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Top tips for top London districts: Islington.

by Rajul on February 25, 2010

The market in Camden Passage is one of Islington's many gems and a paradise for antique lovers (image credit below)

We sang the praises of Islington earlier when we looked at some of the area’s superb gastro pubs, as well as its hosting of the annual Wine Show.

But you don’t need to be a drinker to enjoy this area’s many charms.

While it doesn’t have the showpiece attractions of the South Bank or the multicultural charm of East London, it certainly offers you a great time.

On Upper Street alone – Islington’s most famous and popular road – you’ll find a great mix of shops, restaurants, pubs, clubs and theatres within arm’s reach.  Turn up spontaneously and you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Our top picks include:

  • The Union Chapel, for intimate gigs in a grade II listed church;
  • Lucky Voice, for screeching the night away in your own private karaoke booth;
  • Camden Passage, to browse eclectic stalls and pick up vintage bargains;
  • The Breakfast Club, for the ultimate hangover recovery plan, as mentioned already in our listing of London’s best brunches.
  • La Finca salsa club on Pentonville Road, perfect for swaying your hips to those seductive Latin beats.

The Breakfast Club in Islington is one of London's best brunch spots: but do get there early or you may have to queue! (Image credit below)

Islington is an area where you can have a great time in an atmosphere that’s perhaps more authentically “London” than the centre of town.

Where do you stay to make the most of Islington’s nightlife and streetlife?

Look no further than the Zetter (a short bus or cab ride from Islington), a hotel we love for its eco-friendly credentials and friendly service.

The Zetter gets consistent reviews on TripAdvisor (currently at number 54) due to its unstuffy and down-to-earth vibe.  It also has lovely free WiFi.

Check the best rate for the Zetter Hotel from 30+ hotel booking sites

The Zetter's rooms have a trendy "urban chic" style to go with its various eco-friendly innovations

If you want to be on Upper Street itself, you could also consider the Hilton Islington – a solid choice too, but currently almost a hundred places lower than the Zetter on TripAdvisor.  It’s not one of the top 3 Hiltons in London but is still ranked a respectable 4th out of 17 London Hiltons on TripAdvisor.

Check the best rate for Hilton Islington from 30+ hotel booking sites

Get the best-value London hotel deal from 30+ booking sites in 1 click

Photo credits: Zetter Hotel, eldarbee’s photostream, BrotherMagneto’s photostream.

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