15 Best Things To Do In Canary Wharf, London

15 Best Things To Do In Canary Wharf, London

By will

Canary Wharf, located in the heart of London, is a vibrant and bustling neighborhood that offers an array of exciting activities and attractions. As someone who has had the pleasure of exploring this dynamic area, I can confidently say that there is something for everyone in Canary Wharf.

From towering skyscrapers to serene waterfront views, this neighborhood seamlessly combines modernity with history, creating a unique and captivating experience.

One of the highlights of Canary Wharf is its stunning skyline, dominated by impressive skyscrapers that house some of the world’s leading businesses. As you walk through the streets, you can’t help but be in awe of the architectural marvels that surround you.

But it’s not just about admiring the buildings from afar; there are plenty of opportunities to step inside and explore. From rooftop bars that offer breathtaking panoramic views to observation decks that allow you to see the city from a whole new perspective, Canary Wharf truly offers a feast for the eyes.

And if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a movie being filmed, as this area is a popular location for film and television productions.

So, whether you’re a history buff, a shopaholic, a foodie, or just looking for a unique experience, Canary Wharf has it all. Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, indulge in high-end shopping, and discover the hidden gems that make this neighborhood a must-visit destination.

Exploring the Skyscrapers of Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf : cylindrical skyscraper, Wood Wharf
Photo by Jim Osley

If you’re a fan of towering skyscrapers, you’re in for a treat when exploring the impressive architectural wonders of Canary Wharf.

The skyline of this bustling financial district in London is dominated by sleek and modern buildings that reach for the clouds. As you wander through the streets, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe at the sheer size and grandeur of these structures.

One of the most iconic buildings in Canary Wharf is One Canada Square, also known as the Canary Wharf Tower. Standing at a height of 235 meters, it was once the tallest building in the United Kingdom. Its distinctive pyramid-shaped roof is a familiar sight on the London skyline.

Another must-see is the HSBC Tower, with its striking blue glass facade. This building is not only an architectural marvel but also houses the headquarters of one of the largest banks in the world.

As you explore the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, you’ll also come across a variety of interesting public spaces. One such example is Jubilee Park, a serene green oasis nestled among the towering buildings. This beautifully landscaped park offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Another notable spot is Montgomery Square, a vibrant square surrounded by cafes and restaurants. It’s the perfect place to relax and soak in the atmosphere while admiring the surrounding skyscrapers.

Exploring the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf is an experience that will leave you in awe. The impressive architecture and grandeur of these buildings make for a captivating sight. From the iconic One Canada Square to the striking HSBC Tower, there’s no shortage of architectural wonders to marvel at.

So, if you’re a fan of towering skyscrapers, don’t miss the chance to visit Canary Wharf and immerse yourself in its awe-inspiring skyline.

Enjoying Waterfront Views and Walks

Waterfront at Canary Wharf
Photo by Peter Trimming

Indulge in the stunning waterfront views and take leisurely walks in this vibrant district. Canary Wharf offers a picturesque setting with its modern architecture and scenic riverfront. As you stroll along the promenade, you’re greeted by the glistening waters of the Thames River, creating a tranquil atmosphere amidst the bustling city. The towering skyscrapers reflect off the water, creating a mesmerizing sight that’s truly captivating.

Whether you choose to enjoy the views during the day or at night when the city lights up, the waterfront never fails to impress.

As you continue your walk, you’ll come across various charming spots along the way. Discover hidden cafes and restaurants nestled along the river, offering an opportunity to relax and savor delicious meals while enjoying the serene surroundings. The waterfront also features beautifully landscaped gardens, providing a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Take a moment to sit on one of the benches, breathe in the fresh air, and simply soak in the beauty of your surroundings.

The sound of the water lapping against the shore and the gentle breeze create a soothing ambiance that’s perfect for unwinding and rejuvenating.

Exploring the waterfront of Canary Wharf is a must-do experience. From the stunning views of the river to the peaceful walks along the promenade, this vibrant district offers a delightful escape from the city. So, indulge in the beauty of the waterfront, immerse yourself in the tranquility, and let the scenic surroundings of Canary Wharf captivate your senses.

