The Portobello Road Market claims to be the world’s largest antiques market, and although I have only been to a handful I have no reason to doubt this claim – it is HUGE! On its busiest day, Saturday, over 1,000 dealers sell everything from genuine and very valuable antiques through interesting collectibles and bric-a-brac to the merely old. The stalls line not only Portobello Road itself but also nearby Westbourne Grove and Golborn Road. There are also many specialist shops, as well as eateries and a few pubs for refreshment as you shop or merely browse. You can come at any time if your main aim is to soak up the atmosphere, but if you’re serious about shopping and hoping for a bargain come early – before the best things are sold and while it is still relatively uncrowded. By mid afternoon it is almost impossible to move along the street, let along study the stalls in comfort.
On other days of the week the market is quieter, but Portbello Road still worth a visit. Many of the antique shops will still be open even if there are few or no stalls, and the fruit and veg market still runs as well as some second hand and vintage clothes stalls. As in any crowded place, do take some care here to watch your belongings as it’s a prime site for pickpockets.
The road takes its name from a farm that once stood here, named for the town of Porto Bello in Panama, which was captured by the British from the Spanish in 1739, as part of the so-called ‘War of Jenkins Ear’. Portobello Road was a country lane running between Notting Hill to the couth and Kensal Green to the north. As this part of London was developed this became a fashionable place to shop, as well as a residential area for both wealthy and poor. Like most parts of the city it had a street market, selling the general necessities of life, but from the 1940s onwards the focus shifted towards specialist antiques as well as general bric-a-brac, a tradition that continues to this day.
I live in an area close to Potobello Road, and visit the well-known market regularly. It is busiest on Saturday, but on other days of the week there is plenty of activity, but less crowding.
The southern end of the Market closest to Notting Hill Gate is the most 'touristy', and consists of numerous stalls and shops offering items that purport to be antique. Picturesque as this is, especially on a Saturday, the best part of the market is for me further north. The market is a mixture of stalls selling crafts and quite a lot of useless items AND a great selection of foodstalls. These stalls sell meat, fish, cheeses, cut-price confectionery, oils, olives, and a wide range of fruit and vegetables. I would say that Portobello easily outrivals Borough Market.
Shops line each side of Portobello Road, one of my favourites being the Oxfam Bookshop. Another of my haunts is Coffee Plant, which serves high quality coffee at reasonable prices. Another good place for coffee is The Portobello Garden Café. And, don't miss the small stall that sells books published by the Holland Park Press, which is opposite the Portobello Garden Café on Saturdays.
I could go on and on, but why don't you go there and see for yourself?
Portobello market its one of the most famous markets in London and attracts a lot of tourists as it has got several markets all blend into one.
You have the antiques and bric- a-brac, fruit and vegetables, fashion, second hand and the new item section.
The first time I have visited Portobello Road I couldn’t believe it how long it was and how it was changing along the route from fruit and vegetables stalls to the fashion stalls.
From the market you can buy all sorts of items from household cleaning items, fruit or even the latest fashion item at a reduced price.
It's always buzzing and it has a great atmosphere.
The antiques and bric- a-brac its only on Saturdays and it might start trading a bit earlier
Monday to Wednesday 9.00am to 18.00pm
Thursday 9.00am to 13.00pm
Friday and Saturday 9.00am to 19.00pm
Nearest station:Noting Hill underground
Holland Park or Ladbroke Park.
When I visited Portobello market I'm was surprised to see so many artist performing on the street corners of these famous market.
They definitely bringing an excellent vibe into the market life and the shoppers and tourist alike they seem to enjoy them.
You will find them on other street corner and they are performing from jazz, pop or folk.
With all the fame and the ensuing tourists, its amazing how Notting Hill didn't turn into a full-blown tourist trap (You know what I mean if you have been to Prague). Although it is not hard to find junks for tourists, but they are mostly cheap Britain-themed T-shirts, mugs and poster; nothing too insulting on the tourists' collective intelligence. If you can't afford to shop at Harrods or Selfridge, bring some cash with you. You can actually find good quality clothes and shoes at Notting Hills, as there are discount stores selling out-of-season goods.
Keep staring at walls for graffitis, for they might be works by Banksy; one of the most well-known and mysterious and sought-after graffiti artists in the world. His work can easily fetch price north of £50,000 in an auction. If you see a graffiti protected by an acrylic panel then its pretty likely you are looking at a Banksy.
Be sure to stop at antique stores and dig through the piles of keys and spoons and peculiar objects. Its like time traveling with your fingers.
If you see a charming looking cafe, just go for a cup of coffee, choose a window seat and people-watch for a bit.
The carnival is something you have to do at least once. It is summertime and time for party. It is incredibily busy, but loads of fun. You will have to be very patient and expect to move as part of the crowd.
Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill is by far the most popular market in London - if not in the world. There has been a market here since 1870. Back then it was only a Saturday market.
To get to the market I take the tube to Notting Hill Gate and from there are good directions to which exit to take to Portobello Road Market and where to find it. One has to walk for ca 5 minutes to get to the market.
Portobello Road Market is such a varied market, one can buy almost everything here, bric-a-brac, antique, vintage clothes, vintage fur-coats, fashion clothes, food etc., etc. There are some lovely Antique Arcades here. My sister loves antique and I know she would love visiting Notting Hill and Portobello Road Market. I hope we will be able to visit it together one day.
