City of London Updated: 4 months ago

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The City of London, known as "the Square Mile," is London’s historical and financial heart. It's one of the city’s oldest parts, dating back to Roman times. While it’s mostly a business area, it’s home to the iconic Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The City of London is home to the iconic Tower of London, a historic castle with over 1000 years of fascinating history. Right next to it is the Tower Bridge, another iconic symbol of London. Also, St. Paul’s Cathedral, one of London’s most famous landmarks, is located in the City. The cathedral is a magnificent building designed by Sir Christopher Wren, and it was the tallest building in London from 1710 to 1963.

The Financial District contains a mix of modern skyscrapers and historic buildings. Some well-known skyscrapers are the Gherkin, the Walkie Talkie, and the Cheesegrater. There’s a restaurant and a bar on top of the Gherkin building, which has an amazing view over central London. On the top floors of the Walkie Talkie building, you’ll find the Sky Garden, an open space with restaurants and bars with an actual public garden. It’s definitely worth a visit to see both the inside and the view across the river. The entrance is free although a booking is required.

Around the financial district are many historic buildings, such as the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange and the Leadenhall Market, a beautiful covered market dating from the 14th century that has also appeared in Harry Potter movies. The modern skyscrapers form a dramatic backdrop to the historic buildings on many of the narrow streets of the City of London.

The Barbican Centre offers a very different style of architecture, i.e. brutalist. Europe’s largest multi-arts and conference venue presents diverse art, music, theatre, dance, film, and creative learning events.

The City is mostly a business area, and many restaurants and shops are closed during the weekend. On weekdays, especially after work, many historic pubs get very busy as the people working in the area go and have a pint after work. The area has excellent dining opportunities, including high-end restaurants, historic pubs, and trendy cafes.

Walking around The City is easy as it’s compact and walkable. You can follow the path of the old London Wall or explore the ancient alleyways. The Thames Path runs along the river and offers excellent views. One specific view to mention is the Millennium Bridge between the Tate Modern and St. Paul’s Cathedral, which offers great views in both directions.

Getting there

The City is served by numerous tube and train stations, including Liverpool Street, Bank, and St Paul's. Due to its central location, it is also served by many bus lines. Also, the Thames Clipper has a peer next to the Tower of London.

Nearest Stations

Mansion House - 3 min

District Circle London Underground Zone: 1

Cannon Street - 3 min

District Circle London Underground Zone: 1

Bank - 4 min

DLR Zone: 1

Activities from Get Your Guide