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11 things to do this January in the City of London

And just like that we are now in the first month of 2024 and the City of London has a tapestry of fun and unique experiences to kick-start your year.

Dive into free medieval and ancient Roman history, learn to swing dance, or indulge in some tasty vegan eats. The activities don’t stop there!

Here are some of the best things to do in the City of London this January 2024.

1. Try Vegan food this January 

As we start a new year, you might be keen to join countless others for Veganuary but are not quite sure where to start. When it comes to dining, the City has a whole host of restaurants and cafes for you to explore.

Check out some of these top vegan-friendly spots in the City: Florattica, a discreet find perched 11 floors above East London; Yauatcha City, a culinary adventure featuring delectable vegan dumplings; 1947, a lively vegetarian and vegan restaurant offering wallet-friendly delights; and The Anthologist, a venue seamlessly blending style with substance, boasting a variety of vegan-friendly choices. Don't miss the chance to explore Veganuary at Eastway Brasserie, where mouth-watering options like Avocado Garden await; or try the Plant based burger at the Libertine.

2. Brighten up January with the IlluminoCity Light Festival

A free light art installations for all to enjoy, discover two beautiful visual experiences in the City this January. Near Moorgate Station, explore a feel-good, walk-in immersive installation 'The Happy House' designed to raise spirits during the short winter days. After that, hop across the City boundary into Shoreditch and take a selfie with the wonderful social media-inspired installation 'Beaming'.

Brightly coloured illuminated artwork that looks like a house.

3. Explore Roman Ruins

Step back in time as you explore the City, discovering the remains of Roman London. From the City Wall to the Roman Amphitheatre, retrace the daily lives of Romans 2,000 years ago, and catch a captivating glimpse into history. You can see many of the Roman ruins as you walk around outdoors, or go inside to see immaculately preserved remains at certain locations.

Roman City Wall, with a statue of a Roman in front.

4. Immerse yourself in Culture

Immerse yourself in the world of music at the Barbican, featuring everything from soul-stirring opera to the three greatest oratorios in musical history. Allow the harmonies and melodies to captivate your senses in this iconic cultural hub.

Concert - the London Symphony Orchestra on stage, with a conductor standing in front.

5. Relax and Recharge at a Spa Day

After the hustle and bustle of the festive season, treat yourself to a day of rest and relaxation at one of the City's best spas. Wrap yourself in a fluffy robe, choose your preferred treatment, and activate the 'do not disturb' mode for a blissful escape.

6. Treat Yourself to a Michelin Star Hot Chocolate at Rosslyn

Indulge in the lap of luxury with a cup of Michelin-star chocolate at Rosslyn. Collaborating with Mork Chocolate, their winter favourite boasts 50% cocoa from Peru and 50% coconut blossom sugar from Indonesia. An utterly delicious treat to warm you up during the cold January days!

There are three Rosslyn locations to choose from in the City - one on Queen Victoria Street, another at London Wall, and the third on Old Broad Street outside Tower 42.

Rosslyn Coffee - London Wall - modern black cafe on the corner of the street

7. Get Cultured at a Free Exhibition

Delve into the world of William Shakespeare at the City Heritage Gallery's remarkable free exhibition located in Guildhall Art Gallery. Running until 25 January, this showcase features historical items related to the greatest English playwright, including a rare display of Shakespeare's First Folio. Don’t stop there, as a visit to Guildhall is never complete without taking some time to browse the stunning paintings in the Guildhall Art Gallery main collection.

A really big fan of Shakespeare? Why not make a day of it and combine your visit to the City Heritage Gallery with a free visit to a Shakespeare-themed exhibition at nearby Guildhall Library. The 'Folio 400 - Shakespeare in Print' exhibition is open Monday to Thursday, until 30 April.

8. Discover Hidden Gems

Uncover the City's hidden wonders as you explore its 2,000-year-old story. From old Roman ruins to narrow medieval alleyways, every chapter unfolds a piece of history in churches, green spaces, pubs, and townhouses.

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

9. Try Something New

Experience the thrill of climbing at City Bouldering Aldgate, an exciting gem in the heart of the City. With over 100 climbs, a fully equipped gym, and a vibrant community, it is the perfect place to try something new and join in regular socials, classes, and events.

City Bouldering - colourful climbing wall - people watch as others climb the wall - a soft safety matt below

10. Put on Your Dancing Shoes

Dance into the rhythm of January at Bishopsgate Institute, offering a diverse collection of dance courses and social dance events. From Swing Den to Queer Tango classes, there is something to suit every style and preference.

Bishopsgate Institute - people dancing in pairs on a dance floor

11. Explore the City’s Rich Heritage on Foot

Immerse yourself in world-famous sights, culture, history, and the heritage of the City by exploring it on foot. Visit the City Information Centre near St Paul's Cathedral to pick up free printed maps and self-guided walks such as The Medieval City, The Great Fire of London, and Roads to Rome.

Alternatively, for those who enjoy guided tours, official City of London Guides also run daily walking tours with different themes and locations to help you make the most of your visit. The guides are experts in the City's 2000 year history. For City regulars, it's a great chance to find out something new about the City and discover places you might not have been before.

Historic pub with outdoor space

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