Covent Garden is one of Londons more upmarket areas and is situated in the West End. Covent Garden is both popular with Londoners and tourists as it has lots to offer all visitors from luxury fashion boutiques, arts and craft stalls, markets, a wide choice of places to eat, alfresco dining, elegant bars and the whole area has a buzz especially around the Piazza where you can find street performers and crowds of spectators.
This pretty area of London is saturated in history and heritage and has undergone many transformations over the centuries and should not be missed! You could easily spend a full day exploring the streets of Covent Garden and sampling what it has on offer, however if you are stuck for time why not make a pit stop and grab some food or a drink in the area and have a wander around Covent Garden Market and its Piazza.
In this quick guide I have listed the top sites, places to shop and explore, streets to stroll down and where to eat and drink. So pin all these places on your map or load it up when your there and scroll through the lists of my top recommendations, Enjoy!
Top Sites & Attractions
- Covent Garden Market, Piazza & St Pauls Church: This is the heart and soul of the area and if you do one thing when visiting it should be this! Wander through the market, watch street performers and people watch in the piazza and visit St Pauls Church. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle go into St Pauls garden courtyard behind the church.
- Gas Lamps: I know it’s a bit random to mention gas lamps, but around the Covent Garden Market, the Piazza and St Pauls still stand original gas lamps which are some of the last in the city, as most street lamps are now electric, they are still manually lit by lamp attendants every evening.
- London Transport Museum: This interactive museum has a huge collection of London transport memorabilia and is a great place to come for families or anyone that is interested in the cities transport history.
- National Portrait Gallery: It is home to a whole range of portrait paintings and houses many pieces of artwork of historical importance and well known famous British people.
- Royal Opera House: Sometimes just referred to as Covent Garden this world-class opera house and performing arts venue is a stunning building, even if you’re not attending a performance you can’t miss this stunning building which is just by the Piazza. Keep an eye out as sometimes you can pick up tickets for as little as £10 depending on the show, day and time etc. There are also tours available.
- Somerset House: Is a stunning neoclassical building which hosts a variety of art and film exhibitions, ice skating in the winter, as well as other events. There are several restaurants and cafes onsite too. In the summer you can sit outside in the courtyard with a picnic and watch the choreographed fountains. It’s free to enter inside, however you will need to purchase tickets for some exhibitions.
- Young Dancer Statue: Just across from the Royal Opera House is a life-sized bronze ballet dancer statue, it’s a really pretty statue and great for a photo opportunity.
Best Places To Shop
- Apple Market: Set in the main Covent Garden Market Building, this small market has a variety of stalls selling handmade crafts and gifts from local traders.
- East Colonnade Market: These stalls are set around the Covent Garden Market and sell a range of products from handmade soaps, jewellery, sweets, homewares and much more.
- Jubilee Market: This market is located just across from Covent Garden Market and is a general market selling clothes and souvenirs etc, but also has some antiques and collectables as well as craft stalls, there are different stalls on different days of the week.
Must Visit Shops
- Benjamin Pollocks Toyshop: This eccentric toy shop dates back to the 1880s and specialises in theatrical, creative and educational toys. This shop is a perfect place for families to visit or if you’re looking for a quirky gift for a child.
- Floral Steet Fragrance: Is an English fragrance brand, but the pretty shop in Covent Garden is a must-visit for any perfume fanatics out there.
- Petersham Nurseries: This stunning shop sells an array of plants, homewares, gifts and more, they also have several cafes, delis and restaurants in Covent Garden too as well as in Richmond.
- Stanfords Travel: Is a travel enthusiasts dream! They are the UK’s leading travel book, maps and travel accessories specialist. It was established back in 1853 by Edward Stanford. This is quite possibly one of my favourite shops in Covent Garden you could easily spend a while searching through the many travel books and guides, there is also a small cafe on-site too.
- The Vintage Showroom: This gorgeous old fashioned shop sells all things vintage fashion and accessories alongside their own brand of up-cycled fashion, no clothes go to waste there and they have a an awesome sustainable ethos.
- Cecil Court: A whole street dedicated to shops specialising in arts, antiques, books and curiosities.
- Floral Street, King Street, Long Acre & Monmouth Street: Are all streets bursting full of a variety of shops from independents to brands and concept stores.
- Neal Street: Neal Street is full of more great shops and just by Neals Yard.
- Neal’s Yard: This tucked away colourful square has several cafes and small shops and of course a Neals Yard shop, this is a good place to stop for a coffee break.
- Seven Dials: It gets its name from the seven streets that lead off from this junction. This area has both flagship shops and concept shops as well as boutiques, cafes, pubs and much more. It’s a more chilled out area of the city too, and has a much slower pace feel to it.
- St Martin’s Lane & Courtyard: St Martin’s Lane is another popular shopping street, and the courtyard is a beautiful open-air shopping destination.
- The Yards: Are made up of St Martin’s Courtyard, Mercer Walk and Old Brewer’s Yard, The Yards has a unique selection of shops throughout interconnected courtyards with pop up shops and events happening regularly.
Best Places To Eat & Drink
Bars & Pubs
- Bow Street Tavern: Historic Pub – ££
- Crown & Anchor: Traditional Pub – ££
- Dirty Martini: Cocktail Bar – ££
- Eve Bar: Cocktail Bar – £££
- Lamb & Flag: Georgian Pub (Charles Dickens old boozer) – ££
- Lockes: Cocktail Bar – £££
- Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour: Gin Bar – £££
- Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration: Cocktail Bar – £££
- Mr Fogg’s Tavern: Themed Pub (Themed around explorers Phileus Fogg) – ££
- Punch & Judy: Pub & Balcony overlooking Covent Garden Piazza – ££
- The Alchemist: Cocktail Bar – ££
- The Escapologist: Cocktail Bar – £££
- Abuelo: Organic Cafe – ££
- Bageriet: Nordic Cafe & Bakery – ££
- Covent Garden Grind: Bohemian Coffee Shop & Bar – ££
- Creme De La Crepe: Crêperie Cafe – ££
- Ladurée: Upscale Parisian Bakery & Cafe – £££
- The Black Penny: Healthy Organic Cafe – ££
- Wild Food Cafe: Plant-Based Cafe – ££
- 26 Grains: Wholesome Cafe – ££
- Balthazar: French Brassiere – £££
- Bills: Contemporary Seasonal Restaurant – ££
- Cinnamon Bazaar: Inventive Indian Cuisine – ££
- Dishoom: Indian Street-food – ££
- Home Slice: Pizza (sold by the slice or whole pizza) – ££
- J Sheekey: Fish & Seafood Restaurant – £££
- Masala Zone: Contemporary Indian Restaurant – ££
- Nutshell: Elegant Iranian Restaurant – ££
- Pizza Pilgrims: Wood-fired Pizza Restaurant – £
- Polpo: Italian Tapas – ££
- Sushisamba: Japanese Restaurant – £££
- Sticks’n’Sushi: Japanese, Sushi & Yakitori Skewers Restaurant – ££
- The Ivy Market Grill: Modern British & European Restaurant – ££
- The Real Greek: Greek Restaurant – ££
Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx