Looking for the best things to do in Brixton? Look no further! Here’s your ultimate guide to the neighbourhood — from a Londoner!
You probably know it as the birthplace of David Bowie, as the home of a lot of multicultural communities, or as one of the best places for a good night out in London.
Well, that’s just scratching the surface of Brixton.
Located in South London, this vibrant area contributes significantly to the music, arts, and cuisine scene in the city. It’s also one of my favourite places to spend a day out in London!
So if you’re wondering if you should pay a visit to Brixton, the answer is yes. Here’s the best things to do, from a Londoner.
Table of Contents
A Londoner’s Guide to Brixton, London
How to Get to Brixton
Getting to Brixton is easy, with both a tube and a train to choose from.
You can commute via the Victoria line if you opt for the first, or there are trains from London Victoria and other parts of the city every 30 minutes.
Alternatively, London Buses operates a bus from Neathouse Place to Brixton Station every 10 minutes, and the journey takes approximately 25 minutes (although there are a lot of buses to get you to specific places in the neighbourhood too).
1. Brixton Village and Market Row
Brixton Village and Market Row, often collectively referred to as ‘Brixton Market’ and known for being the most diverse in the city, is a community of independent traders, unique retailers, and local artisans right in the heart of Brixton.
The combination of its vibrant history and an ever-busy events calendar has made it a must-visit destination in London, not just for the area.
What began in the 1870s is still a popular and colourful place with over 140 independently-owned shops, restaurants, cafés, and bars.
It’s a must if you want to experience international food that ranges from Vietnamese and Japanese to Ethiopian and Italian. Some of my favourite spots are the Colombian Santaferino, the Caribbean Fish, Wings & Tings,and Whipped for New York style cheesecakes (they’re amazing).
You can also find unique retail shops selling vintage clothing, unique arts and crafts, homewares, vinyl records, books, and more. Basically it’ll feel like you’re travelling around the world.
And last but not least, the music and culture that characterises Brixton is present in Brixton Village and Market Row too with live music, DJs, and other cultural events year-round.
2. Brixton Street Art & Murals
Brixton, being one of the most vibrant and multicultural areas in London, is also known for its dynamic street art scene.
With murals, graffiti, and large-scale installations by both local and international artists, the district’s public art has become a part of Brixton’s identity. Reflecting everything from its Afro-Caribbean heritage and its music culture, to its history of activism and protests.
Although you can see a bit of street art everywhere you go when in Brixton, there are some prime locations that you need to consider.
You can see the famous David Bowie Memorial at Tunstall Road, while also spotting other famous murals at Beehive Place, Brixton Station Road, and Stockwell Avenue, specifically the Stockwell Park Estate.
3. Ritzy Cinema
BRIXTON OVAL, COLDHARBOUR LANE, SW2 1JG
The Ritzy Cinema in Brixton, run by the Picturehouse Cinemas chain, is one of the city’s best-loved independent cinemas.
Offering a blend of mainstream, art house, and foreign films, the cinema has held a magnetic pull on South London film lovers since it opened more than a century ago.
Despite closures and threats of destruction over the years, the cinema has persevered thanks to the passionate support of the local community.
It has 5 screens, 2 bars, and a cafe, and it usually hosts director’s Q&As, film festivals, and one-off events — distinguishing itself as more than just a venue for movie screenings in London.
Whether you’re a film lover or not, this is definitely a place you should visit as it’s a true Brixton staple!
4. Brockwell Park
BROCKWELL PARK GARDENS, SE24 0NG
Brockwell Park is the huge and vital green space that serves both Brixton and Herne Hill as the escape from the buzz of the city.
It’s an absolute must if you’re in the area, with tons of walking paths, a children’s playground, an outdoor gym, and leisure walks next to rivers and ponds…also, it’s beautiful!
And the park’s elevated position offers panoramic views over Central London and Canary Wharf too.
Locals love it, but anyone in London should pay a visit at least during one of their events. The most popular is the Lambeth Country Show, a family-friendly event filled with music, theatre performances, farm animals, and a variety of food and drink stalls.
Other events include fairs, firework displays, charity runs, concerts, and festivals. Enjoy!
5. Brockwell Lido
BROCKWELL PARK, DULWICH ROAD, SE24 0PA
Believe it or not, there’s an outdoor swimming pool in rainy London…in Brixton!
Brockwell Lido is a beloved hub of summer activity and one of the most unique fitness facilities in London. It opened in 1937 and has seen decades of continuous use thanks to the massive support of the community.
Even though the main attraction is the 50m Olympic-sized swimming pool (which remains open all year round, even during winter), it also has a top-notch gym, a hydrotherapy pool, and various wellness facilities such as saunas and indoor cycling studios.
You can also join a variety of classes, like yoga, aerobics, and Pilates. And be part of their events, like the annual end-of-season gala, festive swims, movie nights, and wellness sessions.
6. Pop Brixton
49 BRIXTON STATION ROAD, SW9 8PQ
Pop Brixton is a unique and vibrant venue that showcases the best of London’s talent and the creative nature of Brixton.
This is the place where the Brixton community of entrepreneurs, creators, and independent businesses share their gems to everyone that wants to discover something new and original in South London.
