Nestled between Soho, St. James’s, and the West End, Leicester Square is the intersection that never sleeps. Home to world-famous movie theaters, nightclubs, and a recently renovated park, the square attracts more than 2 million visitors each week. It has been popular as an entertainment hub since the 19th century.
History buffs and other sightseers can learn about London’s past and present on a highlights tour, and Leicester Square is included on most comprehensive itineraries. Zip through the city by bike or taxi, or board a hop-on hop-off bus to tick off several landmarks in limited time. A walking tour offers an intimate perspective, while nightlife tours reveal the square’s after-dark attractions.
Things to Know Before You Go
- From nightlife revelers to film lovers and history buffs, Leicester Square offers something for everyone.
- Don’t forget your raincoat or umbrella during the rainier months.
- The public space itself won’t take long to explore, so combine your visit with other London landmarks to optimize your time.
- The pedestrian square has wide, flat walkways that are wheelchair-accessible.
- Most of the square’s attractions are wheelchair-friendly as well, though it’s worth calling ahead to check access arrangements.
How to Get There
Leicester Square has its own tube station. Piccadilly Circus and Charing Cross stations are five minutes away. Several buses stop on Charing Cross Road, including hop-on hop-off services. As in all capital cities, driving yourself is best avoided; instead, take advantage of tours that include transfer for a hassle-free experience.
When to Get There
From a summer afternoon eating ice cream in the square’s central park to an evening stroll around the annual Christmas market, there is always something to do in Leicester Square.
An Alternative View
Typical sightseeing tours aren’t the only way to discover Leicester Square. Photographic tours can help you capture hidden monuments you might otherwise miss, like Shakespeare’s statue in the fountain. Karl Marx tours show visitors the socialist revolutionary’s old digs, just off the square, and explain the influences of the UK capital on his works.