Things to Do in Covent Garden London

Things to Do in Covent Garden London

Tuesday, 09 July 2024
​Covent Garden, right in the heart of London, offers a vibrant mix of attractions! Experience Street shows, great shopping and a rich history. This guide to 8 must-see places will help you make the most of your time. Ready for some fun in Covent Garden?

1. COVENT GARDEN THEATRES: MUST-SEE SHOWS AND PERFORMANCES

Covent Garden is more than just bustling streets; it's a hub for live performances too! Picture yourself at the Royal Opera House, a magical spot for ballet and opera fans. With its stunning architecture and performances, it's like stepping into a fairytale. Lose yourself in graceful ballet moves or powerful opera voices—it's unforgettable!

Then there's the Royal Drury Lane, a venue steeped in history and grandeur. It's a timeless icon, showcasing both classic and modern performances. Stepping inside feels like a journey back to a glamorous era.

But don't miss the smaller theatres nearby such as the Bloomsbury Theatre. Though small, these theatres are filled with experimental plays and hilarious comedy acts. If you love musicals, go to the Cambridge Theatre for evergreen shows like "Matilda the Musical" with catchy tunes. After an exciting night out, enjoy a comfortable stay at Imperial London Hotels, conveniently located near all these attractions

Brick wall in Covent Garden featuring a keg with 'Neal's Yard' printed in green, a notable spot in the neighbourhood.
 
2. HIDDEN GEMS: UNCOVER SECRET SPOTS IN COVENT GARDEN

Beyond the famous attractions of Covent Garden, delve into the local markets and uncover the hidden gems that make this London spot so special. If you're eager to explore the neighbourhood's treasures affordably, be sure to check out our Bloomsbury on a budget guide.

While the main market in the Piazza is popular with tourists, the side streets reveal smaller, hidden markets. Discover unique shops in Neal's Yard, known for its colourful facade and health-focused offerings. Check out the quirky markets, packed with antiques and collectibles. They offer unique souvenirs and a window into the rich history and culture of the area. Don't miss Homeslice for big sharing pizzas, perfect for a fun meal with friends and family!

For those intrigued by hidden histories, Covent Garden is full of surprises. Wander beyond the well-trodden paths to uncover historical landmarks that are rarely seen. Explore the narrow streets of Seven Dials, a charming area known for its sundial pillars and quaint boutiques. These hidden historical spots add another layer of charm to the neighbourhood and give you a glimpse into the past.

People enjoying nice sunny weather in an outdoor seating restaurant.

3. MUST-TRY RESTAURANTS IN COVENT GARDEN

Covent Garden is a food lover's dream, with plenty of must-try restaurants for every taste and budget. Whether you're into British classics, Indian flavours, Italian cuisine, or Spanish tapas, Covent Garden has something for everyone. 

Rules - London’s Oldest restaurant

Kicking off the list is Rules, London's oldest restaurant, which offers a timeless dining experience reminiscent of bygone eras. London's oldest restaurant, established in 1798. The historic eatery combines exceptional service with a charming atmosphere, adorned with pictures, paintings, and decor collected over centuries. Enjoy traditional British cuisines like oysters, pies, and sticky toffee pudding! 

Sagar Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurant

If you love vegan/vegetarian food Sagar is the place to go. They serve South Indian food, the menu includes dishes like dosas, uttapams, and yummy curries. It's a great spot for something different and tasty. 

Craving Indian cuisine paired with a comfortable hotel stay? Our Poppadom Indian Kitchen, at Tavistock Hotel offers a flavour journey through India with traditional and Anglo-Indian dishes, perfect for sharing.

Sustainable Dining at Rucola

For an eco-friendly dining experience, Rucola offers contemporary Italian cuisine with breathtaking London views from a fifth-floor terrace. Perfect for al fresco dining or relaxing under the all-season pergola, their menu features delectable, plant-based dishes made from carefully sourced, low-carbon emission ingredients.

Like Rucola, Imperial London Hotels is committed to eco-friendly practices and sustainability. We proudly serve rainforest-friendly coffee in all our restaurants and bars. With every 7 cups of Puro coffee enjoyed at our Hotels, we help save one square metre of rainforest.

