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!

Follow the latest lockdown rules as you begin to revisit the go-to spots in Covent Garden. Just remember to stay safe, be responsible and follow social distancing guidelines when out and about.  

Top things to do in Covent Garden

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 soon 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

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

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, Fire & Stone 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

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.

Find more hotels near Covent Garden in London.

Show-stopping theatres near Covent Garden

Secure your spot for a blockbuster London show in a Covent Garden theatre. See West End musicals, classic plays and comedies when they're all back in action…

  • You can feel the love tonight (or any night) at family favourite The Lion King 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

Find out more about Covent Garden at coventgarden.london

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.