Things to do in Central London

Heading to central London? Brilliant! This big, bustling capital can be a bit overwhelming. But don't worry citizens, we're here to show you London's hidden gems, hotspots and very best hotels. Think iconic sights, tasty treats, cool art, and story-soaked streets.

Fancy a stroll through world-class galleries? You're spoilt for choice here. If shopping is your jam, get ready to give your credit card a workout with everything from quirky boutiques to high-street fashion. Museums? They've got history and wonders packed to the rafters, inviting you to take a step back in time or dive into the future. And let's not forget the oh-so-dramatic theatre scene

From South Bank to Shoreditch and everything in between, we'll guide you through the best spots of central London. Ready for an adventure in the heart of the Big Smoke? Let's get cracking!

getting into central London

first things first. How to get into central London? From within London, The city centre is easy-to-reach – hop on the tube, take a red bus, cycle or even stroll on over from practically anywhere. Major Tube stations including Bank, Southwark or Victoria Station connect the City to the rest of London. For the more adventurous, River Bus services offer a refreshing alternative, letting you soak up some Thames views on the way.

Coming in from London City Airport? Simply catch the DLR (Docklands Light Railway, for the rookies) to Bank. Taking the scenic route from Heathrow Airport? Lucky you! There are more options for this than there are London pubs (almost). Grab the Elizabeth line to Tottenham Court Road and then switch to the Central line heading towards Bank. Or, for the more cosmopolitan, the Heathrow Express goes straight to Paddington. From there, you can jump on the Circle line right into the City of London.

Central London's calling, and it's a spectacle of towering skyscrapers, timeless historic sights, and iconic bridges that stitch the city's story together. From the glass giants that kiss the sky to the ancient stones whispering centuries of tales, and the majestic bridges arching over the Thames—every corner has its own magic. Ready to take a peek into the heart of the Big Smoke? Let's go see what's up!

skyscrapers

Central London's skyline is like a VIP party for skyscrapers, each one boasting its unique flair and sleek designs. Say hello to the Shard, stretching up like a giant glass spear into the sky. Then there's the Walkie-Talkie, known for its distinctive top-heavy shape and a sky garden with London views that go on forever. And let’s not overlook the Cheesegrater—its name says it all about its quirky design. These towering celebs aren’t just buildings; they're the rock stars of the London skyline. Ready to look up and be amazed? London's giants are calling!

historic sights

Continuing our journey from the sky-scraping giants, let's not forget the timeless wonders dotted around Central London. The Tower of London whispers secrets of the past, while Westminster Abbey stands as a grand canvas of history. Over at the Houses of Parliament, stories of power and protest echo through the halls. And, of course, St Paul's Cathedral, with its iconic dome that's been a beacon of hope and resilience over the London skyline for centuries.

iconic bridges

London’s bridges are more than just ways to cross the Thames, they're landmarks in their own right with some of the best views in the city. Here are our top five connecting the City of London to Southbank, Bankside and Southwark. Drumroll, please!

Tower Bridge is a Victorian marvel all her own. With towering Gothic architecture and panoramic glass walkways, she's every bit the royal queen. London Bridge is the oldest of the bunch, is cemented (quite literally) into the city’s history. From medieval battles to the modern-day hustle, this old-timer's seen it all.

Millennium Bridge is unapologetically contemporary. Watch it cut across the Thames, a delightful contrast to the old-world charm of nearby St. Paul's. Blackfriars Bridge is the sleek, minimalist sister of the bridge world. Its striking red pillars stand out, while its panoramic river views will leave you speechless. Last but not least, Southwark Bridge: sturdy and underappreciated. It gives you an intimate glimpse into the heart of Shakespeare’s London, without the tourist crowds.

Finished gawping at the sights? Alright, citizens, time to get those sleeves rolled up. Central London's bursting with fun waiting to be had— art galleries to tickle your fancy, shopping to make your wallet dance, museums to blow your mind, and theatre to dazzle your senses. Let's dive in!

art galleries

In the heart of Central London, the modern art scene is buzzing with creativity that's just begging to be explored. First stop? Tate Modern in South Bank an absolute giant in the world of contemporary art. It's not just a gallery; it's a cultural powerhouse with pieces that'll make your jaw drop. Then, zip over to the Design Museum in Kensington, where fashion meets form in the coolest ways imaginable. Don't miss out on the Saatchi Gallery near Victoria Station, the rebel of the art world, always ready to showcase something bold and beautiful.

