Things to do in Covent Garden

Shoppers walk around Covent Garden's West Piazza, in front of the market building, on a bright, cloudless day.
Covent Garden's West Piazza © Brendan Bell. Image courtesy of Covent Garden.
Mix shopping with shows, find eclectic entertainment and seek out trend-setting bars and restaurants in Covent Garden.

Where is Covent Garden?

Bordered by St Martin’s Lane to the west, the Strand to the south, Aldwych to the east and Seven Dials and The Yards to the north, Covent Garden is ideally placed within London’s West End.

The main Covent Garden neighbourhood is centred around the historic Covent Garden Market and its sprawling traffic-free Piazza. Upscale fashion and beauty boutiques, restaurants and bars line the streets that connect the Piazza to nearby shopping and entertainment districts, such as The Opera Quarter, The Yards and Seven Dials. This historic area is also within easy walking distance of Soho, the river Thames, Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square.

It’s easy to confuse Covent Garden Market with New Covent Garden Market, which is across the river in Vauxhall!

Top things to do in Covent Garden

The Royal Opera House building in Covent Garden, London.
See some of the world’s best opera and ballet at The Royal Opera House. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

From unique museums to one of the world’s leading opera houses and iconic sights, these top attractions in Covent Garden should be on your bucket list.

  • Marvel at historic vehicles, spot iconic posters and signs, or join a Friday late at the London Transport Museum.
  • See some of the world’s best opera and ballet at The Royal Opera House and keep an eye out for free lunchtime recitals too. Here you can see world-class performances by the Royal Opera or Royal Ballet companies in the sumptuous gilt-and-velvet decorated auditorium.
  • Explore historic Covent Garden Market – once home to fruit and veg sellers, it’s now full of shops, restaurants and daily markets.
  • Stop to admire the free entertainers in the Piazza, from mime artists to contortionists.
  • Be stirred (not shaken) by the cars and memorabilia from James Bond films at The London Film Museum – film fans can also check out these top film locations in the area.
  • Enter the Infinity Chamber, made up of hundreds of LED lights, for that ultimate selfie.

More things to do near Covent Garden

  • Enjoy a service or concert at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, which houses an atmospheric restaurant in its crypt.
  • Catch the latest exhibitions and cultural events at Somerset House – visit in winter for its pop-up ice skating rink.
  • Follow in the footsteps of film stars at Leicester Square, the venue of choice for big-screen premieres and home to the Scenes in the Square sculpture trail.
  • Grab a selfie with the lions at Trafalgar Square or time your visit for one of the many free cultural events throughout the year.
  • See masterpieces from the world’s greatest artists, from the 13th until the 20th century at the National Gallery.

Must-visit Covent Garden shops

Colourful shop fronts in Neal's Yard, Covent Garden, London.
Browse the colourful shops in Neal's Yard. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Spanning fashion, cosmetics, art and crafts, these Covent Garden shopping hotspots are perfect for some retail therapy.

  • Check out luxury brands such as Burberry, Tiffany & Co., Bucherer and Polo Ralph Lauren.
  • Get the latest tech wizardry at the Apple Store Covent Garden.
  • Check out British fashion icons Paul Smith, Hackett and Fred Perry for the latest designs.
  • Personalise your favourite scents at Atelier Cologne, shop for royal-approved fragances at Penhaligon’s or snap up special smellies at Jo Malone or Miller Harris.
  • Pamper yourself at Dior and Chanel’s boutiques, or stock up on beauty products at Aesop and Charlotte Tilbury, all part of Covent Garden’s Beauty Quarter.
  • Pick up unique and unusual gifts at The Apple Market: visit on Tuesdays to Sundays for crafts, handmade jewellery, paintings and more, or Mondays for antiques and collectables.
  • Explore the pretty stalls at the daily East Colonade Market, which is the place to source handmade soaps, sweets and knick-knacks.
  • Try the Jubilee Market for arts and crafts at weekends, antiques on Mondays and wide-ranging gifts the rest of the week.
  • Stroll down Neal Street and pop into any or all of the shops that take your fancy, then turn into Shorts Gardens to find Neal's Yard, another tucked-away courtyard that offers delights including the original Neal's Yard Dairy for tasty cheeses and Neal's Yard Remedies for organic skincare.

FOMO-inducing Covent Garden restaurants

The restaurants around Covent Garden range from cool to cosy and romantic to refined.