Here, you can get find independent retailers, restaurants, street food startups, and local businesses, all housed within repurposed shipping containers. Plus, it’s the perfect platform for artists, musicians, and creatives to showcase their talents.
Expect to find events here including live music, vintage clothing pop-ups, workshops, exhibitions, and even fitness classes.
7. Electric Brixton
TOWN HALL PARADE, BRIXTON HILL, SW2 1RJ
Electric Brixton is a venue that stands out not only in Brixton, but in the whole of London.
Known for hosting a wide array of events, including music concerts, club nights, and private parties, it has something going on for every kind of vibe.
With a capacity of 1,700 for club events and 1,500 for live shows, you’re sure to have a night you won’t forget here (I certainly do).
Whether you’re enjoying a DJ set, a one-off event, or just a club night that sometimes forms part of the venue’s packed schedule. Time to practice those dance moves…
8. Brixton Breweries
Brixton is home to one of the most popular beers in London therefore, it should be no surprise that it has one of the most acclaimed independent microbreweries in the city!
Here’s two places to go if you’re a Brixton craft lover.
Brixton Brewery specialises in producing vibrant and flavourful beers. Their taproom serves their freshest brews alongside colorful merch for lovers of the brand. You can’t miss it, it’s part of Brixton culture!
This is another must-visit destination for all beer enthusiasts. The pub is part of a London-based collection of venues dedicated to offering an extensive range of quality craft brews. And you’ll love the bare brick walls, wooden floors, and beer selection here.
9. O2 Academy
211 STOCKWELL ROAD, SW9 9SL
The O2 Academy Brixton is one of the leading music venues in the UK, famous for hosting performances both with all-time favourites and emerging talents.
The building itself is beautiful and was initially a cinema and theatre. However, after several transformations, it became the eclectic concert venue it is today.
It can accommodate nearly 5,000 people, which guarantees excellent views from any location.
Keep your eyes open and close to their calendar, as they sometimes have some of the most popular, with Madonna, Sex Pistols, The Clash, Bob Dylan, and The Smiths being a few examples!
I remember going there for The Kooks and I immediately understood why it’s a favourite spot: the atmosphere here is incredible!
10. Electric Avenue
Electric Avenue is a bustling street and a notable landmark at the heart of Brixton.
Considered one of the first market streets lit by electricity, this lively area was also immortalised in the 1982 song by Eddy Grant.
Today, it’s famous for its street market, which has been operating since the beginning of the 20th century — offering a colourful array of fruits, vegetables, fish, and meats along with a wide variety of shops specialising in food, textiles, and household goods.
The street is also popular for its lively atmosphere, having numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants that attract both locals and visitors.
Definitely a place worth seeing during day and night.
11. Windmill Brixton
22 BLENHEIM GARDENS, BRIXTON HILL, SW2 5BZ
As much as the heritage site of the Brixton Windmill is iconic (which you should definitely check out), there’s another Windmill in the area worth exploring too.
The Windmill Brixton is a famous incubator for emerging talent, including the popular (and one of my favorites) Florence + the Machine!
It was originally an Irish pub but it quickly transformed into a “come as you are” venue that embraced musicians from different genres and styles.
There are gigs almost every night of the week, and one of the best things to do is pop in with no expectations, only to be completely blown away!
By the way, the former resident dog Max (who sadly passed away) was always seen on the roof and has now become part of their logo. Now his legacy continues as the venue has some dog shows!
12. Black Cultural Archives
1 WINDRUSH SQUARE, SW2 1EF
Black Cultural Archives is a national institution dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the history and contributions of African and Caribbean people in the United Kingdom.
Established in 1981, it’s not only an amazing example of Brixton’s diverse community but also an essential resource for understanding the rich history and heritage of Black Britain.
It collects a treasure of stories, artefacts, personal papers, organisational records, rare books, photographs, and films. Plus, they also have a lovely reading room, an exhibition hall and learning spaces.
The exhibitions and workshops change constantly, so I would encourage to follow them so that you can keep learning and exploring more every time you come.
13. Round Table Books & BookMongers
Finally (although definitely not the last thing to do in the area), Brixton has a rich and diverse literary scene most apparent when you visit Round Table Books.
It was born from a Kickstarter campaign by an inclusive publishing consultancy to create a unique outlet that could disrupt the publishing landscape. They do this by promoting diverse voices, specialising in children’s and young adult books that feature characters, authors, and illustrators of color.
Another amazing institution is BookMongers, a second-hand bookstore that has remained firm in sticking to physical books and declining audiobooks or ebooks.
It has a warm, homey atmosphere that invites customers to spend hours exploring its jam-packed shelves. Its collection spans a broad range of genres, from crime fiction to philosophy, providing something for every interest (with a resident cat).
Map of A Londoner’s Guide to Brixton
Thanks for reading my Things to Do in Brixton Guide. If you enjoyed it, let me know on Instagram!
CHECK OUT MORE LONDON GUIDES:
- The Best Brixton Cafes: A Local’s Coffee Shop Guide
- Where to Brunch in Brixton: 10 Best Breakfast Spots
- London Neighbourhood Guides