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Leicester Square (London)

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By night Leicester (pronounced Lester, as in the Adams Family) Square is one of the busiest spots in London. Buskers entertain the crowds with anything from an impromptu song to a political rant, tourists pay good money to have their faces ridiculed by cr

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    6 Reviews
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      17.01.2010 20:28
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      A great place to while away a few hours for all ages

      Leicester Square, London. On arriving I didnt really know what to expect, it was the week before christmas and they had a fun fair bang in the centre of it. Which looked tacky and gave the square a bit of a shabby, unclean look about it.

      The reason I visited was to purchase some discount theatre tickets, and I would recommend it to anyone because the tickets were greatly discounted. But the lady in the ticket office said, it would be better going to the theatre to book them to save the booking fee.

      There is a big board outside the booking office with availability and prices on so I`ll never book in advance again.

      The square is surrounded on each side with places to eat and there is any food you want, from Italian, Mexican, Steaks, Chinese, and each one has meal deals and specials so shop around before committing to one.

      It also has 3-4 cinemas and one has a premier showing each week where they roll out the red carpet and the stars come, great if you got children, you can impress them a bit with your knowledge, mind you I stood there for half an hour and didnt recognise any stars but were told they were famous, with the press photographing them and there names being shouted by reporters.

      Its suppose to be a pedestrian zone, but I nearly got knocked over on two occasions.

      Theres lso places to drink and around the out skirts and if its a nice evening you can sit outside and people watch, very continental I think.

      I think its a place that comes alive at night with street performers and people meeting for a drink before going to the many restaurants. By day it looks nothing, but its always busy and I would recommend a visit, even if its just for the architecture of the fine old buildings.

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      17.01.2010 20:08
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      Don't eat here. Go see a movie cheaper elsewhere!

      Leicester Square which is sandwiched between Traflagar Square & Soho is known as the home of the European film debut.

      In my opinion the Square is a bit run down and its side street a bit seedy but has so much more potential if Westminster City Council would do something about it. There are 3 main entrances to the square - coming from Trafalgar square, Piccadilly and the Leicester Square tube station.

      The Trafalgar square entrance is entirely filled with outlets like 'Bella Italia' & Pizzahut, the Tube station entrance takes you past a sex shop if that's your thing and coming from piccadilly there used to be the swiss shop where the glockenspiel would chime every hour. I believe it still does but the shop which was incredibly tacky has been demolished and in its place is rising a new hotel whose exterior is supposed to glow at night when finished.

      The square itself feels incredibly cramped as there is a garden in the centre and it is fenced off by metal rails with about 4 entrances. This is quite a popular meeting place. Around the outside the surface is paved and has imprints of movie stars who have cast their hands there but it does look like a cheap rip off of hollywood!

      I know there are thousands of people who trample the ground every day but the surface is looking really worn and could do with some maintenance. To the north of the square you can often find the usual artists who will draw characatures for any tourist who gets drawn to them.

      Leicester Square is the home of Capital Radio and also has several of Londons major cinemas (hence the European premieres that take place here) - expect to pay double what you would elsewhere to watch a film here. There is a ticket booth where you can buy tickets to events from at the south of the square but its far too big and completely blocks that section of the square and makes it feel cluttered.

      I'm loathe to use public toilets much but I have to say the mens at Leicester Square are not kept in bad condition at all and are fairly clean. I expect the womens are just the same.

      The catering in the square is mixed - pizza hut is fine if you like pizza hut or a quick snack but at all costs avoid restaurants here. They are grim and the food at best will be average.

      At night this place is at its worst, it is completely packed out and full of revellers until at least 1am. Now, this is my biggest bugbear. At night the Square is ridiculously dimly lit - sort it out council

      I can see how it is popular, it has a certain 'buzz' about it but my advice is to use it as a central meeting place if you're a tourist and no more. I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to go and visit.

      Shame, as with better lighting, better paving and less clutter this could be a cracking place to go.

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        28.06.2009 22:44
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        a good day out overall.. check for events first though!

        Leicester Square is in Central London, Zone One, near Picadilly Circus and Oxford Circus, and could be regarded as the centre of London, where all the buzz and hotspots are!

        Whilst Oxford Street is home to shopping, Leicester Square is home to entertainment, nightlife and fun! Extremely accessible via the Picadilly and Northern line by Tube, or by foot from any nearby underground station, such as Picadilly Circus, Covent Garden and Charing Cross. There are also many bus routes going through those areas, as well as taxi service! Here's what you can do near Leicester Square !

        ~~~LEICESTER SQUARE~~~
        Cinema lovers will love Leicester Square, as it is home to what could be called the largest or most prestigious Vue and Odeon in London, where most of the film premieres take place. These are not always huge events, but generate lots of buzz and excitement.

        Buying a ticket at a premiere to see the film might cost quite a lot but generally when there is no big event, it is affordable (Around £10 for adult) and is an experience in itself!

        I went to the Bond World Premiere, although did not get tickets, it was extremely enjoyable with live performances and interviews... also lucky to meet the beautiful Gemma Arterton and get her autograph.

        If that isn't your thing, nearby there are lovely restaurants, Pizza places, and a nice Italian Ice cream parlour on the corner! Often there are also street artists and performers so it never feels quiet!

