Spring in the City: City of London reveals its ‘Top 30 Things to Do’ guide for Spring

From world-class exhibitions and historic underground tours to sky-high cocktail bars and interactive children’s trails – ‘Spring in the City’ uncovers the best of the Square Mile.
Spring in the City: City of London reveals its ‘Top 30 Things to Do’ guide for Spring picture

Looking for the best things to do in London this spring? The City of London has unveiled its ultimate guide to ‘Spring in the City’, sharing 30 of the top unmissable experiences for a spectacular spring in London.

Whether you’re a first-time tourist, a local City worker or a seasoned London resident, the City is an unrivalled destination for all to experience its rich culture, iconic history, vibrant dining, world-class entertainment and more.

The ‘Spring in the City’ guide includes:


Something for the cultural connoisseur

Whether you’re a history buff or a cultural connoisseur, the City’s iconic heritage and world-class arts and cultural scene delivers a rich programme of activities. Explore London through a fresh perspective at the Kaleidoscope/London exhibition at Guildhall Art Gallery; uncover Roman history that’s over 2,000 years old right under the City’s streets, or find out where some of the world’s most famous literary pioneers lived.

1. Guildhall Art Gallery: Guildhall Art Gallery has several free displays such as the interesting history of Billingsgate Market at the Heritage Gallery. From 12 April, visit Anne Desmet’s stunning Kaleidoscope/London, which explores a fresh perspective of London through a fragmented lens. During your visit, step into well-preserved Roman Amphitheatre where crowds once gathered for gladiatorial combats.

2. DREAM-BRIDGE-OMNIGLYPH by Leo Robinson: Visit London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE to see this new installation inspired by the Roman Temple of Mithras, exploring ancient myths through a space evocative of the initiation ceremonies thought to have taken place there. Entrance is free and the installation runs until 29 June. Make sure to head downstairs to experience the remains of the ancient temple itself.

3. Hear beautiful music in historic locations: Discover concerts across the City including City Music Foundation’s monthly lunchtime concerts at magnificent Livery Halls each month, and Temple Music’s regular concerts in the stunning Temple Church and Middle Temple Hall. Events include an exquisite lunchtime concert by soprano singer, Caroline Taylor and internationally acclaimed pianists, Roger Vignoles giving a special recital at the ornate Goldsmith’s Hall on 26 March.

4. Billingsgate Roman House and Baths: Reopening for public tours in April, visit the curious old pathways beneath the Square Mile and discover the rich Roman history surviving 2,000 years of buildings, fires and bombings. Public tours take place every Saturday from April at 101 Lower Thames Street.

5. Follow in the footsteps of famous writers: Visit Dr Johnson’s House, the place Dr Samuel Johnson, the writer and wit, lived and worked in the mid-18th century, compiling his great Dictionary of the English Language. To continue the literary theme, join guided walking tours with official City of London Guides, or pick up self-guided walks from the City Information Centre (opposite St Paul’s Cathedral) to follow in the footsteps of Charles Dickens and Shakespeare.

6. Free outdoor installations: From 10 April until 18 August, Purple Hibiscus - an ambitious new commission created in collaboration with hundreds of craftspeople from Tamale in Ghana and artist Ibrahim Mahama - will transform the Barbican’s Lakeside Terrace as colossal panels of pink and purple fabric are fitted to the exterior. The commission forms part of the ‘Unravel: The Power & Politics of Textiles in Art’ exhibition (13 Feb – 26 May) at the Barbican Centre.

7. The Future of Money: Bank of England Museum’s new exhibition explores the history of cash and offers a look at the new banknotes with the King’s head on them before they are in general circulation. Discover even more about the exhibition on lunchtime curator tours, or at the March Museum Late.


Outdoor spaces for a spot of spring sun

If you’re looking to soak up the spring sun, why not dine al fresco on the sunken lawn at Festival Garden next to St Paul’s Cathedral, step into a secret garden in church ruins at St Dunstan or visit the tropical oasis at the Barbican Conservatory.

8. Festival Gardens: Perch for a picnic in the sunken lawn and listen to the trickling fountain at the beautiful Festival Gardens against the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral backdrop.

9. St Dunstan in the East Church Garden: Step into the secret garden of these church ruins with award-winning landscaping of lush foliage and twisting branches to frame dozens of Instagram-worthy pics. See if you can capture that perfect ‘past meets future’ shot of The Shard spied through an ancient archway.

10. Postman’s Park: One of the City’s largest open spaces, Postman’s Park harbours a fascinating history, part of which can be discovered in the Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice. Located between King Edward Street and Aldersgate Street.

11. Barbican Conservatory: Step into the tropical paradise bursting with life within the iconic brutalist architecture of the Barbican Centre. The second biggest conservatory in London is free to enter but tickets must be booked in advance.

12. Sky Garden: Visit the capital’s highest public garden and experience epic views of London and enjoy a drink from its two bars and two restaurants. Visiting is free but spaces are limited and must be booked in advance.

13. City in Bloom: Discover City Gardens and green spaces bursting with colourful flowers. With 180 green spaces across the City, there’s a wide range of places to explore and relax. Find perfect pink cherry blossom in March in Aldgate Square and outside St Paul’s Cathedral; elegant magnolias at St Mary Aldermanbury Gardens (late March to early April). bright red and pink Tree Peonies in Cleary Gardens); and for purple Wisteria in May, head for St Paul’s Cathedral Churchyard Gardens, or go up to the outdoor rooftop Garden at 120.


Top tipples and best bites

Famously host to an array of world-class dining venues, the City’s vast collection of restaurants and rooftop bars are sure to impress. Gaze at the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral from Sabine’s Rooftop Bar, delve into the merging world of flowers and textile history at Florattica or escape to the beaches of Australia at Paradise Green.

