More than 30 million tourists pass through this focal point in the heart of London every year, all watched over by Admiral Lord Nelson at the top of his column and the surrounding Four Lions. A tribute to the British Navy’s military victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, this spot has witnessed celebrations, political rallies and protests for well over a century.
When you visit this iconic square, you’ll see tourists gazing skywards and taking snaps of Nelson’s Column in the centre of the square itself. On a warm day, you’ll see many visitors cooling off by the two tulip-shaped fountains on either side.
To the north side of the square, there is the monumental National Gallery, home to a vast array of timeless pieces of art. Nearby you can also visit St. Martin-in-the-Fields, an Anglican church and one of architect Sir Christopher Wren’s many masterpieces that can be found throughout London. Dubbed the ‘Church of the Ever Open Door’, this spot is not only a place of worship for Anglicans but also a prominent venue for concerts, with choral, chamber and jazz concerts on offer periodically. Check what’s on before you visit.
Trafalgar Square is in fact owned by the royal family. It is a patriotic spot as evidenced by its name and by the statue of war hero Nelson, as well as by the bronze-cast historical figures throughout the square. Through the years, it has also witnessed social and political unrest as a spot for popular protests.
However, the square is mostly a peaceful and pleasant gathering place. Until recently, it was a notorious haven for pigeons, but their numbers have dwindled since 2003 when a strict ban was introduced forbidding visitors from feeding the birds. If you’re in this part of the city at Christmas, come and see London’s huge Christmas tree as well as a dazzling light display to welcome the season.
Located within the City of Westminster, Trafalgar Square is easy to reach by bus and tube, with Charing Cross station located nearby.