Amazing Things to do in Covent Garden
Sitting in the heart of West End, Covent Garden has a plethora of museums, underground bars, theatres and classic pubs. Wondering about what all to do in the Covent garden? Here’s your bucket list for the Covent Garden.
One of the most beautiful jewels in the crown of the capital, Covent Garden is usually misunderstood as a hub for nothing more than some theatres and high-class restaurants.
The local crowd usually avoids places that are considered too touristy, and the case is no different for Covent Garden. But missing out on this brilliant spot, only because it’s crowded or filled with tourists could be a mistake. You must experience for yourself that there are some hidden and (some not-so-hidden treasures) in this area of the city.
Take a day off to explore this neck of the woods and you’ll find some iconic places and amazing pubs and bars surrounding them, making it a wonderful mixture of historic places and modern hangout places.
Let’s look at the top 24 places to visit in Covent Garden:
Best Things to do in Covent Garden
You cannot plan a day out at Covent Garden, London and not visit the famous Covent Garden Market can you? Well, the answer is clearly a big NO.
One of the main attractions of London, Covent Garden Market is home to the oldest planned square in London. The piazza in the gorgeous market was actually designed somewhere in the 17th century. Even the glass roof of the market hall dates back to the 19th century.
You could engage yourself completely in shopping at the market, but frankly, you won’t find something extraordinary that’s not already available in the general market. So, instead of focusing on shopping, marvel at the gorgeous and iconic architecture of the market.
While some may not technically consider Somerset House as a part of the Covent Garden, it is still worth a trip. A short walk from the garden, Somerset House is among the few remaining palaces that lined the Thames.
Somerset House was built on the top of an ancient Tudor palace in the year 1776. The place was built to create a place for the general public to enjoy. Befitting that role, the place now offers open-air cinema screenings, concerts, events and a winter skating rink.
The Somerset House is also home to one of the best galleries in the United Kingdom – The Courtauld gallery. The impressive gallery has a stunning collection of art ranging from Impressionism and Post-Impressionism to the Early Renaissance and Medieval periods.
After the recent renovation, the gallery has transformed into a bright, airy space. There have also added some new exhibition rooms that showcase a distinguished collection of art. You will find the art collection of some of the most popular people like Van Gigh, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Botticelli among others.
You can buy yourself a ticket here.
The higgledy-piggledy and colourful building of Neal’s Yard makes one feel like they have stepped in an alternate world. The one that has picturesque alleys and tiny shops. A cheerful respite from the busy life of London, Neal’s Yard has many serene cafes and shops especially dedicated to wellness.
Nicholas Saunders, founder of Whole Food Warehouse developed this area in the mid of 1970s to serve as the base for a variety of his eco-friendly, ethical businesses. The total rejuvenation of the area took place under the supervision of Nicholas Saunders.
You must check out the original and ingenious Neal’s Yard Remedies, which are known for skin care and cosmetics.
The vibrant buildings, quaint alleys, indie cafes and shops make this place one of the most amazing places to visit in Covent Garden.
Are you looking for a truly legendary London experience? The simplest and the best way to do it is by booking yourself a seat at the ballet or the opera in this stunning Royal Opera House.
The Royal Opera House of London has been entertaining the hoi polloi of the capital city since the year 1858. The Royal Opera House is the abode of the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet. As the name clearly suggests, the Royal Family also quite regularly attends the shows here.
Along with opera and ballet, the Opera House also has numerous other events including dances and theatre shows. Tickets for these shows are usually sold out, so make sure you book ahead.
You never know who you may find in this infamous opera house. You’d be stunned to know that the world-class opera singer Luciano Pavarotti got his big break at the Royal Opera House as an understudy.
While you are there, do not forget to enjoy the mouth-watering cuisine pre or post-performance at the terrace with a spectacular view.
The gorgeous Cecil Court stands as breathtaking as it would have been in the 17th century. Time has taken a very little toll on this real-life Dicken’s London.
