Glitzy film premieres, giant casinos, awesome restaurants, street performers and green space to hang out and relax. Leicester Square has it all.
What you need to know about Leicester Square
City: London, United Kingdom
Transport links: Leicester Square tube station (Piccadilly and Northern lines).
Nearby attractions: Trafalgar Square.
Access: Leicester Square is a famous public place in the heart of Central London. You can hang out there and people watch or see street performers for free. If you want to visit the nearby casinos, restaurants or cinemas then they naturally will cost you money to frequent.
Fact: Leicester Square gets its name after Leicester House that could once be found on the northern side of the area. That house was in turn named after Robert Sidney (the 2nd Earl of Leicester) and gave rise to the area originally being known as Leicester Fields.
Leicester Square means lights, camera, action
Leicester Square is synonymous with film premieres and giant cinema screens.
There are frequent first screenings of new releases that bring out the stars of silver screen, causing the area to become flooded with fans desperate to catch a glimpse of the hottest actors and actresses on the planet.
Even when there isn't a showpiece premiere event on, the giant screens provide some of the best cinema experiences anywhere. The tickets are a little pricier than your regular local cinema ticket but the audio and visual technology deployed is state of the art. If you plan on seeing a big blockbuster film in London there is nowhere better than Leicester Square cinemas to sit back and enjoy it.
For the fans of classic cinema, or for those who enjoy something occasionally with a more avant garde vibe, the Prince Charles Cinema, found just off the main square offers a selection of films that you will not find at the main cinemas on the square itself. A Globedge recommendation is to definitely check out their listings for sure.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
There are a few casinos around London but none are as big or impressive as the two main casinos in Leicester Square - the Hippodrome Casino and the Empire Casino.
Nowadays both allow people to walk in direct from the street providing you can prove that you are at least 18 years of age, and offer all the casino table staples you know and love plus slots galore.
Try your hand at blackjack or spin the wheel on the roulette tables, before taking a seat in the dedicated poker rooms to really get your gamble on.
Both casinos offer huge entertainment systems to grab a drink near and watch British and/or American sports broadcasts, as well as putting on live entertainment at times also.
As casino experiences in London go these two are worth sampling. Good luck!
Leicester Square is a great place to eat
There are not that many independent restaurants around Leicester Square in the main square itself. Most are chain restaurants but offer a good quality service and meal at an affordable price.
For something a little more different take a trip behind the main square into Chinatown where you will find independent restaurants, many family run for decades, and taste some insanely authentic Chinese cuisine. Dim sum and a taste of China that will make your mouth water is worth exploring for we say.
A place to park your bum
For all the lights and activity happening around you, there is still a slice of green in the middle of Leicester Square that you can simply stop, relax and unwind in. There are street performers regularly doing there thing and thousands of people walking past to 'people watch'. You could alternatively just kick back with a good book or soak up the sun if the London weather is overly summery for a change.
A stone's throw from another famous square
You can walk around a few corners and be immediately in Trafalgar Square which has a much more historic vibe to it. It contrasts nicely with the modern feel of Leicester Square so it is worth checking them both out to get a bit of the old and a bit of the new when it comes to soaking in the best of everyday London.