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Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square has Nelson's Column, the National Gallery, the Fourth Plinth – and a very special place in the heart of Londoners.

Travelling around central London, it can sometimes seem that all roads lead to Trafalgar Square. This grand open space, in the heart of the British capital, has roads converging on it from Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the West End and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Where they meet, standing proud some 50 metres above on his column, is Lord Nelson, the man the square commemorates. It was Nelson's naval victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, against Napoleon's fleet, that put paid to France's attempt to 'rule the waves' two centuries ago.

Now Trafalgar Square is where Londoners and visitors alike come to walk, see its many attractions, and (if the weather has been very fortunate) cool off in its fountains. Built in the 1840s, its main purpose was to show off the new National Gallery, which was being built at the same time. But with the country also looking to celebrate the naval hero, Nelson, the new square seemed the obvious place to erect his statue – and it was renamed Trafalgar Square.

Since those days, in addition to countless sightseers, Trafalgar Square has hosted many of Britain's most important public events. It has seen celebrations at the end of the World Wars, and cheering crowds for England's sporting heroes. It has also seen protests and riots in the past, but these days, it is busiest at the start of Christmas – when its Christmas Tree lights are switched on – and on New Year's Eve, when revellers arrive to see in the New Year.

Most tourists come here to gaze at the occasional pigeons flying around Nelson's Column, maybe to see the latest art installation on the 'Fourth Plinth', or to climb the steps of the National Gallery, where Britain's finest paintings are gathered. But mainly just to soak up the atmosphere of being right in the heart of the London, with its many attractions waiting to be explored.

You won't believe how many things there are to do at Trafalgar Square. Here are some ideas to get you going:

Peruse our London things to do page to discover more activities while you're in the area.


Guide to Exploring Trafalgar Square


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 16,919 properties near Trafalgar Square
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London Rs12,247
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

200 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes. Waterloo Underground Station is only a 4-minute walk and Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes.

    The Strand Palace Hotel Rs13,078
    The Strand Palace Hotel

    The Strand Palace Hotel

    372 The Strand, London, England
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in London City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Covent Garden Market, Piccadilly Circus and London Dungeon. Big Ben and Buckingham Palace are also within 1 mi (2 km). Charing Cross Underground Station is 5 minutes by foot and Covent Garden Underground Station is 5 minutes.

      St Giles London - A St Giles Hotel Rs7,455
      St Giles London - A St Giles Hotel

      St Giles London - A St Giles Hotel

      Bedford Avenue, London, England
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Oxford Street and The British Museum. Russell Square and Queens Theatre are also within 15 minutes. Tottenham Court Road Underground Station is only a 3-minute walk and Goodge Street Underground Station is 6 minutes.

        St Martins Lane Rs18,519
        St Martins Lane

        St Martins Lane

        45 St Martin's Lane, London, England
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square. Piccadilly Circus and Big Ben are also within 1 mi (2 km). Leicester Square Underground Station and Charing Cross Underground Station are within a 5-minute walk.

          Marlin Waterloo Rs9,758
          Marlin Waterloo

          Marlin Waterloo

          111 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in London City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Imperial War Museum, Westminster Bridge and Sea Life London Aquarium. Coca-Cola London Eye and Big Ben are also within 15 minutes. Lambeth North Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Waterloo Underground Station is 8 minutes.

            Mimi's Hotel Soho Rs7,415
            Mimi's Hotel Soho

            Mimi's Hotel Soho

            56-57 Frith Street, London, England
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Oxford Street and Queens Theatre. Piccadilly and Leicester Square are also within 10 minutes. Tottenham Court Road Underground Station is 5 minutes by foot and Leicester Square Underground Station is 6 minutes.

              Park Plaza London Waterloo Rs9,786
              Park Plaza London Waterloo

              Park Plaza London Waterloo

              6 Hercules Road, London, England
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Florence Nightingale Museum, Imperial War Museum and The Vaults. Southbank Centre Book Market and Lambeth Palace are also within 10 minutes. Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes by foot and Waterloo Underground Station is 11 minutes.

                Assembly Hotel London Rs11,463
                Assembly Hotel London

                Assembly Hotel London

                27 - 31 Charing Cross Road, London, England
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of The British Museum, Coca-Cola London Eye and Big Ben. Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park are also within 1 mi (2 km). Leicester Square Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Charing Cross Underground Station is 4 minutes.