Leicester Square, London

4 out of 5 stars 4 Stars - 31 Reviews

London, WC2

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  • Leicester square.
    Leicester square.
    by londontraveller01
  • During Christmas time.
    During Christmas time.
    by Regina1965
  • The Information center.
    The Information center.
    by Regina1965
  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    The lovely Leicester Square.

    by Regina1965 Updated Mar 5, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Shakespeare fountain in the park.
    4 more images

    Leicester Square in down-town London is so lovely, the cinema square - with Leicester's Square Odeon, Emporium, Odeon West-End and Vue - and many more cinemas in this area. If you ever want to spot a famous actor this might be the place to be. Just hang around there at the premiere of a big movie. I accidentally stumbled into Leicester Square once when Tom Cruise was holding a speech there.

    The square used to be lined with handprints of famous actors, but in 2013 I noticed that all the handprints had gone. Why?

    Leicester Square is often closed off when there are premiers of new films and the actors in the main roles show up there. And the security guards can get really aggressive, shouting at people to "get off" - which I find very offensive, so I never stay here in the crowd to see if I can spot an actor. When there is a premier I walk through Chinatown to get to Charing Cross Road.

    Leicester Square is always very crowded with its cinemas, bars and clubs and on Friday and Saturday nights this is the place to be - if you are into clubbling. There are so many restaurants on the square itself and in this area - and this is an expensive area to sit down and eat - that is why I buy myself food in Chinatown and sit down in the park and have have my lunch there when in this area. But I have found that All Bar One, by the south-west corner of Leicester Square, is quite good and not that expensive.

    During Christmas time there is a theme park on Leicester Square.

    By the square is also an Information center/ticket office.

    In the park there is a fountain with a statue of Shakespeare with dolphins, one of Charlie Chaplin and many other statues.

    If you want your portrait drawn and don't mind a lot of people watching you in the process then there are several artists on this square every day.

    TKTS is located on the square as well, where you can get same-day theatre-tickets half price.

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Leicester Square

    by toonsarah Updated Feb 17, 2009

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    Statue of Chaplin, Leicester Square
    1 more image

    For many people London’s West End is synonymous with visits to the theatre and cinema, and the hub of all this activity is Leicester Square. Until a few years ago this was a scruffy run-down patch of grass, frequented by homeless people in search of a bench or junkies in search of a fix, and skirted by most others. But a recent makeover has turned it into a pleasant place to pause for a rest, and there are a number of sights worth a quick look at least. At the centre of the square is a 19th century statue of William Shakespeare and busts of eminent historical figures, such as Isaac Newton and Joshua Reynolds, sit in each corner. I also particularly like this newer one of Charlie Chaplin, and cinema fans will also want to look for the hand prints of their favourite film stars set into the paving stones around the edge of the square.

    Around the four sides of the square are a number of cinemas, including the largest screen in London at the Odeon. This is a great place to see a film if like me you aren’t too keen on the small theatres with screens that seem not much bigger than your own TV! The Empire on the north side also has a good sized screen and auditorium, while the other cinemas are the more usual multiplexes. There are also plenty of restaurants, though we tend to avoid these – they’re usually very busy and noisy, expensive for what you get and I think they tend to be lazy about what they offer because they don’t have to work too hard to attract customers. So I recommend you go at least one street away before searching out somewhere to eat.

    If you prefer stage to film you’ll need to go to a theatre outside the square to actually see a play, but you might still want to come here first as the official half-price theatre ticket booth, known as “tkts”, is located on the south side of the square. There are a number of other places in the area also offering half-price tickets but these aren’t all official and may not have the bargains they advertise – I would always go to the official one.

    At Christmas Leicester Square is home to a small funfair which adds some seasonal colour to the scene and provides an alternative West End experience for visitors and locals alike. Film buffs will want to be on the lookout for a rather different special occasion though – one of the occasional film premieres that bring out the crowds to spot the stars on the red carpet.

    By the way Leicester is pronounced Lester, not Lye-kester as I have overheard some visitors say.

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  • kzngirl's Profile Photo

    Leicester Square

    by kzngirl Updated Apr 12, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Leicester Square

    Shoulder to shoulder with the world!

    Always bursting to the seams with tourists! Come here during the winter or the summer, you will find it heaving with people. You have the heady scents of China Town to one side, the neon lights of Soho on another, Charing Cross, just around the corner - bursting with second hand book shops - and the streets filled with jesters and musicians a little further over in Covent Garden.

