Tourist Information Guide

Palace Theatre near Leicester Square in London

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Palace Theatre
Palace Theatre
If you have spent any time in central London, chances are you will have seen Palace Theatre. It is a building that stands out in London's landscape both for its distinctive Victorian red brick façade that shines amongst the grey concrete and for the shows that are staged there. A short look at the theatre's show history is like a reflection of the tastes and styles of that time. It has played host to some of theatreland's most memorable shows - everything from Les Miserables to Monty Python's Spamalot. You can head to this theatre in the knowledge that you will be seeing one of the West End's popular shows. You will also be seeing it in a large auditorium, adding to the dramatic effect of the show you are seeing - you will be part of a large and excited audience.

On this page you will find an overview to the theatre along with practical details on how to get to the Palace Theatre, contact details (address, telephone number and official website), photographs of the theatre. We also include tips on how to find out what shows are on, ticketing advice and listings of places to eat close to the Palace Theatre.

London Palace Theatre overview: what makes the theatre special

Palace Theatre is a West End theatre in London's theatreland that stages popular musicals and shows. The theatre was built in 1881 and first opened its doors in 1891, when it was called the 'Royal English Opera House' (at that time the theatre was known for a place to see opera). In the same year the theatre's name was changed to Palace Theatre of Varieties. Then in 1911 the theatre was given the name that it has today. It has a distinctive design that was considered to be ground breaking at the time it was built. The eye-catching red brick façade hosts ornate sculptures and domed windows. Its large size and ornate building makes it one of the buildings that makes the area what it is - a red brick building surrounded by grey concrete ones. For ticket holders this adds to the overall experience - you will know while you are there that you are in a long-established staple of London culture.

It is a large theatre space in comparison to other West End theatres, seating 1400 people. The large size of the venue adds to the dramatic effect of the show you are seeing - you will be part of a large and excited audience. The large theatre size also ensures that it tends to stage some of the popular shows in town (Les Miserables ran here for 19 years, until 2004).

Doctor Who fans may recognise the theatre from the 1977 serial 'The Talons of Wend-Chiang' - it is one of the main settings in the story.

How to get theatre tickets

If you want to see a play at the Palace Theatre it is virtually essential that you book in advance - they tend to have some of the popular shows in town, meaning that they sell out quickly. To book tickets for the Palace Theatre, you have the following options:

Box Office: You can buy tickets at the venue itself. Simply head to the main entrance of the theatre (see below for directions) and go to the box office in the foyer area.

Website: The Palace Theatre is owned by a company called The Really Useful Group. You should go to their website (see link below) and head to the Palace Theatre page. Here you will be able to click a link to book tickets for the show.

Website: Official Palace Theatre Website

Opening times

The Operating hours of the Palace Theatre depend on the timings of the show. Therefore, to find out the exact opening times of the theatre during your visit it is best to contact them directly (see contact details below) close to the time of your visit.


Palace Theatre
109 - 113 Shaftesbury Avenue

Tel: +44 (0) 33 0333 4813

Website: Official Palace Theatre Website

Closest tube

Tube Tube: Leicester Square (Black Line / Northern Line and Blue Line / Piccadilly Line)

On leaving Leicester Square tube station you will find yourself on the large Tottenham Court Road. Turn right and head up Tottenham Court Road for less than five minutes. You will cross a large road called Shaftesbury Avenue. Look to your left, and you will see the large red Palace Theatre building directly in front of you. The walk should take you a maximum of ten minutes.

Restaurants nearby

The Palace theatre sits right in the very heart of London, ensuring that it is surrounded by places where you can go for either a slap-up meal or to grab a quick bite to eat.

It is worth noting that you are in easy walking distance of Covent Garden (the start of the area is just a couple of minutes' walk away). Covent Garden is a popular area in London for eating out. The thespians will head to the likes of J Sheekey or The Ivy for a slap-up post-theatre meal (for these kinds of places it is essential to book). Lots of chain restaurants can be found in the area, such as Pizza Express, Zizzi, Fire and Stone, Chez Gerard and Wahaca. If there are vegetarians in the bunch, you can try out the famous Food For Thought. And for a fun night out, large groups will love Belgo for mussels and chips. To find listings for each of these restaurants, with information on location, opening times and menu, see our Guide to places to eat in Covent Garden.

Or if you would like to try somewhere right on the doorstep of the theatre, you can head to one of the eateries in and around Leicester Square. The area caters for a family crowd, so you will find the likes of McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Chiquitos. However, there are also some more grown-up options, such as Steak & Co or Wagamamas. If you are looking for an affordable eating option, this is a good area to head to. For more details, see our Guide to Places to Eat in Leicester Square.

Parking in the area

The Palace Theatre does not have its own car park. However, you will find that there are other car parks that are available in the area. It is worth remembering that parking in London can be expensive and not always abundant. Therefore, if possible it is cheaper and more convenient to head into the centre of London using public transport. However, if you do need to drive to the Palace Theatre, you will find a few options in the area. For details of the options that are available, see the Parking page on the Official Palace Theatre website.

If you love the theatre and musicals you'd be crazy to miss a show during a trip to London. London's theatreland is known for being a world-class place to see theatre. Within theatreland, the Palace Theatre has a reputation for being a lively and high-quality theatre. Ensure that you look into buying your tickets in advance to avoid the disappointment of tickets being sold out.

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