Moving to Crystal Palace: Area Guide

Just 20 minutes from central London, Crystal Palace is a South London district  jam-packed full of nonchalant vintage boutiques, upmarket antique dealers and tasty food markets. Sitting at around 112 metres above sea level, moving to Crystal Palace guarantees you stellar views over London and, on a good day, beyond. Take it all in, while sipping on your lavish coffee or chatting to the friendly locals, as they welcome you into the bustling heart of South London society.

Where is Crystal Palace?

Perched high above the sprawling metropolis, Crystal Palace is located in Zones 3 and 4 and around  seven miles south-east of Charing Cross. Straddling five London boroughs, namely Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham, and three postal districts (SE19, SE20, and SE26), the neighbourhood is bordered by Anerley, Dulwich, Gipsy Hill, Penge, South Norwood, Sydenham and Upper Norwood.

A brief history of Crystal Palace

The history of Crystal Palace is all in its name. Named after The Crystal Palace that resided over the area from 1852 until 1936, Crystal Palace is brimming with history and stories to be told. Despite The Crystal Palace attracting around two million visitors each year, the sheer size of the monument meant it was nearly impossible to financially maintain and the building was declared bankrupt in 1911. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the Palace caught fire and burned to the ground in 1936 under the management of Henry Buckland. Although this tragedy did destroy most of the building, remains that include terraces, sphinxes and a bust of Sir Joseph Paxton can still be seen today, and are most certainly worth a visit to discover more about the area at the Crystal Palace museum.

crystal palace park with pond frozen over

An in-depth look at Crystal Palace

Who lives in Crystal Palace?

The average age in Crystal Palace is mid-thirties, with the area seeming to attract plenty of young professionals, couples and families. The sheer volume of bars, pubs, varying restaurants and green areas make the south London neighbourhood the perfect area for young people craving the city life without the enormous crowds and overpacked tourist attractions of central.

Types of property in Crystal Palace

As with most areas in London, Crystal Palace offers a wide variety of properties for rent. From beautiful Victorian townhouses to sixties apartment blocks, the unique selling point of this area is that each home fits into the urbanistic vibe that Crystal Palace has to offer. The average rent for an apartment is currently £1,385 pcm.

Transport links in Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace enjoys a quick and regular service to Victoria and London Bridge. It’s also just  24 minutes from Canary Wharf and 40 minutes from Highbury and Islington via the Overground service. For those with a taste for adventure, Gatwick Airport is just an hour away by car and buses are fast and frequent from Crystal Palace Parade, meaning getting around locally is a breeze .

Restaurants and shops

If you have a taste for excellent and exciting food, Crystal Palace certainly won’t disappoint. With a cosmopolitan food scene, the restaurants here offer varied and tasty food and drinks, alongside immaculate vibes to bring in the weekend.,. The area known as ‘The Crystal Palace Triangle’ is home to many of these must-visit dining experiences, with highlights including the critically acclaimed restaurant Joanna’s and the rustic Crystal Palace Market open kitchen. Enjoy sourdough pizza and cold craft beer at 400 Rabbits or dive into the world of French-Algerian cooking at Numidie Bar and Bistro; Crystal Palace has a bite for even the most specific of taste buds.

When shopping in Crystal Palace think of antique furniture shops and independent vintage stores crammed full of character and unique flair. Make a beeline for Church Road, home to the infamous Bambinos, to start your vintage shopping bonanza. This area is best on a Sunday, when stores spill out into the street. Be sure to continue your treasure hunting in Haynes Lane Market, where books, trinkets and vinyls are looking for a new (rental) home. Again, the Triangle boasts hundreds of independent shops to explore when living in Crystal Palace.

view of central london from crystal palace

Socialising in Crystal Palace

Aside from the numerous bars scattered throughout Crystal Palace, there are many green spaces to spend summer evenings with friends or enjoy a unique date night with someone special. Head up to Anerley Hill where, on a clear day, you can see all the way to the endless hills of Kent and Sussex, or make your way to Gipsy Hill, preferably at golden hour, to gaze upon city icons like St Paul’s, the Gherkin and the Shard. Tea and coffee has become a huge part of Crystal Palace culture, and the artisanal cafes which house them make for perfect hangout spots. Wander down to Westow Street to browse the bunch, with highlights including the cool yet cutesy Dalhousie. Of course, socialising in Crystal Palace would not be complete without a mention of Crystal Palace Park. The perfect area for kids and adults alike, the park houses a boating lake, farm, maze and skatepark, topped off with the dinosaur statues of ‘Dinosaur Court’.

Moving to Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace is a unique area of London that will satisfy your longing for character and variety. From the peaceful green spaces, perfect for weekends spent with friends, to the trendy restaurants, bars and shops of the Triangle, you will never be stuck for something to do day or night in Crystal Palace.

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