Fridays in the City: City of London launches ‘Top Friday things to do’ guide as TfL kick-starts reduced Friday fares

Make the most of Transport for London’s discounted Friday travel and

discover the City of London’s guide to Fridays, showcasing all the best things to do in the Square Mile.

As Transport for London rolls out its trial of lower off-peak fares on Fridays, there’s never been a better time to celebrate the end of the week in the City of London. The three-month trial, proposed by the Mayor of London last month, comes as a welcome opportunity for people to reconnect with the cultural tapestry of the City at a reduced cost.

To mark the occasion, the City of London has unveiled the ultimate cheat sheet for Friday activities. Whether it’s a leisurely day out with family to keep the kids entertained, a moment of respite for busy City workers to lunch or socialise after work, or a fun-filled afternoon for adventurous tourists, the City of London promises an array of experiences as the weekend kicks off.

The City’s top picks serve as your comprehensive guide to the ultimate Friday out!

Lunchtime bites and after work celebrations

If you’re looking for a place to perch for lunch or ready to cheers to the weekend after the end of the working day, the City’s diverse dining scene, vibrant bars and welcoming outdoor spaces provide an array of choices to dine, drink, relax and explore.

·       Taste a Michelin Star hot chocolate: Rosslyn Coffee is serving up the best hot chocolates which were given a Michelin Star, offering a cosy lunchtime treat.

·       14 Hills rooftop bar: It’s leafy and lively in this Fenchurch Street cocktail bar and dining space – you can eat and drink among foliage galore while live DJs inject a party vibe on Friday nights.

·       The Fortnum’s Bar and Restaurant at the Royal Exchange: Serving up a seasonal contemporary menu, the bar and restaurant sits in the al fresco-style surroundings of the spectacular Royal Exchange. Open every Friday from 10am-7pm.

·       Barbican Lakeside Terrace: A wonderful place to relax for lunch or grab a coffee while you soak up the sun, surrounded by iconic architecture and greenery. From 10 April, find Ibrahim Mahma’s Purple Hibiscus installation, which will dramatically envelop the iconic brutalist building’s exterior with 2,000 square metres of bespoke woven cloth.

·       Gardens to dine al fresco: Dine al fresco on the sunken lawn and listen to the trickling fountain at the beautiful Festival Gardens. What better than the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral as a lunchtime backdrop. Check out the wonderful array of green spaces for the perfect Friday lunch escape.

For the culture connoisseurs

Discover the City’s unparalleled culture and unique heritage with a visit to Guildhall Art Gallery, catch the Barbican’s captivating exhibition by Moroccan artist Soufiane Ababri or find some joy with Elysian Arcs colourful installation at Leadenhall. No matter your taste in art, theatre, film or history, there’s something for everyone to discover.

·       Guildhall Art Gallery: Enjoy free guided tours on Fridays at the City of London Corporation’s Guildhall Art Gallery, taking place at 12:15pm and 1:15pm each week. Enjoy the several free displays to see 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 the capital through a fragmented lens.

·       The Curve, Barbican: Catch Moroccan artist Soufiane Ababri’s captivating exhibition of drawings and performances, inspired by their experiences as a gay Arab man. The exhibition is free and runs 13 March – 30 June.

·       Elysian Arcs Installation: From 26 February to 15 March, visit the Leadenhall Building to bring some joy to the darker months of the year with this ethereal and colourful installation. Elysian Arcs is a free outdoor immersive light and sound installation commissioned by the EC BID, to help support the mental, physical, and environmental wellbeing of workers in the City.

·       Balloon Museum: Discover the unique exhibition that explores the relationship between art and emotions through the captivating medium of inflatable art – something the whole family will enjoy! Open Fridays from 10am-8pm, until mid-April.

·       St Paul's Cathedral: Its world-famous dome is an iconic feature of the City skyline. Visitors looking to sightsee can walk in the footsteps of royalty and political leaders, explore the Crypt or scale the Dome and enjoy unrivalled views across London.

·       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. During your visit, make sure to head downstairs to experience the remains of the ancient temple itself.

Family day out

Looking to make the Friday fares a family affair? The City boasts a lively programme of family friendly activities, however adventurous you’re feeling. Visit the F1 Arcade to drive like a champion, explore rich history on the Children’s Trail and visit larger-than-life animal statues at Paternoster Square.

·       F1 Arcade: Jump into the driver’s seat of a Formula One car and race against your friends in a thrilling simulation at the F1 Arcade, One New Change.

·       Wild About Babies outdoor artworks: See 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.

·       Tower Bridge: Explore the iconic Towers, panoramic Walkways, and historic Engine Rooms unlocking 125 years of history. Enjoy family friendly activities including the Tower Bridge Cat Trail, and regular monthly activities where families can get creative and learn about the Bridge.

·       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.

·       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.

·       The War of the World’s Immersive Experience: Experience a Martian Invasion in London with this never-before-seen 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.

For the first time visitor

Whether you’re a first-time visitor to London or a seasoned resident, the many free viewing platforms, iconic markets or a classic high tea will always impress.

·       Horizon 22: London’s newest viewing platform, and the highest free public viewing platform in Europe, is sure to impress with exquisite views of the London skyline. Entrance is free of charge but must be booked in advance.

·       Sky Garden: London’s highest public garden showcases two destination bars and two restaurants, welcoming after work drinkers with live bands and house DJ sets at sunset alongside a backdrop of uninterrupted views of London. Bookings to the Sky Garden are free and available in advance.

·       Barbican Conservatory:  Explore the tropical paradise bursting with life within the iconic brutalist architecture of the Barbican Centre on the special late night Friday openings. All of March, the Conservatory is hosting a site-specific installation by Indian sculptor Ranjani Shettar, featuring five new, large-scale suspended sculptures across the entirety of the space.

·       High tea at Searcys at the Gherkin: Putting the ‘high’ in high tea, this delicious afternoon tea is served with a 360-degree helping of City view.

·       Leadenhall Market: A hidden gem with rich heritage and striking architecture which dates back to the 14th century, discover the wonderful boutiques, shops and cafes. Why not try cheese and wine tasting from specialty cheesemongers, Cheese at Leadenhall.

The Friday in the City guide is part of the City of London Corporation’s 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 to enjoy.

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

“Cutting the cost of travel on Fridays is a welcome move for 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 to enjoy.

“London has a first-class visitor offer, with unparalleled history, cutting edge arts, and outstanding attractions. And this decision could deliver a significant boost for the capital’s London’s pubs, cafes, restaurants, and cultural sector.

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

Train and tube stations within the City of London include Aldgate, Bank, Barbican, Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Chancery Lane, City Thameslink, Fenchurch Street, Liverpool Street, Mansion House, Monument, Moorgate, St Paul’s, and Tower Gateway.

For more information on everything to do in the City of London visit



About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.


Four Agency


Sarita Knight: 07841 672 396