Tapas Stories Restaurant

For a fun and social meal, check out Tapas Stories. They serve Spanish tapas, perfect for sharing with friends. Try dishes like patatas bravas and gambas al ajillo in a cosy and friendly atmosphere. Enjoy perfectly paired tapas with wines from Spain, Portugal, Chile, and Armenia.

Bar beer tap in the London pub with brews like Guinness, TLP, Foghorn, Neck Oil, Camden Pales, and Camden Wells 

4. BARS AND PUBS IN COVENT GARDEN

Covent Garden is packed with a variety of bars and pubs, from trendy cocktail lounges to cosy traditional pubs, catering to all tastes.

VyTA - The Lounge Bar

Hailing from Italy, VyTA is one of the Market Building's latest and most exciting additions. This lavish space is perfect for summer with multiple open-air dining spaces, offering a chic environment to enjoy bespoke cocktails and London’s best DJs! 

Marquess of Anglesey

For an authentic taste of classic British pub culture, visit the Marquess of Anglesey. Rebuilt after the Blitz devastation, this traditional pub now features a modern interior adorned with historic photographs. The pub offers a wide selection of real ales, making it a favourite among beer enthusiasts. Its cosy setting and friendly atmosphere make it the perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring Covent Garden. For a unique twist on British pub culture, head to the London Pub at our Royal National Hotel.  It's the ideal place to watch your favourite sporting events or meet up with friends for a drink!

Balthazar London 

Transport yourself to Paris at Balthazar London. This Parisian-style bar offers a great selection of wines and expertly mixed cocktails by award-winning bartenders. Their specialities include the Negroni Finis and the Two to Four, a mix of gin, champagne, Merlet Poire, and lemon juice.

Cache Cache

For a more hidden spot, check out Cache Cache. This modern-day speakeasy leads guests through hidden doors and passageways to an underground vault bar. As the evening progresses, the sophisticated underground ambience shifts into a private and alluring dance party. Be ready to dance to lively music and enjoy tasty bites. The cocktails here are creative, often infused with teas, herbs, and honey. Their menu offers Japanese and Latin American snacks. ​

Dovetail Bar

Dovetail Bar, a hidden gem in Covent Garden. Walk past a Japanese restaurant and up some stairs to find this cosy spot. It holds just 25 people, overlooks Covent Garden, and offers a great playlist, intimate vibe, and amazing cocktails. Perfect for a chill night out!

After cocktails at Covent Garden, unwind with a perfect nightcap at the Atrium Bar & Restaurant in our President Hotel, just a quick 10-minute walk away! 

Group of people walking towards the right side of the street in Covent Garden.  

5. FASHION FINDS: SUSTAINABLE SHOPPING

In Covent Garden, you'll find lots of shops dedicated to sustainability, offering stylish clothes, accessories, homeware, and lifestyle products.  These products are thoughtfully made with a focus on the environment.  

Eco-Friendly Fashion

Visit Colourful Standard, they craft must-have essentials using 100% organic cotton, reducing greenhouse gases. Committed to responsible fashion, they blend style with environmental consciousness, making every piece a step towards a greener planet. Choose Colourful Standard for stylish, eco-friendly wardrobe staples.

At Vintage Threads, you’ll find budget-friendly second-hand apparel and one-of-a-kind items, breathing new life into old garments. Or you can head over to A.P.C for recycled clothing. Customers can bring in old clothes for store credit. This credit is then turned into donations for charity. If you love vintage, consider staying at the Morton Hotel for a London weekend away.  Experience bespoke furnishings and wallpapers inspired by the creative spirit of the Bloomsbury Group! 

Take a short walk to Russell Square Gardens to discover our bug hotel, sponsored by Imperial London Hotels, providing a haven for minibeasts, butterflies, and insects in our green corner of London! 

Vintage fashion enthusiasts will find their haven at Rokit in Covent Garden. Located on Monmouth Street, this boutique is a treasure trove of unique pieces from various eras. From classic denim to retro dresses, Rokit has it all. Whether you're a seasoned vintage shopper or just starting to explore this style, a visit to Rokit is sure to unearth some fashionable gems.