        ~~~CHINA TOWN~~~
        China Town is also located very near Leicester Square, and here, you can find many Chinese restaurants and shops. One I would personally recommend is China Experience Restaurant, which does half price lunch dim sum menu. The taste is great, and so is the value.

        There are of course other restaurants, such as Jade Garden, Wong Kei (good food, VERY bad service) and Hong Kong Cafe. There are also supermarkets where you can get oriental foods, as well as a chinese snack shop!

        These are great places to get food, experience ethnic foods and feel another culture. Although I have to warn you that things are rather overpriced compared to what you can get Hong Kong and China, and even some other chinese superstores in UK.

        The arches marking the start of China Town are also a photo opportunity and looks very oriental. During Chinese New Year, there is also great buzz and festivities here, with lots of stalls and decorative lanterns which make it very busy and buzzing with excitement!

        Beware or pickpockets in this area.

        ~~~TRAFALGAR SQUARE~~~
        Trafalgar Square is also a short walk from Leicester Square, where there is two large fountains and where the famous statues of the four lions and also Nelson's column.

        Just up the square is National Gallery which is free to enter, if art is your thing. If not take a break in the square, enjoy the pigeons (perhaps the most you'll see in one place in your lifetime!)

        There has also been lots of art installations done here, such as the plastic chairs which were actually take-away-able, soap in the fountains and allowed to free flow everywhere, and also the T-Mobile Advert with the large karaoke. If you ever do get into one of these things, it would be alot of fun and a great experience of the culture and art of London...

        ~~~OVERALL~~~
        Overall, Leicester Square and the whole of Central London has so much to do and lots of buzz, especially at night. You do not need to spend TOO much to have a great time, but there are certainly lots to see!

        Almost everything is within walking distance, so you can go round and round to all these three places!

        The most costly thing you will buy on a day out in Central is perhaps the train ticket!

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          23.04.2009 17:32

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          Leicester Square

          Leicester Square is a great place to go to if you wish to go shopping, clubbing, drinking with friends, or even watch a movie. There is lots to do around the area and especially if you are a woman, I'm sure you could spend ages looking around and browsing through the stores. Things are a bit expensive around this area though so be careful on spending as it wont be too easy to really catch a bargain. This area also comprises on many "big name brands".

          The nighlife in this area is also great and there is really a ide variety of clubs to choose from, depending on what type of music you wish to listen / dance to.

          If you cannot seem to make your mind up, there are also people walking around promoting the clubs and can assist you as to what clubs are available.

          Leicester Square is only about a 5 minute walk from Piccadilly Circus and it is very easy to get around the area, with many transport links, ie: There are many bus stops and you can pretty much get to anywhere within central london fby catching a bus from Leicester Square.

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          23.11.2008 17:43
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          Tourist attraction on the surface

          The one thing you will rarely find in Leicester Square is a Londoner, at least not a Londoner on a night out that is, the vast majority of the people found in Leicester Square are tourists, there are locals but these are mostly there to hustle tourists into parting with their money or they are upon to some other mischieve.

          Leicester Square is in the heart of the West End theatre district and does have quite a lot to offer if you know where to look, it is easy to get to with the Picadilly and Northern Line passing through the tube station. It is a network of quite tight streets and there is largely pedestrianised area leading up to Picadilly itself and you are only a five minute walk away from Covent Garden.

          There are loads of eating places in the area but the quality is not always great and they are pricey, if I do find myself eating in the area I often head up to the near by Chinatown area where the restaurants off the mai drag are reasonably priced and good quality.

          There are a lot of cool bars and pubs in the area but again you have to head towards the back streets around Soho where you find some of the cities media people drinking the night away in some great little places, some of these places have great music playing and there are a couple of good gay clubs for dancing as well and although a significant number of those inside will be gay they are really mixed open places with a great atmosphere.

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            25.09.2006 20:24
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            Best avoided.

            It always horrifies me when friends or acquaintances make the suggestion of meeting up in Leicester Square. This is usually a popular meeting place for those who aren't well acquainted with London. Unsurprisingly, Leicester Square is also a popular meeting point for those Ciao member reunions.

            Quite simply, Leicester Square is a tourist trap with nothing to offer but its name. Cinemas are overpriced with tickets costing more than £10/person, twice that of most cinemas in London. The restaurants are dirty, offer poor menus and again over priced. Once I made the mistake of going to the Aberdeen Steak House. The steak was inedible, the dated interior was in need of renovation and the restaurant looked like it needed a visit from health and safety. Needless to say I didn’t leave a tip. Such restaurants are pretty much expected in a tourist trap.

            The biggest problem with Leicester Square is the types of people and crowds it attracts. Firstly, police are present everywhere due to the large number of druggies, drunks, pick pockets, thieves and those who are due for anti social restraining orders. Then we get the gangs wearing trainers, tracksuits, tank tops and chains. Not only are such people a ghastly sight, they are a loud nuisance who spend their time loitering around video arcades and gambling casinos.

            It always amazes me to see tourists who have come to Leicester Square all dressed up for the evening. Obviously they read the tourist guide but didn't quite realize this isn’t the place to be. Quite simply, Leicester Square is a tourist trap, a place which is best avoided.

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