Plan Your Visit

14 fantastic things to do in April in the City of London

Spring has officially arrived and with the weather starting to warm up, April is one of the best times to visit the City of London.

From marvelling at glorious blooms to exploring 2,000-year-old history, here are just some of the fantastic things to see & do this April.

1. Visit one of Roman London’s most fascinating remains

Beneath the curious old pathways of the City of London lies Billingsgate Roman House and Baths, a rich piece of Roman history surviving 2,000 years of building, fires and bombings.

The Billingsgate Roman House and Baths are one of Roman London’s most fascinating remains. First built around A.D. 150 then extended a hundred years later, it was occupied right through to the end of Roman London in the early 5th century A.D.

You can get close to the protected archaeological remains, which are preserved in immaculate condition, as if the archaeologists have just left the site.

Public tours of Billingsgate Roman House and Baths take place on Saturdays between April and November and advance booking is required. Tours will start this year from Saturday 13 April.

Tickets cost £12 per adult  and £10 per child 14 years old or under (additional booking fee applies). Suitable for ages 8+.

What's On - billingsgate-bath-house - old roman foundations

2. Discover a fresh perspective on London at Guildhall Art Gallery’s latest exhibition

Anne Desmet: Kaleidoscope/London Exhibition opens its doors this month in Guildhall Art Gallery. From 12 April - 8 September, visitors will be able to explore 150 artworks that offer a fresh perspective on London, its architecture and geography by multi-award-winning wood engraver Anne Desmet RA.

A deeply personal and endlessly imaginative show, Desmet has spoken candidly about her inspiration for the new work, pointing to “wild scattergun thoughts running through my mind” while undergoing treatment for cancer two years ago and looking at a fragmented view of the world through a toy kaleidoscope.

Entry to the exhibition is “pay what you can”.

Kaleidoscopic image of the British Museum interior

3. Visit the "Instagrammable" Balloon Museum before it goes

The immersive Balloon Museum is a unique exhibition that explores the relationship between art and emotions through the captivating medium of inflatable art.

In the exhibition, twenty artists interpret and present works related to specific emotions or behaviours influenced by them.

Visitors are invited to interact with the installations - from jumping into the balloon ball pit and snapping selfies in the inflatable exhibits there’s lots of fun to be had.

The Balloon Museum is open until 14 April.

Illuminated red balloon with a projection of a smiley face. The illuminated balloon is hanging from the ceiling in a room covered in thousands of balloons with people in it as well.

Photograph: The Balloon Museum / Photo by Matt Chung

4. Explore the world of Shakespeare 

William Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, but spent the greatest part of his life in London. Much of his time in the capital was spent living and working in the City of London.

A lot of Shakespeare’s Elizabethan London was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 but you can still find places in the City where he lived, wrote, socialised, prayed, watched his plays and (probably) found his inspiration.

When exploring the City you will be able to see the site of the only home he owned in London, the site of the Blackfriars Playhouse theatre and a magnificent memorial to two of Shakespeare's fellow actors. Plus, you will also be able to find Middle Temple Hall where the first recorded performance of Twelfth Night took place in 1602.

Pick up a free self-guided map from the City Information Centre, near St Pauls Cathedral, to find the places where Shakespeare lived, worked and socialised in the City. 

To round out your day of exploration, plan a visit to Guildhall Library, where until 29 August you will be able to examine the history of the printing of William Shakespeare’s plays.

Statue of British playwright William Shakespeare - head and shoulders - on top of a plinth with the word "Shakespeare"

5. Take part in the Great Leadenhall Goose Chase 

Leadenhall Market’s popular Great Goose Chase is back this month, with a series of “eggstraordinary” challenges in and around the Victorian market, giving participants the chance to win Old Tom’s trophy (named after the legendary Market gander) and £500 to spend in Leadenhall Market’s boutique shops and restaurants.  