    This is a central place to meet, to have a coffee in the large Starbucks, nibble on a Haagen Daz corneto, or take in a movie (at vast expense!). There is always a performance going on at Leicester Square, from street artists, to buskers, to dancers, you name it, you can probably see it on the paved courts around the movie theatres that line the square.

    Restaurants abound in Leicester Square - but be warned - they don't come cheap - aside from the MacD's of course :)

    Watch out for pick-pockets!

    Related to:
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    • Theater Travel
    • Music

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  • Imbi's Profile Photo

    King George

    by Imbi Updated Oct 12, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the middle of Leicester Square there is a statue of King George.
    King is sitting on a horse and holding a sword.
    King George is very famous king but the statue is not very attractive and ignored.
    Have you heard the stories of King George?

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  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

    Leicester Square and its Statues

    by pieter_jan_v Updated Apr 20, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    William Shakespeare statue
    4 more images

    Leicester Square is perfect for an in between stop while exploring London on foot. All car through traffic is banned from the square and it's a pedestrian paradise.

    There are some benches and there are always some pigeons around asking for some attention.

    The Square is named after Robert Sidney, the second Earl of Leicester, who purchased four acres in St. Martin's Field in 1630. In 1635 he had built himself a large house called the Leicester House.

    There are a number of statues in the square. The central one is of William Shakespeare with his quote: There is no darkness but ignorance.
    At the four corners of the park have one bust each of the following men:
    -Sir Isaac Newton, scientist
    -Sir Joshua Reynolds, first President of the Royal Academy
    -John Hunter, pioneer of surgery
    -William Hogarth, painter.

    In one of the fields there's a new statue of of film star and director Charlie Chaplin.

    The square is popular for the following cinema's located in the area:
    -Odeon Leicester Square,
    -Odeon Mezzanine
    -Empire
    -Odeon West End
    -Vue
    -Odeon Panton Street
    -Prince Charles Cinema
    -Cineworld

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    • Theater Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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  • kzngirl's Profile Photo

    Movie Premiere in Leicester Square

    by kzngirl Updated Apr 12, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    War of the Worlds' premiere

    Spot the stars!

    At least once a month there is a movie premiere at Leicester Square - join in the throngs as they cheer their favourite celebrities! This place is always alive with people, noise, things to see and do...and never more so when the movie stars come to town! Red carpets, glitzy gowns and limousines...

    For the really big premiers, my husband highly recommends getting there early and climbing onto one of the bright red telephone booths that line the square - a great vantage point from which to scope out your heartthrob!

    Related to:
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  • J.I.M's Profile Photo

    Visit Leicester Square!

    by J.I.M Updated Jan 26, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Leicester Square

    Leicester Square (pronounced "Lester Square") is a major tourist landmark and for pedestrians only. It's often quite busy and bustling with tourists and street performers, and has four major cinemas. Often, major British film premieres are held here at Leicester Square.
    Capital Radio and XFM are also both housed here, and there are a number of restaurants and clubs.

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    • Theater Travel
    • Family Travel

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  • Jim_edmonds177's Profile Photo

    Leicester Square

    by Jim_edmonds177 Written Dec 29, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A place where there is lots happening, I almost lost poor little Dennis here, wooow the place was so damn packed with tourists, from everywhere, just crowded at night ... well there sure was a nice feel to it, meeting all sorts of people around to enjoy the nightlife in a typical London evenning! So get on down to the Leicester Square if you're in London and at least spend a night or 2 for a little unwinding and party action, cause a little fun can't hurt nobody, it's truly amazing but also be really careful because there are dangerous elements to all party areas so be aware of strangers trying to start of conversations that lead to nothing! That's where Dennis almost got in trouble, not only was he mugged the day before but boy this, now there were guys trying to trick him with his money as he tried to convert some American dollars! All I can say is go down to Leicester Square and have a good time at the local pubs but be very careful!!!

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  • sourbugger's Profile Photo

    Leicester square

    by sourbugger Updated Jan 23, 2006

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    Leicester square in 1750
    1 more image

    Leicester square (from the name of the owner) used to be a very formal set of Gardens, as can be seen from the engraving of 1750. Up until about 10 years ago, it had descended into a rather scummy area full of junkies, low lifes and other assorted scumbags.

