Canary Wharf: A Visitor's Guide

Canary Wharf: A Visitor’s Guide

A stay within the shadows of Canary Wharf’s glittering skyscrapers gives a fascinating insight into this contemporary pocket of the capital city. Particularly perfect for visiting businesspeople, Canary Wharf is chock-full of dramatically tall office blocks catering to the booming financial and media industries and providing a home for many international corporations.

But it’s not all work and no play: because of the constant flow of busy professionals and locals at the weekends, various entertainment options have popped up in recent years, providing a welcome break from the professional playing field. Options for shopping, dining, socialising and relaxing in Canary Wharf are all now better than ever.

What to do in the evenings

If you enjoy a high quality steak, a visit to Gaucho Grill is a must. Serving up what are arguably the best steaks in London, you even get to select your own melt-in-the-mouth cut from a slate board presented to you at your table. With an array of alternative dishes to choose from, Gaucho is a great dining experience for any palate.

The all-American fare on offer at Smollensky’s is also not to be missed. It’s here that you can enjoy stunning sunset views over the docks while tucking into a good old-fashioned burger or a plate of sticky BBQ chicken wings.

Fans of modern wine bars will enjoy the grand décor of Bar 38, probably the area’s most popular hotspot. Perfect for after-work meetings or just relaxing with a cocktail, Bar 38’s comfy armchairs and cosy booth spaces are ideal for whatever you’ve got planned.

What to do at the weekend

The sculpted green spaces of Canada Square and Jubilee parks are simply the best on sunny days. Tucked just far enough from the buzz to provide a calming spot for a picnic, these parks also provide occasional open-air music performances to keep visitors entertained.

The glittering skyscrapers are this area’s most famous attractions, with One Canada Square – once Britain’s tallest building before The Shard was completed – standing 235 metres tall. Watch out for its famous aircraft warning light which flashes 40 times in a minute and can be spotted from miles around.

Canary Wharf provides an understated shopping centre packed with high-end fashion retailers, all situated mostly below ground. It takes some navigating, so pick up a map or visit the Canary Wharf website to explore their interactive map and get your bearings in advance. Those in the know head to Canary Wharf when the frantic thrum of Oxford Street is too much.


The 97 acres that make up Canary Wharf offer plenty of connections to the heart of the city. The Jubilee line comes into Canary Wharf station and can deposit you at Waterloo in around 15 minutes. For more information on London tube transport, visit: TFL tube map

Canary Wharf provides a central point for the Docklands Light Railway, with its connections to the north, south, east and west of London.

Buses run frequently in and out of Canary Wharf, with as many as 30 connections an hour. Links to Trafalgar Square, Islington, Stratford, Mile End and many more can be caught, with some services running through the night.

But a visit to this area of London isn’t complete without a cruise on a Thames Clipper. With four services for every peak hour, a tour along the Thames is a great way to check out the city’s landmarks as you chug towards the centre.