The world is really divided into two groups—one who love Brick Lane and one who loathes it. We can only sympathise with the latter for Brick Lane is not your ordinary Sunday market but a maelstrom of different cultures, people and persuasions meant for the open-minded and the adventurous at heart. It's a place where Eastern promise meets East End madness and the result is truly mind blowing. Get up early on a Sunday morning and head towards the market, located on the northern end of Brick Lane and along Cheshire Street in East London.
Brick Lane market is not easy to miss; it's a place where posh boutiques stand in comfortable ease with ramshackle stalls selling a plethora of eclectic goods from old books, antique cameras, vintage clothes to cutesy bric-a-brac. A place popularised by bargain hunters, art students and curry houses, Brick Lane is the part skipped by tourists in their luxury cars. Brick Lane is unpolished, little wild, rough around the edges and definitely unafraid.
Don't miss the Vintage market put up at the Truman Brewery every Sunday between 10AM-5PM. It's a place where you will find arrays of stalls peppered with accessories, glam fur coats, vintage frocks and men's suits from 1920s to the 1990s. Whilst there are many Indian and Bangladeshi curry houses, on Sundays, the market is bustling with food vendors offering cuisines from every corner of the planet. Chomp in some authentic Ethiopian food or sip Turkish coffee, dig in Chowmein from Tibet or have a tasty dish of Pad Thai. The food like everything else here perfectly embodies the rich cultural diversity that London itself offers.
Saunter around its dynamic streets and indulge in shameless people-watching. Wherever you go peppy street music and colourful street art pleasantly accompanies you. In short, Brick Lane is a bundle of contradictions—it's ordinary yet extraordinary, predictable yet exotic, bizarre yet classic.
Just don't forget to reach early (around 9AM) to get the best bargains. The nearest tube is Aldgate East and overground is Liverpool Street. And bring some cash; finding a cash machine in this labyrinth is tougher than solving the riddle of Mona Lisa.