Commonly referred to as the ‘Square Mile’, The City of London is London’s financial district. Because of its name, some people often mistakenly think it’s the centre of London (or ‘downtown’). Although it’s in central London, it lies just to the east of the West End which is the very centre of London.
It’s obviously a convenient area to stay if you’re on a business trip. And with direct trains and buses to Liverpool St station, it’s also a good choice if you’re arriving at Stansted airport.
Founded by the Romans in AD 43, the City is the oldest part of London. Largely destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666 and heavily bombed during World War II, it’s now an mixture of old buildings and modern skycrapers.
Places of interest
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- Tower of London
- Tower Bridge
- Museum of London
- Dr Johnson’s house
If you like churches, there’s a choice of 39 to visit.
Most budget hotels are found in the eastern part of the City near Tower Hill, Aldgate East and Liverpool St tube stations. There are no traditional B&B hotels in the area, they’re all budget chain hotels. Hotel prices are often cheaper at the weekend.
Only about 9,000 people live in the City and many of the shops serve the needs of the 280,000 people who work there. Leadenhall Market, a beautiful Victorian covered market is worth a visit. The newly opened One New Change shopping centre near St Paul’s Cathedral, is the first to be built in 130 years.
Some of London’s best Sunday markets are just to the east of the City: Spitalfields, Brick Lane, the Sunday UpMarket and Columbia Rd Flower Market.
Although it’s much better than it used to be, some restaurants, small cafes and pubs are closed at the weekend.
There are numerous tube stations in the area. See our map of the area.
- Buses from Aldgate (pdf)
- Buses from Tower Hill (pdf)
- Buses from Liverpool St (pdf)
- Buses from Moorgate (pdf)
These are the bus routes from the hotels we recommend in the City.