Markets are one of the best places in any city to experience its raw character whilst coming in touch with its rugged personality and getting acquainted to its many shades. In London, one of my favourite markets is the Camden Market.
Stripped of any artificial airs, it's the place where London's vibrant and exciting street culture comes tantalizingly alive. Situated between Camden Town and Chalk farm, the Camden Markets feel like hundreds of cities and cultures in one. A perfect spot to spend a breezy autumn day; this is one of the oldest markets of London. The adjoining Regent's canal adds to its vivacity.
Like any other market, Camden has its fair share of madness but there's some method to it; which is what makes Camden a popular spot with locals and tourists alike. Saunter around its narrow pathways and feast your eyes to throngs of stalls selling new and vintage clothes, antiques, jewellery, bric-a-bracs and art pieces. Don't come here if you need solace because every inch of this market is buzzing with the raw energy of the people thronging it.
Weekends are definitely not for the faint hearted. As soon as you step in, you feel you are at a place where alternative culture could well have been born. You will see an array of shops selling everything from Goth, Punk and Vintage lifestyle. While its sheen as the alternative culture hub has dimmed a bit over the years, thanks to the influx of Starbucks and Gap, it still is one of the best places to go to get rid of the "herd" mentality. Camden challenges you audaciously to be different, to not be a faceless part of the crowd.
Camden is also for the food lovers as you will find stalls selling everything from Turkish kebabs, Caribbean curry to the quintessential fish and chips. There are also stalls boasting of delicious healthy and vegan options.