This page will provide you with an overview to what to expect on a trip to Leicester Square, with a guide on how to get there, a map of the area and links to more detailed pages on the cinemas, bars, clubs and places to eat in the area.
Leicester square got its name in 1630s after the Earl of Leicester who lived and owned a house (Leicester house) in the Northern part of the Square.
Leicester house no longer exists however the square retained its name and today Leciester square is known for its entertainment, particularly cinema and shows.
On arriving at Leicester Square underground station you will find yourself on the periphery of the square. If you're wondering which way to head, what you need to do is follow the rows of souvenir shops and half-price ticket stalls to find yourself at the heart of the square. If you are there during the day you can grab a bite to eat, grab some tickets for a show or see a daytime screening of a film in one of the many cinemas. The cinema buildings largely dominate the square - modern structures with big banners advertising the latest shows.
If you come to Leicester Square during the evening you will find a hive of lights and activity. The square is packed with bars and clubs. This is the sort of area where you can put your "special occassion" clothes on and have a glamorous night on the tiles.
At the centre of Leicester Square you will find a small park area. This is a place to sit and relax whilst the madness carries on around you.
It is worth remembering that Leicester Square is well located for getting to other tourist attractions that are in the area. Leicester Square sits between Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. Museums such as The National Portrait Gallery and The National Gallery lie in easy walking distance.
Leicester Square is in the very heart of London, therefore it's advisable to get public transport to your destination (if you decide that you would like to travel by car see below for where to park in the area). Leicester Square conveniently has its own tube station. Once you arrive at the tube station you simply need to cross the road and Leicester Square is directly in front of you.
Tube: Leicester Square (Blue Line / Piccadilly Line, Black Line / Northern Line)
For details of the cinemas in Leicester Square with contact details, descriptions, official website links and advice on finding out about premieres, see our page on Cinemas in Leicester Square.
If you would like to find out information on the half price theatre ticket booths in Leicester Square, with a guide to how the system works, details on where to head to get cut price tickets and advice on finding the reputable companies, see our page on Theatre Ticket Booths in Leicester Square.
Leicester Square is packed with places to grab a bite to eat. Whether you fancy some fast food or a sit down dinner you will find what you're after in and around the square. The majority of restaurants are chains so you are likely to know what to expect. For listings for the main places to eat in Leicester Square with a map, official website links, addresses and opening times see our page on Places to Eat in Leicester Square.
Leicester Square is a lively place to head for a night out. There are the well-known and affordable favourites such as Weatherspoons and Yates Wine Lodge sitting aside independents pubs, wine bars and cocktail bars.
For listings of the main places to go drinking in Leicester Square with a map, official website links, addresses and opening times see our Guide to Bars in Leicester Square.
Leicester Square clubs are generally large and will require a smart dress code. During the weekends the square comes alive at night with party people who have travelled into the city centre for a glamorous night out. For listings for the main clubs in Leicester Square with a map, official website links, addresses and opening times see our Guide to Clubs in Leicester Square.
Leicester Square underground station sits less than one minute's walk from the centre of Leicester Square (see the map above for the exact position). It is a large underground station with numerous exits (each exit sign will tell you the street that it leads you to, so choose the exit that coincides with where you want to be on exiting).
For a comprehensive guide to using the London underground system, with advice on ticket options, tube lines, disabled facilities and running times, see our Guide to the London Underground System.
Leicester Square is one of the famous areas of central London. Whether you come to the square in the depths of winter or the height of summer, during the day or late at night, you will find it thronging with people from all over the world. It is a centre of entertainment for cinema, clubs, bars and eateries and a good starting point for a tour of London city centre.