Things To Do In Brixton London - The Ultimate Neighbourhood Guide

By Oliver Cousins

Brixton in London was once a place of deep social unrest, but a few years ago underwent a regeneration that saw it transform from a raw and gritty past into a vibrant place where the trendy and the cool come to enjoy its lively music scene, food culture and overall spirited community vibe. If you are visiting the Brixton area, stop to soak up its colourful atmosphere and tap into the pulsating energy that makes this hotspot so unique - it is what I do every time I come here. There is something so unique and different about Brixton, London's eclectic hub to the two most important things in life: good music and good food. I have lost count of the number of times I have come here to watch my favourite bands, to meet up with friends for the ultimate market shopping and to track down the best coffee around - there are just so many things to do in Brixton. So read on for the lowdown of how to make the most of your time here!  

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Walk outside the station and look up…

A mural of David Bowie’s familiar character Ziggy Stardust shines down from the wall of a department store just outside Brixton Tube Station. The amazing piece of artwork, painted by the Australian artist known as Jimmy C, is a tribute from Brixton to London's most legendary rock icon. This beautiful piece of street art became a shrine to the late great musician following his death earlier this year.  While we are on the topic of Bowie related things to do in Brixton, you may need to get hold of some cash. Located next to the tube station on Market Row is the Brixton Pound cash machine. Heard about the tenner with a photo of David Bowie printed on it? You can withdraw Brixton’s own currency here - it’s awesome for receiving discounts at local shops or to pocket as a unique souvenir you won’t find anywhere else.

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Coffee and markets

Now you’re in Market Row of the Brixton area, how about a brew? I suggest you start off with a delicious caffeine kick from Federation Coffee. How many independent coffee shops do you know of that have their own roastery and blend? Look no further than Federation Coffee with a java that bursts with rich and roasted flavour. With their guest batch brew filter changing monthly, as well as their single origin espresso, you’ll never be short for choice in this little coffee house.  With your caffeine boost sorted, why not take a stroll down Electric Avenue to the best market in Brixton, and London - or at least by my standards.

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This quirky market pops up every day except for Sundays. If you’re lucky enough to be in Brixton on a Saturday, themed weekly markets take place next door on Station Road. Cake and second-hand goods can be found at the Baker’s and Flea Market (first Saturday of each month). The Makers Market features an array of arts and crafts stools of all variety (second Saturday). For all things retro, head to the Vintage Market (third Saturday), or for a taste of everything, there is the Brix Mix Market (fourth and fifth Saturday).

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Quench your thirst, and appetite

Thirsty? Wander up Brixton Road and take up a stool at the Crown and Anchor. Let me tell you, if you want variety, flavour and quality you’re definitely in the right place. Let me rally off a few tasty facts to you about this pub in the Brixton area - it’s partnered with the Jolly Butcher’s which was named by the Guardian as one of the Top 10 pubs in Britain. It has 25 taps in operation at any one time - ready to pour you a refreshing pint of craft beer, cider, or real ale. It also has an open kitchen so you can see the chefs in action.

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If you haven’t already eaten at the pub, and your stomach is starting to rumble, go on and walk back down the road and grab some international grub at the Brixton Village and Market Row. Known for having one of the widest sets of cuisine in London, Brixton Village and Market Row can cater for any possible cravings, desires or dietary requirements you may possess. As well as serving a ludicrous amount of mouth-watering food, there are more than enough local shops and bars to keep you entertained for hours - whether you’re after more coffee, art, music, retro goods, margaritas or vintage threads, they have it all.

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Follow the groove

Let's talk about things to do in Brixton. With a rocking music scene, a gig seems mandatory. So follow the groove to the Brixton Academy for your grand finale of your Brixton visit. Officially labelled as the O2 Academy, Brixton, is one of London’s best known and most popular music venues. With a maximum capacity of just under 5,000, intimate performances are guaranteed. Some of the greats that have played here over the years include David Bowie, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, Bob Dylan and Amy Winehouse.

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There is something to sentimental and poignant about this venue. It is where old meets new. Where the spirit of the greats meets the energy of the new and up and coming. But, you can (and should) also check out Brixton Jamm if there’s not something on at the Academy - this music venue in London is loud and proud about its Brixton roots and more than deserves its status as one of the most established independent venues south of the river. Not just a one trick pony, they upcoming and local talent at intimate gigs, as well as having some great DJ sets.