Covent Garden is one of the best areas in London that seems to attract lots of visitors and Londoners alike! That being said, it’s easy to see why… especially with all the yummy restaurants, alleys to explore and the best things to do in Covent Garden.
Honestly, if it’s your first time in London and you’re looking to explore some of the most famous neighbourhoods of the city, then Covent Garden is easily up there as one of the best. You see, a trip to London wouldn’t be complete without a wander through the Apple Market, Neal’s Yard and tasty cocktail spots to wet your whistle.
Now, there are loads of things to do in Covent Garden and it can actually be quite bamboozling to single out a mere few for your very own trip. This is especially true if you’ve spent many of your other days exploring the best palaces in London, the coolest markets to explore and the secret spots in the city.
This is exactly why I wanted to share some of the very best things to do in Covent Garden on your next trip.
Take a look, below, at the best things to do in Covent Garden. Have the best trip to London!
1.) Apple Market Covent Garden
Built way back in the 1800s, the Apple Market is easily the most iconic and one of the best things to do in Covent Garden. Perched right in the heart of the neighbourhood, it’s filled to the brim with indie market stalls, boutique shops and some proper quirky places to boot!
For instance, the Apple Market is home to the UK’s very first Moon Moomin Store and high-end designers all nestled within the tiny little alleys.
Take a wander around, stroll through the street performers and enjoy the beauty of this part of London.
2.) Neal’s Yard
Another one of the best things to do in Covent Garden has to be a visit to Neal’s Yard and Neal Street itself. All around this little area is a treasure-trove of quaint little shops, quirky boutiques and loads of different cafes and foodie haunts to try.
Once you’re here, don’t forget to visit the Tea House on Neal Street that sells a huge range of teas from all around the world. Now, being a Brit (and a firm lover of all things tea), this is easily one of my favourite spots.
Afterwards, pop into Monmouth Coffee (on Monmouth Street) for the perfect, mid-afternoon pick-me-up and hop on over to The Barbary. Here, they serve some of the tastiest north-African dishes in London, all with a Berber-flair.
If it’s beauty you’re after, head straight over to Neal’s Yard Remedies & Therapy Rooms, which is uh-mazing to grab a few of their skincare products.
3.) Royal Opera House
Although opera isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, there is something really special about seeing a performance at the Royal Opera House. Truth be told, even if it’s not opera (and you’re more into ballet) the Royal Opera House is easily one of the best things to do in Covent Garden when you visit.
Before you arrive, book a show at The Royal Opera House website and go for a whole evening in Covent Garden. Honestly, it’s a place where some of the best creative arts are performed in the world and totally can’t be missed.
Now, if shows aren’t your thing (and that’s fine) you can still book a guided tour to experience the venue itself, too.
4.) London Transport Museum
Now, If you are looking for an in-depth look into the history of London’s transport, then the London Transport Museum is the place to go.
Once inside, you’ll be able to see lots of history from the world’s oldest underground network, our iconic red bus and the worlds first underground steam train. That being said, if you’re not into transport and history then you might find this spot a total bust and nowhere near one of the best things to do in Covent Garden.
That being said, it’s really easy to visit when in Covent Garden as it’s situated just shy of the Apple Market itself. Plus, if you get caught in one of our infamous little showers, it’s a great place to take shelter and go on an indoor activity until the rain stops.
5.) Eat at the best restaurants
Okay, so, Covent Garden has a treasure-trove of restaurants! In fact, it’s got more restaurants than days in the year so you could literally scoff your face at a new foodie haunt each day if you wanted.
Now, with all this choice, I often find it hard to actually single out a few good places to eat, so I’ve popped a few of my favourites below to show you.
For some yummy French-inspired cuisine, head to Clos Maggiore. We recently visited and it was one tasty lunch menu that was so yummy. You can literally sit under the twinkling lights that drape the shrubbery that hugs the roof and surrounding walls of the restaurant. If you are booking, make sure to book to eat within the main atrium.
Alternatively, if French cuisine isn’t your thing, pop over to The Petersham that has some tasty, locally-produced meals in a gorgeous venue. Once here, make sure to try their lamb and anchovies for a tasty treat.
If it’s a snack (or brunch) you’re after, pop into Drury 188-189. Here, they have some tasty smashed avocado on sourdough that is so yummy.
If it’s the best seafood you’re after, hop on over to The Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen where you’ll be served up a treat. Just make sure to make a reservation before you visit, especially on weekends. It really is one of the best things to do in Covent Garden if you love seafood.
6.) Find the best cocktails
If you love a good cocktail after a day of exploring, then Covent Garden is the place to be!
For a first stop, head down to Eve Bar, located in the cellar of the Frog Resturant (by dam Handling) in the heart of Covent Garden. Here, they’ll serve you up some of the tastiest cocktails that are made right on the spot by resident mixologists.
If you want a more lively affair, pop on over to Blame Gloria which has some pretty potent cocktails to start a night out in London. Their spiced pear cocktails are uh-mazing!
For one of the best gin parlours in all of London, head across to Mr Foggs which is amazing. Here, they have every sort of gin cocktail you could ever imagine – with gins from all over the world. Just make sure to book a table before you arrive, it’s relatively small and fills up fast. It really is one of the best things to do in Covent Garden (and London) if you love gin.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention… you will be tipsy!
7.) See a show
Yeah, it’s technically not just Covent Garden (but the whole of the west end), that’s filled with some of the best shows in the world. This is exactly why you can’t miss one whilst you’re in the area.
Now, f you are planning to see your favourite West-End Show, remember to book online ahead of time for really popular shows. Alternatively, if you are unsure what see, head towards the Official TKTS booth in the very centre of Leicester Square for daily discounted tickets. Every day they sell the unallocated seats for shows at lower prices to get bums in seats. You can save yourself a pretty penny if you’re flexible with dates and shows.
8.) Miss the tube
One mistake that lots of visitors make when travelling from Covent Garden to Leicester Square is to take the tube. If you are physically able, there is absolutely no need at all as it’s minutes away. Though, if you’ve got a downpour on your hands, jump right on that tube!
Save yourself a little money and walk the 9 minutes to Leicester Square. It’s actually quicker to walk than taking the tube if you account for the walking and waiting for the next train and it’s FREE!
9.) See St. Paul’s in Covent Garden
Now, first up, don’t get this confused with the famous St. Paul’s in London as this one is different! Built within the 1600s, St Paul’s Covent Garden is often referred to as the ‘actor’s church’ as it’s had a centuries-long affiliation with the acting community in London.
Once here, take a wander around the small gardens, inside the church and see the famous plaques, too.
10.) Jubilee Market
If it’s little souvenirs, antiques or bobbleheads of the queen, Jubilee Market in Covent Garden is your place to go. It’s got a stall for everyone. Here, they have daily markets that tend to close between 5-7 pm each evening, so it doesn’t matter what day you visit, as long as it’s not too late.
If it’s the antiques you’re after, head across on a Monday when they specialise in these. If it’s craft stalls you’re after, pop across on Saturday or Sunday. Whatever the day, it’s totally easy to visit and easily up there as one of the best things to do in Covent Garden if you want a little trinket to take home.