Originally Published: May 13, 2014

There are a lot of places to eat and shop in London – but if what you’ve seen The 5 Most Popular Tourist Attractions of London and want some good old fashioned sights and sounds, you won’t be disappointed by the attractions that East London  has to offer! You can explore feats of architecture, museums, landmarks, and markets, all tightly packed into vibrant and bustling surroundings.

 

Things to do in East London - Street Art
East London Street Art – Garry Knight

 

Spitalfields

Originally opened as a way to supply food to the growing population of London, Spitalfields Market (its name derived from the original name of the area, Spittle Fields) is a charming escape from the normal flow of London life. Packed with arts, clothing, and – our favorite – food, the market is a must-see destination, especially if you’ve got a few souvenirs to pick up!

 

spitalfields-market
Spitalfields Market

 

The Gherkin

This is the second-largest building in London, and certainly one of the most uniquely shaped. Designed in partnership with Norman Foster and Arup International, the building opened in April 2004 to the public. While it is primarily a commercial building, the public areas include the plaza, which houses the Arcadian Gardens. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll notice the building from external scenes in the 6th movie!

Wilton’s Music Hall

Both what goes on inside this building and it’s exterior are attractions, as Wilton’s Music Hall is a grade II listed building! It is currently used for both theater and musical performances, but originally was the concert room of the public house on site. Destroyed by fire in 1877, it was rebuilt and added to the World Monuments Fund’s list of “100 most endangered sites” in 2007.

Museum of London Docklands

Focusing on the River Thames and how it has shaped the lives of the community around it, Museum of London Docklands opened in 2003 in a grade I listed building. It houses the archives of the Port of London Authority. It has a variety of collections including theatrical ephemera, Roman coins, fashion and textiles, and more; approximately one million items constitute the museum’s core collection!

Geffrye Museum

Described as the “museum of the home”, the Geffrye Museum is made up of a collection of buildings and gardens made up of the former almshouses of the Ironmongers’ company. The museum aims to explore the history of the domestic interior of England, from 1600 onward with a focus on the “material culture of the home”. With images of actual homes, furniture, and textiles on display, Geffrye Museum offers a unique glimpse into the domestic lives of the people of England.

Ten Bells

You’ve probably heard of the Ten Bells if you’re interested in Jack the Ripper lore as it’s the possible that both Annie Chapman and Mary Kelly frequented the pub and the pub even took its name from The Ripper until protest demanded a change to The Ten Bells. The pub is decorated in a way that honors the Victorian heritage of the building, so you might want to take a glimpse at the decorations while you’re enjoying a pint!

The Wall of London

Constructed in AD 200 by the Romans to protect the boundaries of the city, the wall currently sits in segments as portions were destroyed as the city grew up around it. It’s best to follow a walk around the Wall so as to not miss the rich history and important facts about its significance!

Sutton House

Built in 1535 by the Principle Secretary of State to Henry VIII, Ralph Sadleir, the Sutton House is the oldest residential building in Hackney. Constructed as a residence for Sadleir and his family, he originally named the house Bryck Place. Divided into two houses, Ivy House and Milford House, in 1751 by John Cox, the house has served a variety of functions – including a squatting house – over centuries and is open to the public to tour.

Whitechapel Art Gallery 

Founded in 1901, The Whitechapel Art gallery has premiered art from Picasso, Pollock, Rothko, and Frida Kahlo. It houses educational resources, temporary exhibits, archives, exhibitions, and collections. As one of the spaces that brought pop art to the general public, the gallery has served an important role in not only art culture, but general culture in England. After undergoing an expansion in 2009, the gallery continues to play a critical role in the London art scene, including its participation in First Thursdays

 

 

 

Do you like the sound of East London? Why not hop on our East End Food Tour which will introduce you to the street art, culture, history, and the awesome food of East London.

 

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