The holiday season might be winding down but that doesn’t mean there’s less to do in the City of London.
In fact, January might be one of the most exciting times to explore the city: the crowds have dispersed and most of us are in hibernation mode, which means more space to enjoy all that the city has to offer.
January is the month of fresh starts and clean slates. Whether your New Year’s resolution is to improve your physical health with exercise or improve your mental health by practicing self-care, we’ve got you covered with this list.
There are brilliant fitness classes to join, Lunar New Year celebrations, artistic activities and more to look forward to.
Here are all the best things to do in the City of London in January.
Celebrate Lunar New Year at Hakkasan Hanway Place
If you’re looking to celebrate Lunar New Year in style, the City of London has plenty of Chinese restaurants to tuck into. Want to splash out for the occasion? Hakkasan Hanway Place is one of our top picks. Sipping sake and scoffing dumplings sounds pretty lucky to us.
8 Hanway Place W1T 1HD
Executions exhibition at Museum of London Docklands
The Museum of London Docklands has a fascinating exhibition to see at its galleries. Executions tells the human stories behind public executions throughout history. The exhibition includes objects, paintings and projections that have rarely been seen in public. Objects include the vest said to have been worn by King Charles I when he was executed; a recreation of the Tyburn gallows; last letters of the condemned and more.
No 1 West India Quay Hertsmere Road E14 4AL
My Neighbour Totoro by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Barbican Centre
There’s plenty of incredible theatre to see in the City of London, but at the top of our list is this stage adaptation of the 1988 animated film by Hayao Miyazaki. The coming-of-age story follows one summer in the lives of Satsuki and Mei as they’re swept into an exciting realm of spirits, sprites and natural wonder. Tickets start from £25 and the show will be on until 21 January.
Silk Street Barbican EC2Y 8DS
Pick up fresh veggies at Borough Market
Nothing says self care like a bushel of fresh veggies from a sustainable market. Get ready to start the new year on a healthy note at Borough Market, which serves fresh and sustainable produce throughout the week. The market is open from 10am-5pm on Monday to Friday, and then 8am-5pm on Saturday and 10am-3pm on Sunday. You’ll also have your pick of bars and restaurants around the market to visit after you shop, so why not make a day of it?
8 Southwark Street SE1 1TL
Winter Light at Southbank Centre
Southbank Centre never ceases to amaze. This riverside spot is a hub for culture and arts and January 2023 is no different. Head there this January to see some pretty stunning illuminations from a global cohort of artists. The show features stunning lights, colour and film to make you think. Look out for Sphere, which is a rotating gas-filled tube; and Sixty Minute Spectrum, which turns Southbank Centre into a giant clock. The show is on until 8 January, so catch it before it’s gone and be sure to check out the winter market while you’re there.
Until 8 January
Belvedere Road SE1 8XX
Kickstart your New Year’s Resolutions with these fitness classes
Pilates at The Frame
If you’re looking to get into shape in the new year, pilates is a fantastic way to get a full-body workout and tone your muscles. We’ve got a list of the best pilates classes in the City of London. One of our top choices is The Frame, with studios spread across the City. Jump into a basic class to get used to the moves, or go for the advanced classes, which have more complicated sequences that take the challenge to the next level. Just be sure to bring a towel.
29 New Inn Yard EC2A 3EY
MMA classes at Fight City Gym
Fight City Gym will have you in fighting shape this year with its range of MMA classes. Head over to Moorgate, where you can try white collar boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu jitsu and more. There are women’s only and personal training classes too. You’d better get your gloves up (and prepare to sweat) because the folks at Fight City Gym don’t mess around. Looking for more kickboxing and MMA classes in the City of London? We’ve got you covered.
15 Worship Street EC2A 2DT
Dance classes at Gymbox
Dance is one of the quickest (and most enjoyable) ways to burn a bunch of calories. If you’re looking to start dance classes in the new year, Gymbox has some of the best dance classes in the City of London. Soon you’ll be whining, rolling, and dropping in a Dancehall class; or you can bring out your inner ballerina in a barre class. Either way, prepare to wow your friends with your new moves.
Various City locations including those in Bank, Old Street, Holborn, Farringdon and Cannon Street.
Mood-boosting light and audio trail at Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Market is putting on a mood boosting light and audio trail this January, to help give Londoners an uplifting start to the year. With colour changing LED light festoons, new window displays from artist-in-residence James Hudson, and relaxing audio spots placed around the market, visitors can enjoy a mindful break whilst out walking or visiting the boutique shops and restaurants under Leadenhall’s covered arches. The audio trail is signalled via spots on the market’s cobbles and is accessible via the Echoes App, including sounds of birdsong and ASMR tracks.
Catch This Is England at Guildhall Art Gallery
The World Cup may seem like a distant memory with Premier League games coming thick and fast, but there is still time to get your international football fix in the Square Mile. Portraits of the England men’s football squad and its manager, Gareth Southgate, are on display in the Temple Room until 19 February. The artworks celebrate the diversity of what it means to be English today, and recognise the players’ superb teamwork and admirable stance on equality, inclusivity, and racial injustice.
Guildhall Art Gallery