City of London area guide

Find the best restaurants, bars, pubs and things to do in the Square Mile with Time Out's City of London area guide

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The City of London, usually just called the City or the Square Mile, is the centre of trade and finance in Europe, rivalling New York City as the finance capital of the world. The traders, bankers and other wage-earners in the area have to work hard, so it's no surprise they like to play hard here, too. Flashy bars outnumber quiet pubs in the City, and most bars and pubs are designed to impress. Likewise, the restaurants are grand and often expensive – great for hashing out the details of a deal or letting someone know how important you are. The City also roughly follows the boundaries of the ancient Roman capital of Britannia, Londinium, so there are plenty of museums and other things to do if you want to slow the pace down a bit.

What are your favourite City haunts? Let us know.

Bars and pubs in the City of London

Vertigo 42

  • Price band: 2/4
  1. Tower 42 25 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1HQ
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1 Lombard Street

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Offer
  1. 1 Lombard Street, EC3V 9AA
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Anthologist

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Offer
  1. 58 Gresham St, EC2V 7BB
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Counting House

  • Rated as: 3/5
  1. 50 Cornhill, EC3V 3PD
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Things to do in the City of London

Barbican Centre

The Barbican Centre, a vast concrete estate of 2,000 flats and a leading arts complex, is a prime example of brutalist architecture, softened a little by time and rectangular ponds of friendly resident ducks. 

  1. Silk St, EC2Y 8DS
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Dennis Severs’ House

  • Rated as: 5/5

Dennis Severs’ House is a time capsule attraction in which visitors are immersed in a unique form of theatre. The ten rooms of this original Hugeuenot house have been decked out to recreate snapshots of life in Spitalfields between 1724 and 1914. 

  1. 18 Folgate St, Spitalfields, E1 6BX
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Monument

Although the Monument, which commemorates the Great Fire of 1666, is often attributed to Christopher Wren, it was almost certainly designed by Robert Hooke, the seventeenth-century polymath who also invented the sash window and spirit level. 

  1. Monument St, EC3R 8AH
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Museum of London

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  • Free

The history of London, from prehistoric times to the present, is told in the Museum of London through reconstructed interiors and street scenes, alongside displays of original artefacts found during the museum's archaeological digs.

  1. 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN
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Restaurants in the City of London

Hawksmoor Guildhall

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 10-12 Basinghall Street, EC2V 5BQ
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Goodman City

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  1. 11 Old Jewry, EC2R 8DU
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Bonds

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Offer
  1. Threadneedles, 5 Threadneedle Street, EC2R 8AY
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City Caphe

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  1. 17 Ironmonger Lane, EC2V 8EY
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