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THE APARTMENT NETWORK
Our range of City apartments includes exceptionally well-appointed options in highly desirable locations such as St Paul’s Cathedral, Mansion House and Fenchurch Street. Without reaching the indulgent heights of Mayfair, our City apartments and aparthotels offer the highest standards of comfort.
Prices are in the region of £100 to £250 per night, depending on the length of your stay, the size of the apartment and the facilities on offer. Make an enquiry now to find accommodation for your budget.
The City is a relatively small area, so if you stay here you are never far away from City offices, transport links and attractions. In fact, the City is one of the top choices in London for sheer convenience.
The chances of being a victim of crime in the City or having an accident when out and about are very small. The thoroughfares outside pubs and bars can be rowdy at closing time, and theft is also a risk. As elsewhere in London, visitors should always be aware of their surroundings and to avoid anywhere where there is evidence of anti-social or suspicious behaviour. All of our City apartments provide thoroughly safe, secure accommodation.
Plenty of visitors come to the City for Saturdays and Sundays, but very few city workers do. As result everywhere is much quieter. For shopping and eating out it is always advisable to check weekend opening hours, but the main tourist attractions remain as busy as ever.
The City is the traditional heart of the UK’s financial industry, so you will find banks, investment companies, insurers and financial traders throughout the Square Mile. Over towards the Law Courts, many leading firms of solicitors and barristers’ chambers are to be found, and the area is also home to the many kinds of support companies which work with the financial and business sector.
Your City of London Guide
The City of London is on the site of the original Roman settlement of Londinium, and it is still possible to see the remains of the Roman amphitheatre at the Guildhall. By the 1500s, the City had become a centre for trade and commerce, with banks and financial institutions establishing themselves here over the following centuries. It remains London’s premier centre for banking and insurance, although many financial businesses have either moved to Canary Wharf, or have a presence in both parts of London.
The first institution to be established here was the 16th century trading centre of the Royal Exchange, rebuilt in grand Palladian style in the 1840s. It is now home to shops and restaurants. Nearby, Lloyds Coffee House was the home of London’s insurance market, now rehoused in the dramatic glass and steel Lloyds Building opened in 1986 in Lime Street. Majestic St Paul’s Cathedral was completed in 1708, and the Bank of England moved to its present site in Threadneedle Street in 1734. The London Stock Exchange was founded in 1801 for the trading of stocks and shares, and was followed by currency exchanges. By the Victorian era the country’s leading banks had a substantial presence in the City.
On the western flank of the Square Mile, the legal profession established itself with the Law Courts and Inns of Courts which have housed leading lawyers for generations. The Old Bailey, the UK’s Central Criminal Court, was opened in 1907 on the site of notorious Newgate gaol, and has been the setting for the country’s most high profile criminal trials ever since.
Other lesser known historic buildings include the Livery Halls built over the years by trades and professions of many kinds from Apothecaries and Armourers to Watermen and Wax Chandlers. There is also a plethora of historic churches which are well worth seeking out and exploring.
The City of London is steeped in history, but is very much a vibrant environment for business and pleasure. The City’s culture of hard work is well known, and is balanced by many outlets for toasting deals, and winding down after working hours. Shopping for visitors is wide-ranging, with new malls opening alongside stores on main thoroughfares which include famous names and smart boutiques. And with so many sights and activities, the City of London is a top choice for leisure, just as it is for the world of work.
Popular City of London locations
For a business trip to the City, our serviced apartments and aparthotels are in the middle of the business district, with many businesses and financial institutions a short walk away. Top choices include the modern, purpose-built Barbican development, and the design-led living quarters at The Moorgate. Studios and apartments at Cheval Calico House are right in the heart of the City, close to St Mary-le-Bow church. To be a true cockney, tradition has it that you must be born within sound of the church’s bells.
Top shopping locations are Cheapside, home to the One New Change mall, Bishopsgate and the concourse at Liverpool Street Station. A trip over the river brings you to the boutiques of Hays Galleria. The City does not boast the extensive range of shops found in the West End, but it is nevertheless full of opportunities to buy great suits, shirts, casual clothes and tasteful gifts. Leadenhall Market is a top spot for fine cheeses, flowers and fresh food.
The food scene in the City includes top end steak bars and Michelin starred refinement as well as more casual wine bars and London pubs. The busiest times are weekday evenings, and not all are open or the whole weekends but the choice is nonetheless pretty good.
The west side of the City is officially bounded by Chancery Lane, which has atmospheric and sedate Inns of Court on either side of the thoroughfare. The cloisters and gardens are a pleasure to walk around, or to sit and rest a while.
Sightseeing in the City is full of riches, with St Paul’s and The Tower heading the bill. The City’s new buildings are stunning examples of modern architecture, and it is definitely worth exploring the dramatically shaped Gherkin, and the Walkie Talkie building where the Sky Garden gives sensational views over London.
