London is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. With over 300 different languages spoken and over 50 non-native communities, it is no surprise that London plays host to some of the most vibrant cultural events of the year. If you’re new to London, or if you hope to live there in the future, these are some of our top picks.
Carnaval del Pueblo, Camberwell, June
Many Londoners probably don’t know that Europe’s largest outdoor Latin American festival happens in Camberwell. It has been running for 18 years and celebrates the culture from all 19 countries that make up this stunning part of the world. Each year, over 100,000 attend the event, so expect diverse crowds, music and food. Oval is the closest tube for those travelling from other parts of London.
Dragon Boat Festival, Royal Albert Docks, June
Experience Chinese culture on the shores of the River Thames in central London. This is a free event for all ages, offering traditional boat racing with street food and Chinese performing arts. Take the Docklands Light Railway to the event and you’ll see fantastic views of East London, passing the City, Canary Wharf and the O2 Arena in Greenwich.
African Street Style, Shoreditch, July
In recent years, this festival has built a great reputation in creative East London. Showcasing a mix of African music and fashion talent, this is a unique experience. Last year attracted a diverse line-up of jazz, funk and electronic music acts – all with African roots. Get there using Shoreditch High Street overground station or Old Street underground station.
London Halal Food Festival, Wapping, August
Tobacco Docks in Wapping has become one of the most exciting venues in the whole of London, with wonderful features dockland features and buildings. The latest addition to its year-round calendar of events is the London Halal Food Festival. In its first year, thousands attended to see live cookery demonstrations and taste the very best halal food the UK has to offer. Keep an eye out for next years’ dates as tickets will sell fast. Tubes to Wapping or Shadwell will take you close to the venue.
Notting Hill Carnival, West London, August Bank Holiday
One of the best-known Caribbean events in London, and the world, Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s largest street party. You can spend all weekend walking the roads from Kensal Rise station all the way through to Notting Hill Gate station, meeting colourful floats, music stages and food vendors around every corner. Some of London’s leading events organisers host areas of the carnival, with Red Bull providing the hottest ticket in town for their private party. Keep an eye out for their ticket ballot in July.
For more events in London
These are just a few of the events and festivals that you can find in London, you can also check websites like TimeOut for more events and activities to help you make the most of your time in the city.