On Saturdays Portobello Road Market is almost painfully busy. You have to be there to understand how unbelievably busy it gets. I do visit it on Saturdays from time to time, but I am a fast walker and almost feel trapped in here. I prefer visiting it on a normal weekday, although the whole market isn´t open, then there are several stalls open and it is much less busy. All the stores are open on weekdays and food-stalls, restaurant and cafés, so it is also fun visiting it on a weekday and I have made some bargains there.
I add some photos from how busy it can get on Saturdays - compared to what it looks like on a weekday. It is the same street on both photos. One can see the numbers painted on the street where the stalls are located on Saturdays.
One part of the market is called Portobello Green Market and the organic international food-market opposite PGM is called Acklam Village Market (see my additional tips on Portobello Road Market).
There are stores on both sides of Portobello Road - after you cross Westbourne Grove. The only part of Portobello Road, which has almost no stores, is the part leading from Pembridge Road to Westbourne Grove. There are many cafés and restaurants on each side of Portobello Road, but the stalls almost hide them completely - especially when it gets so crowded. But if one wants to take a break one can go behind the stalls and try to find a seat in a café or a pub - or just browse in the stores behind the stalls.
The main Portobello Road Market is open on Saturdays from ca 07:00-17:00, although some of them are open a bit longer and very few people arrive so early in the morning. The official hours for the market are: Monday-Wednesday: 09:00-18:00. Thursday: 09:00-13:00. Friday-Saturday: 09:00-19:00. Closed on Sundays.
Acklam Village Market is the food-market of Portobello Market. Of course there are many food-stalls and restaurants along Portobello Market, but at Acklam Village Market one can only find food and drinks. And live music in the inside bar, where one can bring the food and have a drink.
I have been here several times and my partner has tried their food. Acklam Village Market is an authentic food market, which only serves organic ingredients and authentic international recipes.
There are some lovely murals at Acklam Village Market (see my photo).
Next to the market are stalls with vintage clothes - maybe we should call this part of the market "old clothes´market". When you visit you will know what I mean.
Opposite the Acklam Village Market is Portobello Green Market with more than 800 stalls.
One of the markets at Portobello Market is Portobello Green Market. It is located at the northern end of Portobello Market - further away in Notting Hill. I always enter the market from Notting Hill Gate station and walk down to the Portobello Green Market - which takes one all the way through the main market area.
At Portobello Green Market one can find a great selection of vintage and new clothes. There is an excellent selection of vintage fur-coats here, with quite a few stalls specialising in vintage fur. There are more than 800 stalls here and it can get really crowded.
On different days of the week there are different stalls here. On Fridays mostly vintage, antigues, retro. On Saturdays designer clothes, accessories and fashion. On Sundays clothes, books and CD´s and records.
This is such a lively area of the market. Walking further north is the end of the market with vintage clothe´s stalls lining the street. Opposite Portobello Green Market is Acklam Village Market, with more vintage clothes and the restaurant stalls.
Walking down the path, with myriads of stalls, to leave the market, one can get stuck and has to follow the crowds. But one is stuck anyway and the long walk up to Notting Hill Gate station takes quite a while, so I sometimes leave Portobello Road Market here behind Portobello Green Market.
Opening hours: Friday-Sunday from 07:00-18:00.
This is my favourite London market - it really bustles on a Saturday as hundreds of people walk along the Portobello Road - it starts off at its Notting Hill end as a normal street where buses carefully move past through the crowds and there are just shops at the start but as it moves up through colourful residential houses the road is eventually closed to traffic and the market becomes a mix of shops and stalls. There is also some street entertainment and certainly a lot to see and do.
Portobello claims to be the worlds largest antiques market and it certainly has any antique stalls and shops - some looks rather dubious but there are some beautiful clocks for example and a good variety of jewellery.
I think most people come to look and enjoy the atmosphere and many different sorts of eatery.
Portobello Market is billed as the World's Largest Antique Market. Lining both sides of Portobello Road are antique stores and in front of them are stalls - most selling antiques as well. You can find just about anything there from collectibles to engravings to knobs and knockers! The shops are open 6 days a week and the market is only open on Saturdays. A few stalls sell souvenirs as well. Even if you don't buy it's fun to look at everything including the people!
The market is packed with people and we walked and walked and walked for hours. We ended up in other markets and flea markets – that sold everything from fruits and vegetables to Bollywood movies to “designer” fashions.
It's a great way to spend a sunny Saturday!
If you're looking for something specific, check the website or visit the information booth (open Saturdays only) at the junction of Porobello Road and Westbourne Grove.
Notting Hill is one beautiful rich district in West London. It used to be the area of immigrants some years before, and also an artists' alternative scene for many years but in our days I can say it's only a cosmopolitan district but worth the visit.
1.The annual Notting Hill Carnival take place here every August for two days. There are years that the carnival has attracted up to 1.5 million people!
2.The Portobello Road houses the famous second hand & antique market. Some say it's a tourist trap but I like markets anyway. Expect to find many people here because it's one of the most visited places in London. I cant wait to go back, last time I saw some beautiful box gloves! just for decoration! :) Some years before I bought many vinyl records there.
3.The area became famous because of the film "Notting Hill" (1999).