At the heart of London’s historic Docklands, the waterfront district of Canary Wharf has transformed itself into a financial powerhouse in recent years. This area has become—along with the nearby City of London—one of the capital’s most important business centers.
This modern district is home to the headquarters of some of the biggest names in banking and media, and a walking tour is the best way to admire the gleaming skyscrapers and glass-fronted high-rises. Notable landmarks include the 771-foot (235-meter) tall One Canada Square, the second-tallest building in the UK after The Shard.
It’s not all about work in Canary Wharf though: The revitalized docks now serve as an urban playground for the city’s most affluent residents, with a suitably elegant selection of bars and restaurants, and a thriving shopping district. Additional highlights include the unique Traffic Light Tree, an installation artwork by Pierre Vivant; the Centaur, a modern sculpture by Igor Mitoraj; and the Museum of the London Docklands. Visitors can enjoy the Canary Wharf area on a city group or private sightseeing tour, or from the river on a Thames boat tour or dinner cruise.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Shoppers should head for the Canary Wharf Shopping Centre, Cabot Place, or Jubilee Place.
- Canary Wharf has a huge number of bars and restaurants, most of which are located around Canada Square.
- Free Wi-Fi is available throughout Canary Wharf.
How to Get There
Canary Wharf is located in London’s Docklands, on the north bank of the River Thames and just east of the City of London. The closest underground station is Canary Wharf (Jubilee line). It’s also possible to arrive by boat along the Thames (Canary Wharf Pier).
When to Get There
As a working district, Canary Wharf is busiest on weekdays, when the restaurants and bars are packed for lunch and after-work drinks. Alternatively, explore the streets on a weekend, when the offices are closed and workers have commuted home; that’s the best time to shop, sightsee, or relax in the park.
Seasonal Events at Canary Wharf
Canada Square Park hosts events, concerts, and art displays throughout the year. In the summer months, there are music concerts and an open-air cinema offering regular movie nights. Winter activities include an ice skating rink, light art installations, and carol concerts. Canary Wharf also boasts a large collection of public art with walking trails between works. Another popular spot, the free Crossrail Place Roof Garden, hosts daily events during its summer Bloom festival.