plath and poet William Butler Yeats who both lived in this area.

Cecil Sharp House

Sign for Cecil Sharp House: The English Folk Dance and Song Society

While Camden Town is renowned for its ties to jazz and indie music, it is also home to the only dedicated folk arts centre in England. Originally built in 1932, Cecil Sharp House is a memorial to Cecil Sharp in honour of his role in the folk-song revival in England.

It is a great place to learn more about traditional music and dance, with a wide variety of events taking place year around. They offer a diverse range of folk song, music and dance classes, courses, workshops and talks for young people, adults and families so it’s worth checking the Cecil Sharp House website to see what’s on offer!

They’ve hosted a wide range of performances over the years. These include everything from well-known acts like Mumford and Sons to barn dances, ceilidhs, a capella choirs, folk festivals and more!

Jewish Museum

Entrance to the Jewish Museum in Camden Town, London

The Jewish Museum celebrates Jewish history, heritage, identity and culture. It houses four permanent galleries showcasing films, objects, photography and hands-on exhibits, as well as temporary galleries, events and activities. It is open to people of all ages, backgrounds and faiths to learn more about Jewish culture.

Unfortunately, the Jewish Museum was still closed when I visited in June 2021. Check on their website for up to date information on opening and events, as well as prices.

Cob Gallery

Founnded in 2011, Cob Gallery has quickly become a key part of Camden’s art scene. The independent gallery and arts studio supports new and emerging visual artists in North London.

Despite being a photographer, I am not a huge fan of art galleries. However, it is a great place for art-lovers to check out the next generation of artists.

Things to Do in Camden at Night

The fun in Camden doesn’t stop at night… in fact, that’s when Camden really comes to life! The area is known for its lively nightlife with an abundance of pubs, bars, live music venues, and clubs.

Live Music and Nightclubs

Since the 70s, Camden Town has been at the heart of London’s music scene and it still remains one of the best places to catch a gig and dance the night away. From up-and-coming indie bands to musical legends, you can find a variety of live music across Camden’s iconic venues and some of the best clubs in London.

The Roundhouse

The exterior of Roundhouse, an iconic performance centre in Camden.

Perhaps the most iconic venue in Camden, the Roundhouse was originally built in 1847 as a railway engine repair shed. It opened as a performing arts centre in 1966 and has since hosted a huge variety of shows from large concerts to the circus, comedy shows, spoken word, theatre performances, exhibitions and even a summer “beach”!

The PowerHaus (formerly Dingwalls)

Outside of Dingwalls pub and music venue in Camden

Located next to Camden Lock, PowerHaus (formerly known as Dingwalls) is a Camden icon and has been home to live music since 1973. With a capacity of only 500, it is smaller than most of the music venues and typically attracts smaller up-and-coming acts.

Despite its small size, it has attracted some big names for intimater performances over the years including The Drifters, Etta James, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Mumford And Songs and Red Hot Chili Peppers, to name just a few!

In July 2020, Dingwalls reopened as PowerHaus due to copyright issues with its former name, despite the signage on the building still saying Dingwalls!

Electric Ballroom

Outside sign for Electric Ballroom in Camden

The Electric Ballroom is an integral part of Camden’s musical heritage and character, having been a music venue for over 80 years. It was the first club in London to use electric lighting in place of gas lamps, hence the name, and even survived bombing during WW2.

Since 1938, it has seen a huge number of famous names grace its stage from The Boomtown Rats to Alt-J, Stereophonics, Sir Paul McCartney, Madness, Garbage, Prince and many more. It still continues to draw in huge crowds, both for live performances and its regular club nights.

The Jazz Café

Outside signage of The Jazz Cafe London, reading "Londons Famous Jazz Venue"

Opening in 1990, The Jazz Café is one of London’s newest jazz venues. It attracts performances from the biggest names in jazz, soul, hip-hop and reggae. With a normal capacity of 450 people, it provides an intimate setting and with its recent revamp, now offers an upstairs restaurant with views over the stage too. You can expect to find live music here 7 days a week, and just a few past artists include Amy Winehouse, Bobby Womack, D’Angelo, Adele, and Grandmaster Flash.

Other Venues

There are many music venues and clubs in London and this is far from an exhaustive list! Some of the other most popular venues include Koko (formerly Camden Palace), Egg London, Scala, Underworld, and The Camden Assembly.

Pubs and Bars

After a long day exploring all that Camden has to offer, you’ll find plenty of pubs to relax with a cold pint… or go on a full-on pub crawl! From traditional local boozers to more hipster craft-beer, upmarket gastropubs or a British rock pub, you’ll find somewhere to wet your whistle.