Filled with booksellers and the city’s last gas lamps, the place makes you feel like you’ve jumped into the Dicken’s London. It’s the perfect place if you want to imagine or experience what London would have looked like centuries ago.
The enchanting place is the best place to visit in the Covent Garden if you are looking for some historical experience or want to buy a unique souvenir.
St Paul’s Church
The church is also famously called “the actor’s church”, due to its long-time connection with the theatre. The church has been linked to dramatic art ever since it was built in the year 1631. In fact, the first-ever recorded puppet show ‘Punch and Judy’ were also performed and recorded in this very church in 1662.
At present, the church owns a theatre company and organises regular events. If by chance you are unable to watch a performance here, the place is still worth popping by.
Usually, the church timings are 8;30 am to 5:00 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 1 pm on Sundays. But the timings are extended if there is any planned or ongoing event. So, have a look at their website before visiting the Covent Garden.
K2 Telephone Boxes
The Kiosk Two or K2 Telephone Boxes are a classic British design. The iconic red telephone boxes are a classic London shot. The red boxes were first installed in the 1920s and can be still found in many parts of the city.
But, one of the most favourite spots of the Londoners is behind the Covent Garden – the Broad Court. As there isn’t just one, but a total of five boxes beautifully places behind Enzo Plazzotta’s ‘young dancer’ statue.
Seven Dial Market
You just cannot visit the Covent Garden and miss this gorgeous spot. Previously a banana warehouse, this neck of the woods is considered the coolest food court in London by many including us. With an unlimited variety of cuisine, live DJ evenings and pop-ups, the Seven Dials Market can be fairly called one of the coolest places to visit in London.
Head upstairs to this breathtaking spot for a gorgeous view of pink terrazzo and stool seating. You can also experience the extraordinary steel bar setting and communal tables downstairs at Seven Dial Market.
Cultural Attractions at Covent Garden
London Transport Museum
While hearing the word ‘transport museum’ may make some people wonder that it must be some boring place filled with rusted vehicles. We can assure you it’s anything but that. The museum whirls you through the fascinating history of London’s transportation system with some majorly known and some little-known facts.
The museum is an interactive and fun exhibit for people of all age groups. The kids also enjoy the London Transport Museum a lot. But if you are lucky enough to attend any of their adults-only events, you’d experience the actual fun that the place offers. So try to buy a ticket to any of their After Dark events and have an amazing night of your life.
A £16 adult ticket allows you unlimited entry for one year and the entry is free for children under 18. Book here.
London Film Museum
One of the newest attractions at Covent Garden, London Film Museum was opened in the year 2008. It is one of the best spots to visit in Covent Garden.
The museum offers information on how films are made and how it has changed over the years. The museum also showcases costumes and accessories from various iconic and recognizable films.
Since 2014, the museum also started showing vehicles from James Bond movies in a temporary exhibition. Luckily, there hasn’t been any notification about the closing of the exhibition anytime soon, so you can still go and have a look at the famous cars.
Tickets cost £14.50 for an adult, £9.50 for a child under 15 and entry is free for kids under 5 years of age.
Inspiring wanderlust for 160 years, Stanford’s is the specialist travel book store in London. It is your go-to place if you have your mind filled with new locations and adventures, and you are looking to lighten your wallet.
But do keep in mind that the store has moved from its old store in Long Acre to a new one. The new store is just around the corner on Mercer Walk. But fret not, you’ll still find the extensive collection of travel books and guides to make your journey easy.
We also have something absolutely special for all the theatre lovers here. There is nothing better than being thrown into an alternative world of theatre for a short time, living a story that is so different from yours.
It’s needless to say that visiting a theatre is a must when one visits the Covent Garden. In fact, one should always consider going to watch a theatre show if visiting the Covent Garden at night. Even so, the Theatre Royal is considered very special. The theatre has been entertaining its audience for more than 350 years now.
For the first two centuries of its long life, the theatre was considered exceptional in London and hosted many great performances and shows. Even to date, the theatre hosts great shows including musicals.