Visiting the Museum of London Docklands

Museum of London Docklands
Photo by Colin Smith

When you visit the Museum of London Docklands, you’ll be transported back in time as you explore the fascinating history of this historic district.

The museum is located in a beautifully restored 19th-century warehouse in Canary Wharf, providing a perfect setting for learning about the area’s maritime past.

As soon as you step inside, you’ll be greeted by interactive exhibits, informative displays, and engaging artifacts that bring the stories of the docklands to life.

One of the highlights of the museum is the Sailortown exhibit, which recreates the bustling streets of a 19th-century dockside community.

As you wander through the narrow alleys and peek into the shops and houses, you’ll get a sense of what life was like for the people who lived and worked in this vibrant area.

The exhibit is incredibly detailed, with authentic smells, sounds, and even the chance to interact with costumed characters who’ll share stories and answer your questions.

Another must-see is the Docklands at War exhibit, which explores the impact of World War II on the docklands and the resilience of the local community.

From the Blitz bombings to the efforts of the firefighters and rescue teams, this exhibit provides a fascinating insight into the experiences of those who lived through this tumultuous time.

The museum also offers a variety of temporary exhibitions and special events, so be sure to check their schedule before your visit.

Overall, the Museum of London Docklands is a captivating destination that offers a unique perspective on the history of Canary Wharf.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the area, this museum will provide an engaging and informative experience.

So, step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich maritime heritage of this iconic district.

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Shopping at High-End Fashion Brands

While exploring the historic district of Canary Wharf, don’t miss out on the opportunity to indulge in high-end fashion brands.

The shopping scene in Canary Wharf is a fashion lover’s dream come true. With a plethora of luxury boutiques and designer stores, you can find the latest trends and timeless classics all in one place.

One of the highlights of shopping in Canary Wharf is the wide range of high-end fashion brands available. From renowned designers like Chanel and Gucci to upscale department stores like Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Whether you’re looking for a statement piece for a special occasion or browsing for everyday essentials, you’ll find it all here.

The sleek and modern shopping malls provide a luxurious and comfortable environment for your shopping experience.

With expert staff and personalized service, you can expect nothing but the best when shopping at the high-end fashion brands in Canary Wharf.

So why not treat yourself to a shopping spree and elevate your style to new heights?

Discovering Unique Independent Stores

Explore the hidden gems of Canary Wharf’s historic district with a visit to the charming and one-of-a-kind independent stores.

As I stroll through the streets, I’m captivated by the unique character and eclectic offerings of these shops. Each store has its own distinct personality, showcasing a curated selection of products that you won’t find anywhere else.

One of my favorite independent stores in Canary Wharf is a quaint bookstore tucked away in a corner. As soon as I step inside, I’m greeted by the comforting scent of old books and the cozy atmosphere. The shelves are filled with a wide range of titles, from classic literature to contemporary bestsellers. The knowledgeable staff is always ready to recommend a hidden gem or engage in a lively discussion about the latest releases. It’s a haven for book lovers like me, and I could spend hours exploring the shelves, discovering new authors, and immersing myself in the world of words.

Another unique store that caught my attention is a boutique selling handmade jewelry and accessories. The moment I step inside, I’m greeted by a dazzling display of intricate designs and vibrant colors. Each piece is carefully crafted by local artisans, making them truly one-of-a-kind. From delicate necklaces to statement earrings, there’s something for every style and occasion. The store owner is passionate about supporting local talent and is always happy to share the stories behind each piece. It’s a treasure trove of creativity and craftsmanship, and I can’t help but leave with a special piece that’ll forever remind me of my visit to Canary Wharf.

Exploring the independent stores in Canary Wharf is a delightful experience that allows you to discover hidden treasures and support local businesses. Whether you’re a bookworm, a fashion enthusiast, or simply looking for something unique, these stores offer a refreshing alternative to the mainstream shopping scene.

