I think the City of London (the smallest and oldest borough in London) is underrated.
Despite having 23,580 enterprises based in this borough, there are plenty of hidden gems that are worth visiting. Just don’t visit during rush hour or you’ll likely be facing a stampede of bankers and other office workers.
Either way, if you have an idea of where to go in the city, the central business district is worth a visit.
So, here is a selection of buildings, restaurants and views to see in the city.
1. Garden @ 120
This roof garden is just under several skyscrapers like the Gherkin, with a great view of the Walkie Talkie, the river and more. It isn’t a very high building but the 360 degree views are amazing nonetheless.
The best part is that it’s free to visit!
This coffee shop is inside an abbey, which makes a beautiful environment for anyone to have a coffee and chat or study too. There’s also a terrace for sunny days. The cafe is open from Monday to Friday and unfortunately closes fairly early at 4:30pm.
3. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
This is the oldest pub in London, built in 1538. The decor looks like time has paused with wooden beams on the ceiling, warm lamps and stone walls.
4. St. Dunstan’s in the East
A public garden within the ruins of a church designed by Christoper Wren that offers a peaceful oasis within the city. Not to mention, it makes for great photo opportunities.
5. Taro, Cannon Street
This japanese restaurant has a branch on Cannon street, and also has others in Soho and Balham. I’d recommend their bento boxes and donburi/rice dishes. There are very limited seats in this branch so I would consider it as more of a takeaway place. You can bring your meal to the Festival Gardens behind St. Paul’s or Whittington Gardens nearby.
6. The Royal Exchange
This shopping centre, within a building facade of grand columns, has a beautiful courtyard to have Fortnum and Mason’s drinks in. The shops are mainly designer so even if they’re not within budget, window shopping here is particularly fun.
7. Leadenhall Market
Harry Potter fans may recognise this place from the Diagon alley scene in the first Harry Potter film. The Victorian style is something unique in the city of London, contrasting with the cyberpunk Lloyd’s building just behind. There are restaurants and pubs to eat at within the market, including the Spanish and Italian restaurants in the centre of the market.
All these places are within walking or cycling distance between each other, so if you’re feeling determined, this can all be seen in one day.