East End Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, food and drink to taste, where to stay and how to get to East End, London in this comprehensive guide.

Introduction to East End

As the eastern part of London, East End is a vibrant and multicultural area with a rich history and a thriving arts scene. It is home to many communities, including Bangladeshis, Jews, and Irish and has undergone significant changes over the years.

This guide will help you explore the best of East End, from its culturally rich attractions to its picturesque natural scenery, and provide you with insider knowledge on where to eat, stay, and shop.

List of Places to Visit in East End

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  1. Tower of London: A UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most iconic landmarks in London, the Tower of London dates back to the Norman Conquest of 1066 and has served as a royal palace, prison, and even a zoo. Visitors can see the crown jewels and learn about the history of the British monarchy.

  2. Museum of London Docklands: Located in a 19th-century warehouse, the Museum of London Docklands tells the story of the growth and decline of London’s port and the city’s connections to the transatlantic slave trade.

  3. Whitechapel Gallery: Founded in 1901, this gallery has a reputation for showcasing emerging and established contemporary artists. It has commissioned the likes of Pablo Picasso and David Hockney to create artworks for its walls.

Natural Attractions of East End: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  1. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: This park was built for the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics and is now a popular recreational space for locals and tourists. It features large green spaces, walking and cycling paths, and a variety of sport facilities, including an aquatic center and a velodrome.

  2. Victoria Park: Victoria Park is one of London’s largest and oldest public parks, covering over 80 hectares of green space. Visitors can stroll through its gardens, lakes, and fountains. They can also enjoy a picnic and take part in various events and activities held throughout the year.

Hiking/Biking Routes of East End

  1. Lea Valley Walk: This trail follows the River Lea from its source in Hertfordshire downstream to the Thames River. Along the way, walkers can enjoy views of rivers, canals, and marshes.

  2. Regent’s Canal Cycle Route: Stretching from Paddington to Limehouse, this 8.6 km ride takes in some of the city’s most impressive waterways and green spaces.

Best Things to Do in East End: Activities and Tours

  1. Street Art Tours: East End is known for its graffiti and street art, and several companies offer walking or cycling tours to explore the most impressive artwork.

  2. East End Food Tour: This guided tour takes visitors through some of East End’s best food spots, from traditional East End pie and mash shops to the latest street food crazes.

Week-Long Itinerary for East End

Day Activities
Monday Visit Tower of London and Tower Bridge
Tuesday Explore Brick Lane and Shoreditch
Wednesday Walk along Regent’s Canal and cycle in Victoria Park
Thursday Visit Museum of London Docklands and Canary Wharf
Friday Street Art Tour in Shoreditch
Saturday Discover Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Westfield Stratford City
Sunday Relax in Greenwich Park and visit the Royal Observatory

Food and Drink Scene of East End

Must-Try Dishes

  1. Pie and Mash: A classic East End meal, this dish consists of a pastry crust filled with minced beef or eel and served with mashed potatoes and a parsley sauce.

  2. Bagels: Brick Lane is famous for its bagels, which are boiled and baked in a traditional way. They are available 24/7 and come in a variety of flavors.

Local Beverages

  1. Cockney Cream Ale: This beer is brewed by the East London Brewing Company and is a celebration of East End’s heritage.

  2. Gin: East End was once known for its gin distilleries, and many bars and restaurants continue to serve it today. Try the signature Beefeater Gin or the East London Liquor Company’s gin range.

Where to Stay in East End: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  1. Ace Hotel: This trendy hotel is in Shoreditch and offers spacious rooms and suites with stylish decor. It is known for its hip bar and creative events.

  2. YHA London St Pancras: This hostel has private and shared rooms and is close to King’s Cross Station. It offers guests a range of facilities, including a bar and restaurant.

What to Buy in East End: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  1. Brick Lane Curry Spices: Create an authentic East End curry with the wide variety of spices available at local shops.

  2. Vintage Clothing and Records: Brick Lane has several vintage clothing and record stores where visitors can find unique souvenirs.

Local Culture and Customs of East End

East End has a strong working-class culture that is reflected in its street art, music, and food. The area has a reputation for being friendly and welcoming, and locals take pride in the diversity of their community. Visitors are expected to respect East End’s multicultural identity by being open-minded and respectful to those around them.

Best Time to Visit East End

The best time to visit East End is during the summer months, from June to August. The weather is warm, and many outdoor events and activities take place during this time.

Do’s and Don’ts of East End


  1. Do try the local cuisine and explore the street art scene.
  2. Do be respectful of the multicultural community and its traditions.


  1. Don’t ignore the history of the area, including its connection to the transatlantic slave trade and the fight for worker’s rights.
  2. Don’t litter or damage the street art.

Safety and Health

Safety in East End

East End is generally a safe area to visit, but visitors should be aware of pickpockets and keep their valuables secure.

Health in East End

There are many pharmacies and medical centers in East End in case of any medical emergency. Visitors should ensure they have appropriate travel insurance before their trip.

Getting to East End: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near East End

  1. London City Airport: Located in the Docklands, London City Airport is a short distance from East End and well connected by public transport.

  2. Heathrow Airport: Heathrow is one of the busiest airports in the world and has excellent transport links to East End.

Bus Stations Near East End

  1. Liverpool Street Station: This is one of the main transport hubs in East End and can be reached by several bus routes.

  2. Bow Church Station: This station is served by several local bus routes and is a convenient base for exploring the east side of London.

Other Options

  1. Tube: East End is well connected by the tube, with several stations serving the area, including Liverpool Street, Mile End, and Stratford.

  2. Train: Liverpool Street Station is a major railway station, and there are several other stations in the area that connect to other parts of the UK.

How to Get Around in East End

East End is easy to explore on foot, and there are several walking and cycling routes that take in the area’s historic landmarks and street art. Alternatively, public transport is plentiful, and visitors can use the tube, bus, or train to get around.

Where to Go Next from East End: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  1. Greenwich: Only a short ride away by DLR, Greenwich is home to the Royal Observatory and Greenwich Park, along with several museums and fantastic markets.

  2. Canary Wharf: This business district is home to several skyscrapers and high-end shopping centers, including Canada Square and One Canada Square.


East End is a vibrant and diverse area of London that has something to offer all visitors. From its cultural landmarks to its street art scene and mouth-watering cuisine, East End should be on every traveler’s itinerary.