When you think of London, your mind might instantly picture Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus or the London Eye.

Yes, Central London is world famous and it attracts millions of tourists and students each year… but there is another side of London which is often overlooked but by no means less exciting – East London.

East London is home to beautiful nature, hipster bars and cafes, and some amazing culture. Ever since the London 2012 Olympics, the area has been revitalised and now offers everything a student might want.

We’ve put together a guide of things you must try out whilst being a student in East London.

Please note, all of these suggestions are subject to current COVID-19 restrictions.

Best places to eat in East London

The list is endless but we do love the Fire Bean which serves up a damn good Mexican Wrap. There’s also a famous bakery called Shalom – it is unbelievably delicious – having a Salt Beef Bagel is a must whilst being a student in East London.

E Pellicci in Bethnal Green is a perfect place for a brunch with its incredible Italian food. It’s rated 5 stars on TripAdvisor – a truly iconic café.

Or if you fancy getting your inner-nerd on, then check out Draughts in Hackney which is a board game café with over 500 games and a range of café bites.

Best free or cheap activities in East London

These all sound amazing don’t they, but as a student we know it’s all about making the most of free or cheap activities. Well, you’re in luck as there is loads to do in the area that doesn’t break the bank.

Check out Epping Forest, it is so vast and diverse depending on where you go. There is so much to do no matter what time of the year with a mix of nature, cafes and activities. We strongly recommend visiting Wanstead Park, which is a beautiful park with lakes, wildlife, woodland and heathland (try and find the remains of The Grotto).

A trip to Stratford is a must. Walk around the Olympic Park or swim in the pools of champions in the Olympic-sized pool.

If that’s not your thing then make the most of one of many food markets or even the Columbia Road Flower Market in Bethnal Green. The market happens every Sunday and will be sure to brighten up your day (or even your Instagram feed).

Hidden gems in East London

We get it – you don’t want to just go to the obvious, touristy places. Instead you want to find the hidden gems that you can explore. Here are a few suggestions but shhh, you don’t have to tell your friends that you didn’t find these yourself.

Boxpark Shoreditch brings together street food, drinks and entertainment under one roof. It might not be the most “hidden” place but the refitted shopping containers are certainly a gem and very Shoreditch.

Over in Walthamstow there is the Wood Street Indoor Market. It is a hidden indoor market which is like going back 20 years, with antique dealers, vintage clothes and lots of other unique shops.

Student accommodation in East London

Whether you’re a student at the University of East London, Queen Mary University London or one of the many other universities, we have an amazing range of East London student accommodation. It doesn’t matter if you want to live with other people in in shared cluster flats or in your own studio, we have the perfect room for you.

Find your dream East London student accommodation today.