Contrary to popular belief, there’s more to Liverpool Street than high-rise buildings, exhausted commuters and finance bros. It’s actually a lively, multicultural neighbourhood full of wonderful things to see and do. So, on that note, here’s our list of the very best things to do in Liverpool Street. You’re very welcome.
1. Explore Old Spitalfields Market
The OG of East London markets can be found just around the corner from Liverpool Street station. Open seven days a week, Old Spitalfields Market is everything you’d want from a London market and so much more. Within metres of each other, you can find independent fashion, beauty, and wellness brands, as well as a daily traders market. Browse art from local makers, grab one-of-a-kind gifts from the many, many stalls, or stuff your face with some of the yummiest street food in town. Talking of street food; there’s over 40 stalls to choose from, so we’d recommend going armed with an empty stomach and your very stretchiest trousers.
16 Horner Square, E1 6EW
2. Have a wander down Brick Lane
Brick Lane is an absolute must-visit when you’re in the Liverpool Street area. A deliciously diverse melting pot of vintage shops, authentic curry houses, east London boozers, and eclectic street art. The road dates all the way back to the 15th century and there’s no shortage of things to do here. From bagels and bookshops to record stores and walking tours; there’s guaranteed to be something that takes your fancy.
Brick Lane, Spitalfields, E1 6RU
Just a stone’s throw away from Liverpool Street station is the whopping 42,000 square feet Italian food market, Eataly. The whole place is stuffed (much like a calzone) full of temptations. There’s a market and retail space, along with takeaway eateries and a fancy outdoor dining space, La Terrazza di Eataly, home to Italian sharing dishes and an Aperol Spritzeria, which is exactly what it sounds like.
Over 5,000 Italian and local food products can be found in this Italian wonderland, with cured meat, cheese counters, and Via del Dolce (the Sweet Spot), which serves fresh-baked Italian cakes, pastries, cannolis, and handmade gelato. You can also expect a pretty serious wine collection; Eataly fields some 2,000 wines, making it the largest Italian wine collection in London. Not bad, hey?
135 Bishopsgate, EC2M 3YD
There’s nothing us Londoners love more than a bar that makes us feel ‘in the know‘ to our out-of-town pals, right? Secretive bars are scattered all across the city, but this one hidden around the corner from Liverpool Street station is a particular favourite of ours.
You’ll find this rundown suit shop slightly ill-fitting if you’re in the market for a three-piece, but if cocktails are what you’re looking for, then you’re in luck at the Discount Suit Company. The aim of the game here is to serve a range of classically-inspired cocktails – all for around a tenner – against a backdrop of Northern Soul and Vintage Rock’n’Roll. And to get in, ignore the misleading facade which promises ‘alterations while u wait’, or you’ll be waiting a very long time. Head for the small black door at street level instead.
29 Wentworth Street, E1 7TB
Hijingo have taken the classic game and given it a high-tech, high-adrenaline makeover. Home to an immersive 360° sound system, LED technology and spectacular lighting, Hijingo have pulled out all the stops for this temple of bingo. They want you on the edge of your seat throughout the game, fully immersed in proceedings as you eagerly await the next call.
Video and motion graphics will bring the game to life around you, and with each game offering a new opportunity for you to win some truly epic prizes, there’s plenty on the line here. Between calls, you can tuck into a menu of Asian dishes and killer cocktails. What’s not to love?
90 Worship Street, EC2A 2BA
Just a short walk away from Liverpool Street station is London’s highest public garden. Sky Garden is the indoor paradise up on the 43rd floor of the Walkie Talkie building. Admire the gorgeous greenery and gawp at London’s most iconic skyscrapers through the huge floor-to-ceiling windows. Oh, and it’s completely free to enter.
There’s various food and drink options up there and they also offer various events such as live band and DJ nights. If you fancy feeling extra zen, they even occasionally offer yoga in the sky, where you can practice your downward-facing-dog 525-feet up in the air. Namaste.
20 Fenchurch Street, EC3M 8AF
Art-aficionados, this one’s for you. The Van Gogh Immersive Experience has transformed a 19th century stable building, Commercial 106, into a multi-sensory journey through Van Gogh’s most famous work. It’s not your typical gallery set up of white walls and framed paintings behind glass. Instead, thanks to cutting-edge technology you will – quite literally – walk through Van Gogh’s works, and experience a day in his life, thanks to an excellent VR experience.
