A traditional market square in the centre of London, surrounded by some of the city’s top restaurants and high end designer stores, and within walking distance of both the theatres and accommodation near Hyde Park and nearby Soho, Covent Garden is near the top of most London tourist itineraries.
As a vehicle-free space, with the main structure surrounded by vast expanses of patio and paving which lend themselves to street performances and meandering tourists mixed in with London locals, Covent Garden is a laid back and popular spot in the summer and winter months and oozes a sense of Italian piazza charm combine with quintessential British flair.
Of course, with so many places to eat and drink located inside the square itself and around its outskirts, it follows that Covent Garden is ideal for lazy days in the city, wandering and tasting local delicacies. But that’s not all Covent Garden has to offer.
Wander the shops
With a store list to rival Park Avenue near Hyde Park, and an array of designer and high end brands filling every corner of the immediate stores and shops in the vicinity of the market square, Covent Garden is the perfect place for shopping.
Identify the theme
As soon as you leave the Covent Garden underground station having travelled on the Piccadilly line from your hotel near Paddington Station, you should be on the lookout for the seasonal theme or decorative inspiration.
All through the year, Covent Garden gives up some of its space to certain exhibitions and displays, whether they be costumes from the West End, sponsored photo stands and food carts from British brands, or new local performances.
Watch the street performers
Speaking of performances, there is no better place to catch a truly authentic street performance than in Covent Garden. From magic to circus skills and everything in between, grab a drink from one of the bars around the outskirts of the market centre and settle down to see how the performers interact with and immerse the audience in their show.
Visit the Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition
If you’re looking for something a little more structured, consider heading to the Harry Potter Photographic Museum which starts on one of the side streets just off Covent Garden and boasts an exit which sends you right into the heart of the market. Packed full of memorabilia and props from the movies, this exhibition puts you right in the centre of the action with behind the scenes moments and cast interviews.
Dinner and a show
Whether you head to Covent Garden for dinner prior to your west end experience or book the Park Hotel restaurant for a high end dining experience before heading East towards the bars and theatres of Soho, there is no better way to end a day in London than with dinner and a show. Most of the theatres are so close to Covent Garden that the bars and restaurants all offer theatre packages and special menus and stay open well after the curtain closes.