London’s oldest neighbourhood hugs the Thames as the river turns east again after its northward glide past the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye. Here, in the City of London, skyscrapers loom over medieval streets, and historic icons such St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London speak to the area’s powerful past.
The City, or the Square Mile, is the original London. Its walls, still visible today, were built by the Romans in AD 200 and marked its official boundaries until the end of the Middle Ages. As London’s historic financial district, it’s home to the imposing Bank of England and the Royal Exchange, as well as various newer developments that have sprung up in recent years.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The introduction of 21st-century skyscrapers (commonly known by their affectionate nicknames) has added to an instantly recognisable skyline that was once dominated by the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral alone. Even though the Gherkin, Walkie Talkie and Cheesegrater are in stark contrast to their architectural predecessors, they fall in line with City tradition – the last of the three got its distinctive shape because of its proximity to one of eight “protected view corridors”, pathways enshrined in law that guarantee uninterrupted views of the cathedral from points across London.
For views of the City and right across the capital, head to the Sky Garden on the top floor of the Walkie Talkie or climb the 311 steps to the tip of the Monument, a column erected to commemorate the Great Fire of London, which ravaged London in 1666, and to celebrate the city’s rebuilding.
As new development has continued, glimpses into the area’s past have revealed themselves piece by piece. Beneath the cobbled streets lies the Billingsgate Roman Bathhouse and below Bloomberg’s European headquarters sits the Roman Temple of Mithras. First discovered under rubble during the Blitz, it can be viewed today as part of an incredible immersive exhibition. The reconstructed temple is home to a number of Roman artefacts found during its excavation, which are presented alongside new art commissions.
But you don’t have to go underground to go back in time. When Leadenhall Market was first built nearly 2,000 years ago it was the largest market north of the Alps, and it has long been a bustling trading spot. No longer used for the trade of meat and poultry, as it was in the 14th century, it’s now home to shops, bars and restaurants – extensive refurbishment in the 1990s preserved its glorious Victorian roof, cobbles and framework.
Alternatively, make you way to Guildhall to see the largest surviving medieval crypts in London, which are housed within its Gothic grandeur. Fans of 20th-century architecture should walk to the Barbican for some of the best examples of the Brutalism that flourished in the 1960s and ’70s, as well as for the concerts and exhibitions shown within its hand-drilled concrete walls.
For a more gruesome view of the City, walking tours exploring the Plague, Jack the Ripper and even the area’s ghosts are easy to find, and there are plenty of brilliant watering holes along the way – Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese and the Rising Sun are particularly special.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.