Places to see in London Covent Garden
Covent Garden Attractions
Ah, Covent Garden. Possibly the most tourist-saturated hundred square metres in the world. And all for great reason; there’s so much to do. So much shopping, so much iconic architecture and culture, so much hidden speciality and so much atmosphere. Especially around Christmas. Well, we’re here to give you a few helpful hints that will set you apart from the average tourist.
Recommended Attraction in Covent Garden
On the western side of the piazza stands a grand old church, the church of St Paul. This is more famously known in the theatre world as the Actors’ Church and has hosted actors and theatre people within its walls for centuries. These days, it still functions as a church (for all) but also hosts plays in its gardens during the summer. Access to the gardens is via a gate at the rear of the church, meaning that you have to pop round the back on Bedford Street. Check out what’s on, or just get a coffee and enjoy the gardens, which buzz with theatrical history. The plays are advertised over the summer season and are starting to branch out into winter, but the gardens are enough to see if there’s no show on.
Alternative Things To Do in Covent Garden
Well, aside from just walking around, there are a few lovely places to see. Joe Allen’s on Exeter Street is a great, high-class American restaurant underground where the food is excellently sourced but simple American fare. Be prepared to part with some cash though. Another great drinker is the Porterhouse on Maiden Lane (between Bedford Street and Southampton Street), which is styled like the inside of a galley ship and has a huge (and we mean HUGE) selection of beers. There’s the Punch and Judy, a traditional pub in the famed Covent Garden Market; the home of the original puppet show. The market is an attraction in and of itself, with all the shopping, the Royal Opera House, the Transport Museum, the Theatre Royal and Fortune Theatre, but as soon as you get out of the bustle it’s remarkably quiet. Unless, that is, you go across Long Acre and down Neal Street, which leads you to the quaint and almost rural Neal’s Yard, full of fun boutiques and great café/restaurants.
Attraction List in Covent Garden
Without a doubt one of London’s most heavily requested areas for staying, most websites will find you something prohibitively expensive in its midst. But it’s really no problem at all to stay nearby and walk in, and you’ll save yourself a wedge by doing so. We recommend looking at our Covent Garden hotel booking service to see what great cheap hotel and budget B&B offers we have in the area to save you those valuable shopping pounds!
It’ll be impossible not to visit Covent Garden Piazza, as it is very much the focal point of the area. The piazza is a large pedestrian area and is home to the market, shops, restaurants, Avenue of Stars and the London Transport Museum. As if that wasn’t enough you’ll also be entertained by the brilliant street performers.
Address: 41, The Market, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8RF
Phone: 0870 780 5001
Perhaps the most famous part of Covent Garden Piazza is the Covent Garden Market. The market has a long history, and is somewhere you’ll find really intriguing. Throughout the market you’ll be able to browse and buy from a number of stalls that sell antiques, handcrafts, food and drink, china, jewelry and clothing, and you could also pick up a gift for your family.
Address: 41 The Market, London WC2E 8RF
Phone: 0870 780 5001
Stroll around the piazza and you’re definitely likely to bump into a street performer or two. The history of the performers’ dates back to the 17th Century, and today thousands of people come to watch the brilliant shows. These fabulous entertainers will be sure to amuse and wow you!
Visit the London Transport Museum, in Covent Garden Piazza, to get a sense of the history of the capital’s transport. Walk around the museum and you’ll be able to view the exhibitions, learn about how the transport system has evolved, and listen to interesting talks from a variety of speakers.
Address: Covent Garden Piazza, London WC2E 7BB
Phone: 020 7379 6344
Affectionately known as ‘The Actors Church’, St Paul’s is a charming church that was built in 1633. The church has long been associated with the theatrical community and is another great place to come and relax.
Address: Bedford St, London, WC2E 9ED
Phone: 020 7836 5221
Covent Garden Film Studios are a really interesting place to visit, and they also have an intriguing history – they used to be a banana warehouse! The studios are also used for art exhibitions, fashion shows and clothes sales.
Address: 10 Mercer Street, London, WC2H 9QE
One of the most famous attractions in Covent Garden is the Royal Opera House. The Royal Opera House is home to the Royal Ballet as well as the Royal Opera, and has played the stage for all of the major world stars in these fields since 1858. Come here for a bit of culture and a memorable experience!
Address: Bow Street, London, WC2E 9DD
Phone: 020 7304 4000
There are a huge number of theatres in the West End and the Donmar Warehouse is a fine example. The theatre was opened in 1961 and has been home to the Royal Shakespeare Company in previous years. Spend a nice evening here, and you’ll be guaranteed to be entertained.
