The City: A Visitor's Guide
Sep 21, 2016
A city within the city, the Square Mile certainly has something for everyone. This area marks the original site of London yet has progressed significantly over the centuries to become the celebrated financial district and a real hub for business.
From the historically fascinating Leadenhall Market to the contemporary artworks housed within the Tate Modern, those staying in the City can get a taste for how London has evolved since its comparatively humble beginnings.
Weekday evenings are the best time to sample the local nightlife. Because this area is so populated by businesses, it quietens down over the weekend, some eateries and pubs even opting to shut down on Saturdays and Sundays.
If you’re a fan of French cuisine, you can’t miss out on a trip to Raymond Blanc’s brasserie at 60 Threadneedle Street. This is Raymond’s only restaurant in London but the chain extends all over the UK. The restaurant serves up traditional French recipes that you can wash down with a fine wine or any one of the real ales he keeps stocked in the cellar.
If you prefer good old fashioned pub food, the Old Red Cow on Long Lane is a great little local secret. It prides itself on high quality food, friendly staff and excellent ales. And there’s a free jukebox for music fans.
Night owls would do best to flock to Vertigo 42, the highest bar in London which is packed with atmosphere and serves up only the finest cocktails and champagne. You’ll be surrounded by local businesspeople intent on enjoying themselves at the end of a busy day.
As the local area quietens down by Saturday morning, it’s the perfect for those who enjoy peaceful downtime at the weekend. You’ll find the Square Mile holds an entirely different atmosphere once Friday evening has passed.
So enjoy a leisurely breakfast then head along to the Tate Modern, approaching from Blackfriars if possible to be greeted by the impressive building in all its glory. Fans of older artefacts could head to the Tower of London to enjoy a trip back through history and explore the building’s colourful and fascinating past as a palace, prison, place of execution and arsenal among its other guises.
St Paul’s Cathedral is probably the most renowned building in the area, offering regular tours and some of the most spectacular views in the City.
If you are working within this vibrant area, you may well find yourself travelling mostly on foot. It’s certainly an intriguing area to explore at ground level. But should you need to get farther afield, you have 11 tube stations and two DLR stations at your disposal. The entire area is within Zone 1 of the Travelcard scheme and you also have access to three National Rail stations at Liverpool Street, Cannon Street and Fenchurch Street.
If you like to stay above ground and would like to see the City from the river, you will find a regular schedule of boat transport leaving from Blackfriars Millennium Pier.