What To Do In Covent Garden
Covent Garden is located in the heart of Central London and it’s a beating heart all day and all year round! Covent Garden is one of those iconic areas of London that you need to visit, especially if you’re visiting London for the first time and there are so many things to do in Covent Garden!
Covent Garden is a great place to go shopping in London and it’s filled with restaurants, pubs and bars. It’s home to one of London’s best museums and the prime location to see a world-class show. Due to its central location and the many Covent Garden Hotels, it’s also a great place to base yourself in London.
Covent Garden has it all so here’s my Covent Garden guide to help you spend the day there and work out what to do in Covent Garden!
How to get to Covent Garden
Covent Garden has it’s own tube station on the Picadilly Line so this is the best way to reach the centre of Covent Garden. However another station you can reach Covent Garden from is Leicester Square Station, it’s minutes away and on the Northern Line which is slightly easier to reach from many other locations around London.
On the weekend Covent Garden station can get very busy, after all, it wasn’t built to accommodate hundreds of tourists back in 1907, so its recommend by all Londoners that you get off at Leicester Square and walk to Covent Garden instead to avoid the queues! Covent Garden can also be reached by bus.
Museums in Covent Garden
London is well known for its museums, one of which being the British Museum- one of the best museums in the world and it’s located just on the edge of Covent Garden in Bloomsbury not far from Oxford Street. The British Museum is dedicated to human history, culture and art so you’re sure to learn something in there. Aside from the Natural History Museum in London, I’d say it’s the most iconic London museum inside thanks to its glass ceiling, and the British Museum is free to enter!
The best time to get to the British Museum is early in the day, especially on weekends, as later on the queue to get in can grow quite big later in the day. The museum opens at 10:00 am.
If you want to visit a museum in Covent Garden and avoid the queues, I’d recommend the London Transport Museum because it costs to enter which means the queues are generally less than the free museums in London.
Covent Garden Market
Covent Garden Market is the most iconic part of Covent Garden, it’s located just down the road from Covent Garden station and can’t be missed. On the way to the market, you’ll see lots of Covent Garden Street Performers. They make Covent Garden what it is and that’s because they’ve been part of the history of Covent Garden since the 1660s! The first record of street performance in Covent Garden was in 1662 when a character named Punch came to the Piazza and the tradition continues today so be sure to take some time to watch the performances!
Covent Garden Market, also known as Apple Market (because it used to be a Fruit & Veg market) is home to lots of independent shops, mostly high-end shops, but also to market stalls selling unique jewellery, clothes, art and antiques. This is a nice place to visit all year round but it’s a good place to go if it happens to be raining in London because it’s covered, and it’s one of the best places in London to visit at Christmas because the Covent Garden decorations are always very impressive.
To see even more of Covent Garden I’d suggest heading to Neal’s Yard. If you’ve ever seen photos of a really colourful little area of London, Neal’s Yard is probably it!
Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden is a hidden gem, it’s very small and can only be accessed by two small alleyways which are easy to miss! Inside are a few small cafes which are perfect if you need a coffee, a wine bar if you fancy a daytime wine, a really good pizza restaurant called Homeslice and Wild Food Cafe which is a good Vegetarian and Vegan restaurant in London.
Where to Shop in Covent Garden
On your way to Neal’s Yard or after you’ve been, be sure to check out the shops and streets nearby. Shopping in Covent Garden is really fun because this area is full of independent and quirky shops. One of my favourite shops is Buddha on a Bicycle which is a wellness shop selling the most beautiful crystals. There’s also The Tea House and Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop.
In addition to independent stores in Covent Garden, there are lots of high street shops in Covent Garden too like H&M, Zara, Lululemon, Hobbs, Cath Kidson, Allsaints, Gap and many more!
Every good day in London starts with brunch and if you’re looking for brunch in Covent Garden you’ll be pleased to know that there are a few places you can go to.
Some of the best places for brunch in Covent Garden are: Avobar, Browns Restaurant Covent Garden, Bill’s Covent Garden, The Ivy Market Grill and Covent Garden Grind.
Lunch and Dinner
Come lunch and dinner time you are spoiled for choice because there are so many restaurants in Covent Garden from affordable chain restaurants to fancy special occasion restaurants!
One of my favourite restaurants is Rossopomodoro which is an Italian restaurant and it’s Pizza rivals any restaurant in Italy!
Other popular restaurants in Covent Garden are: Hawksmoor, Pizza Pilgrim, Sushisamba, Din Tai Fung, Shake Shack, By Chloe, Wagamama’s, and lots more!
You can easily walk around Covent Garden and see all of the restaurants on offer but if you have a specific place in mind you want to visit I would recommend booking a table in advance as this area does get very busy!
Best places to Drink
Whether you want British pubs, fancy bars, cheap bars, cocktails bars, rooftop bars or clubs, Covent Garden has it all...
Covent Garden Rooftop Bar
For one of London’s best rooftop bars be sure to head to Radio Rooftop in Covent Garden which looks over the River Thames, Covent Garden and London’s impressive skyline.
Covent Garden Cocktail Bars
For Cocktail Bars in Covent Garden, I’d recommend going to Blame Gloria, The Escapologist, The Lost Alpaca Bar, The Alchemist, Dirty Martini or Sushisamba.
Blame Gloria do 2 for 1 happy hour cocktails in Covent Garden until 7:00 pm and remember to have ID on you no matter how old you are as a lot of bars in London need to see ID to let you in!
Covent Garden Pubs
If you want a pub in Covent Garden for a daytime or evening drink head to Punch & Judy, Mr Froggs, The Porterhouse, The White Lion or Nags Head.
About the author
Ellie has been a travel addict since 2010, visiting 60+ countries. After many backpacking adventures around the world plus living in Australia and London, in the summer of 2018 she quit her job to travel and blog full time! Now she's here to provide you with her best travel tips and advice so you get the most out of your trip! She also runs organised group tours. Head to The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog for more information.