The City of London
Plan Your Day Out in The City Of London
From exploring the heritage of London to panoramic views from the Golden Gallery at St Paul's, there's a rich variety of experiences to enjoy in this corner of the capital. As for eating and drinking, there's everything from street food to haute cuisine.
Just a short walk from Liverpool Street station is Spitalfields, combining Victorian tradition with cool contemporary shopping. Browse the designer boutiques or hunt for bargains in London's oldest market.
Once a notorious slum and haunt of Jack the Ripper, Brick Lane is now one of London's most colourful and lively areas, an artistic hub with a cosmopolitan vibe, an eclectic mix of shops and assorted street performers. The Sunday Upmarket in the Old Truman Brewery is a retro extravaganza with stalls selling vintage clothes, furniture and bric-a-brac.
Doubling for Diagon Alley in the movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Leadenhall is a beautiful Victorian covered market with a stunning wrought iron and glass roof. There are stalls selling flowers, cheese, meat and other fresh food, as well as traditional and contemporary stores.
There's been a market on Petticoat Lane since the 1750s, although the Victorians renamed it Middlesex Street, apparently because they thought the reference to ladies' underwear was a bit too risqué. To this day, it’s still the place for bargains on clothes, haberdashery and household goods.
Not long ago this was a rather shabby part of town. Now it's been regenerated and is fast becoming one of London's most trendy shopping districts. The broad mix of retailers ranges from designer boutiques and vintage shops to ethnic food stores and quirky gift emporia.
Bank of England Museum
The Bank of England has been at the heart of our financial system for 300 years and this fascinating museum tells the story of its history, buildings and people. Take the helm of the monetary policy boat, find out about banknote security, hold a real gold bar and more.
Billingsgate Roman House and Baths
Beneath the streets of the Square Mile lies Roman Londinium and on Lower Thames Street you can step back 2,000 years to see the remains of a Roman bathhouse. The site was discovered in 1848 but has only recently been opened to the public.
Dr Johnson's House
'When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life." So said Dr Samuel Johnson, one of the greatest literary figures of the 18th century. Johnson was a tenant of this timber-framed townhouse, now converted into a museum that celebrates his life and work.
London's Roman Amphitheatre
Discovered during the renovation of the Guildhall Art Gallery in 1985, the remains of what was once a 7,000-seat amphitheatre are a fascinating reminder of London's Roman past. See the original circular walls and imagine the gladiatorial contests that took place there.
Built between 1671 and 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London and the rebuilding of the city, Monument is one of London's most iconic landmarks. Climb the 311 steps for magnificent 360-degree views.
Museum of London
This award-winning museum takes you on a journey of discovery through London's past, from the small community established by its first settlers to the city we know today. With over six million objects, the museum has the largest urban history collection in the world.
St Paul's Cathedral
With its world-famous dome, St Paul's is an instantly recognisable feature of the London skyline. Marvel at the awe-inspiring interior, visit the crypt, then climb to the Golden Gallery for amazing views of the city.
A legendary City of London landmark, this amazing opening bridge, built over 120 years ago, remains an engineering marvel. Enjoy stunning views from the high level walkways and see the bridge's impressive Victorian Engine Rooms.
Tower of London
Explore one of London's most infamous landmarks, where famous heads have rolled and Yeoman Warders relate tales of treachery and torture. You can also see the priceless Crown Jewels and the splendid Royal Armouries collection of arms and armour.
Europe's largest multi-arts centre has been a major player in London's cultural life since 1982, presenting an adventurous programme of art, music, theatre, dance, film and creative learning events. The Barbican Centre is also home to the renowned London Symphony Orchestra.
The Courtyard Theatre
Located in Bowling Green Walk, around 15 minutes' walk from Liverpool Street Station, this multi-purpose arts venue presents a wide variety of live music, theatre and comedy, as well as art and photography exhibitions.
Guildhall Art Gallery
In 1886 the City of London Corporation wanted to establish a 'collection of art treasures worthy of the capital city'. The result was the Guildhall Art Gallery, which now displays works dating from 1670 to the present day, including several pre-Raphaelite masterpieces.
Shoreditch Town Hall
Built in 1886, this was once one of the capital's most magnificent civic halls. Today it's an independent arts and events centre with eight principal spaces of varying sizes and styles. Performances there include theatre, music, dance, comedy and spoken word.
Known for premiering the work of world-class artists, including Picasso and Pollock, the Whitechapel Gallery is a revered East London institution, opened in 1901. It continues to showcase the best in contemporary art from London and around the globe.
Wilton's Music Hall
A real historical gem of London's entertainment scene, Wilton's is the oldest music hall in the world. It presents a year-round programme of live music and drama productions, alongside learning and participation work that engages the local community and schools.
Cafés, Tea Rooms and Coffee Houses
Catering for its huge contingent of office workers as well as visitors, the City's vast selection of cafés, tea rooms and coffee bars offers everything from 100% Arabica Americanos to a fragrant pot of Lapsang Souchong. Famous-name chains such as Costa and Starbucks are everywhere, but there are also many smaller franchises and independent establishments offering something a little bit different, including Taylor Street Baristas (just across the road from Liverpool Street station) and the Kahaila charity community café on Brick Lane.
Restaurants and Pubs
From steaks to sushi, the City of London's many restaurants and pubs offer an amazing array of culinary delights. Once upon a time, many only catered for the lunchtime trade and closed when the office workers headed home. Now the City is buzzing into the early hours every day of the week, so there's no shortage of places to eat any time of day or evening. Establishments such as Jamie Oliver's Barbecoa reflect the growing trend for barbecues and grills, and for dining with stunning river views there's Perkin Reveller at Tower Wharf or the Brasserie in the Tower Hotel. There are also plenty of options for fish fans and veggies, including a plethora of ethnic eateries such as Miyako for an authentic Japanese dining experience and Yauatcha City, based on the Chinese dim sum teahouse concept. As for Indian and Bangladeshi cooking, Brick Lane is world-famous for its many fine curry houses.
Food to Go
With over 450,000 people employed in the City of London, it's no wonder the take-away options are many and varied, going way beyond the usual burger and pizza chains. There's everything from traditional treats such as salt beef sandwiches to the latest imports from the Middle East, Far East and Latin America, including falafel and fajitas. For a tasty selection of colourful street food, head for Spitalfields or Brick Lane.
Bike & Go
Explore the City at your own pace on two wheels. With our brilliant Bike & Go scheme you can hire a bike to pick up from Liverpool Street station at a fixed daily charge of just £3.80.
Where to stay
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