Leicester Square Cultural Centre
Known throughout the world as the beating heart of London’s West End, the square and surrounding area welcome over 2.5 million visitors each week. Visitors can experience some of the best shows and theatres in the city as well as over 52 star-studded red-carpet film premieres each year.
Whether it's a film, theatre, food, or family favourite, Leicester Square exists to excite your senses. The square is within easy walking distance from Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Soho, and Covent Garden.
From the Queen’s encounter with Marilyn Monroe to the Rolling Stones’ first gigs, Leicester Square has hosted some of the most iconic moments on stage and screen. Today, there’s no shortage of audacious entertainment, thanks to the 4DX cinema experience, many of London’s oldest theatres, and a nightclub with a dazzling 17,000 mirror disco ball.
The bright lights of Leicester Square are a constant calling card for London’s capital, from the beautiful lawns bedecked with deckchairs in the summer months to the Bavarian Christmas village that pops up in the winter. On the cusp of Chinatown and with numerous activities including the Scenes from the Square Film Statue trail, here are our top things to do in Leicester Square:
Perhaps best known for its red-carpet premieres and glitzy Hollywood parties, Leicester Square has several cinemas dotted around its edges including Odeon Leicester Square (the largest), a Cineworld Leicester Square, and Vue Leicester Square.
Befitting for all the film premiere it hosts, Leicester Square recently unveiled its Scenes from the Square statue trail, a series of bronze statues representing different decades in the cinema from Mary Poppins and Laurel & Hardy to Mr. Bean and Bugs Bunny.
Unveiling icons from a century of cinema with an interactive statue trail, get ready for Scenes in the Square in London’s home of film and entertainment.
As you sit in or walk around Leicester Square, you’ll occasionally catch a glimpse of Chinese lanterns or the huge, iconic Chinatown gate (next to the W Hotel), denoting the start of Chinatown.
Chinese New Year is a particularly wonderful time to visit – apart from the Chinatown Gate, our favourite bit of Chinatown to visit is the alleyway known as Newport Court – there are several authentic bakeries around here and as the area is so enclosed, it often smells delicious.
Set your pulse racing at the liveliest casino in the UK where the action sizzles 24/7.
The Empire Casino offers the best games, top dealers, and round-the-clock-entertainment. There are games to suit every style and mood, plus the hottest Poker room in town.
Grosvenor Casino The Rialto London is filled with classic casino games and a stylish bar area from which you can enjoy the full French Renaissance style décor and the view up to the beautiful domed ceiling.
The Hippodrome Casino is UK’s largest and most popular casino and entertainment venue comprising three gaming floors, a slots room, a Poker Stars deck, a 180-seat cabaret theatre, and London’s number one steak house, plus six bars and an indoor smoking terrace.
Discover sake, fun confectionery, and ceramics and pick up all your Japanese cooking essentials, from miso to rice in London’s largest Japanese food hall. Dine in the courtyard on fresh handmade sushi, sashimi, and katsu curry.
Piccadilly Circus is situated between Leicester Square, famous for its cinemas, and Regent Street, one of London's most popular shopping destinations this is best visited at night, as the neon lights and brightly lit advertising boards kick in. Whilst it is no Times Square, it is home to the Eros statue, installed in 1892 and said to be the most famous meeting point in London for courting couples.
Still the UK’s greatest and most influential comedy club and the place every comic wants to play. Each week The Comedy Store hosts stunning stand-up, inspired improvisation, and razor-sharp topical shows to suit all tastes.
Perched on the 9th floor atop the four-star Hotel Indigo, is LSQ Rooftop bar – a 1920s art deco-themed bar with a sweeping panorama view of the London skyline.
Two world-class art galleries are within a short walking distance of Leicester Square tube station. The National Gallery houses some of the greatest collections of paintings in the world dating from the mid-13th century to the year 1900, whilst the National Portrait Gallery showcases portraits of historically important and famous British people.
It is quite a nice place to just laze around in the park, and sit on the benches or deckchairs (the latter in Summer only) and stare at the fountain or fend off pigeons from your food.
There are lots of places nearby (mainly chains) to grab takeaway food like Jollibee’s, Pizza Hut, Shakeshack, McDonald’s, or Burger King (you are bang out of luck if you want something healthy).
From late November every year, Leicester Square is transformed into a Winter Wonderland and Christmas Market.
Here, you’ll find Santa’s grotto, a couple of alpine-themed bars selling Czech lager and mulled wine plus all manner of gift shops selling Christmas decorations and very strongly perfumed soaps, and the largest hot dog you’ll see (probably). Festive as!
Leicester Square is a hub of activity, surrounded by hotels, bars, restaurants, Cinemas, Casinos, theatres, shops, etc. Street performers bring the square to life. Plenty of action and places to visit within a few minutes’ walk.https://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/place/3876794-leicester-square