London's theatre scene

London's theatre scene is a riot of colour, drama, and jaw-dropping performances. First up, the West End, where the lights shine bright and the shows are downright dazzling. Check out "The Lion King" at the Lyceum Theatre – it's a roar-some experience. Fancy a bit of magic? "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" at the Palace Theatre will have you spellbound.

But wait, there's more! Victoria Palace Theatre is home to "Hamilton," a hip-hop musical sensation that's revolutionised the stage with its tale of history and heart.

Don't skip the Royal Court Theatre, the go-to spot for groundbreaking new plays that stir the pot and make you think. And for a touch of the classics with a modern twist, the Globe Theatre's where it's at – Shakespeare's never felt so cool.

From classics to the contemporary, London's stages are bursting with stories to stir the soul.

shopping in central London

Bring out those wallets, citizens. London has got a shopping scene that's oh-so-serious. From luxury to artisan, let's walk you through the best spots.

Start your adventure in Kensington, where chic boutiques and classy shops line the streets, offering everything from high-end fashion to unique trinkets. It's the perfect spot for those who like their shopping with a side of elegance.

Next, hit Oxford Street, the bustling artery of London's shopping scene. With over 300 shops, it's a paradise for those who live by the mantra "shop till you drop." From massive department stores to trendy brands, it's all here.

For a touch of luxury, Mayfair is your go-to. This upscale district is bursting with designer stores, jewellery boutiques, and bespoke tailors. It's where wallets may get lighter, but wardrobes definitely get fancier.

Lastly, Covent Garden is the place to soak up the atmosphere along with your shopping. Quirky stores, artisan markets, and fabulous food spots make it a delight for all senses.

bars & restaurants

After a day of shopping and sightseeing, who's ready for a breather from the hustle and bustle? We hear you, citizens. Let's whisk you away to some of London's top spots for unwinding.

First up, the crown jewel: our very own cloudM Tower of London rooftop bar. Imagine sipping your drink with breathtaking views at your feet and sinking into stylish Vitra design furniture. It's the ideal spot to cap off your day, perched atop our citizenM Tower of London hotel.

book your table

How could we call ourselves true hosts without dishing out more hotspots for food and drink? Here are a few of our favourite bars and restaurants in Central London, just for you, mobile citizens.

1. Gordon's Wine Bar
London's oldest wine bar for a cosy vibe and an unbeatable selection of wines

2. Bar Elba
Revel in rooftop splendor with striking views and cocktails on the South Bank.

3. Moto
Covent Garden's Japanese gem for sake lovers with a unique and cozy setting.

4. Ronnie Scott's
Soak up live jazz with prime cocktails in the heart of SoHo at this legendary music venue.

5. The Ivy Asia St. Paul's
Experience glamorous dining with Asian flair in the City of London.

6. Enoteca Luca St. Paul's
Savor Italian wines and dishes in a chic City of London locale.

7. Quaglino's
Step into St James's for a night of luxury, live music, and fine dining.

8. Mr. Fogg's Gin Parlour
Journey to Covent Garden for a whimsical gin experience in a Victorian setting.

9. Gloria
Immerse yourself in flamboyant Italian cuisine within Shoreditch's most lively decor.

10. Blacklock City
Feast on chops and steaks in this meat-lover's paradise in the City of London.

11. Borough Market
Wander through a foodie's heaven with a vast array of gourmet stalls and eateries.

12. Mercato Mayfair
Enjoy international dishes in a stunningly restored Mayfair church

13. Barrafina Drury Lane:
Delight in top-notch Spanish tapas in the bustling heart of Covent Garden.

Hangry? We thought so! Each of these spots are choices you won't regret for a great night (or afternoon) out in central London. At the end of the night, what's better than to digest your dinner on a flully pillow? Let's move on to the best hotels in central London!

central London hotels

When it comes to the best hotels in Central London, we've got you covered with not one, not two, but four fantastic citizenM locations. Find our urban chic hotels right in London's city centre. Our quick and easy self-check-in means more time for fun. And oh, the luxury and interior design will make you feel like a superstar.

So, for a London stay that's as fun as it is fabulous, citizenM is your go-to hotel for any occasion.

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