    Rather like Times Square in New York, the place underwent a 'makeover' and the central grassy area is now closed at night. It still remains one of the main places to 'hook-up' with someone else, of either sex, pre-planned or otherwise.

    In the middle of the Square is a small park - Shakespeare is surrounded by dolphins (funny I don't remember any in 'Macbeth' or 'Hamlet'). In the corners lie a few more famous Englishmen : Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Joshua Reynolds (the first President of the Royal Academy), John Hunter (a pioneer of surgery), William Hogarth (famous painter).
    The most recent addition Charlie Chaplin, born in South London.

    The square itself is usually buzzing with people at all hours of the day and night, many just strolling about or visiting one of the cinemas that dominate the sides of the modern day square.

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  • zuriga's Profile Photo

    LEICSTER SQUARE

    by zuriga Written Feb 9, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Leicester Square Ticket Booth

    Leicester Square is home to the TKTS booth. One can purchase theatre tickets on the day of a performance at greatly reduced prices. It's practically deserted in winter, especially for matinees. Chinatown is right around the corner, and it's a short walk over to Covent Garden, too. That's not snow on the grass... it's just a covering.

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    • Theater Travel

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  • Pomska's Profile Photo

    LEICESTER SQUARE

    by Pomska Written Nov 18, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    LEICESTER SQUARE (pronounced "lester")

    It's the place for fun! There are the major movie theaters, the fast-food outlets, Häagen-Dazs cafe and the disco entrances. It's crowded after midnight. It's great place just for watching people walking by and the liveliness can be cheering. There are Society of London Theatre ticket kiosk which sells
    half-priced tickets for many of that evening's performances.

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  • cheezecake_deli's Profile Photo

    Leicester Square

    by cheezecake_deli Written Apr 8, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Leicester Square in the sun - a rare event

    Located in the heart of the West End, south of Chinatown and north of Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square is a place most visitors will find themselves passing through at some point, for food, drink or entertainment. The square can be a disorientating experience at night, with pushy crowds, gawking tourists and drunken party-goers. Still, it is the epicentre of London's nightlife, with bars and clubs located in little streets off the square. It is also the place to go to watch a film - there are six multiplex cinemas on the square itself, including Odeon Leicester Square, with the largest screen in Europe. The others are Odeon Mezzanine, Odeon West End, Odeon Swiss Centre, Empire and Vue. In the sunshine, the square can be lovely (though crowded) place to watch the world go by.

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  • jorgec25's Profile Photo

    Mixed feelings

    by jorgec25 Written Sep 22, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    leicester square

    I got mixed feelings about Leicester Square.

    The square is located in a very nice part of London, and has a lot of activity both during the day and the night, with a lot of cinemas.

    But it's also filled with fast food joints and tourist traps shops and restaurants.

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    THE LARGEST CANDY STORE IN THE WORLD

    by davidjo Updated Dec 15, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    It is true 35,000 square feet at M & M's World in Leicester Square, but if you have kids i suggest you give this place a wide berth because this store is very enticing for children and by the looks of it, it s a huge rip off. It is five floors with expensive souvenirs--bags of sweets several £s, key rings £5, hooded tops £38 which you can buy at supermarkets for less than half that price. M & M sell their own sweets at £1.99 while the supermarkets sell at £1.30.
    There are M & M designs of flags, Queen Elizabeth and countless other things to see. It is quite possible towalk around all 5 floors without spending anything but to put it in a nutshell i suggest you avoid this ridiculous place

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  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo

    Leicester Square

    by Jenniflower Written May 11, 2006

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    Beautiful tulips in the centre of the Square!
    4 more images

    It is a beautiful morning in London today. The sun is out, the birds are chirping - such a pity I have to go and work in an office! Oh well.

    I usually walk by here on my way to work - it's about 8am, not many people are about, it is still and serene. In an hour's time this will all change, and Leicester Square becomes a hub of activity.

    It's history starts from the Great Fire of London in 1633, it had a dubious reputation at first, was seen as too arty and flamboyant, gambling was rife etc., the website below gives a lovely account of what went on here!

    The garden in the square is home to a few busts of famous people who lived/worked in the Square at some point, it is a lovely spot to sit and chat with friends, and do some people watching! There is so much that goes on here, this can be quite entertaining at times! haha

    Today it has a few cinemas, restaurants, casinos, pubs, clubs and more, it is high on the agenda for entertainment still, as it was all those years ago. The dubious reutation has left it though :)

    Related to:
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel

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