Covent Garden: Shop, Dine and Play in the heart of London

Classic Musicians playing in Covent Garden London for Travel Guide

Covent Garden has always been my favourite place in London. It’s beautiful, almost Roman like in its design. Filled with shops, restaurants and places to sit, unwind and watch the world go by.

The fact it was also the first place I visited in London probably helps too. Giving that feeling of nostalgia. I came here as a kid on my first school trip to the city, being allowed to explore for a few hours before heading to see the play “Blood Brothers” nearby (great play but not the action movie I thought it would be). 

There’s still moments now where I’ll lean on the railings overlooking one of the street artists and remember doing that on my first visit. Although I was considerably shorter so it was more leaning against the railings rather than on them. 

Coffee and Live entertainment

Covent Garden Musicians

Covent Garden is a popular hub for street artists, with different people performing everyday. I’ve seen magicians and human statues as well as speed painters. My favourite though is the violinists who perform in the centre. I’ve never been a classical music fan, but hearing their notes reverberate through the building is incredible. There’s a lot of semi outdoor seating, so you can enjoy a coffee or wine with some sweet sounds. Especially in the summer when it’s nice and hot you can relax.

That’s what makes this the perfect hub spot. I’m not a fan of shopping, I often travel with people who love it. So when we come to Covent Garden I often find a table, order some light dishes and a drink, and just relax whilst my friends shop. It’s the best of both worlds and we all get our relaxing day out of it. This also makes me a great place to dump their shopping bags so they don’t have to carry them around.

Photographers Inspiration

Covent Garden Outside

If you’re a photographer then you will be filled with inspiration here. Beautiful restaurants and food, amazing architecture and artists too. Make sure to tip the artists if you take photos, it’s only fair and respectful. They rely solely on tips from the public to get by.

My only complaint about Covent Garden is the food. It does have some amazing food options, but that’s some, not all. I have had the occasional disappointing meal here, and actually some of my worst too. One restaurant I went to I ordered a simple steak and chips before I went to a show. The steak was inedible, and they didn’t have the peppercorn sauce I chose, so they just chose another sauce for me. I don’t mind trying new food but this tasted horrendous. Of course I’m British so I paid without a grumble, and instead ranted to all my friends about it. 

But it serves as a warning. Don’t let them take advantage of unwary tourists who are drawn in by flashy signs and great photos.  Check out the latest reviews of restaurants and find out what people are saying to avoid disappointment. 

Covent Garden FAQ’s

How do I get to Covent Garden?

The easiest way is on the tube. Covent Garden has its own station on the Piccadilly Line making it really easy to get to. It’s also within walking distance from many of London’s other touristy areas.

What else is nearby?

Covent Garden is so close to other famous places in London. It’s just a short walk away from Trafalgar Square, as well as Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. If you haven’t had your shopping fix then check out Bond Street and Oxford Street for some high end brands. You can check out the Get Your Guide widget linked below for some of London’s latest activites. By booking through the link you won’t pay any extra, but I may receive a commission which helps support the blog.

What is Covent Garden famous for?

Covent Garden is famous for being one of London’s top shopping and dining destinations. There are shops for everyone here, from niche market stalls to luxurious high end brands. 

What shops are at Covent Garden?

There are plenty of different shops at Covent Garden, so there’s something for everyone. From luxury jewellery to hiking and outdoor gear. Some people will prefer the boutiques, and others the little market stalls in the centre.

What time do the shops open?

Most of the shops are typically 10am to 8pm Monday through Saturday. Sunday hours are 11am to 6pm. Individual shops may have different opening hours though.

Is Covent Garden safe to visit?

Covent Garden is perfectly safe to visit and enjoy. However as is the case with most places that attract tourists, pickpockets aren’t far behind. So just keep your wits about you so you don’t lose any shopping bags or phones.

Can I see shows at Covent Garden?

Absolutely! And there’s something to suit every budget. There are a lot of theatres to choose from nearby, the closest being the Royal Opera House which sometimes hosts free lunchtime performances. Covent Garden also attracts a whole host of street performers for you to enjoy with a coffee.

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