Where to stay in The City
Where to stay in The City
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What you need to know about The City of London
The City of London may just be a square mile within the Greater London metropolis, but it’s packed with history, heritage and a thriving commercial buzz.
It’s London’s ceremonial centre, but also the financial and business heart of Britain’s capital city. The bustling streets of this district are a masterclass in blending ancient and modern architecture, from St Paul’s Cathedral in the west to The Gherkin in the east, with a labyrinth of historic streets and gleaming glass developments in between.
There’s plenty of culture to enjoy here too, with some of London’s best museums, finest churches and most historic markets.
Food and drink
There are some great places to dine in style in the City of London, with many of London’s slickest restaurants and bars found inside the Square Mile. Celebrity chefs are everywhere - Gordon Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchen, Jamie Oliver's Barbecoa, and Marco Pierre White's Steak & Alehouse are all within a few streets of each other.
For dinner with a view, Duck & Waffle on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower is London’s highest restaurant, open 24 hours a day for city brokers pulling an all-nighter.
The City is where the professionals eat and drink, so don’t be surprised to find lots of the local cafes and pubs closed at weekends!
As you’d expect for a financial powerhouse that generates so much of London’s wealth, the City Of London isn’t short on luxury brands and designer shopping. The Royal Exchange shopping centre is home to more than 30 luxury and designer stores, and there are a further 60 upmarket shops at the One New Change shopping mall.
Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t find a bargain in The City – head to Leadenhall Market or Old Spitalfields Market for a great selection of trendy stalls and independent shops.
The City vies with New York City as the financial capital of the world, with many banking and insurance companies establishing their headquarters in the Square Mile. It’s also the home of the London Stock Exchange, Lloyd's of London and the Bank of England, as well as over 500 banks and financial institutions.
Liverpool Street is the main station for The City, connecting four underground lines and National Rail services. There are other tube stations and bus stops across the district, connecting you with the rest of Greater London and beyond. Bank Station also connects with the Docklands Light Railway, so it’s only a short journey to London’s other financial district, Canary Wharf.
The River Thames creates the south border of the City, so you can also take a Thames Clipper or water taxi to the pier at the Tower of London, or cycle along the Thames path.
Things to watch out for
If architecture is your thing, The City has plenty of variety and interest. There are several 17th century churches built by Sir Christopher Wren, including St Paul’s Cathedral, and a number of historic financial institutions from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Barbican is a great example of 1960s Brutalist concrete, and Sir Norman Foster’s Gherkin is a prime example of a 21st century eco-friendly skyscraper.