London may be the capital city of England, but it is also one of the most multicultural cities in the world. As a matter of fact, one-third of all Londoners are foreign-born, and over 200 languages are spoken throughout its many streets and neighbourhoods.
If you’re hoping to experience London’s many multicultural vibes, here are some areas of London that are so multicultural, you’ll find it hard to believe that you’re walking around London:
Chinese immigrants have been settling in this area of Westminster since as far back as the 18th century (although it was once home to many Huguenot and Maltese immigrants). Today Chinatown is packed full of Chinese supermarkets, bakeries, and over 80 different Chinese restaurants, but Gerrard Street is the epicentre of London’s Chinatown. If you happen to be in London at the end of January or early February, be sure to head to Chinatown to celebrate Chinese New Year!
Places to visit in London’s Chinatown: Gerrard Street, the Chinese Gates, The Lion Statue, Golden Gate Cake Shop
Camden may be known for its alternative and artsy vibes, but believe it or not this popular London neighbourhood has a ton of Latin culture that deserves to be explored. Here you will find a ton of different Cuban restaurants and bars blasting salsa music (not to mention tons of Spanish tourists), and there’s even Spanish translation services available throughout the neighbourhood as well.
Multicultural things to do in Camden: Dine on some Argentinian food at La Patagonia, sip on a traditional Brazilian cocktail (Caipirinha) at Made In Brazil, buy some Peruvian street food at West Yard
Brixton has been declared as the unofficial capital of the British African-Caribbean community thanks to over 24 percent of its population being of African or Caribbean descent. Although over 130 languages are spoken in Brixton, one of the most common dialects you’ll hear is Patois (a Jamaican dialect). Brixton is also crammed full of Caribbean restaurants and reggae music shops, and it also hosts an annual celebration for Jamaican Independence Day.
Multicultural things to do in Brixton: Visit a reggae music store, shop at Electric Avenue, eat at a Caribbean restaurant
Waltham Forest has one of the highest ethnic populations in Europe (mostly consisting of Eastern Europeans and British Pakistanis), but some parts of Waltham Forest seem so European, you’ll find it hard to believe that they’re not in Eastern Europe. Not only was the Waltham Forest Town Hall influenced by Swedish architecture, you can also find a ton of different restaurants and shops influenced by Scandinavian, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish cuisine.
Multicultural things to do in Waltham Forest: Visit the Waltham Forest Town Hall, dine on Italian cuisine at Trattoria La Ruga or tapas at the Orford Saloon Tapas Bar, and sample some treats at a Polish cafe
The Jewish community is especially prevalent in this northern London neighbourhood, but the area also features a cosmopolitan of various cultures like Japanese, Turkish, Korean and Italian. The Jewish community first started settling here around Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, but by the 1950s the Jewish population in Golders Green tripled. Today the neighbourhood is home to countless Kosher cafes and Judaism book stores, and the former house of ballerina Anna Pavlova has been turned into a Jewish Cultural Centre as well.
What to do in Golders Green: See some zoo animals at the Golders Hills Park, visit the Shree Swaminarayan Temple, admire the annual Diwali Festival of Lights celebrations
With a thriving Indian and Asian culture, it’s easy to see why nicknames like “Little India” and “Curry Corridor” were given to this neighbourhood in southern London. With shops packed to the brim with Asian food spices, not to mention a ton of different international restaurants to choose from (Australian cafes, Spanish tapas and fancy French and Italian restaurants – need I say more?), here you can find dishes from nearly every country in South Asia as well.
Multicultural things to do in Tooting: Try some squid curry at the Apollo Banana Leaf, or a kebab and falafel at Meza
Ealing has an extremely diverse multicultural population (with Irish, Indian, Japanese and South Asian communities), but lately it has become known as having one of the largest Polish populations in London. Here you will find all sorts of Polish delis and restaurants, and the Katyn Memorial which was erected in honour of the 14,500 Polish Prisoners of War who disappeared from camps in Kozielsk, Starobielsk and Ostaszkow in 1940.
Multicultural things to do in Ealing: Visit the Katyn Memorial and the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Temple, munch on international cuisine at Station Parade Uxbridge Road, try smoked Sopocka ham at a Polish deli
Known as “Little Korea,” New Malden is said to have one of the most densely populated areas of Koreans outside of South Korea. The area boasts over 20 different Korean restaurants and cafes (many with shops signs featuring the Korean language), and even Korean-language churches and nursery schools. New Malden also hosts a Korean Food Festival every year, and you certainly won’t have to look very far to find a Korean-style karaoke bar either!
Multicultural things to do in New Malden: Visit the Buddhapadipa Temple, belt out some karaoke at Han Bar, try some kimchi pickles at Korea Garden.
If you want to know more about certain London neighbourhoods, feel free to check out one of our London tours.