So next time you find yourself in Canary Wharf, take a break from the high-end fashion brands and venture into the world of independent stores. You never know what hidden gems you might uncover.

Indulging in Fine Dining Experiences

Immerse yourself in a world of culinary excellence as you savor the exquisite flavors and impeccable presentation of the gourmet dishes at Canary Wharf’s top fine dining establishments. The area is renowned for its diverse and high-quality dining options, offering a range of cuisines to suit every palate.

Whether you’re in the mood for traditional British fare, innovative fusion dishes, or international delicacies, Canary Wharf has it all.

One of the standout fine dining experiences in the area is located at the top of a skyscraper, offering breathtaking views of the London skyline. Here, you can indulge in a gastronomic journey, with each dish meticulously crafted to perfection. From succulent steaks and fresh seafood to delicate pastries and decadent desserts, every bite is a celebration of flavor and artistry.

Impeccable service and a sophisticated ambiance further elevate the dining experience, making it a perfect choice for special occasions or a memorable night out.

For those seeking something a little different, Canary Wharf also offers a range of innovative and cutting-edge dining experiences. From molecular gastronomy to interactive dining concepts, these establishments push the boundaries of traditional dining, offering a truly unique experience. Here, you can witness chefs create edible works of art before your eyes or even participate in the cooking process yourself. It’s a chance to not only satisfy your taste buds but also engage all your senses in a truly immersive dining experience.

In Canary Wharf, fine dining is not just about the food, but also about the whole experience. So, whether you’re a food enthusiast looking for a culinary adventure or simply seeking a refined and elegant dining experience, Canary Wharf’s fine dining scene is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Trying International Cuisines

Indulging in the diverse and delectable international cuisines available in Canary Wharf’s top fine dining establishments is a surefire way to embark on a gastronomic journey that will tantalize your taste buds and transport you to culinary destinations around the world.

From authentic Italian pasta dishes to flavorful Indian curries, the restaurants in Canary Wharf offer a wide range of international flavors to satisfy every palate.

One can start their culinary adventure by exploring the vibrant flavors of Thai cuisine. The aromatic spices and fresh ingredients used in Thai dishes create a unique balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors. Whether you choose the classic Pad Thai or the fiery Tom Yum soup, the Thai restaurants in Canary Wharf will take you on a sensory journey to the bustling streets of Bangkok.

For those craving something closer to home, the array of sushi and sashimi options in the Japanese restaurants will transport you to the bustling streets of Tokyo. From delicate rolls to melt-in-your-mouth sashimi, the precision and artistry in Japanese cuisine are evident in every bite.

As you venture further into the international culinary scene in Canary Wharf, you’ll discover the rich and robust flavors of Spanish tapas, the hearty and comforting dishes of American soul food, and the delicate and refined flavors of French cuisine. Each dining experience offers a unique opportunity to explore the world through food.

So, whether you’re a seasoned foodie or simply looking to expand your culinary horizons, Canary Wharf’s fine dining establishments are the perfect destination to savor international cuisines that will leave you craving for more.

Relaxing at Trendy Cafes

After indulging in a variety of delicious international cuisines in Canary Wharf, it’s time to unwind and relax at the trendy cafes scattered throughout the area.

These cafes offer a cozy and inviting atmosphere, perfect for catching up with friends or simply taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

As I step into one of these cafes, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee fills the air, instantly soothing my senses and putting me at ease.

The trendy cafes in Canary Wharf not only provide a relaxing ambiance but also serve a wide range of beverages and snacks to satisfy any craving.

From artisanal coffees to exotic teas, there is something for everyone’s taste buds.

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I find myself spoilt for choice as I peruse the menu, contemplating whether to try a classic cappuccino or opt for a unique matcha latte.

Alongside the beverages, these cafes also offer an array of delectable pastries, cakes, and sandwiches, making it the perfect spot for a quick bite or a leisurely afternoon tea.

As I settle into a comfortable chair, I can’t help but admire the trendy decor and modern furnishings of the cafe.

