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Crystal Palace London Guide


Crystal Palace London Guide

Close to the city centre, has great transport connections, there are streets lined with independent bars and cafes, plus it offers fantastic views over London. While Joseph Paxt ...

Close to the city centre, has great transport connections, there are streets lined with independent bars and cafes, plus it offers fantastic views over London. While Joseph Paxton’s architectural masterpiece may no longer be standing, the building’s district namesake, Crystal Palace, is an exciting up and coming area of London that is worth keeping an eye on. Spread across Croydon, Bromley, Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth, Crystal Palace is a fantastic location to rent as prices are still relatively low compared to other areas of the city. This hilly residential zone has everything you could need. Westow Street, Church Road and Westow Hill form what is known as the ‘Crystal Triangle’ – aka The place to be. Here you will find gastropubs, unique shops and some great cafés.

On a Map

Crystal Palace is within the London Boroughs of Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham.

History of Crystal Palace

guide to Crystal Palace London Photo credit: www.wikimedia.org Crystal Palace gained its name from the building designed by Sir Joseph Paxton for the Great Exhibition of 1851. Before this time, it was known as Sydenham Hill and was largely a natural oak forest. In 1936, the Crystal Palace burned down and the site became Crystal Palace Park and eventually incorporated the National Sports Centre. Over time residential housing was built and it is now a mix of Victorian, mid-war and modern architectural styles.

Getting to Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace has excellent transport links with London city centre. There are plenty of train stations located within the area with London Overground trains taking you straight into the city. Bus connections are also plentiful or get some exercise and take your bike on the London Cycle Network.

Cost of Living in Crystal Palace

Guide to Crystal Palace London

Photo credit: www.urban75.org

At the start of 2015, rental prices in Crystal Palace were over 40 per cent cheaper than the London average. We suspect this is going to change as people recognise this great opportunity, so you had better start your search early. Crystal Palace is popular with families and young professionals looking for a slightly larger space for their money. In 2015, the average rental price for a home in Crystal Palace was £1,300 per month.  

Restaurants and Bars

The Exhibition Rooms

Guide to Crystal Palace

Photo credit: www.theexhibitionrooms.com

Born from a school fete smoothie stall discussion, The Exhibition Rooms deliver gastropub eating at its best. The restaurant draws on the historic importance of the Crystal Palace and offers seasonal menus featuring the freshest ingredients. Throughout the week you can also make the most of their special dining offers such as Steak Tuesdays and 3-courses for £21.50 on Thursdays. Address: Westow Hill, Crystal Palace, SE19 1TX Phone: 0208 761 1175


Fusing French and Algerian cuisines, you are guaranteed a happy belly by the end of your meal at Numidie. Famous for their cous cous dishes with merguez sausages, harissa spiced vegetables and tender lamb shanks;3 this is a must-try for anyone who likes a bit of spice in their life. Address: 48 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace, SE19 1RX Phone: 0208 766 6166 

Westow House

Guide to Crystal Palace London Come for the eight ales on tap and stay for the 1950s pinball machine, Westow House is a reliable local pub that also does a mighty good burger. They are proud of their impressive beer selection and even run ‘Beer Geek’ Thursdays when you can sample five different beers for just £20. A fun and affordable way to find a new favourite tipple. Address: 79 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace, SE19 1TX Phone: 0208 670 0654

Domali Café

Vegetarians and pescetarians get excited – Domali Café serves hearty, homemade food that goes beyond your usual vegetarian options. We recommend coming here for lunch to try their fantastic salads and build-your-own sandwiches. If you don’t mind joining the queue on a weekend morning, their eggs benedict is definitely worth waiting for. Address: 38 Westow Street, Crystal Palace, SE19 1RX Phone: 0208 768 0096

Crystal Palace Market

Guide to Crystal Palace London

Photo credit: www.thecrystalpalacemarket.com

The concept behind the Crystal Palace Market is simple – beautiful, locally sourced ingredients cooked simply and to perfection. If you like your fish then this is the place to come – their menu includes whole sea bass, plaice, scallops, yellow fin tuna and sardines, and that’s just naming a few. We also love their blue cheese and truffle burgers. Address: 3-7 Church Road, Crystal Palace, SE19 2TF Phone: 0203 475 7080 


Rated as one of the best restaurants in Crystal Palace, Joanna’s is a neighbourhood favourite. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and Saturday brunch, expect homely cooking with class. The smoked haddock fish cakes are fantastic while Joanna’s Hamburger with crispy bacon is one of the best burgers in Crystal Palace. Try and book ‘Table 99’ – a private booth table for six that has become highly sought after by regular diners. Address: 56 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace, SE19 1RX Phone: 0208 670 4052

Things to Do in Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace Park

Guide to Crystal Palace London

Photo credit: www.londontown.com

Escape the noise of London in the Victorian pleasure gardens of the Crystal Palace Park. This was the home of Sir Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace after the 1851 Great Exhibition. Sadly the amazing building burned down, but the park continues to impress with beautiful gardens, a maze and a collection of dinosaur sculptures. Commissioned in 1852, these full-scale dinosaur models were crafted by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and have received a Grade I heritage listing.

