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Top 5 Tips for Visiting London’s Financial District

The City, as it is often referred to, is the heart of London’s business and financial district. Full of busy businesspeople hurrying around in suits throughout the week, and slightly quieter at the weekends, it’s not usually seen as the capital’s number one tourist spot. However, there are many reasons to visit the area even if you have no interest in business. From historic buildings to shopping and excellent eateries, there’s plenty to do and experience in the City.

The Royal Exchange

Initially the centre of commerce for London and opened in the late 16th century, the Royal Exchange now houses boutiques, restaurants and other retailers. It’s an impressive building which has been rebuilt twice after fires, and the first floor walls have been painted with scenes from London’s history. Trading moved from the Royal Exchange after the end of World War Two, allowing more access for visitors.


The ceremonial and administrative centre of the City of London, Guildhall is steeped in history with the current building opened in 1440. Its library holds over 140,000 volumes, including many unique prints and the art gallery features works by Millais, Leighton and Constable. Entry is free, and when you’re done with the two main areas, just exploring the fascinating architecture will take up the rest of your afternoon.

Bank of England Museum

Banks may not be the most popular things in the world right now, but the Bank of England museum on Lombard Street is an interesting and educational place. Telling the story of its 300 year history from the buildings to its workers, the museum has many great features. A virtual tour of the vaults, financial storms and discovering all about banknotes are available along with activity sheets to keep the young ones entertained.

The Markets

As well as the financial markets there are also a range of other markets in the City. Brick Lane Market specialises in new and second-hand clothes, Smithfield is one of the largest meat markets in Europe, while Petticoat Lane Market contains an array of every item imaginable, with sellers always willing to negotiate on prices.

Eat and Drink

Start your day off by visiting one of the best coffee shops in the City before exploring the boutique cafés in Leadenhall Market and the Royal Exchange. Down every street you’ll find independently run sandwich shops and restaurants suitable for lunch. There are many pubs across the City, popular with bankers and business people for a quick after work drink too.

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