The soft lighting and soothing music create a serene atmosphere, allowing me to truly unwind and escape the outside world for a while.

Whether I choose to curl up with a good book, catch up on work using the cafe’s complimentary Wi-Fi, or simply people-watch through the large windows, I know that my time spent in these trendy cafes will be a blissful retreat from the busy streets of Canary Wharf.

The trendy cafes in Canary Wharf offer a haven of relaxation and indulgence.

With their inviting ambiance, delicious beverages, and mouthwatering snacks, these cafes provide the perfect setting to unwind and recharge.

So, next time you find yourself in Canary Wharf, be sure to take a moment to visit one of these cafes and treat yourself to a little slice of tranquility amidst the bustling city.

Taking a Boat Tour along the River Thames

As I hop aboard a boat tour along the stunning River Thames, the gentle sway of the vessel and the cool breeze against my face transport me to a world of serenity and awe-inspiring views.

The boat glides smoothly along the water, offering a unique perspective of Canary Wharf and its surrounding areas. From the comfort of the boat, I marvel at the iconic skyscrapers that dominate the skyline, their glass facades reflecting the shimmering sunlight. The contrasting architecture of historic buildings, such as the Tower of London and the Houses of Parliament, also come into view, reminding me of the rich history that London holds.

As the boat tour continues, I can’t help but be captivated by the sights and sounds of the bustling river. The guide’s informative commentary provides fascinating insights into the landmarks we pass, bringing the history and stories of the city to life. I catch glimpses of famous landmarks like the London Eye and St. Paul’s Cathedral, their grandeur only amplified from this unique vantage point.

The boat tour also allows me to appreciate the natural beauty of the river, with lush green parks and gardens lining its shores. The tranquil atmosphere and breathtaking scenery make this boat tour an unforgettable experience, offering a peaceful retreat from the bustling city streets.

Overall, taking a boat tour along the River Thames is a must-do activity when visiting Canary Wharf. It provides a refreshing change of pace and allows for a deeper appreciation of the city’s history and beauty. Whether you’re a local looking for a peaceful escape or a tourist wanting to explore London from a unique perspective, this boat tour offers an enchanting journey that will leave you with lasting memories.

Attending Events and Exhibitions at Canary Wharf

Attending events and exhibitions at Canary Wharf offers an immersive cultural experience that will leave visitors captivated and inspired. With a vibrant calendar of events throughout the year, there’s always something exciting happening in this bustling part of London.

Whether you’re a lover of art, music, theatre, or fashion, there’s an event or exhibition to suit every interest.

One of the highlights of attending events at Canary Wharf is the stunning backdrop of the towering skyscrapers and the scenic waterfront. It adds a unique touch to the overall experience, making it feel even more special.

The events and exhibitions showcase a wide range of talent, both local and international, giving visitors a chance to discover new artists and performers. From art installations and photography exhibitions to live music concerts and theatre performances, there’s never a dull moment in Canary Wharf.

In addition to the cultural enrichment, attending events and exhibitions at Canary Wharf also provides an opportunity to socialize and connect with like-minded individuals. The events attract a diverse crowd, creating a lively and welcoming atmosphere.

Whether you’re attending alone or with friends, you’re sure to meet new people and have interesting conversations. The exhibitions often provide a chance to interact with the artists and learn more about their creative process, adding an extra layer of depth to the experience.

So, whether you’re a resident of London or just visiting, attending events and exhibitions at Canary Wharf is a must-do for anyone seeking a unique and enriching cultural experience.

Experiencing the Vibrant Nightlife

Experiencing the vibrant nightlife at Canary Wharf offers a multitude of opportunities to immerse myself in the lively atmosphere of this bustling part of the city.

As the sun sets and the city lights up, the streets come alive with energy and excitement.

From trendy bars and rooftop lounges to lively clubs and music venues, there is something for everyone to enjoy after dark.

One of the highlights of the nightlife scene at Canary Wharf is the variety of bars and lounges that offer stunning views of the city skyline.