This enthralling exhibition well-and-truly blurs the line between art and technology, creating an experience that will leave you with nothing but great memories. In fact, it will probably make you want all your future exhibition visits to have an immersive element to them.
106 Commercial Street, E1 6LZ
Moonshine Saloon is for those who like their cocktails with a side of adventure. Saunter down to the saloon, smuggle in your illicit moonshine (i.e. BYOB), and step behind the swinging doors for an hour and 45 minutes of a theatrical drinking experience like no other.
Once you step off the modern-day pavement, you’ll officially enter the Wild West (the set design is impressive). Live actors will welcome you into the illicit Moonshine empire, where the bartenders will transform your booze into four personalised cocktails. Roll the dice – quite literally – as you try your hand at a selection of dice and card games, or simply chat with the local cowboys and cowgirls who frequent this here spot. Yee-haw!
28-30 Houndsditch, EC3A 7DB
If there’s one thing that Liverpool Street is known for, it’s the big old buildings that form the city’s iconic skyline; one of which is the Heron Tower. Shoot up to the 38th and 39th floors in a glass-walled lift, and you’ll find yourself at SUSHISAMBA, which commands incredible views of the city and serves up a “culinary culmination” of Japanese, Brazilian, and Peruvian food.
The restaurant makes the absolute most of its surroundings, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls maximising the 360 degree views. Design touches such as a canopy of bamboo and artfully draped lightbulbs just add to the jaw-dropping effect, and the food is some of the most delicious in town. The best meals can put you on top of the world, and that’s exactly the case at SUSHISAMBA.
Heron Tower, Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
If you’re in Liverpool Street, we’d highly recommend taking a trip to Dennis Severs’ House; a Georgian, Grade II-listed building, which is home to one of London’s most fascinating museums. Dennis Severs was an eccentric artist who breathed new life into the historic interior of 18 Folgate Street. The result is an immersive exhibition, filled with authentic 18th Century household objects and sumptuous interior styling.
Described as a time capsule ‘still life drama’, the concept follows various incidents in the life of a fictitious family of Huguenot silk weavers – the Jervis family – who lived here back in 1724. You’ll take a step back in time and will be able to put yourselves in the shoes of this ‘family’ to see how they went about their daily lives. There’s a whole host of historic artefacts on show here, so this is one for the culture vultures among you!
18 Folgate Street. E1 6BX
The penultimate entry on our list of the best things to do in Liverpool Street is a visit to the ever-so magical Leadenhall Market. With a history that dates back to the 14th century, Leadenhall Market is officially one of the oldest markets in London and let’s just say – it has a pretty impressive CV. Not only has Leadenhall Market been used to represent Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, but it was also one of the first places in London that women were allowed to work. It was also – fun fact – the first place you could ever buy cutlery (who knew?).
The current design of the building is the fault of Sir Horace Jones, the same architectural genius behind Billingsgate and Smithfield Markets. Almost one hundred years after his redevelopments, Leadenhall Market was granted Grade II* listed status – to the surprise of absolutely nobody. It was originally a meat, poultry and game market, but is now home to dozens of boutique retailers, restaurants and wine bars and is well-worth a wander round.
Gracechurch Street, EC3V 1LT
12. Eat steak and fries at Le Relais De Venise L’Entrecote
Our final Liverpool Street recommendation comes in the form of a restaurant that serves just one thing: steak and fries. When there’s only one dish on the menu, you know it’s going to be pretty damn good. In this instance, all you do is tell them how you like your steak cooked and you’ll be presented with steak et frites, which will come with their famous house sauce.
Of course, there’s more to the experience at Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecote than just the main course. For starters, you’ll get a fresh walnut salad with a mustard vinaigrette – dessert comes in the form of cheese (but of course) and delectable, homemade pastries. Let’s not forget the wine either – after all the bistro was actually started by a winemaker way back in 1959.
5 Throgmorton Street, EC2N 2AD
So there you have it, a roundup of 12 of the very best things to do in Liverpool Street. From markets and museums to bingo and breathtaking viewpoints; there’s something spectacular for everyone to enjoy.