Shopping weekend in London

London is THE place to go shopping. Twice a year, the London sales attract fashionistas from all over the world. The winter sales start immediately after the festive season, and the summer sales begin at the end of June. From the very first days, the discounts are more than attractive, and you can find items on sale for almost 70% off their original price! But even outside the sales periods, many shoppers come to London for the sole purpose of shopping. The British capital is full of unique streets and shopping districts. From Oxford Street to Mayfair, via the unusual streets of Camden and Brick Lane, here's a roundup of the shopping hotspots you won't want to miss on your next weekend in London, to make sure you pick up some bargains. Let's go!

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Day 1: City centre addresses

Morning in the city centre: Covent Garden, Regent Street, Carnaby Street and Oxford Street

Let's start our shopping trip in Covent Garden, one of London's most famous shopping districts. Right in the heart of the British capital, Covent Garden is loved by locals and tourists alike for its unusual character.

As well as pedestrianised streets littered with shops such as Levi's, Tiffany & Co and the Gap, you'll also find a covered market with numerous craft shops. The interior of the building, with its huge glass roofs, is well worth a look. The area is also a haunt for street artists, so shopping days are very lively in Covent Garden.

Shopping à Covent Garden.

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We then head towards Soho to Regent Street, England's most famous shopping street! It attracts almost 70 million visitors every year, so needless to say it's often packed. Around 75 shops line the street, including luxury brands such as Levi's, Uniqlo and Zara. It's also home to huge shops like Hamley's, the Toy Cave, and the world's largest Burberry shop.

Shopping à Regent Street.

- © William Barton / Shutterstock

While you're wandering around Regent Street, don't hesitate to make a diversion to Carnaby Street, a shopping street with colourful facades and quirky boutiques. This area is a goldmine for those who like to pick up pieces from independent brands, with young designers often featured in the shops.

It's also home to concept stores, creative fashion and trendy bars and restaurants. Among the most popular shops are The Ragged Priest, a veritable institution in the district, as well as Lazy Oaf and Annie's Ibiza, where you can find ever more extravagant pieces.

Shopping à Carnaby Street.

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Regent Street eventually leads into Oxford Street, a must for shoppers in London, as it is also the longest shopping street in Europe! Over two and a half kilometres, 300 shops attract tourists and locals alike. This is where you'll find affordable brands like Primark, Dorothy Perkins, Marks & Spencer and Forever 21.

Shopping on Oxford Street during the festive season.

- © IR Stone / Shutterstock

When hunger strikes, you'll find many of London's favourite eateries and chains, such as Aqua Nueva for delicious tapas, Starbucks competitor Caffè Nero and Ben's Cookies, whose reputation for sweet cakes is well established.

The luxury of Knightsbridge and Mayfair

Now that we've got our bellies full, we can continue our stroll towards Knightsbridge, in East London. But before that, a break in Mayfair is a must! In this upmarket district of the capital, tourists flock to Bond Street, which rivals the Champs-Elysées in terms of luxury brands and department stores: it's the most expensive street in London. Shops such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Ralph Lauren are all located here.

Shopping sur Bond Street à Mayfair.

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Located on the edge of Hyde Park, Knightsbridge is also one of London's most exclusive districts. It's a must-see for those with a penchant for grandeur. This pretty district is best known for being home to the famous Harrods shop on Brompton Road, a veritable temple of luxury. With a sales area of almost 92,000 square metres spread over seven floors, it's the biggest department stores' in London, so you can easily spend the rest of the afternoon there.

Le grand magasin Harrods à Knightsbridge.

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We still recommend that you return to central London for dinner and overnight stays: there are more restaurants and hotels to choose from and, above all, they're more affordable!

Where to sleep in the city centre?

The Kings Arms - London London
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The Kings Arms - London

This hotel in the heart of London is the ideal base for visiting the city. We love the way the rooms are decorated!
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Day 2: the more outlying districts

Discover punk culture in Camden Town

Camden is THE legendary district of London. Located in the north of the capital, the area is renowned for its grunge and punk culture. If, like most people, you don't fall into these categories, don't let that put you off.

Extravagance is the order of the day, and the unusual shop fronts are as ornate as the windows. On Camden High Street, the colourful streets are home to gothic and vintage clothing shops as well as tattoo and piercing parlours. Another must-see is the statue of Amy Winehouse, who lived here for many years.

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Book a guided tour of Camden Town!

With its market, its maze of fashion boutiques and curiosities near the Regent's Canal... Discover the atypical district of Camden Town.
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A number of markets have sprung up in the area since the 1970s. Stables market is the largest, selling furniture, decorations and clothing for London's subcultures. Adjacent to the Regent's Canal, Camden Lock market is a covered market selling mainly handicrafts and knick-knacks. To make things even more complicated, Camden Lock Village sells more or less similar items.

Camden Lock Village.

- © Alena Veasey / Shutterstock

There is also a food court selling specialities from all over the world, perfect for lunch! The open-air market on Buck Street sells mainly clothes, while vinyl collectors flock to the famous Electric Ballroom, which doubles as a covered market and concert hall.

Find vintage items in Brick Lane

Shopping à Brick Lane.

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Fans of second-hand shops and unique pieces? Look no further than Brick Lane, with its streets lined with red bricks, as the place to be! Its name comes from the time when it was a tile-making area: tiles were made from local brick waste as early as the 15th century. The East End has seen many different styles from the 1960s to the 2000s, all of which are on display in the vintage boutiques of Brick Lane.

Le Sunday Upmarket.

- © phaustov / Shutterstock

One of the most famous markets, Brick Lane Market is home to second-hand shops and vintage decorative items. A total of 300 stalls have been housed in a former brewery for 20 years. The Vintage Market is a must, with around a hundred vendors selling their stock of vintage clothes and objects in the basement of a building. The best idea? Get lost in the aisles and end up at the Sunday Upmarket, a street food market just outside the Vintage Market, where you can sample a mouth-watering curry.

Where to stay in Brick Lane?

Brick Lane Hotel London
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Brick Lane Hotel

This Brick Lane hotel offers simple, affordable rooms - we love it!
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by Jude JONES
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