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Leicester Square

Vacation Travel Guide
Leicester Square which includes a square or plaza and a fountain

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.

Top things to do in Leicester Square

Top Hotels Close to Leicester Square

The Strand Palace Hotel
The Strand Palace Hotel
4 out of 5
372 The Strand, London, England
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $178 per night from Aug 18 to Aug 18
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 ...
4/5Very Good! (3,119 reviews)
"The refurbishment of the hotel is excellent and in good taste and in keeping with the age of the hotel. The location is ideal for being in central London. The room we stayed in was spacious and modern. The staff were lovely. We will definitely stay here again."

Reviewed on Aug 4, 2021

The Strand Palace Hotel
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
4 out of 5
200 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England
The price is $197 per night from Aug 30 to Aug 30
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London ...
4.3/5Excellent! (3,476 reviews)
"Good location and friendly staff, helpful following late arrival."

Reviewed on Aug 3, 2021

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
The Trafalgar St. James London, Curio Collection by Hilton
The Trafalgar St. James London, Curio Collection by Hilton
5 out of 5
2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, London, England
The price is $286 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace. London Eye and The British Museum ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (705 reviews)
"Staff was extremely nice!!!"

Reviewed on Jul 28, 2021

The Trafalgar St. James London, Curio Collection by Hilton
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Leicester Square

Zedwell Piccadilly
Zedwell Piccadilly
3 out of 5
Great Windmill Street, London, England
The price is $112 per night from Aug 9 to Aug 9
Zedwell Piccadilly
The Strand Palace Hotel
The Strand Palace Hotel
4 out of 5
372 The Strand, London, England
The price is $178 per night from Aug 18 to Aug 18
The Strand Palace Hotel
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
4 out of 5
200 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England
The price is $197 per night from Aug 30 to Aug 30
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
The Trafalgar St. James London, Curio Collection by Hilton
The Trafalgar St. James London, Curio Collection by Hilton
5 out of 5
2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, London, England
The price is $286 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
The Trafalgar St. James London, Curio Collection by Hilton
NYX Hotel London Holborn by Leonardo Hotels
NYX Hotel London Holborn by Leonardo Hotels
4 out of 5
50-60 Southampton Row, London, England
The price is $168 per night from Sep 3 to Sep 3
NYX Hotel London Holborn by Leonardo Hotels
Club Quarters Hotel, Trafalgar Square
Club Quarters Hotel, Trafalgar Square
4 out of 5
8 Northumberland Ave, (adjacent to Trafalgar Square), London, England
The price is $166 per night from Aug 8 to Aug 8
Club Quarters Hotel, Trafalgar Square
St Martins Lane London
St Martins Lane London
5 out of 5
45 St Martin's Lane, London, England
The price is $285 per night from Aug 15 to Aug 15
St Martins Lane London
Assembly Hotel London
Assembly Hotel London
3.5 out of 5
27 - 31 Charing Cross Road, London, England
The price is $171 per night from Aug 12 to Aug 12
Assembly Hotel London
W London
W London
5 out of 5
10 Wardour Street, London, England
The price is $366 per night from Aug 6 to Aug 6
W London
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.