In the tale of Old Tom, it’s said that a gander (a male goose) from Ostend came to England in 19th century by chance, following female members of his flock. At that time, Leadenhall Market was a centre for poultry trade – but Old Tom managed to avoid slaughter and became a Market celebrity! He lived for 38 years and was often found being fed at The Lamb Tavern. Today, visitors can enjoy a drink at the Lamb Tavern’s Old Tom’s Bar, and the Golden Goose pub.

The Great Goose Chase will have brand new tasks this year, which range from performing a song on the Market’s famous cobbled lanes, locating specific items in shops, to recreating the famous Harry Potter scene that was filmed in the Market.

The event is free and open to all ages from 1-30 April.

Interior view of Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market, London © Lucy Young

6. Get front row seats to watch every thrilling Grand Prix™ live on huge screens

Are you ready for the biggest Grand Prix™ season yet? The F1 Arcade is one of the best places to watch every thrilling Grand Prix™ live on huge screens with unlimited sim racing, entertainment, prizes, and DJs providing an electric atmosphere.

A group of people playing video games at a bar.

7. Plan a special Easter getaway

Andaz London is a stylish and sleek hotel in the City of London and is the ultimate treat if you’re looking to plan a special getaway this Easter. While you’re there enjoy a special Easter Brunch at Rake's Cafe Bar, or a delicious Easter set course menu at their Eastway Brasserie for £49 per person.

There’s also a 25% discount on stays this Easter at Andaz London and to make it even sweeter there’s a thrilling Easter egg hunt through the hotel's enchanting spaces.

Andaz Lounge - bright blue walls and counter in a colourful lobby

8. Outdoor spots for a bit 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 in the East or visit an indoor tropical oasis at the Barbican Conservatory. 

This month you will be able to see City Gardens and green spaces bursting with colourful flowers including perfect pink cherry blossom in Aldgate Square and other locations (early April); creamy-pink magnolias in St Mary Aldermanbury Garden (early April), and bright red and pink tea peonies in Cleary Garden (from mid April). With 180 green spaces across the City, there’s a wide range of places to explore and relax.

St Dunstan in the East Church Garden - man stood amongst the ruins

9. See the Barbican Lakeside Terrace transformed by an incredible new installation

This month, the Barbican’s famous Lakeside Terrace will be transformed dramatically by an incredible new piece of artwork that will envelop the building’s iconic concrete exterior with approximately 2,000 square metres of bespoke woven cloth.

Purple Hibiscus by Ibrahim Mahama is an ambitious new commission created in collaboration with hundreds of craftspeople from Tamale in Ghana. The work has been woven and then sewn by hand to produce colossal panels of pink and purple fabric that will be fitted to the brutalist planes of the Barbican’s Lakeside façade, from 10 April – 18 August.

The commission forms part of the Unravel: The Power & Politics of Textiles in Art exhibition, taking place in the Barbican Art Gallery until May 2024.

People with long pieces of purple fabric

Courtesy of Ibrahim Mahama, Red Clay Tamale, Barbican Centre, London and White Cube

10. Find Easter themed activities for all the family to enjoy 

Keep the whole family entertained over the Easter holidays with our roundup of 5 brilliant things to do during the Easter holidays in the City of London. 

From immersive experiences to Easter Egg hunts plan a fun-filled Easter break in the City. 

boy and girl holding up drawings of bunnies

Photograph: Family craft activities © Bank of England Museum

11. Explore the City while cheering on the London Landmarks Half Marathon

London Landmarks Half Marathon (LLHM) will be returning on Sunday 7 April for its 7th edition, with over 18,500 runners taking part. The event is incredibly special as it is organised by Tommy’s the baby charity, and is a 100% not-for-profit event partnering with 500+ charities. On the day there will be local music and dance acts, historical activations, free guided history tours as well as themed charity cheer stations.

Here are just some of the brilliant activations happening on the day:

  • In Guildhall Yard, prepare yourself for gladiator fighting, centurion drilling and plenty of fun celebrating Londinium life at a Roman Reception. Plus, don’t miss your chance to grab a selfie with a gladiator. You can also combine this with a free visit to London’s Roman Amphitheatre, the well-preserved Roman ruins in which crowds would once have gathered to watch gladiatorial combats - entrance is via the Guildhall Art Gallery.
  • Rock Choir, the world’s largest contemporary choir, will also be performing in Guildhall Yard once again, uplifting runners at the mile 6.5 mark with their infectious energy and powerful tunes. Not only is it a runner highlight, but it is one of their recommended spots for supporters to come enjoy the family fun, and cheer on their loved ones. 

