The City or ‘Square Mile’, is a world leading centre of trade and finance. Venerable institutions such as the London Stock Exchange, the Baltic Shipping Exchange and the Bank of England all nestle among its vaulting skyscrapers.
It’s also where London (or Londinium) was founded by the Romans, who were attracted by the river’s easy moorings. The City closely follows the boundaries of the ancient capital and has plenty of museums and cultural attractions. There’s also St Paul’s Cathedral and many smaller traditional churches.
All those financial high flyers like to play as well as work hard, so there are plenty of bars and high-end restaurants. However, you’ll also find tiny traditional pubs. At the weekends, its 300,000 workforce goes home, leaving behind a quiet and interesting area that is good to explore on foot.
Charlotte Bronté Vilette, 1853
"The City seems so much more in earnest: its business, its rush, its roar are such serious things, sights and sounds. The City is getting its living – the West-End but enjoying its pleasure."
Four of the best
St Paul’s Cathedral
This hugely imposing building’s iconic dome is a familiar feature on the London skyline. Step inside and you’ll find an equally awe-inspiring interior and fascinating stories about its history.
Set in what was once the Great Eastern Hotel’s original ballroom, this magnificent Grade two listed room provides a stunning setting for dining at all times of day.
Set in the former Midland Bank building in the City of London, just steps from Bank Station, The Ned boasts 252 bedrooms channeling 1920s and 1930s design, six Grade I-listed meeting rooms and two outdoor terraces available to hire, a spa with a range of men’s and women’s grooming services, a state of the art gym and a members' club. The former 32,000 square foot Grand Banking Hall is host to eight restaurants which serve a wide range of cuisines, from Britain to Northern Italy, North America to Asia.
Located off Gracechurch Street in the heart of the City’s financial district, Leadenhall Market dates back to the 14th century and is situated in what was the centre of Roman London. Starting as the site of a manor, Leadenhall has survived changes in use, rebuilding, and even the Great Fire to become a popular destination for city residents, visitors and workers. Originally a meat, poultry and game market, it is now home to a number of boutique retailers, restaurants, cafes, wine bars and an award-winning pub.