The Best of Brixton

Tips for Visiting the Historic South London Neighborhood

Brixton Village
Gerard Puigmal/Getty Images

The lively area of Brixton is often ignored by tourists visiting London, but the southern neighborhood is worth exploring thanks to its cultural and food offerings. The area is home to several music venues, as well as the Black Cultural Archives, which means there's a lot to see and do in the area. The neighborhood is best accessible via Tube (the Brixton stop is on the Victoria line) and you should take some time to wander through the streets and shops around Brixton High Street before settling on something to do.

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Visit Pop Brixton

It's hard to explain Pop Brixton unless you see it for yourself, but the community space houses start-up businesses working in food, retail and design. It hosts weekly events, like workshops, live DJs and dance classes, and the lively food stalls are the best reason to visit. There are also shopping boutiques, bars and even tattoo shops, making this an exciting place to learn about what's up and coming in London. Stop by in the evenings for dinner and some relaxed drinks. Check the website for upcoming events.

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Explore the Black Cultural Archives

The Black Cultural Archives in Brixton

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Founded in 1981, the Black Cultural Archives is all about collecting, preserving and celebrating the history of African and Caribbean people in Britain. The museum features both temporary exhibitions and a permanent collection, and it focuses on untold stories. There are frequent special events on offer, as well as black history classes and education programs for students and teachers. It's closed Sundays and Monday, and there's also a shop and cafe on site. Entry is free, although some temporary exhibitions may require a paid ticket.

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Eat at Brixton Market

Stroll through the stalls at Brixton Market, a street market located just outside the Brixton Tube station. It's run by local traders and the market features several special events throughout the week, including a flea market and a farmers' market. The adjacent Brixton Village and Market Row house various cafes and restaurants with food from around the world. Look for the raclette at Alpes, the fish and chips at Fish Lounge and the Indian food at Kricket.

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Swim in Brockwell Lido

Brixton's Brockwell Park is a beautiful green expanse where locals often hang out or picnic, but it's Brockwell Lido that should really draw you to the park. The public, Olympic-sized swimming pool, first opened in 1937, has views of the park and welcomes swimmers daily. Opening times vary, so check the Lido's Twitter feed for daily schedules (and the current temperature). Visitors can also enjoy a meal at the hip Lido Cafe, which offers primarily vegetarian and vegan fare.

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Follow the Street Art

David Bowie street art mural in Brixton

 Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

There are many colorful murals and graffiti decorating the sides of Brixton's buildings. The most famous is a depiction of David Bowie on Tunstall Road, where visitors often leave behind flowers and tributes to the late singer. While you could opt to pay for an official street art tour, it's also possible to search out the vibrant works yourself. Look for some of the best murals on Atlantic Road, Electric Avenue, Stockwell Avenue and Electric Lane.

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Watch a Movie at Ritzy Picturehouse

The Ritzy Picturehouse in Brixton

 Rune Hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images

Film lovers should book a ticket to see a movie at the Ritzy Picturehouse, a historic cinema that plays all the latest releases. The theater originally opened in 1911 as the Electric Pavilion and in 1994 the venue added four movie screens. The theater's bar and cafe also serves drinks and food, so it's easy to make a night of it. The Ritzy is part of the Picturehouse cinemas chain and members can score a good discount on tickets. Visit on "Happy Mondays," when most films are half price.

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Dance at Hootananny Brixton

Hootananny Brixton is both a live music venue and a restaurant called MOJO Kitchen, which serves Mexican-inspired cuisine. There are nightly events, from DJs to bands to comedy shows, and you can even head in for karaoke nights with a live band. Entrance is free Sunday through Wednesday, which makes this a great option for visitors on a budget (some events may include a fee, so check online in advance). The venue also serves up Caribbean street food on the weekends, in case you get hungry after all that dancing.

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Dine at Negril

Brixton is known for its Jamaican population, which means that there is lots of delicious Caribbean food to discover throughout the area. One of the most popular is Negril, a casual restaurant with an outdoor garden that serves up some seriously memorable jerk chicken. Located on Brixton Hill, the eatery offers several authentic dishes, from curries to homemade cakes to fish. There are vegan options, as well, for those who aren't into meat. Try one of the sharing platters so you can get a proper taste of everything.

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