If it was a square, it would
be the most famous one in the world. This is the place where everyone meets,
one of the centers of the world. And our hostel was just one small block from
the place, so this was the first and the last place me and my girlfriend saw
each time we left the hostel. It
was also the first place in central London I saw when getting up from the Underground
after arrival with my friend in 1999.
Piccadilly Circus is just 4 blocks from Trafalgar Square, the border
of Soho, Mayfair and Westminster and the intersection of 5 busy streets. The
most famous ones are Regent Street, that goes right through the Circus, and
Piccadilly. The name "Piccadilly" comes from a frilly collar from
the 17th century called a picadil. The dressmaker that made them became rich
and built a house in the surroundings.
Piccadilly is a totally different place after dark. The neon signs and the increasing
number of partydressed people transforms it. Despite it is so famous, the place
itself is surpisingly small, but there are a lot of things in the surroundings,
belonging to Piccadilly: 3 large hotels, 2 large record stores, a large Burger
King, a wax museum, several famous theatres and cinemas.
The statue of Eros rising above a bronze fountain (right) is one of the
symbols of London (I didn't know its name when I was there though).
It was originally a memorial to the philanthropist Lord Shaftesbury.
Regent Street goes right through Piccadilly Circus. Its northern part is aestheticatlly
The Queen musical "We will rock you" was going on at the nearby Dominion
There is also a street that is
called Piccadilly, that begins at Piccadilly Circus of course.
Ritz Hotel is situated on Piccadilly. The Ritz is London's most exclusive hotel.
Almost the opposite to:
Piccadilly Backpackers Hostel,
the place where we stayed. Probably the cheapest and most centrally located
hostel in the whole London, but the standard was almost too bad. Six beds in
a very small room (of which one blocking the window), a bit dirty, broken chairs
in the breakfast rooms, a crazy elevators stopping at the wrong floors, the
colour at the walls and the windows has been falling off, there was mould in
the roof and the included breakfast was just 2 toasts with marmelade. But after
all, it felt ok to stay at this place because of its central location and mainly
At the famous Piccadilly Theatre
(to the right on the picture), one night we saw a crowd of girls. They had came
to see and photograph the famous actor Ewan Mc Gregor (from Trainspotting and
Moulin Rouge) in reality, that was acting in a show called "Guys and dolls".
I didn't have the camera this time.
And the view from the window
was nice (though partly blocked by a 2-storey bed), I could clearly see the
nice 35-story skyscraper Centre Point, the a large and a bit shabby (yes!) courtyard
just behind Piccadilly Circus and the Swiss Re/Tower 42 cluster in the background.
From the corridor window just next to our room, we could see The London Eye
and Big Ben in the distance.
Because our small room had 8 beds,
in the week we stayed at this hostel me and my girlfriend had to share our room
with: 1 girl from Brazil, 1 guy from Mexico, 1 guy from France 2 guy from Italy,
a couple from Spain, 2 boys and 2 girls from California and 1 girl from Texas.
Many other Swedes also stayed at the hostel (but not in our room). We became
friends with the guy from Mexico (Mexico City) and the girl from Brazil (Sao
Paulo). After one day, we decided to go to the pub together (all 4) and go to
some sights (like Buckingham Palace, Camden and Primrose Hill) together the
following days before they should leave.
I took this picture after that the fire alarm began ringing. Everyone had to
leave the hostel, just after we arrived and was about to start our diner. As
we stayed on the 6th floor, there were many stairs to climb. People had to stand
on the street outside, but everyone was very calm. A fire engine came, but left
again very soon. Someone had smoked in their room.