You don’t need to own a retro jean jacket to visit Brick Lane, but you will quickly notice that it is a favourite hangout for London hipsters. Brick Lane sits in the heart of the city’s Bangladeshi-Sylheti community and is often referred to as Banglatown. The area is famous for its exciting shops and many curry houses–which have been described as some of the best in London. If the fascinating street art doesn’t keep you occupied, our list of top activities on Brick Lane certainly will.

So if you’re in the neighbourhood, make sure to:

Check out The Brick Lane Gallery

This contemporary fine arts gallery exhibits an eclectic mix of works by British and international artists. The Brick Lane Gallery has committed to up-and-coming artists by offering space to exhibit their work for purchase. The gallery often holds group exhibitions in specific categories, like the following upcoming ones: rural and urban landscapes, portraits, and works on paper. While visiting this free attraction, you may even find a special piece to add to your own collection.

Shop ’til you drop

This quirky little area is chock full of street vendors and quirky boutiques. The white chapel end of Brick Lane is filled with South Asian shops and restaurants where you can buy music, spices, saris, and tasty treats. You’ll get a real feel for the neighbourhood’s iconic Bangladeshi community. Brick Lane’s hipster spirit is alive and well in its shopping district; top in to the numerous vintage stores all along the area for a new fedora or a 3-speed bike.

Head to the Brick Lane Market

If you are lucky enough to be in London on a Sunday, you must go to Brick Lane. The Brick Lane Market is held every weekend at varying times, depeding in the market space. You’ll love browsing through antique books, paintings from up-and-coming artists, handmade accessories, Cuban revolutionary art, and more. The market space is made up of these five different market spaces:

Backyard Market

This is the newest of all the vendors and houses over 80 stalls geared towards young artists and designers. It is a creative community aimed at giving the new artists a place to showcase their work and sell it. You’ll also find cafes, boutiques, and beauty salons in the area. This market is also open on Saturdays.

Boiler House

This historic landmark dates back to the early 19th century and houses Brick Lane’s food hall. You can enjoy more than 30 different international food stalls that offer dishes from around the world.

Sunday UpMarket

The UpMarket is open from 10 am – 5 pm on Sundays and is one of the more diverse parts of the market. Enjoy shopping at the 200 stalls, selling handmade and vintage clothing, music, crafts, and organic food. You’ll find great vintage clothes and accessories and showcased work from upcoming artists.

Tea Rooms

For those that greatly enjoy an English cup of tea, head to the Tea Rooms market, named for its large collection of teas, coffees, and baked goods. Shop for silk cushions, handmade goods, and exciting collectibles here. This market is open both Saturdays and Sundays.

Vintage Market

In case the name didn’t tip you off, this area is great for finding vintage goods. The Brick Lane Vintage Market showcases clothing from the 1920s all the way up to the 1990s, along with vintage records and other trinkets. This market is open Friday to Sunday.

It is amlost impossible to visit Brick Lane and not go home with at least a dozen new items. Don’t forget to leave room in your suitcase and to book travel insurance. Keep all of your new finds safe with luggage cover from Cover-More.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Jim Linwood; cropped from original