The area known as ‘The City’ describes London’s oldest district, home to many of the landmarks and institutions which have helped define England’s capital over the centuries. The City encompasses a mile of the capital, and includes most of London’s financial institutions, with old and new buildings filling the skyline. No matter whether you are eager to learn more about the history of the area or simply want to see the sights, this brief guide will provide plenty of information to help you plan your day.
Local Modern Architecture
There’s lots of great modern architecture in the City, largely inspired by the need to create thriving hubs for trade and finance. Some of the most important pieces include the Gherkin, a glass marvel which looms large over the local skyline, the Cheesegrater – more formally known as 122 Leadenhall Street, opened in 2014 – and the ‘Walkie Talkie’ at 20 Fenchurch Street. Each of these buildings has helped develop the modern style of the City as well as providing opportunities for everything from business meetings to rooftop dining. The sky garden at the Walkie Talkie covers three-storeys, and includes an immaculate landscaped garden perfect for browsing during your stay at one of our best hotels in London.
International Banking and Commerce
The City contains more than 500 banking venues, many of them international. As a space with its roots so firmly planted in trade, around 40% of all foreign currency transactions take place in this small area of London. The City is also the world’s most prominent space for insurers. If you feel like exploring the neighbourhood after dining at Chiswell Street dining rooms, then prepare to be awed by the sheer scale of world-leading venues within such a compact space.
As such a thriving centre in the capital, it should come as no surprise that the City also includes some of the best accommodation in London. The Montcalm caters to everything from business travellers to those seeking spa breaks in London, with an award-winning selection of rooms and suites which provide five-star luxury, sure to impress even the most discerning of customers. As the ideal base for exploring the City, this well-appointed venue ensures easy access to many of the City’s most important destinations.
Not only does the City cater to an international clientele, it is also home to a number of major British institutions, many of which have been around for centuries. The Royal Exchange was founded in the 16th century, and the walls of the first floor include a number of murals, each of which help paint a vivid picture of the history of trade from its earliest days right up to the present.
Elsewhere in the City, the Bank of England Museum provides an important window on the evolution of currency in Britain, with a selection of displays and exhibitions which cover everything from gold vaults to the latest £10 notes.