Just 15 minutes from Covent Garden, our City Sleeper Hotel provides a perfect retreat in the heart of the city for those looking to recharge and reset after a day of exploring!

Exterior view of the Covent Garden entrance in the late afternoon with people sitting outside eating and talking.

6. CASUAL DINING WITH LOCAL FLAVOURS

Discover the vibrant taste of the city at these casual eateries, where local flavours take centre stage. 

Jamie Oliver’s Restaurant

If you enjoy British cuisine with a creative twist, Jamie Oliver's restaurant is a must-visit. Inspired by his personal history, the restaurant emphasises the origins of its ingredients, ensuring fresh and flavorful dishes.

Fatt Pundit Restaurant
For an exceptional fusion dining experience, Fatt Pundit is the spot to visit. This restaurant combines Chinese and Indian flavours, perfect for sharing with friends or family. Enjoy delicious momos, a variety of special curries, and other inventive dishes that bring together the best of both cuisines.

Gaucho Restaurant

For steak lovers, Gaucho is an essential stop. Known for its top-quality steaks, this restaurant guides diners in selecting the perfect cut to suit their tastes. Renowned for its expertly crafted beef dishes, Gaucho ensures a dining experience to remember for meat enthusiasts.

During your stay in London, be sure to indulge in the quintessentially British tradition of afternoon tea at our Botanica Restaurant just a 10-15 minute stroll from Covent Garden!  


7. ART GALLERIES AND EXHIBITIONS

Covent Garden is also home to a vibrant street art scene, which can be explored by simply strolling through its charming cobblestone streets. There are many galleries in the historic Piazza and also some hidden treasures in its lanes. From intricate murals to quirky installations, the walls of Covent Garden serve as an open-air gallery, displaying the creativity and talent of both local and international street artists.  Immersing yourself in the vibrant colours and unique expressions of this art form truly captures the neighbourhood's dynamic energy. 

National Gallery

One of the must-visit galleries in Covent Garden is the renowned National Gallery. Housing an extensive collection of European paintings, this gallery showcases the works of famous artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Rembrandt. Art lovers can spend hours marvelling at the masterpieces on display, immersing themselves in the rich history and culture that these paintings represent.

Somerset House

For those seeking a more contemporary art experience, Somerset House is a must-see. This historic building houses an array of cutting-edge exhibitions, showcasing the work of both established and emerging artists. With its ever-changing roster of shows and events, Somerset House is a hub of creativity that never fails to leave a lasting impression.

Complete your art-filled day at a gallery like the Tate Modern and a visit to our secret Library bar, a snug space showcasing an impressive array of paintings.

8. COVENT GARDEN'S GREEN SPACES: PARKS AND GARDENS IN CENTRAL LONDON

Secret Garden in Neal’s Yard
Discover the charming secret garden tucked away in Neal's Yard. Behind colourful buildings, this mini green space is full of colourful flowers, potted plants, and even a small waterfall. It's the perfect spot to escape the urban chaos and enjoy a moment of tranquillity amidst the vibrant streets of Covent Garden.

After a day exploring the mini gardens, why not unwind in a peaceful hotel in the heart of London? Enjoy a serene stay at our Bedford Hotel, the perfect city retreat with natural surroundings! 

Covent Garden Piazza
But the greenery doesn't end there. Just a short stroll away lies the famous Covent Garden Piazza adorned with beautiful flower arrangements and outdoor seating areas. This lively square is perfect for soaking up the atmosphere as you sip a cup of coffee from one of the many cafes dotted around.  During warm weather, you can catch captivating street performances as you bask in the sun. 

Cosy bedroom with wardrobe, long curtains and tv at the Morton Hotel


As your adventure in Covent Garden comes to a close, why not extend your stay in the heart of London with Imperial London Hotels? 

Whether you're travelling as a group or looking to explore Covent Garden solo, we have something to suit every traveller. Conveniently located just a 10-minute walk from the vibrant streets of Covent Garden, our six distinct hotels offer the perfect blend of comfort and accessibility. 

Book your stay with us and experience the charm of London in ultimate comfort.




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