Location and history
Piccadilly Circus is located directly between an intersection of London’s best-known areas (Regent’s Street, Piccadilly, Leicester Square, Soho and Trafalgar Square, depending on which direction you take).
So Piccadilly Circus is very much a gateway to London’s premier landmarks. It also has a certain iconic fame, having featured in scores of music videos, films and photographs representing London.
The original tube station was opened in 1906 and demolished in the 1980s. It was replaced by a larger structure to accommodate an ever-increasing volume of passenger traffic. Piccadilly Circus tube is today served by the Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines within Zone 1 of the London Underground.
Local attractions within walking distance
If you are standing at Piccadilly Circus, you are certain to experience a sense of déjà vu. That is due to the innate familiarity that many citizens from all over the world have with this busy street junction.
Piccadilly Circus is often compared to Times Square in New York.
This is partly due to its proximity to the theatre district and partly because of the brightly-lit neon signs and video advertising displays that have been tacked on to the façade of a staid old Victorian building in its northwestern corner, at the junction of Shaftesbury Avenue and Glasshouse Street.
Look across the street and you’ll see a statue, sometimes known as the Angel of Christian Charity but commonly referred to as Eros, as well as a fountain dedicated to the memory of Lord Shaftesbury.
The neighborhood of Piccadilly Circus has been fashionable since the late 17th century when the life of the court centered on nearby St. James’s Palace. It is a place which still retains its vibrancy and sophistication with its steady stream of visitors.
Piccadilly Circus is a great place to experience the “vibe” of one of the world’s greatest cities and watch people make their way to the multiplex cinemas, pubs, restaurants, coffee houses, comedy clubs and cavernous shops that surround this elegant hub.
Piccadilly Circus puts you within walking distance of some prime London attractions: these include St James’s Church (designed by Christopher Wren), Burlington House (a magnificent listed building, home to the Royal Academy of Arts) and Leicester Square, representing the heart and hearth of British and world cinema.
Hotels near Piccadilly Circus
The area also naturally has a variety of hotels, ranging from the classy Ritz to mid-range chain hotels like the Thistle Piccadilly and the Royal Trafalgar, as well as the Radisson Edwardian Leicester Square Hotel or the intimate and eco-friendly Cavendish Hotel.
Hotel rates tend to be high due to the centrality of the location. This makes it even more essential to do your research and make the right choice. Do check the London Hotels Insight blog to highlight hotels which currently have the highest rankings on TripAdvisor and offer the best value.