Leicester Square

The West End

Surrounded by cinemas that host regular film premieres (if you're there at the right time, there will be crowds by the red carpet), Leicester Sq is a heaving central hub of bars, restaurants and tourist shops. In addition to a statue of William Shakespeare, there's a summer splash fountain for kids and a pop-up Christmas market in winter.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The West End attractions

1. Chinatown Gate

0.08 MILES

Northwest of Leicester Sq but a world away in atmosphere, this grand tile-roofed and red-pillared gate marks the entrance into Chinatown. Although not as…

2. National Portrait Gallery

0.13 MILES

What makes the National Portrait Gallery so compelling is its familiarity; in many cases, you will have heard of the subject (royals, scientists,…

3. National Gallery

0.15 MILES

With more than 2300 European masterpieces in its collection, this is one of the world's great galleries, with seminal works from the 13th to the mid-20th…

4. Piccadilly Circus

0.18 MILES

Architect John Nash had originally designed Regent St and Piccadilly in the 1820s to be the two most elegant streets in London but, restrained by city…

5. St Martin-in-the-Fields

0.18 MILES

This parish church to the Royal Family is a delightful fusion of neoclassical and baroque styles. It was designed by architect James Gibbs, completed in…

6. Trafalgar Square

0.19 MILES

Opened to the public in 1844, Trafalgar Sq is the true centre of London, where rallies and marches take place, tens of thousands of revellers usher in the…

7. Eros Statue

0.19 MILES

At the centre of Piccadilly Circus stands the famous statue (Alfred Gilbert, 1893) called Eros but actually modelled on Anteros, his twin brother. To add…

8. Soho

0.23 MILES

In a district that was once pastureland, the name Soho is thought to have evolved from a hunting cry. While the centre of London nightlife has shifted…