14. Florattica rooftop bar: Sip floral cocktails and nibble on sushi while you enjoy the view surrounded by botanical interiors inspired by local history at this striking rooftop bar located at Canopy by Hilton.

15. Savage Garden rooftop bar: Declaring itself “London’s wildest rooftop bar”, this decadent party palace serves up sharing plates and light bites to accompany the iconic skyline views. Find it at Double Tree by Hilton Tower of London.

16. Sabine rooftop bar: This rooftop oasis is a hidden garden in the sky offering a majestic view of St Paul’s Cathedral next door. Sunny spring days call for cocktails on the open terrace while the glass-domed bar is a welcome retreat on not-so-dry evenings.

17. Cecconi’s at The Ned: A modern-day classic Italian restaurant serving handmade pasta, seafood and dishes from Italy using the finest ingredients. Located in the heart of a magnificent former banking hall at The Ned.

18. Paradise Green: Bringing art, design, and food together on an epic scale, this art gallery style restaurant is playfully inspired by Surfers Paradise of Australia providing the perfect spot to dine on the warmer days. Open daily for early morning and late nights at 100 Bishopsgate.

19. Rakes Café Bar: By Liverpool Street station, Rake’s relaxing atmosphere is ideal for breakfast, lunches, dinners and crafted cocktails after work. Featuring three distinct areas: The Front Room – a garden-influenced space, home to varying local DJs from Thursday to Saturday nights; The Parlour – a sophisticated yet casual lounge area; and No.3 – the secret room, perfect for private gatherings.

20. The Lampery: The indoor-outdoor décor is bound to add something fun and exciting to your dining experience. The crafted menu features a variety of delicious dishes compounded by fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Offers everything from classic to contemporary, including a weekend bubbles brunch, and Sunday roast lunch.

21. Swingers City: Eat, drink and play crazy golf! Plunge into a 1920’s English countryside inspired golf club with its elegant clubhouse, rolling greens and first-rate hospitality. You'll find two 9-hole crazy golf courses with four incredible street food vendors, five cocktail drenched bars and a two-storey clubhouse. Over 18s only.


Plenty of family fun

Keeping the kids entertained is easy with an array of family-friendly activities across the Square Mile. Whether it’s coming fact to face with the larger-than-life animals at the Wild Babies exhibition, special screenings at the Family Film Club at the Barbican, or exploring renowned history with the Children’s Trail – there’s something for the whole family!

22. City of London Children’s Trail: Step into a realm where history meets modernity as you explore the City of London with the Children’s Trail map. Find your free Children's Trail Map & stickers from the City Information Centre near St Paul’s Cathedral for an interactive family experience.

23. Wild About Babies outdoor statues: Experience the magic of larger-than-life animal statues at Paternoster Square. Witness gorillas, hippos, elephants, and more come to life in this captivating free exhibition by artists Gillie and Marc. The installation is on display all year until January 2025.

24. Sculpture in the City: Delve into the beauty of outdoor artworks with Sculpture in the City around the eastern side of the City. Families can download a special family map for extra activities and fun while you follow the trail. The 12th Edition artworks will be in place until April 2024.
25. Family Film Club at the Barbican: Experience enchanting screenings and drawing demos at Barbican's Family Film Club every Saturday morning.

26. F1 Arcade: Ignite your sense of adventure with the thrilling F1 Arcade. Experience the glamour and excitement of Formula 1® with bespoke full-motion racing simulators, delicious food, and an electric atmosphere. The perfect venue for a family gaming experience until 6pm, with an 18+ age policy after. Located at One New Change.

27. Second Saturday – Free Family Activities: A monthly programme of family activities at Guildhall Art Gallery with different themes each month may have you heading into the Roman Amphitheatre and hearing tales of Roman conquests or creating crafts from the Victorian paintings surrounding you.

28. Aldgate Easter Egg Hunt: Join this free egg hunt across Aldgate and crack the hidden clues to win free treats. Grab your colleagues, friends, family or go it alone and head down to Aldgate Tap on Aldgate Square to begin the hunt. From here, follow the 9 clues hidden in business windows and collect your free treat once you complete the trail. (18 March – 1 April).

29. The Great Leadenhall Market Goose Chase: Leadenhall Market’s popular scavenger hunt is back this Easter, with a series of eggstraordinary challenges in and around the Victorian market, giving participants the chance to win Old Tom’s trophy (in honour of the legendary market gander) and £500 to spend in Leadenhall Market’s boutique shops and restaurants. Open to all ages and free to enter (1-30 April).

30. The War of the World’s Immersive Experience: Experience a Martian Invasion in London with this interactive adventure packed with sensory moments, VR and AR technology, volumetric holograms and immersive theatre. Live actors, virtual reality and iconic music recreating 24 interactive scenes.


City of London Corporation Policy Chairman, Chris Hayward, said:

“This is one of the loveliest times to visit the City - the beating heart of London - with its extraordinary, unparalleled history and heritage.

“It’s the ideal moment to savour the Square Mile’s world-leading cultural attractions, intriguing green spaces and array of vibrant restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes.

“Together we are encouraging everyone to enjoy our great City – and supporting our businesses - as footfall continues to reach its steady rise back to pre-pandemic levels.

“Spring in the City forms part of our flagship Destination City programme, which sets out a vision for the Square Mile to become a world-leading leisure destination for UK and global visitors, workers and residents.”

For more information and to discover the wide variety of things to do in the City this spring visit www.thecityofldn.com.

Published Mar 27, 2024