Square Mile, London Travel Guide
Square Mile Summary
- Less crowded than other areas of London
- A range of stunning architecture -- from the Matrix-like Llyod's of London building to 17th-century St. Paul's Cathedral
- Several popular historic sites, including the Tower of London, the Temple of Mithras, and Smithfield Market
- Home to the Museum of London
- Sweeping views of the city from The Monument, a tall column in remembrance of the Great Fire
- London's financial center (a con for some!)
- Not a great shopping scene (although Bow Lane has some boutiques)
- Parts of the Square Mile can be very quiet on the weekends, with some restaurants and bars closing for Saturday and Sunday
- A business-heavy area (a pro for some!)
What It's Like
Referred to as "The City" by locals, London's Square Mile marks the original site of the city, founded by the Romans. Today, the Square Mile is the financial district of London, as well as home to several tourist destinations. The skyline is dominated by modern buildings, but some centuries-old sites -- those that survived the Great Fire of London in 1666 -- remain.
Since it's a business hub, the Square Mile clears out on the weekends, and some restaurants and bars even close down on Saturday and Sunday. Popular sites -- St. Pauls Cathedral, the Tower of London, and the remains of the Temple of Mithras, among others -- are almost always busy with tourists, however, as they are must-sees when visiting London. Although the shopping scene in the Square Mile can't beat those of Soho and Covent Garden, Bow Lane is lined by several boutiques.
Where to Stay
Square Mile has only recently received an influx of hotels, so many in the area are new. Despite being home to several museums and historic sites, Square Mile mostly draws in business travelers overnight -- many tourists visit the area by day but stay in West End neighborhoods.