If you are cheering on your friends or family this year and searching for places to eat there are a variety of restaurants, cafes and bars for all tastes in the City including Zizzi, Pizza Express, Boom Bap Burger and more.

12. Feel inspired for your wedding day planning

One for the Brides and Grooms to be, on 13 April, head down to the Andaz London Wedding Show where you can sip on bubbles, listen to expert talks and be inspired by London's best suppliers.

The enchanting 1901 Ballroom is set to undergo a mesmerising transformation, turning it into a magical venue for the upcoming wedding showcase, with some of the wedding dresses from renowned designer Richard Quinn’s recent fashion show for London Fashion Week being shown on the evening.

From room décor to make-up, flowers to food, they have it all covered. Tickets for this event are free.

A magnificent ballroom set up for a wedding meal.

13. Join an expert guide on a walk exploring the literary legacy of the City of London

Did you know that the City of London is where the first printing press in England was established, and all written works had to be registered before publication? On this guided walking tour hear stories of the writers who were born and raised in the City, and those like Shakespeare who were drawn here to make their names.

Find out about the court case that destroyed Oscar Wilde’s reputation, and the brave publisher who held out for literary merit in a notorious obscenity trial.

Meet the colleagues who ensured Shakespeare’s plays were saved for posterity, and the priest poet who almost lost it all for love.

We recommend booking your place in advance and you can check out the full schedule of walks from official City of London Guides. From 1 April they will be offering guided walks on two different themes each day.

14. Catch live concerts & performances

From beautiful music in historic locations, to something more modern. Discover a wide range of concerts and performances across the City this month.

  • Enjoy a free concert at Guildhall School of Music on 9 April, with Britten Sinfonia’s Magnus Opus 2024-25 launch concert which features the three composers embarking on this year’s edition of Britten Sinfonia’s composer development scheme.
  • Kick-start your evening with 60 minutes of music – experience a Half Six Fix with the London Symphony Orchestra. Two performances to choose from this April: Daphnis and Chloé on 10 April; or Vaughan Williams 5 on 17 April.
  • Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Axelle Fanyo, one of most promising singers of her generation, who is making a mark on both the opera world and in concert halls. Presented by Temple Music Foundation, Temple Song: Axelle Fanyo takes place in the stunning Middle Temple Hall on 18 April.
  • Join 24 brilliant young disabled and non-disabled musicians on 21 April for an uplifting afternoon of music mixing acoustic, electronic and accessible instruments. Feel The Music by National Open Youth Orchestra, is a relaxed performance welcoming of disabled and neurodivergent audiences, families, and anyone else who would benefit from a less formal environment.
  • The Olivier award-winning dance theatre company Boy Blue returns with a world premiere that celebrates change and the beauty of perpetual motion. Boy Blue: Cycles takes place at the Barbican from 30 April to 4 May.

Group of performers on stage.

Find out what else is on this month.

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The Conservatory x Ranjani Shettar
Cloud songs on the horizon is the artist’s first major institutional show in Europe and will feature five new, large-scale suspended sculptures across the entirety of the Conservatory space.
Folio 400: Shakespeare in Print
Drawing on Guildhall Library’s remarkable Shakespeare collections, this exhibition examines the history of the printing of William Shakespeare’s plays.
Christopher Wren: The Quest for Knowledge
Investigate the genius of Christopher Wren and his ever-enquiring mind in this new exhibition at St Paul's Cathedral - said to be Wren's masterpiece.
The Tower Bridge Cat Trail
02.01.2024 31.10.2024

