A guide of what to do in Covent Garden, one of London’s can’t miss neighborhoods!
Covent Garden is a hub of things to do. You will find theater, restaurants, shopping, museums, pubs, and more in this central London neighborhood.
What to do in Covent Garden:
Covent Garden Market
The center of the neighborhood is the market itself. Fun fact: The character of Elisa Doolittle in My Fair Lady sold flowers in Covent Garden. Today the market is home to many luxury brand shops, touristy market stalls, and restaurants, and you will find the space decorated with flowers. The streets around the market are filled with people performing magic tricks, circus tricks, and singing opera.
The Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House is home to both the opera and the ballet. The calendar of events is packed and has something for everyone.
St. Paul’s Church
This church is known for being the actors’ church due to its association with the theater community. The promenade outside the church has a small stage and is home to outdoor theater performances in the summer. It’s also a tranquil area where people come to read, relax, and eat lunch on a sunny day. Fun fact: Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale were married here.
This former residence of the Duke of Somerset has been transformed into an arts center. There is no shortage of things to do here, there are concerts, art shows, outdoor cinema, and more.
See the Antique Gas Lamps
Did you know that 1,500 antique gas lamps are still in use in London? Many of these lamps are in Covent Garden, especially in the area around St. Paul’s Church.
Covent Garden is in the West End, which is home to London’s theater district. If you want to find discounted tickets, check out tkts online or in person.
Be As Naughty As You Want
This street art by the artist Bambi is at the entrance to Neal’s Yard on Monmouth Street. It was unvieled on the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death and it depicts her as Mary Poppins.
Museums in Covent Garden:
London Transport Museum
This family-friendly museum is interactive and educational. We had more fun, and learned more than we expected! The museum teaches visitors about the evolution of urban transportation through its displays of vehicles.
London Film Museum
This museum should be called the James Bond Museum since the only exhibit is Bond in Motion. Launched in 2014 as a temporary exhibition, the exhibit features vehicles and artifacts from all 24 James Bond films, has been so successful that it remains open for the foreseeable future.
The museum is a must-visit of a Bond fan, and I was impressed by how well put together it is. The main focus of the exhibition are the cars driven by James Bond, and each one is displayed next to a projector showing clips of the cars in action in the movies.
Shopping in Covent Garden:
Covent Garden is one of the best places for shopping in London. It’s especially well-known for it’s menswear shops, but you can find a little of everything here.
A two-story travel book shop where you can find maps, travel guides, travel memoirs, and historic city maps.
The Vintage Showroom
A small shop with new and vintage menswear and accessories.
You can find beautiful leather goods for both men and women here. I think that their products look much more expensive than they are, everything is so wonderfully designed and has thoughtful and unique details.
Cambridge Satchel Company
I love this company’s vibrantly colored leather goods.
An upscale boutique selling men’s clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Seven Dials is the spot where seven streets in Covent Garden converge. Today much of this area is a pedestrian-only zone, and you will find plenty of shops and pubs here. It’s one of my favorite places to wander around.
A colorful courtyard with shops and restaurants that are hidden away from traffic.
Restaurants in Covent Garden:
You can find everything from Shake Shack to some of London’s finest restaurants in this neighborhood.
A classic British restaurant that serves three meals a day plus afternoon tea, you can find entrees like steak and Guinness pie, fish pie, and fish and chips on the menu.
This is the oldest restaurant in London. It opened in 1798 and still serves traditional British cuisine. Above the restaurant, you will find a cocktail bar.
One of my favorite London eateries, The Ivy has several locations in London. They serve three meals a day and are open all day long. We love the traditional Full English Breakfast and their Afternoon Tea.
A fine dining restaurant with excellent service and great wines, Charles recommends the fish pie and the fish of the day.
Yes, this is a sister restaurant to the one in New York City. The French restaurant is open all day and serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. They even have a vegan and vegetarian menu.
Dishoom is one of London’s most well-known Indian restaurants, and one of my favorites. I love murgh malai and the black daal. They only accept reservations for large parties, so be prepared to wait for a table. I do promise that it is worth the wait.
This most romantic restaurant in the world is in Covent Garden. The cuisine is inspired by Provence and Tuscany, and they serve lunch and dinner, and they have pre and post-theatre menus. Make sure to book a reservation in advance.
Pubs in Covent Garden:
Crown & Anchor
A large classic pub with a facade covered in flowers, right in the center of Seven Dials.
I love Mr. Fogg’s bars and restaurants which are all inspired by the fictional character of Phileas Fogg who was the protagonist in Around the World in 80 Days. The tavern is a casual place to drink a pint and dine on traditional British pub food.
Above the tavern, you will find the more formal gin parlor. It can be busy, so it is best to make a reservation. This gin parlor is located in the home of Mr. Fogg’s Aunt Gertrude. The bar showcases over 200 different gins.
This Mr. Fogg’s location is a bit cheesier and touristy than the others. Located in a basement in Covent Garden, when we visited the space was decorated with a safari theme.
The Nag’s Head
One of Charles’s favorite places for a drink after a day of work at the London office. It’s always very lively in the evenings.
The Lamb & Flag
Charles Dickens used to drink at this Georgian pub. So many fights used to break out here that the pub earned the nickname “bucket of blood”. Things have since calmed down and now the pub hosts events like open mic night and prosecco and pie nights.
Located just across the street from The Nag’s Head, this pub is also a popular spot for post-workday pints. This pub is known for serving traditional cask ales.
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