Many of the pubs have a long history, in particular Camden’s castle pubs. It is rumoured that the Edinboro Castle, Windsor Castle, Pembroke Castle and Dublin Castle pubs were built to provide national pubs for the Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish navvies, respectively, building the canals during the 1800s. The disparate national groups were known to fight one another as well as the public. The rumour is that the pubs were built to keep the groups segregated to avoid the mischief.

However, the legend of the Camden castles has been dispelled as a myth due to the pubs opening at very different times; Dublin Castle opened in 1821, Edinboro Castle in 1839, Pembroke Castle in the late 1860s, and Windsor Castle was an off license until 1953 (and is now closed). It makes a fun story though and they’re still worth a visit!

Outside of The Dublin Castle pub in Camden

Camden Pubs

Dublin Castle has hosted many famous bands and artists including The Killers, Blur and Amy Winehouse. It is perhaps the best place for the most authentic Camden experience. Amy Winehouse was even known to jump behind the bar both here and at the Hawley Arms and pull a pint!

Edinboro Castle today is a modern gastropub with a lovely pub garden. It’s the perfect spot for a bite to eat, particularly on a sunny afternoon. Pembroke Castle also offers a small beer garden and pub grub within the higher end neighbourhood Primrose Hill.

The Lock Tavern often has live music and has a great roof terrace. For craft beer lovers, Brewdog provides a regularly changing selection of the Scottish brewery’s finest beers, as well as an array of international craft beers and a menu of burgers, hot dogs and wings.

A rainbow pedestrian crossing in front of The Oxford Arms in Camden Town.

For a traditional pub feel, head to the Oxford Arms, they offer delicious home-cooked meals and live sports. Another pub that offers a real feel for Camden is The World’s End. With roots as a tavern dating back to the 1600s it has had many famous patrons over the years, including Charles Dickens. Today, you’ll find a great atmosphere and an eclectic mix of people in this rock pub.

Camden Bars

For the best cocktails head to Fifty-Five! With over 200 cocktails on the menu, you’re guaranteed to find something you’ll love here. BYOC (aka Bring Your Own Cocktail) also offers incredible cocktails… but with a more unique experience. You bring along a bottle of your favourite spirit and a professional mixologist will create 5 rounds of bespoke cocktails for you!

Looking for a boozy brunch? Look no further than Near and Far! They offer bottomless brunches on weekends and have a lovely roof terrace that overlooks Camden Stables. They also have great cocktails and Mexican street food 7 days a week, plus party DJs at the weekend.

Comedy, Shows and Other Quirky Ideas!

Fancy a giggle or a show? There’s plenty of options in Camden, and the best thing about it is that most of the comedy clubs are cheap or free!

Camden Comedy Club

Camden Comedy Club above the Camden Head pub

Held upstairs in a room above the Camden Head Pub, the Camden Comedy Club offers live comedy 7 days a week. On Fridays and Saturdays, bigger names perform at their regular comedy shows. These have included TV headliners such as Harry Hill, Alan Carr and Russell Howard.  One of the great things about Camden Comedy Club is the price. Regardless of the act, tickets are only £10 at the weekend and usually free or pay-what-you-like during the week.

Monkey Business Comedy Club

Monkey Business Comedy Club hosts shows in a few different Camden venues. In the past, they’ve seen performances from the likes of Harry Hill, Lee Mack, Russell Howard, Michael Macintyre, Sarah Millican, Russell Kane. In addition to their award winning comedy shows, they also host cabaret and burlesque drag nights for a different night out in Camden. Ticket prices range from £5 to £17.50 and food is available at all their venues.

Etcetera Theatre

Etcetera Theatre is one of the smallest theatres in London and has existed above the Oxford Arms on Camden High Street for 35 years. This fringe theatre hosts a huge array of shows each year, including cabaret, magic, comedy and musicals. More recently, the pub theatre has become a hub for several London theatre festivals, including Camden Fringe and London Horror Festival. It also hosts an Edinburgh Fringe preview season.

It’s worth noting that the pub can get very busy so be sure to let bouncers know you have a ticket when you arrive.

Camden Fringe

If you’re visiting Camden in the summer then check out Camden Fringe to see what’s on. It is a comedy festival that takes place over four weeks each summer in August as an alternative to Edinburgh Fringe. It has been running since 2006, and by 2017 had grown to 1000 performances across 25 venues! Performances include stand-up, revivals of classical plays, new writing and musical comedy.

