No visit to London would be complete without soaking up the unique atmosphere in the West End. It is one of London's most vibrant areas for shopping, shows, culture and history as well as food and drink.
When people refer to London's West End, they are talking about:
- London's entertainment district around Leicester Square and Covent Garden
- Shopping along Oxford Street, Regent Street, and Bond Street
- The city centre area to the west of the historic City of London, within the City of Westminster
Travel to and around the West End
If you're going to be in London for more than a day, it's worth buying a Visitor Oyster Card in advance. The Visitor Oyster Card is delivered to your home before you arrive in London. It is one of the easiest ways to get around London.
If you do not have a Visitor Oyster Card, but still plan to travel around London for more than a day, buy an Oyster card at the Tube station. Learn more about Oyster Cards.
Things to do in the West End: Museums and galleries
London’s top attractions include sites within the West End. The most popular museums and galleries in the area are The National Gallery, The Royal Academy of Arts and the London Transport Museum. There is also the National Portrait Gallery, which is currently closed for redevelopment until 2023.
Things to do in the West End: Shopping
The West End contains some of London's finest shopping streets. Check out Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street and St Christopher's Place for big-name flagship stores such as Topshop, Ralph Lauren, Selfridges, Hamleys, and The Apple Store.
Read more on shopping in London.
Things to do in the West End: Theatre
Perhaps the most famous thing about London's West End is its theatre scene. Alongside Broadway in New York, West End theatre represents the highest quality theatre in the world.
There are around 40 theatres in London's "Theatreland." Theatre performances in the West End tend to be musicals, classic plays and comedies. Visit the TKTS booth in Leicester Square for discount theatre ticket for on-the-day performances and advance booking shows.
Find out more about London theatre.
Things to do in West End: Cinema and casinos
The West End is also London’s glamorous centre for red carpet movie premieres. Hollywood stars can be seen posing for photos almost every week.
This historical square is also where you’ll find the 24-hour Hippodrome Casino which has space for live shows as well as a restaurant and five bars.