Whether I choose to sip cocktails on a rooftop terrace or enjoy a glass of wine at a sleek waterfront bar, the panoramic views of London’s iconic landmarks never fail to impress.

The vibrant atmosphere, coupled with the stylish decor and delicious drinks, create the perfect ambiance for a night out with friends or a romantic evening with a loved one.

In addition to the bars and lounges, Canary Wharf also boasts a thriving club scene.

The clubs here cater to a diverse range of music tastes, with everything from house and techno to hip hop and R&B.

The pulsating beats, state-of-the-art sound systems, and energetic crowds make for an unforgettable night of dancing and fun.

Whether I’m a seasoned club-goer or just looking to let loose and have a good time, the nightlife at Canary Wharf never disappoints.

Overall, experiencing the vibrant nightlife at Canary Wharf is a must-do for anyone looking to have a memorable night out in London.

With its diverse range of bars, lounges, and clubs, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

So, whether I’m in the mood for a sophisticated cocktail, a night of dancing, or simply soaking in the breathtaking views, I know that Canary Wharf has it all.

Enjoying Live Music and Entertainment

Immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere of live music and entertainment, as the vibrant nightlife at Canary Wharf offers a plethora of captivating performances and thrilling shows.

Whether you’re a fan of jazz, rock, or even classical music, there’s something for everyone in this bustling district. From intimate live music venues to grand concert halls, Canary Wharf has it all.

One of the highlights of the live music scene in Canary Wharf is the Jazz Café. This iconic venue showcases a variety of talented musicians, from local acts to internationally renowned artists. As you step inside, the sultry melodies and smooth rhythms transport you to a world of musical enchantment. The intimate setting allows you to truly connect with the music and feel the energy of the performers. Whether you choose to sit back and enjoy a cocktail while listening to the soulful sounds or hit the dance floor and groove to the beat, the Jazz Café promises an unforgettable night of live music.

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If you’re in the mood for something more extravagant, the East Wintergarden is the place to be. This stunning concert hall hosts a range of performances, from classical orchestras to Broadway-style musicals. The grandeur of the venue itself is a sight to behold, with its soaring ceilings and elegant architecture. The acoustics are impeccable, ensuring that every note played or sung resonates throughout the hall, creating a truly immersive experience.

So, whether you’re a music enthusiast or simply looking for a night of entertainment, the live music scene in Canary Wharf will leave you captivated and wanting more.

Discovering Public Art Installations

Get ready to be amazed by the stunning public art installations that can be found throughout Canary Wharf. As you stroll through the area, you’ll be greeted by an array of captivating sculptures, murals, and interactive artworks that add a vibrant touch to the bustling streets.

One of the most iconic installations is the ‘Crossrail Place Roof Garden,’ a beautiful oasis adorned with botanical sculptures and plants from around the world. This unique combination of nature and art creates a serene atmosphere where you can relax and admire the intricate details of the artwork.

Another must-see public art installation in Canary Wharf is the ‘Traffic Light Tree.’ This quirky piece, created by French artist Pierre Vivant, features a cluster of fully functional traffic lights arranged in the shape of a tree. Standing at an impressive 10 meters tall, the installation is a playful commentary on the relationship between nature and technology in the modern world. It’s a sight that never fails to capture the attention of passersby and is sure to spark conversations and intrigue.

The public art installations in Canary Wharf go beyond mere decoration – they provide a unique way to engage with the environment and reflect on the surrounding urban landscape. Whether you’re a fan of contemporary art or simply appreciate the beauty of creativity, exploring these installations is a must-do when visiting Canary Wharf.

So, take some time to wander through the streets and discover these captivating works of art that bring a touch of magic to this vibrant part of London.

Participating in Fitness Classes and Outdoor Activities

As I continue exploring the vibrant and artistic enclave of Canary Wharf, I find myself drawn to the active and energetic atmosphere that pervades the area. After immersing myself in the captivating public art installations, I’m eager to join in the fitness classes and outdoor activities that Canary Wharf has to offer.