Crazy Golf

Tucked away within Camden Market is a quirkier evening option; Plonk Golf! This bright and tropical 9-hole crazy golf course comes complete with a fully licensed bar so it’s a great way to kick start a night out, or fun enough to be the night out!

The inside of the tropical themed Plonk crazy golf in Camden
The tropical themed Plonk Crazy Golf makes for an alternative night out.
Image courtesy of Plonk.

Digital Beer Pong

Enjoy a game of beer pong with a difference! You can find three state-of-the-art digital beer pong tables in Camden at Lan Kwai Fong. The cups have digital sensors and keep score for you, which is downloaded onto an international scoreboard!

Games cost £20 for one game, including a pitcher of beer or spirit and mixer. They also have various other packages including drinks and sharing platters of Asian food. You can even continue your night here with some karaoke in a private booth!

Things To Do Near Camden Town

While you’ll find plenty of things to do in Camden Town, there’s also plenty more to do nearby! Camden also refers to the London Borough of Camden, which stretches north to Hampstead and south to Holborn. Within the borough, there are more fun things waiting to be explored in easy reach of Camden Town.

British Library

Aerial view of the British Library.
Image courtesy of the British Library.

The British Library is the national library of the UK and is the largest library in the world based on collection size. It is home to a whopping 170-200 million items in over 400 languages from all over the world.

The British Library offers a variety of exhibitions and talks throughout the year, but perhaps the best part is still the Treasures Gallery. Here you’ll be taken through 2000 years of human experience and discover some of the most incredible items in their collections. These range from the Magna Carta to Jane Austen’s notebooks, handwritten lyrics by the Beatles, Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks, and original writings from Charles Dickens, plus so much more!

General admission to the library is free, however must be currently booked in advance. Some of the temporary exhibitions are free and some are paid entry, so make sure you check online.

British Museum

The Great Hall in the British Museum.
Image © The Trustees of the British Museum.

I absolutely adore London’s museums! There are so many wonderful ones to choose from, but the best is arguably The British Museum.

The British Museum has enamoured visitors for over 250 years as the world’s oldest public national museum, dating back to 1759. It is the UK’s most visited attraction and is home to around 8 million artefacts, including the Rosetta Stone and mummies! While worth a visit in any weather, it makes for the perfect rainy day activity if you get some typical British dreariness on your visit!

Perhaps the best thing about visiting the British Museum is that, like most of the museums in London, general entry is free of charge. However, at present (June 2021), time-allocated booking is required in advance.

Camden Art Centre

Founded by artists in 1965, Camden Art Centre is a gallery showcasing world-class contemporary art exhibitions. They also host a variety of talks, events, residencies, courses, and educational programmes.

Entry to the gallery is free, although you may have to pay extra for some exhibitions or events.

Hampstead Heath

View of London from Parliament Hill at Hampstead Heath.
View of London from Parliament Hill at Hampstead Heath.

Only a 30 minute walk from Camden Town is one of London’s hidden gems, Hampstead Heath. Sprawling over an enormous 800 acres, you can spend hours meandering through woodlands and meadows on the Heath.

With its breathtaking panoramic vistas over London, Parliament Hill is the most popular part of the Heath. It is also the spot that Guy Fawkes stood in 1605 looking over parliament, awaiting its explosion. Accordingly, it’s also a great place to watch the firework displays over the city on Guy Fawkes Night and New Year’s Eve.

In addition to its beautiful walks and marvellous views, Hampstead Heath is also one of the few places you can go wild swimming in London. So if you’re brave enough you can experience London like a local and take a dip at one of the swimming ponds on the heath!

Planning Your Visit to Camden

So now you know all the best things to do in Camden, here are a few helpful bits of information to help you plan your visit!

Map of the Best Things to Do in Camden

You will find all the places mentioned in this blog post within this interactive Google Map. Click here or on the image below to open the map in Google.

Map of the best things to do in Camden.

How to Get to Camden

Public transport is going to be the best way to get to Camden. Don’t even bother trying to arrive by car! Camden isn’t in the congestion zone, but you’ll find it very busy and parking is an absolute nightmare!

Camden Lock painted on the side of the railway bridge

The two closest tube stations to Camden High Street are Camden Town and Chalk Farm Road, both of which are on the northern line. Depending on where you plan to start your day will depend on which it’ll be best to get off at. This is the quickest and usually the most convenient route to Camden, but is also usually the busiest, particularly on the weekends.

