There are a lot of exciting places in London that many new visitors to the capital haven’t heard of. If you want to get a flavour for authentic London living, these are the places to explore.

Take Dalston for example. Situated in the borough of Hackney, the place was once a small hamlet. Fast forward to today and it is a lively place filled with edgy artwork, bars, and unusual places to eat. Dalston is an up and coming place for London’s counterculture. Let’s take a look at the exciting things that you can get up to in this vibrant community.


1.      Rio Cinema

As one of the few independent cinemas in the country, the Rio is a special place. If you are the kind of person that believes that cinema should be artistic rather than commercial, then you may want to spend an evening watching a foreign or independent movie in this cinema’s old-school velvet red seats.

2.      Arcola Theatre

Continuing with the theme of art, Arcola was ‘here before the hipsters arrived.’ It is a theatre that prides itself on being influential, political, and alternative. They revive old classics while giving space to new, energetic writers. Either way, you are guaranteed theatre at its best, no matter what your taste.

3.  Dalston Eastern Curve Garden

After a full day of arty stuff, you might find yourself in of a place to relax and recuperate. Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is a hidden secret in a busy city that offers various classes. Sit amongst the beautiful greenery to eat your dinner, read a book, or chat with a loved one.

4.  Beyond Retro

Deemed as the best vintage shop in London, Beyond Retro has a reputation that’s worth checking out. Sifting through to find that bargian gem is a perfect way to spend the day. When you need to recharge for round two, there is a café within the shop.

5.  Dalston Roof Park

A perfect place to vacate to this summer, this terrace bar provides incredible views over London’s sunsets and sunrises. And it’s so much more than just a bar that this place offers; the venue holds everything from yoga at sunrise to themed parties in the evening. The best bit about this place is that it is run by the Bootstrap Charity. It’s the only bar in Dalston that gives full profit to helping young people and businesses succeed. We can drink to that!

6.  Dalston Culture House

As the name suggests, The Culture House is a buzzing hub of art and music. Thanks to the blockbuster La La Land with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, interest in Jazz has seen a dramatic rise and clubs like this one continue to honour the genre. The Culture House is home to the Vortex Jazz Club, a café, an art gallery, and an artist’s studio, and its patrons include the Rolling Stones Drummer Charlie Watts. The Vortex Jazz Club was voted one of the top 150 Jazz venues in the world, yet they still give a lot of time to upcoming artists.

Dalston has come under a lot of unfair criticism in the past but it truly is a special place with a lot to offer. The tiny borough is brimming with indie dives, cocktail caverns, art, culture, diversity and music. Without a doubt, it is a place that will offer a unique and vibrant day out. Make sure you check it out!

For more great ways to explore everything London has to offer, make sure you take a look through our convenient London tours. No matter what you’re hoping to see in the capital, we’ve got a tour to suit your tastes.

Author

Evan Evans provides unforgettable journeys and experiences to Britain’s most iconic locations. Journey deep into the heart of Britain’s incredible history, culture and legends on a guided tour with London’s longest-running tour operator.

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