But the place is not meant for the faint-hearted as the place is said to be haunted. In fact, it is considered one of the most haunted places in London. There are several ghost stories rumoring about the alleged ghost of an actor who was murdered during a fight with a fellow actor over a wig.
If you are a fan of the movie ‘Mary Queen of Scots’, this is the right place for you, as the very talented director of the movie, Josie Rouke supervises the theatre. This small theatre is known for some of the best theatrical productions in London.
The theatre is also very private for such a place, with just 251 seats. This allows the audience to experience theatre as it is supposed to be – personal and intimate, appreciating every bit of a performance.
The British legendary actors such as Sir Ian McKellen performs their shows here alongside the newcomers. You may just be watching the performance of the next big star here.
We would recommend you book well in advance as you may not get a chance to get them at the last minute.
What to do in Covent Garden at Night?
Are you also someone who likes to roam around the city after the sun goes down? No worries as this are the city that never sleeps, and there is always some night event going on at every nook and cranny of this city. Here is a list of things to do in Covent Garden at Night.
Rules is the No. 1 Rule
The oldest restaurant of London, Rules is a must-visit place for anyone who plans to go to Covent Garden. The restaurant is still the best restaurant to visit if you are looking for a traditional British dinner. The restaurant is not only known for being the oldest restaurant in London, but also for it’s time-long highly maintained quality, class and panache.
If you also need some booze before you can dig into the best food you’ll find in the capital city, head to the Upstairs at Rules. The fabulous cocktail bar is as good as the restaurant, some even consider it as the best in London.
The plush and comfortable cocktail bar also has a winter room. The room is decorated with palms and has a glass ceiling. It is best for a pleasant cocktail tete a tetes.
Romantic Evening at Clos Maggiore
Popular as one of the most romantic restaurants in the capital, Clos Maggiore has an aura of a fairytale. Covered with gorgeous white flowers that rose up to the walls and covered the ceiling, the restaurant is nothing less than a beautiful dream.
Filled with fancy and tasty French contemporary meals, even the menu of this restaurant is no less romantic. To maintain the romanticism, the restaurant has also designed plates that are supposed to be shared, so your romantic date is not spoilt by food envy.
While the place is a bit expensive, it is definitely with spending to have a perfect date with your loved one.
Hawksmoor for Steak Lovers
If you have a special love for steak or cocktails (especially both), Hawksmoor is the place for you.
Not only the delicious food but the ambience of the place has also lured Londoners back to it again and again. If you are looking for delicious meals, tasty cocktails and a hearty evening with your loved ones, this is a place you must visit at Covent Garden.
You also always have a good chance of spotting a celeb or two here.
Covent Garden Social Club
Now we won’t lie to you that it’s one of the best clubs in London, but it is a place to visit if you are looking for reasonable prices, loud energetic music and a place to dance on the table.
Yes, you heard me right – they allow you to dance on the goddamn table.
We would recommend you to visit for the ridiculous happy hour, enjoy the loud music, and have a night filled with dance and lots of dance. It is always a safe place for a fuss-free wild night out.
Also, do not forget to sign for their free membership on the website before heading down.
Themed after a Victorian crook who continuously evaded the law, the Escapologist Bar is one of the coolest places to visit in Covent Garden. While you are at the Covent Garden, do stop here for a drink or two.
Dim Sum and Cocktails at Ping Pong
Dig in the handmade dim sum and punchy cocktails at Ping Pong. The dim sum menu has a large variety from classic char sui buns to unique Cantonese mushroom puffs.
Though there are a lot of ping pong outlets in the capital the atmosphere at the ping pong in Covent Garden is unbeatable.
After 7 pm the place becomes more lively and starts preparing for a wonderful party.
Practical Tips for Tour to Covent Garden.
- In our opinion, public transport is the best way to commute to the Covent garden. The area is expanded, so it is easy to roam around the place.
- The ambiance at the Covent Garden is different day and night. So pick a time slot where you can enjoy both sides of the Garden.
- Do not wear heels and the streets are not really made for your lovely heels. Shoes are a much better and more comfortable option.
- There are also themed walking tours available around the garden, in case you’d like some company.