Thistle City Barbican Hotel
Thistle City Barbican is the main hotel for Wikimania. WMF staff, scholarship recipients, and others will be staying here. The hotel is approximately half a mile north of the Barbican Centre.
The hotel is on Central Street, EC1V 8DS.
The nearest tube station is Old Street (on the Northern Line), approximately half a mile east. To get to the hotel on foot,
- leave the station via Subway 4 (red) and turn left onto Old Street itself.
- From there, walk west along Old Street;
- after 50 metres, turn right into Bath Street, immediately after the Co-op shop.
- After 100 metres, turn left into Lever Street.
- You will find the hotel after another 100m, on your right.
From the airports
Once on the tube, change to the Northern Line (Bank Branch); alight at Old Street and follow the instructions above. For detailed instructions on getting to Old Street, please see Hotel Transport.
Getting to the Barbican
The Barbican is approximately half a mile south of the hotel. The walking route is almost entirely flat and crosses one main road. There are Boris Bike racks on Central Street (just across the road from the hotel); these cost £2/day or £10/day (plus usage charges for journies over 30 minutes). There are taxi ranks outside both the hotel and the Barbican, but due to roadworks outside the latter, it would probably be quicker to walk or cycle.
To walk or cycle, turn right out of the main entrance to the hotel and then immediately left (south). From here you should be able to see several large tower blocks; these are part of the Barbican Estate—walk towards them. Keep walking south until you get to the junction with Old Street, where you will need to press a button to activate the pedestrian crossing (cyclists will need to wait at the lights). Continue south on what is now Golden Lane until the end of the road, then turn left onto Beech Street (this bit is in a tunnel; the tunnel will be closed to traffic due to roadworks, but will be open to pedestrians and cyclists. At the end of the tunnel, turn right onto Silk Street and the main entrance to the Barbican Centre will be directly in front of you. The Boris Bike rack (along with parking for your own bicycle) is just around the corner to the left.
Places to eat near the hotel
Dinner will be provided on some nights during the conference. If you're still hungry, or you're arriving early/staying late, here are some suggestions for grabbing a bite to eat:
- The hotel has a restaurant and two bars.
- Whitecross Street Food Market is a very vibrant environment at lunchtime, with lots of stalls selling food from all over the world. From the hotel, turn right, then turn left to head south down Central Street. Turn left onto Old Street (the first main road you come to), and then right onto Whitecross Street.
- Fish Central, on Central Street (just opposite the hotel)
- St Luke's Community Centre, set meals very reasonably priced in a charitable establishment
- Yard (independent pizza restaurant, very reasonably priced for London, located in an ex-fire station), Tabernacle Street (just round the corner from the WMUK office)
- Amico Bio (Italian), 44 Cloth Fair (a short walk to the south, near the Barbican Centre)
- The William Blake (traditional English pub food), Old Street, just south of the hotel (five minutes' walk)
- The Masque Haunt, Wetherspoon's (a well-known pub chain; cheap and cheerful food, free WiFi), Old Street
- Wagamama ("Japanese-inspired"), Citypoint (just west of the Barbican, near Moorgate station)
- Brick Lane, famous for its curry houses, is a 25/30-minute walk to the east.
Things to do before the conference
- Look at the Barbican Centre (much of it is—and will be during Wikimania!—open to the public); the centre has several restaurants/bars/coffee shops and free WiFi throughout.
- Drop into the Wikimedia UK office (a short walk, just the other side of Old Street roundabout) and see the last-minute preparations underway for Wikimania!
- Explore the famous 'square mile' (just keep walking south)