From yoga sessions overlooking the Thames to heart-pumping boot camp workouts in the lush green parks, there is no shortage of ways to stay active and embrace a healthy lifestyle in this bustling district.

One of the standout features of Canary Wharf is the wide array of fitness classes available. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a beginner looking to try something new, there’s a class to suit every fitness level and interest. Picture yourself stretching and posing on a rooftop terrace, with the stunning skyline of London as your backdrop. Or perhaps you prefer the challenge of a high-intensity boot camp, where you can push your limits and sweat it out with a group of like-minded individuals. Whatever your preference, the fitness classes in Canary Wharf offer a unique and invigorating experience that’ll leave you feeling energized and accomplished.

In addition to the organized fitness classes, there are also plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities in Canary Wharf. Take a stroll along the scenic waterfront promenade, where you can enjoy a leisurely walk or jog while taking in the breathtaking views of the river. If you’re feeling more adventurous, why not rent a bike and explore the vast network of cycling paths that wind their way through the district? With its well-maintained parks and green spaces, Canary Wharf provides the perfect setting for outdoor activities that allow you to connect with nature and enjoy the fresh air.

Whether you prefer a leisurely activity or a more intense workout, the options are endless in this dynamic and vibrant part of London.

Exploring the Historic Docklands and Maritime Heritage

Venturing into the historic Docklands and taking in the rich maritime heritage, I can’t help but be captivated by the stories of seafaring adventurers and the bustling trade that once thrived in this vibrant waterfront district.

As I stroll along the docks, I am transported back in time to an era when ships from all corners of the world would dock here, unloading their exotic goods and contributing to London’s status as a global trading hub.

The Docklands area is filled with fascinating museums and attractions that offer a glimpse into its maritime past. One such attraction is the Museum of London Docklands, housed in a former sugar warehouse. Here, I immerse myself in interactive exhibits, learning about the history of the docks, the lives of dockworkers, and the impact of the slave trade. The museum also showcases the development of Canary Wharf into the modern financial center it’s today.

Continuing my exploration, I come across historic ships moored along the docks, such as the Cutty Sark, a legendary tea clipper from the 19th century. I marvel at its elegant design and imagine the daring voyages it undertook across the high seas.

Nearby, I visit the Greenwich Maritime Museum, where I discover the fascinating stories of British naval history, including the Royal Observatory and the Prime Meridian.

As I delve deeper into the historic Docklands, I’m filled with a sense of wonder and admiration for the seafaring heritage that shaped this area. The sights, sounds, and stories that surround me truly bring history to life, creating an unforgettable experience in Canary Wharf.


In conclusion, my visit to Canary Wharf was an absolute delight. The towering skyscrapers left me in awe, offering a glimpse into the bustling world of finance and business.

As I strolled along the waterfront, the views were simply breathtaking, with the shimmering water and the majestic buildings creating a picture-perfect backdrop. The Museum of London Docklands provided a fascinating insight into the history and heritage of the area, while the numerous high-end fashion brands and unique independent stores offered a shopping experience like no other.

One of the highlights of my trip was the opportunity to enjoy live music and entertainment. The vibrant atmosphere and talented performers added an extra layer of excitement to my time in Canary Wharf. I was also pleasantly surprised to stumble upon several public art installations, which added a touch of creativity and beauty to the surroundings.

For those seeking an active and healthy lifestyle, Canary Wharf has plenty to offer. Fitness classes and outdoor activities are readily available, providing the perfect opportunity to stay in shape while enjoying the stunning surroundings. And let’s not forget about the historic docklands and maritime heritage that can be explored. It was truly fascinating to learn about the rich history and significance of this area.

In conclusion, Canary Wharf is a must-visit destination in London. With its impressive architecture, waterfront views, cultural attractions, and vibrant atmosphere, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a history buff, a shopaholic, or simply seeking a unique and memorable experience, Canary Wharf has it all. So grab your walking shoes and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through this captivating district.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.