The Tower Bridge Cat Trail

Tower Bridge
Inspired by 'The Tower Bridge Cat' and the characters from the award-winning books, families are invited to complete our interactive Trail as they make their way through Tower Bridge.
Pop-Up Monthly Markets: Vintage Furniture & Flea presented by Judy’s
Putting the market back into Leadenhall, don't miss these monthly pop-up Sunday Markets filled with furniture and fashion.
London Festival of Architecture 2024 – in the City
Discover stunning outdoor art installations in the City of London during London Festival of Architecture (LFA).
SQUIGGLE – Interactive Outdoor Art Installation
Embark on a transformative journey through the unexpected with NEON's SQUIGGLE, an outdoor immersive art installation.
Summer Markets Paternoster Square and by St Paul’s
Discover cabins serving food and drinks, deckchairs, and a giant LED screen to watch live sports and movies outdoors this summer.
The Wave by The Westin London City
A powerful and playful indoor installation honouring the River Thames to raise awareness of its biodiversity.
Summer of Sport in The City
14.06.2024 08.09.2024

Summer of Sport in The City

Enjoy sports activities in the City, including table tennis, crazy golf and fitness classes, or watch major sporting events live on big screens!
Open Garden Evenings at Charterhouse
Visit the stunning Charterhouse Gardens on selected summer evenings - enjoy a relaxing evening with live music.
Outdoor Exhibition: Launching A Landmark
Tower Bridge is celebrating 130 years with a free, summer-long exhibition you won't want to miss.
Play Cycles Are Go!
A free and fun pop-up play programme that is cycling across London during the summer holidays!
Sports Fest 2024
01.07.2024 28.09.2024

Sports Fest 2024

Sports Fest 2024 is in full swing across Aldgate and Cheapside, with an incredible calendar of sporting games happening across the city.
Screen On The Green – Seething Lane Garden
The outdoor Screen on the Green at Seething Lane Gardens will be showing sports and movies for free throughout the summer.
Wimbledon on the big screen at One New Change
Nothing says summer quite like Wimbledon, so immerse yourself in outdoor tennis screenings at One New Change.
Tour of London’s Roman Amphitheatre – July
Join archaeologist Dr Andrew Lane for an extended tour of one of the most important buildings in Roman London.
Second Saturday – Family activities at Guildhall Art Gallery
A revolving programme of family activities may have you heading into the Roman Amphitheatre and hearing tales of Roman conquests, or creating crafts from the Victorian paintings surrounding you.
Concert: Come Ye Sons of Art
The world-famous Temple Church Choir joins forces with leading period instrumentalists for an end of term gala.
Cart Marking Ceremony
The annual Cart Marking Ceremony is a free-to-watch historic tradition in the City of London, led by a City Livery company (the Worshipful Company of Carmen).
Roman London Family Quest
Bring your family back in time to Roman Londinium in this interactive fun family day.
Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra: Beethoven’s Ninth
On the evening of 29 July, the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra will join the Royal Opera House’s Songs for Ukraine Chorus in a historic performance at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral. 
Second Saturday (August) – Family activities at Guildhall Art Gallery
Join the newly launched ‘Play Cycles’ - a family-friendly pop-up event in Guildhall yard in collaboration with the Museum of London
Anne Desmet Intermediate Wood Engraving Workshop
Gain more experience of wood engraving at this interactive intermediate workshop by artist and exhibition co-curator Anne Desmet RA.
Outdoor Cinema at the Barbican
Enjoy the warm summer evenings filled with fantastic films on a giant outdoor screen in the Barbican's Sculpture Court.
Anne Desmet: Kaleidoscope/London Wood Engraving Workshop
Join artist and co-curator Anne Desmet RA for this interactive 'introduction to wood engraving' workshop.
Thames Day
An exciting day of activity, Thames Day celebrates World Rivers Day and the significance of the river Thames to the nation's capital city. Taking place on 22 September on the riverside in the City of London, there will be a programme of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Lord Mayor’s Show
Visit the City for the Lord Mayor’s Show - a three mile long outdoor procession with colourful floats, music and fun.
Gotts Street Park and Friends
Gotts Street Park makes its Barbican debut with a live presentation of some of the Leeds-based trio’s favourite studio moments and collaborations so far – from their first release, right up until today.