Address: 41 Earlham St, Seven Dials, London, WC2H 9LX
Phone: 020 7240 4882
With all the craziness and excitement of Covent Garden, sometimes it would be nice to just take a few minutes to relax. You can do this by visiting Phoenix Garden, a tiny park run by residents and volunteers and a real haven for those in pursuit of a bit of peace and quiet.
Address: 21 Stacey Street, London, WC2H 8DG
For another entertaining evening out, you should head for the Lyceum Theatre. Since 1999 the theatre has been home to the musical version of The Lion King, providing great entertainment for everyone!
Address: 21 Wellington St, London WC2E 7RQ
Phone: 0844 871 7627
Spend your evening in fits of laughter when you visit the Covent Garden Comedy Club. The club has been going for four years and has had to relocate on two occasions to cope with the increased popularity. Come here for a great evening of laughter, food and drink!
Address: Heaven, Villiers St, London WC2N 6NG
Phone: 07960 071340
Freemason’s Hall is a stunning art deco building that lies on two and a quarter acres. The hall is the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England and is a meeting place for London’s Masonic Lodges. The building is steeped in history and has been on the site in various guises since the late 18th Century. Interestingly, the hall has been used for filming in several films and TV series including Spooks and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
Address: 60 Great Queen St, London WC2B 5AZ
Backing onto Drury Lane you’ll find the Theatre Royal, a famous theatre originally established in the late 17th Century. It has been home to some of the largest and most famous productions throughout the years, including Pirates of Penzance and Miss Saigon, and is currently running the acclaimed Oliver!
Address: Catherine St, London WC2B 5JF
Phone: 020 7850 8790
One of the most famous roads in Covent Garden is Drury Lane. Take a stroll along this famous old road and you’ll be able to visit the Theatre Royal and New London Theatre.
If you love opera or are just interested in an evening of amazing vocal talent, the English National Opera is another place you definitely must visit! The opera is housed in the London Coliseum, one of the finest venues in the whole of the West End.
Address: The London Coliseum, St Martin's Ln, WC2N 4ES
Phone: 0871 911 0200
Covent Garden really is a great place to visit, particularly if you’re interested in theatre, and Aldwych Theatre is another great venue to add to the list of places to go. The theatre is over 100 years old, and since 2006 has been home to the British stage version of the classic film, Dirty Dancing.
Address: 49 Aldwych, London WC2B 4DF
Phone: 0844 847 1712
Located in Somerset House, the Courtauld Institute of Art is another is a really interesting art gallery and educational establishment. The institute is among the world leaders for study of the history and conservation of architecture and art, and is home to one of the finest collections of its kind in the UK.
Address: Strand, London, WC2R 0RN
Phone: 020 7872 0220
Celebrities, theatre producers and all of the glitz and glamour of London dine in this remarkably reasonably-priced (for its prestige) and covert Covent Garden restaurant. As a typical, all-American feast with gourmet garnish, you can expect high quality but simple food, a warm atmosphere, and a pricey but worthwhile night out.
Address: 13 Exeter Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7DT
Phone: 020 7836 0651
The Porterhouse is a great London drinker, with a breathtaking interior and one of the largest selections of beers you’re likely to encounter in your life (quite a statement for some!). The interior is a mix between steampunk and ship galley, and it is split over a fair number of levels. Definitely worth viewing, even if it can get a little on the pricey side.
Address: 21-22 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7NA
Phone: 020 7379 7917
Under the world-famous Covent Garden flower market (which rarely sells flowers anymore) is a dropped level, containing all sorts of boutiques and points of interest. One is the Punch and Judy pub, named after the famous puppet duo that had their first outing in the same area. The pub has a traditional, red-brick feel and customers put their pints on barrels and sit on stools, and those over six foot are likely to need to stoop to get in. Altogether, an all round good bet for a fun evening drink.
Address: 40 The Market, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8RF
Truly one of London’s most hidden of gems is Neal’s Yard, a tiny square hidden behind the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden. Pop across Long Acre and down Neal Street (which is like something out of Harry Potter on its own) and soon you’ll come to Neal’s Yard. Once in there, you’ll find brightly decorated houses, a great deal of windowsill flowers and some adorable boutique shops. Definitely worth stopping off for a few minutes if you’re in the locale.
Address: 15 Neals Yard, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9DP
Phone: 020 7379 7222
What’s in a name, eh? Well certainly this theatre lives up to it, not that you’d know from the exterior. Tucked away on Russell Street, on a sparsely inhabited street shouting distance from Covent Garden, is the home of world famous The Woman in Black. The production is far superior (and very different) to any of the film adaptations you’ve seen of the same novel, and the theatre itself is one of London’s most notable.
Address: Russell Street, Covent Garden. London WC2B 5HH
Phone: 0844 871 7627