Leicester Square

All Ages / All Types / Anything goes / Bars / Boisterous / Budget-friendly / Cafés / Chinese Food / Clubs / Comedy / Culture / Diverse / Eclectic / Free / Historic / Improv / Jam Packed / Landmark / Live Entertainment / Lively / Magic / Illusion / Mime / Movies / Musical Theater / Musicians / Nightlife Area / Occasional Celebrity / Outdoor Area / Party / Party Groups / People Watching / Restaurants / Shopping Area / Square / Stand-Up Comedy / Street Performers / Theater Types / Tourists
Leicester Square West End's Leicester Square – the heart of London's entertainment district, full of theatergoers, tourists, & raucous London street performers. Check it out on Party Earth! London England 51.510278 -0.130278
3.12 10
Leicester Square - Culture | Landmark | Nightlife Area | Shopping Area | Square in London.
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Party Earth Review The one-time abode of the Prince of Wales – and a former transient hangout until a major cleanup in the early 90s – Leicester Square is now considered the heart of London’s entertainment district and a buzzing hub for... ... read full review

  • Tube:

    Northern, Piccadilly Lines: Leicester Square

  • Hours:


  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Leicester Square Review

The Scene

West End's Leicester Square – the heart of London's entertainment district, full of theatergoers, tourists, & raucous London street performers. Check it out on Party Earth!

The one-time abode of the Prince of Wales – and a former transient hangout until a major cleanup in the early 90s – Leicester Square is now considered the heart of London’s entertainment district and a buzzing hub for theatergoers, tourists, and raucous street performers.

Home to some of the largest cineplexes in the city and many of the West End’s most popular live theaters, the Square is a nonstop center of activity – and with more than twenty million visitors each year, it’s quite possibly London’s busiest crossroads.

During the height of the tourist season, jam-packed crowds compete for space with a variety of characters, from mimes and street preachers to shifty pickpockets looking for an easy score. But weary globe-trotters can always find some solace at the small park in the center of the Square, taking a seat in the grass and drawing inspiration from the garden’s statue of Shakespeare or the nearby church of Notre Dame de France.

Equally vibrant at night, the Square attracts hordes of partiers who show up to toss back pints at the local pubs, while the theaters are besieged by paparazzi and stargazers ready to flash their bulbs when the occasional Hollywood or West End star steps out on the red carpet.

Evoking the theatrical flair of New York’s Broadway with a hint of Tokyo’s stunningly crowded Shinjuku Crossing, Leicester Square offers a dizzying but always ebullient array of cafés, entertainment, and nonstop people-watching.

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Tip from Emma:

Check out the half-price TKTS ticket booth in Leicester Square to see what show tickets are available that day. For the best deals, arrive around 10:30am on a weekday. Once tickets are in hand, head to nearby Chinatown for dim sum.

  • Crowd

    Mostly tourists of all ages.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Street entertainment includes cartoonists, human statues, magicians, musicians, and the odd political rant. Other venues include casinos, cinemas, nightclubs, and comedy clubs.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Plenty of restaurants, pubs, fast food chains, and coffee shops.

  • Prices

    Varying prices at the different venues.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Friday and Saturday nights when the square is bustling.

  • Close By

    Chinatown for the restaurants.

    Major cinemas include the Odeon Leicester Square and Empire (both in the square) and Vue (3 Cranbourn Street).

    Good choices for afternoon at the pub are The Imperial Pub (5 Leicester Street) and Brewmaster (37 Cranbourn Street).

    Nightlife options include All Bar One (48 Leicester Square), Fudge (18 Bear Street), Zoo Bar (13-17 Bear Street), The Casino at the Empire (5-6 Leicester Street), and The Comedy Store (1A Oxendon Street) for stand-up and improv shows.

Leicester Square User Reviews

Average rating:
Movie Premiere
Samantha O. Jun 2, 2013
I stood outside in Leicester Square for over 24 hours once to attend a movie premiere as a fan. Other than getting sexually harassed and stepping in blood and freezing to death, I made friends, met famous people, and got to understand London after dark in a way not many people get to. I love Leicester Square. Every time I'm in London, I make a point of heading over here and reminiscing about the good times spent there. It's the hub of celebrity activity and has plenty of surrounding things to do and enjoy.
Within the heart of the West End
Anita A. Jan 25, 2013
Leicester Square lies within the West End. Pedestrians cross there every day. As the author Dickens once describes, that “by the 19th century, Leicester Square was known as an entertainment venue, with many amusements peculiar to the era.” (Dickens 1879) The square remains the heart of the West End entertainment district today. It is a moving and busy place for passionate dancers. The Square is home to several nightclubs, making it often very busy, particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Not me
Craig B. Dec 13, 2012
I was there with a bunch of English literature and history buffs, not theatre people, so I was spared the agony of standing in line at TKTS or going to one of the many shows. As a side note, I’m surprised the Globe Theatre isn’t on here (it’s not the original Globe Theatre obviously, and the original location is about 100 yards down river, but it’s still a very cool experience to go through their museum and to watch a show as a groundling). Anyway, Leicester Square is not my cup of tea. It’s crowded (even the “park” in the center is crowded, so don’t think you can actually lie down there; you’re liable to get trampled by tourists taking photos or looking at their maps). I heard it’s a great area for nightlife (i.e., clubbing), but that’s not me.
Good people watching
Jody P. Dec 10, 2012
Leicester Square is a fun tourist thing to do in London. It is your typical European square with tons of little shops and restaurants and cafes. The stuff in the shops is mostly either overpriced or junk, but it is still fun to browse. There are street performers EVERYWHERE. I couldn't believe how many. There were lots of mimes and people dressed to look like statues. It is amazing how they can stay so still. Although some of them will move if you pay them and let you take a picture while they pose. Anyway, it is a great place to sit at a cafe and have a coffee while people watching.
mini times square
Tara R. Dec 7, 2012
Leicester Square shares its mini Times Square with nearby Piccadilly Circus, but this Square is much more manageable than the Bright Lights big city Piccadilly. There are usually a tad fewer people, there aren’t as many big and distracting marquees, and best of all, you’re still in the West End. There’s even a tkts booth for last minute purchases. Last year Leicester Square was literally under wraps because it was being remodeled, and the ugly construction site has been replaced by an art expo/ a commercial game park—I can’t tell which. It’s decorated for Christmas and it’s fun, so it’s worth a visit.
Touristy and boisterous!
Guy G. Oct 7, 2012
Located close to Chinatown, Leicester Square is the center of London cinema. Dozens of theaters scattered around. Frequently, you can see street artists singing and dancing, which make it a pleasant atmosphere. Disturbed by London's bad weather even though it was already July, I didn't appreciate the tour much. The only memorable thing I did was a portrait painting. Sitting still for 40 minutes and being stared by the crowed were kind of embarrassing, but the paint was pretty good and it is still hung up in my bedroom.
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