Fleet Street was once the home of national newspapers and print works, now relocated to more practical and functional locations away from the City. The area retains original newspaper buildings and has a distinctive atmosphere, which can best be found in El Vino’s, the favourite watering hole of journalists and lawyers in years gone by.
Getting to and from The City is very straightforward with plenty of options provided by the London Underground and bus network. It is also not at all far from the West End (simply follow Fleet Street to the Strand and Trafalgar Square). The City itself covers a relatively small area of just over one square mile, so it is easy to get around quickly.
Liverpool Street Station is a major terminus for travel to all points north, and a short trip over London Bridge takes you to the main terminus for travel south. London City airport is only six miles east of the Tower of London.
Spending the weekend in the City provides a change of pace from the bustle of weekdays when office workers throng the streets, shops, bars and restaurants. The quieter times have the advantage of a gentler pace of life, but some retailers and hospitality outlets operate reduced hours, or even stay shut on Saturdays and Sundays.
There is no such problem with key sights such as the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral are perfect for a weekend visit, as are trips on the Thames. A walk over the river on the pedestrians-only Millennium Bridge is the best way to access the south bank and its plethora of attractions.
Tips for moving to the City of London
Choosing to live for a while in the City of London makes very good sense for anyone deeply involved in working life here. Saving time on commuting makes the working day so much more time-efficient, and with plenty of places to enjoy time after work, living in the City is a good choice for anyone committed to a spell of career-building work. The Barbican was built in 1982 with just such a lifestyle in mind, but locations throughout the City are similarly convenient. Working couples can also enjoy the convenient location and top quality facilities of the Square Mile.
If you are moving to a City apartment, you may find you don’t have room for all your worldly goods, so unless you have other options, it is worth exploring renting space in a storage facility.
For family stays, the City has less appeal than many other parts of London. Even though there are plenty of attractions, the area is not oriented towards youngsters. Better to choose accommodation in more family-friendly locations such as Greenwich, just over the river, or Islington to the north.
Places to visit in the City of London
The core attractions of the City begin with the Tower of London. This is one of London’s iconic destinations, and a World Heritage Site. These ancient buildings have served as fortress, palace and prison. Today you can see the Crown Jewels and the Royal Armouries collection and walk in the footsteps of English royalty.
At the other end of the City, at its highest point, is St Paul’s Cathedral. The building is an architectural masterpiece by Sir Christopher Wren. To this day, the magnificent domed roof is awe-inspiring, and if you have a head for heights you can climb up to the Golden Gallery for spectacular views. It is also worth checking the schedule of concerts at the Cathedral at the time of your visit.
The Monument near Pudding Lane commemorates the Great Fire of London of 1666. Visitors can climb to the top of the huge column, but be aware that there are 311 steps.
For a taste of the modern City, visit the Walkie Talkie building at 20 Fenchurch Street. It’s a towering structure that resembles a two-way radio, and at its summit is the Sky Garden, a remarkable green space high above the capital. While there is no public access, the Lloyds Building in Lime Street, The Gherkin in St Mary Axe and The Cheesegrater in Leadenhall Street are all striking example of contemporary City architecture nestling among the buildings of centuries past.
The Barbican is another more recent addition to the City, and as well as providing a large selection of accommodation, its theatre presents concerts, plays and other entertainment throughout the year. In addition to the concert hall, the complex has two theatres, three cinemas, two art galleries, a library and two trade exhibition halls.
Restaurants, events and entertainment
The City’s restaurant scene is largely designed to cater for well-paid financiers and professionals who work in the many offices in this prestigious location. So it’s no surprise to find high-end steak houses, grills and seafood specialists, as well as Michelin-starred temples of gastronomy. There are also options on exquisite Japanese, Indian, French and Italian restaurants.
It is also easy to find popular places for pizzas, burgers and street food which do not cost the earth, and you can enjoy great food throughout the day from breakfast to brunch, lunch and dinner. While some places are perfect for client entertaining and closing deals, others have a welcoming, easy-going atmosphere which everyone can enjoy.
One of the treasures of the City, as in the rest of London, are its collection of old, atmospheric pubs. One of the most evocative of London’s past is Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese off Fleet Street, which was rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1666. Wander around the lanes of the City and you will come across plenty of other historic hostelries as well.
The Barbican is the place to go in the City for concerts and theatre, and St Paul’s also hosts world-class performances, including Choral Evensong. The complex is the home of the London Symphony Orchestra, but also hosts concerts in all genres. The Guildhall is a great place to visit to explore London’s history, and also to see current exhibitions in the Guildhall Galleries.
Since 1215, the annual Lord’s Mayor Show travels through the City to mark the election of the new Lord Mayor of London. The November parade features the golden State Coach and City officials in traditional civil and military costume. Visitors can join the crowds on the pavements to see a colourful example of London’s rich historic past.