Where to stay in Covent Garden
What you need to know about London Covent Garden
London’s Covent Garden is a vibrant and colourful corner of London’s West End, where you’ll find some of the city’s best bars, restaurants, shopping and entertainment in an area you can explore on foot in just a few hours.
The historic streets and squares of Covent Garden have so much to offer, from stylish boutiques to elegant theatres, and of course the Royal Opera House and Royal Ballet.
Covent Garden is famous for its incredible street performers, so you never know what’s around the corner - take a stroll around the Old Market Piazza and soak up the atmosphere of this charming and lively London district.
Covent Garden Restaurants
Covent Garden has plenty of choice when it comes to dining, from big restaurant chains and outstanding international cuisine to Michelin-starred dining at L'Atelier De Joel Robuchon.
In the summer months, Covent Garden has a distinctly continental feel, with lots of al fresco tables where you can watch the world go by over good food and a few drinks; and with over 60 London pubs and bars in the area, you won’t have to look far for a pint of beer or a fancy cocktail.
Covent Garden is one of London’s biggest tourist attractions so this charm and atmosphere comes at a price, but lots of restaurants offer great value pre-theatre dinner set menus if you’re prepared to eat a little earlier.
Shopping in Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a wonderful place to shop – it may be just a handful of streets, but it’s home to some of the finest independent boutiques, luxury brands and quirky crafts in London.
The original Covent Garden market, Old Market Piazza, is the best place to start – it’s where the area’s first market stood and it remains a temple of retail to this day.
Neal Street is where you’ll find shop after shop selling shoes, and the back streets around Floral Street are full of trendy clothes shops and emerging designers.
Budget shoppers should head for Earlham Street, which has a great Oxfam Originals store, or the famous Apple Market in the piazza, which offers hundreds of stalls and shops selling handmade crafts and gifts.
Luckily, Covent Garden is so central you'll never be too far from your serviced apartment, so you can head home to rest after carrying all those bags!
Covent Garden tube station is on the Piccadilly Line – it’s a tiny and very busy station with lift access to street level (unless you prefer the 193 steps), so it’s sometimes better to get off at Leicester Square and walk the 300 yards to Covent Garden.
Regular London buses stop nearby too, or you can easily walk from anywhere in the West End and take in the delights of Soho to the west, Lincoln’s Inn Fields to the east and the Embankment to the south.
There are also plenty of pedal-powered rickshaws which will cycle you around the area, but they are only used by tourists and can be expensive.
Things to watch out for
You’ll find street performers in Covent Garden every day of the year except Christmas Day – performers have to audition, and have timetabled slots when they can perform around the market.
The South Hall Courtyard area is dedicated to classical music only, but elsewhere you’ll see musicians, dancers, circus acts and the famous living statues.
Covent Garden has always been famous for retail and entertainment, and it remains so to this day. Most of the businesses in the area are retail stores, restaurants and bars, as well as the London Transport Museum, the Royal Opera House and the 13 theatres in the area including the renowned Phoenix Theatre.
The area is also home to a growing number of small digital and marketing agencies, spilling over from the traditional home of London media and advertising, Soho.
Articles about Covent Garden
What's on in Covent Garden Spring 2016 15 February 2016
48 hours in the West End 21 July 2015
Exploring Covent Garden 19 June 2015
The Phoenix Theatre 24 February 2010