You can also take the overground to Camden Road, from which it is a short walk to the markets and high street. Or there are a number of buses that serve Camden. I’d recommend checking on the Transport for London website for up-to-date information and to plan your route.

Of course, you can always get a taxi in London. Or for a more fun way to arrive in Camden, you can start your day in Little Venice and take a narrowboat from there!

Where to Eat in Camden

Where should you eat in Camden? Honestly… anywhere and everywhere! Camden is an absolute mecca for foodies. You can find cuisine from all over the world and everything from street food to upmarket sit-down dining.

Camden Market

Street food stalls in Camden Market
Indulge in a wide array of street food in Camden Market.

At the epicentre of food and drink in Camden is, of course, Camden Market. Here you’ll find hundreds of vendors, serving something for all tastebuds. Start at Camden Market’s West Yard (previously KERB), where you’ll discover an extravaganza of street food. There’s an ever-changing feast of stalls here so whether you’re strictly vegan or carnivore, health-conscious or wanting allll the sugar, fancy something sweet or savoury, you’re guaranteed to find it here. Venture further into Camden Market and you’ll find even more delights along the re-branded alleys, including Asian Alley and Italian Alley. There’s also a number of restaurants that offer seated dining within Camden Market.

Powerplant

Honestly, there’s little reason to venture beyond Camden Market when it comes to looking for food. However, with that said, I did have the best vegan food I’ve ever eaten (I’m not vegan and was still blown away) at Powerplant. You could easily miss it as there’s little signage but the interior is gorgeous. I would highly recommend a stop here for a bite to eat too! In particular, the mushroom paratha and the croissants are amazing!

Full disclosure: I was gifted a meal and stay at their accommodation (Selina Hotel) but was not required to include them in any posts. The following weekend, by chance, I ended up back there for a completely different, non-sponsored event and had a similarly amazing experience so would wholeheartedly recommend the food here!

Poppies Fish and Chips

Exterior of Poppies Fish and Chips in Camden
Poppies Fish and Chips comes highly recommended.

The only other venue that I feel is worth a mention is Poppies Fish and Chips. I’ve still yet to try it, however, it’s been recommended to me time and time again for having the best fish and chips in London. Plus, as a British staple, it is pretty much compulsory that you try fish and chips at some point while in the UK if you’re visiting from abroad!

Where to Stay in Camden

There are a variety of options for accommodation both in and around Camden. However, I’ve personally only stayed in one hotel in Camden, and I’ve stayed in it twice! That is Selina Camden. I was invited for a gifted stay and meal, and loved it! The staff were incredibly friendly, the bed was super comfortable, the decor was stunning and the food was amazing (see above!). Then, by chance, the following weekend I ended up back there for another event (not sponsored by Selina) and had an equally great experience.

Selina Hotel is in the perfect location, just opposite Chalk Farm Road tube station and a few minutes walk from Camden Market and high street. On my first visit, I stayed in The Loft, a private room, and on my second I stayed in a shared room and enjoyed both experiences. The Loft also has a little kitchenette with a fridge, not that we used it as we ate at their restaurant, Powerplant!

At the time of writing (July 2021), a bed in a shared room starts from £37 and private rooms start from £123. Click here for current availability and prices.

The Loft room at Selina Camden.
Cosy bed at Selina Hotel.

If you don’t mind staying a little further afield and want something more luxurious then the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel is a great option. Several friends of mine have stayed here and loved it – although I’ve yet to stay there myself. But even the exterior is extravagant! Located in King’s Cross, it’s about a 25-minute walk from Camden and provides a great location if you’re planning on also visiting other parts of London.

Prices for a double room start at £199. Check here for current availability and prices.

A girl next to a purple car outside the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel.
Posing outside the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel.

These are far from your only options for places to stay in Camden. I’d recommend checking here for other options to suit your budget, preferred location, and needs.

Final Thoughts on the Best Things to Do in Camden

As you may now have realised, there are plenty of things to see and do in Camden Town and nearby. Hopefully this guide should have told you everything you need to know about what to do in this eclectic north London neighbourhood! As always, leave us a comment with your thoughts and let us know if we’ve missed anything, or just say something nice – we like that too!

Before you go, if you’ve found this blog post useful and you’re planning of exploring more of London and the UK, then you may also enjoy some of our other related guides:

Enjoyed this guide to the best things to do in Camden? Pin it! 🙂

Because sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

**All photos contained in this photography-based travel blog are copyright of Adam Marland & Sophie Clapton. 
They are not to be used for any purpose without the expressed, written consent of their owners.**