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Leicester Square

Thrill to London's eclectic nightlife in one of its most famous locations, a vibrant square that's been an entertainment hub since the 19th century.

Leicester Square is a buzzing hub of activity, home to many diverse entertainment options. Once the site of music halls and old-fashioned movie houses, the square is now dotted with trendy restaurants, bars and cinemas. Watch mimes and other street performers, stroll around the central green area or try your luck at the casinos set in historic buildings.

The square was first laid out in 1630, and became a popular entertainment area in the mid-19th century. It was home to Turkish baths, burlesque houses, music halls and then later, movie houses such as the Empire and the Hippodrome. Visit the Hippodrome today and you will find one of the U.K.’s largest casinos. The Empire cinema remains open and is often the setting for star-studded red carpet premieres.

Head to the small garden at the center of the square, which features a marble statue of William Shakespeare surrounded by dolphins. Walk around the edge of the green space to see statues of other famous figures from English history. Look for Charlie Chaplin, William Hogarth and Sir Isaac Newton, among others.

In the northwest corner of the square, find the quirky Swiss glockenspiel. The stand-alone clock is 32 feet (9.8 meters) high and features 27 bells, 11 moving Swiss figures and a glass drum decorated with Swiss flags.

Stroll around the square to enjoy the lively buzz and then watch a movie in one of the cinemas. At the southwest corner, look at the floor plaques with handprints of famous actors, inspired by the Walk of Fame in Hollywood.

The square is one of the most crowded places in London, particularly on weekends. Arrive in the evening and watch its pedestrianized streets come to life with neon lights, revelers and nightclub music.

Leicester Square is on numerous bus routes and also has its own Underground station. While you are here, watch a play or a musical. London's theater district is right on the doorstep.

It's worth giving yourself lots of time at Leicester Square. Below are some of the most popular things to do:

Peruse our London things to do page to learn about more activities in the area.


Guide to Exploring Leicester Square


Map

Top Leicester Square Hotel & Accommodation Deals

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The Strand Palace Hotel NZ$282
The Strand Palace Hotel

The Strand Palace Hotel

372 The Strand, London, England
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in London City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Covent Garden Market, Piccadilly Circus and London Dungeon. Big Ben and Buckingham Palace are also within 1 mi (2 km). Charing Cross Underground Station is 5 minutes by foot and Covent Garden Underground Station is 5 minutes.

    Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London NZ$321
    Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

    Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

    200 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes. Waterloo Underground Station is only a 4-minute walk and Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes.

      Assembly Hotel London NZ$159
      Assembly Hotel London

      Assembly Hotel London

      27 - 31 Charing Cross Road, London, England
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of The British Museum, Coca-Cola London Eye and Big Ben. Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park are also within 1 mi (2 km). Leicester Square Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Charing Cross Underground Station is 4 minutes.

        Club Quarters Hotel, St. Paul's NZ$192
        Club Quarters Hotel, St. Paul's

        Club Quarters Hotel, St. Paul's

        24 Ludgate Hill, London, England
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in London City Centre, this hotel is steps away from St. Paul's Cathedral and London Stock Exchange. Old Bailey and Museum of London are also within 10 minutes. Blackfriars Underground Station and St. Paul's Underground Station are within a 5-minute walk.

          Marlin Waterloo NZ$220
          Marlin Waterloo

          Marlin Waterloo

          111 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in London City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Imperial War Museum, Westminster Bridge and Sea Life London Aquarium. Coca-Cola London Eye and Big Ben are also within 15 minutes. Lambeth North Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Waterloo Underground Station is 8 minutes.

            Park Plaza London Waterloo NZ$256
            Park Plaza London Waterloo

            Park Plaza London Waterloo

            6 Hercules Road, London, England
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Florence Nightingale Museum, Imperial War Museum and The Vaults. Southbank Centre Book Market and Lambeth Palace are also within 10 minutes. Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes by foot and Waterloo Underground Station is 11 minutes.

              Mimi's Hotel Soho NZ$211
              Mimi's Hotel Soho

              Mimi's Hotel Soho

              56-57 Frith Street, London, England
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Oxford Street and Queens Theatre. Piccadilly and Leicester Square are also within 10 minutes. Tottenham Court Road Underground Station is 5 minutes by foot and Leicester Square Underground Station is 6 minutes.

                Thistle Trafalgar Leicester Square NZ$333
                Thistle Trafalgar Leicester Square

                Thistle Trafalgar Leicester Square

                Whitcomb Street, Trafalger Square, London, England
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Coca-Cola London Eye, Buckingham Palace and The British Museum. Big Ben and Hyde Park are also within 1 mi (2 km). Leicester Square Underground Station is only a 5-minute walk and Charing Cross Underground Station is 5 minutes.