  • Feast on Peruvian-Brazilian-Japanese fusion at SUSHISAMBA Covent Garden, overlooking the Piazza.
  • "Avo" taste of healthy all-day dishes at the Avobar.
  • Go dotty for dumplings at 250-seater Din Tai Fung, the first UK outpost of the lauded Taiwanese eatery; or snap away at Insta-famous Pac Man versions at Redfarm.
  • Find family-friendly fare at Wahaca, Masala Zone and Tuttons.
  • Get a spice hit with Indian delicacies at Dishoom and Cinnamon Bazaar.
  • Stick to the Rules… dine on hearty pies, game and more at London’s oldest restaurant.
  • Let love blossom under the blooms at romantic French restaurant Clos Maggiore.

Time for a drink... Pubs and bars in Covent Garden

Wooden table and chairs outside the Lamb & Flag pub in Covent Garden, London.
Have a drink at one of the area's many pubs and bars. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Quench your thirst with pre-theatre drinks or late-night cocktails at the area’s many watering holes.

  • Choose from a large range of quirky and classic cocktails at Dirty Martini Covent Garden.
  • Sip on South American cocktails at The Lost Alpaca Bar, from Perivuan pisco to Brazilian cachaça.
  • It’s all about bubbles at Grays & Feather, which stocks sparkling wines from around the world.
  • Get in on the Irish craic and sip on hand-crafted beer at three-tiered The Porterhouse.
  • Mingle with locals over a pint at traditional pub Lamb & Flag – said to have been Charles Dickens’ favourite.
  • Cheer on your favourite sports teams at Canadian-themed The Maple Leaf.

Find a cosy Covent Garden hotel

Some of London's best hotels are located in and around Covent Garden, and there's accommodation for all budgets.

  • Indulge in the sumptuous furnishings of the boutique Henrietta Hotel, right in the heart of Covent Garden.
  • Book into one of the cheap hotels in Covent Garden and the surrounding area, including Z Hotel Covent Garden and Travelodge London Covent Garden
  • Enjoy a spot of luxury along the Strand: savour river views from The Savoy, find art deco touches in stylish Strand Palace Hotel or check into imposing The AMBA Hotel Charing Cross.
  • A short walk from Covent Garden, in Seven Dials, you’ll find boutique-style Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street Hotel, which hosts Italian-Peruvian eatery Monmouth Kitchen.
  • At the eastern end of Covent Garden, Aldwych is home to laid-back One Aldwych, historic Waldorf Hilton and ME London, where you’ll find one of London’s top rooftop bars.
  • Over on the western edge of the area, design-focused St Martins Lane features techie touches and two bars.

Find more hotels near Covent Garden in London.

Show-stopping theatres near Covent Garden

Lyceum Theatre building in London's Covent Garden with The Lion King posters.
See The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Secure your spot for a blockbuster London show in a Covent Garden theatre, home to West End musicals, classic plays and comedies.

  • You can feel the love tonight (or any night) at family favourite The Lion King London at the Lyceum Theatre.
  • Follow the story of a little girl with a big imagination in Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge Theatre.
  • See one of London’s longest-running – and scariest – plays, The Woman in Black, at Fortune Theatre.

For more theatre shows and Covent Garden events, find out what's on in London.

How to get to Covent Garden

Given its central London location, Covent Garden is easy to get to from most London areas. Check out the best options below.

By Tube

Covent Garden Underground station is at the centre of the area and is on the Piccadilly Line of London’s Tube network. It can become busy at peak times, due to lifts and stairs only up from the platforms.

Alternatively, use Leicester Square, Charing Cross, Holborn or Embankment Underground stations, which are all within 10 minutes' walk away – or travel off-peak to avoid the crowds.

By bus

Many London buses travel close to but not through Covent Garden. Take a bus to Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, the Strand or Aldwych, then take a short stroll through the historic streets.

By rail

The nearest railway station is Charing Cross Station, within 10 minutes’ walk. London Waterloo Station is a 20-minute walk across Waterloo Bridge, on the south side of the Thames.

Plan your journey in advance using Transport for London’s journey planner.

More about Covent Garden

A street performer entertains the crowds in Covent Garden's Piazza, London.

Find out more about Covent Garden at

Discover more London neighbourhoods

Where to next? Check out other top London areas, including nearby Seven DialsLondon’s West End, the City of London, Westminster and the South Bank.