Crystal Palace Transmitter

Guide to Crystal Palace London

Photo credit: www.wikimedia.org

Stand back and admire the impressive structure of the 719ft broadcast transmitter built around 1956 amongst the ruins of the Crystal Palace. Thanks to this iconic piece of engineering, many Londoners are able to enjoy television and radio. Perhaps even more useful is that if you ever get lost, look for the tower and it will bring you back to Crystal Palace. On a clear day, you can even spot the transmitter from Alexandra Palace located in the north of London.

Crystal Palace National Sports Centre

Get fit or take up a new sport at the National Sports Centre. Located within 200 acres of parkland, you won’t feel like you’re trudging to a busy city-centre gym. They offer a wide programme of classes and sports, including outdoor netball, football and athletics, plus there’s a swimming pool and climbing wall. For more information about memberships and joining classes, visit the National Sports Centre’s website. Address: Ledrington Road, Crystal Palace, SE19 2BB Phone: 0208 778 0131

<p>As content manager for Movebubble, it’s my job to be an expert on renting and London. Being a writer (Journalism BA Bournemouth University) with a passion for food and the arts, I definitely have my dream job! I love exploring the city and researching the latest information and news to bring to our readers. I love getting recommendations from readers on their favourite spots in London so if you have one, let us know in the comments!</p>

Comments ( 8 )

  1. ReplyAyesha
    Good guide! I live there so here are some of my faves. On a Saturday late morning one of the best things to do it look around the vintage shops. CP is full of them from furniture, to clothes shops to antiques! There is also a great local food market just at the bottom of Haynes Lane/top of Bedwardine Road. The Raclette is so good! Crystal Palace park has lot to offer from the dinosaurs to the little farm which is all free to look around including a museum on the main road! A great little day out on a sunny day if you ask me. The Sparrowhawk is my fave pub! Good vibe, great food and friendly staff. A hidden gem for now but I have a feeling it's growing in popularity!
    • Carly Klineberg
      Hey Ayesha! Thank's so much for your comment. Glad to hear you're enjoying Crystal Palace and sharing your tips with other readers :)
  2. Replysandrockpub
    Sandrock offers a great selection of food and wine in a Traditional and homely relaxed setting. nice blog.
  3. ReplyBoney
    Google SE19 and watch the song as in intro to the area.
  4. ReplyDynia
    I agree, but I think you forgot to mention that Mauritian restaurant that serves a superb crab soup and beautiful mains too.
  5. ReplyClaire
    We are looking to move to London from the north in a few weeks, we are really considering Crystal Palace area, after reading this, I'm even more set on it :)
  6. ReplyLondonSquirrel
    Crystal Palace is a fantastic place to live and I quite frankly wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Check out Café Paradou on Crystal Palace Parade for a great cappuccino. The shopping is very different from most high streets. There are a few chain stores for convenience, like Poundland, Poundstretcher, Iceland and a Sainsbury's (where staff are very helpful), but apart from that, the shops are mostly independent. South of The River and The Bookseller Crow are particularly nice. The selection of childrens' books at Bookseller Crow is very good with long opening hours. There's no MacDonalds! My very favourite thing here is definitely the huge park. The free farm is a terrific asset. Ask a member of staff and they may allow you into the room that is normally closed to the public where some very cute rats and hamsters live, or check out the cheeky ferrets up by the chickens and rabbits. The Reptile room housing the spiders, lizards and snakes not for the faint-hearted. Give the piggy a stroke but don't forget to wash your hands. Transport links are great to Kent and Gatwick Airport (change at East Croydon). London City Airport is easy to get to as well using the Overground and DLR. Change at Tulse Hill for the Thameslink to Luton Airport. The View of Central London from Weststow Hill amazing.
  7. ReplyMark
    Crystal Palace is definitely a bohemian type of place with a village-like atmosphere. Cafe Paradou, across from the bus depot in the heart of "downtown" CP (top of the hill, in other words), is a good place to get a coffee, tea or glass of wine. The Triangle, abutting the "downtown" block, is a very interesting place to explore, with its three streets of indy establishments. Furthermore, Hayes Lane, site of the renowned CP market, is also the site of Antenna Studios where yoga/dance classes are held, recordings can be made for reasonable prices and has a great cafe of its own.

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