"Trafalgar Square: superb for people watching!" Trafalgar Square Tip by CatherineReichardt

Trafalgar Square, London: 248 reviews and 447 photos


Trafalgar Square is a terrific place for people watching - probably one of the best places in London to observe your fellow tourist (since locals tend to avoid it like the plague because of the crowds)!

Trafalgar Square was obviously named in honour of Admiral Horatio Nelson's famous naval victory over Napoleon's fleet at Trafalgar - Nelson himself occupies pride of place on top of the column that forms the centrepoint to the square. There are a number of statues scattered around the square, commemorating some fairly ho-hum historical figures: George IV (better known as the Prince Regent) and then Major General Sir Henry Havelock and General Sir Charles James Napier by George Cannon Adams who may have been household names in their day but have since slipped into relative obscurity.

The nicest time to visit Trafalgar Square is in December, when the square plays host to a massive Christmas tree. This tradition dates back to 1947 and the tree is an annual gift from the people of Oslo to the people of London in recognition of the assistance that they extended them in World War II. The Square is also the traditional gathering place in London for people to see in the New Year, although it's quite beyond me why people would want to hang around here for hours in the freezing cold (and often wet) just to hear a clock strike - but I guess that the same could be said of Times Square!

Feeding the pigeons in Trafalgar Square was a time honoured tradition in years gone by. However, it is now illegal and under the local bylaws you can be fined for doing so - unfortunately pigeons are simply winged vermin and the damage that they do to historic buildings greatly outweighs their dubious insistent charms.

Lastly, although Trafalgar Square might seem like an obvious place to arrange to meet up with people, it's actually a terrible choice. At most times of the day and night, it is teeming with people, so it's like looking for a needle in a haystack and also it's surrounded by four absolutely identical lions and two fountains that look pretty well the same (so it's hard to be specific). If you're looking for a more reliable rendezvous point in the area, select something more unique the steps of National Gallery or South Africa House - which both face onto the square - or by the Eleanor Cross outside the main entrance to Charing Cross station on The Strand (incidentally the point from which all road distances are calculated in London).

Address: Trafalgar Square, WC2
Directions: Charing Cross or Leicester Square tubes
Phone: +44 20 7983 4750
Website: https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/our-building-and-squares/trafalgar-square%20?source=vanityurl

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 13, 2011
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