There’s more to London’s financial nucleus than glistening skyscrapers. Stroll through the subtropical Crossrail Place Roof Garden, educate yourself at the Museum of London Docklands and visit the largest fish market in the UK, if you can wake up early enough.
Follow the snaking line of the River Thames east of the city centre, and you’ll hit Canary Wharf. Once the busiest dockland in the world, it was transformed into a business hub in the 1980s, with shiny towering office blocks to rival those of New York. Today, it’s a well-established financial centre as well as home to botanical gardens and fascinating museums. Here are Culture Trip’s top recommendations.
Before Canary Wharf became a skyscraper attraction and a major business district in London, it was a well-known port. Showcasing the rich history of Canary Wharf and other ports in the city is the Museum of London Docklands. On display are port and river collections, among others, representing London’s history from the Roman settlement era to the development of modern-day Canary Wharf. Inside a 19th-century warehouse, the museum tells the story of the UK capital through the eyes of trade, migration and commerce over the past centuries.
Sitting on top of a Tube station, Jubilee Park is a leafy, open-air space designed by Jacques Wirtz. Stroll along the metasequoia tree-lined paths with a coffee and doughnut from Crosstown, or bring a picnic lunch to sit on the sun-flecked grass. It’s a popular spot in the summer months with office workers and tourists in need of a sit-down.
While driving around London, the last thing you want to see is a cluster of traffic lights, all pointing in different directions. At 8m (26ft) tall, with 75 sets of lights, it’s actually a public sculpture called Traffic Light Tree, created by French artist Pierre Vivant. You can’t miss it, as it stands at the entrance of Billingsgate Market. At night, it looks much like a massive Christmas tree.
Judy Cogan contributed additional reporting to this article.