Covent Garden is one of the most visited places in London.
It’s a beautiful area packed with culture, activities, food, and artistry.
If you’re planning a trip to London then this area should be very high up on your list, and deserves at least half a day of your time- but probably a lot more.
Many people head here for the famous Market, and that’s great- but they end up staying for all the other things this wonderful area has to offer.
If you’re planning a trip to the city then check out The Montcalm Royal London House; not only is it one of the best hotels near Finsbury Square, London but it’s close to some of the city’s biggest attractions like Covent Garden.
Let’s take an in depth look at what makes Covent Garden so special.
A Quick History Lesson…
The Area was originally an extremely wealthy and pleasant area on the edge of the busy city.
Where Covent Garden currently stands, there used to be an orchard and garden that was owned by the Convent of the Church of St. Peter at Westminster- now Westminster Abbey.
After the dissolution of the monasteries in the mid 16th century by King Henry VIII, the area was turned into a beautiful district designed by Inago Jones and a permanent market was installed for the sale of wholesale fruit, vegetable and flowers.
Much to the dismay of the wealthy folk who had moved into the area, the market attracted a lot of peasants and before long the area was in steep decline- it was actually one of the hotspots in the city for prostitution
Clearly the area was restored to its former reputation and is now one of the most popular markets in the city, and one of the architectural hotspots in the city.
The Historic Covent Garden Market
The centrepiece of the area is the stunning Fruit and Vegetable Market that stands in the square.
It is a glorious example of Vitorian iron work and houses some of the finest boutique stores in the city.
You’ll also be able to get your hand on some great grub and enjoy live music performances.
Explore Neal’s Yard
Neal’s Yard pretty much embodies the incredible spirit of London.
Neal’s Yard is a small alleyway between some buddings just north of the Covent Garden Piazza. This area just a few years ago was a dumping ground- bins were stored here and many decades of junk had piled up.
However, after a quick renovation and a lick of paint, it is now one of the best spots in the city for delicious food and high quality ingredients.
You’ll find a dairy, a butcher, a health shop, amazing pizza, fantastic coffee and a beautiful array of colour and life.
Take a Cheese Walking Tour
Covent Garden has made a name for itself in terms of great food.
It is littered with amazing restaurants, stunning street food and gorgeous cafes and bakeries.
If you feel like you're going to miss out on all the food then get yourself on a walking tour.
A local will guide you around the very best locations, where you’ll get to enjoy some of the best eats in the city- and plenty of cheese!
As we already know, the old market building has been turned into a stunning, modern shopper’s paradise.
You can grab locally made jewellery, clothing and souvenirs- then nip to the shop next door for an international fashion brand.
It is the perfect combination of iconic brands and locally crafted goods- in fact, more shopping areas should follow Covent Garden’s lead.
Street Performance on the Piazza
The stunning Piazza, in which the marketplace sits, is something that will immediately catch your eye.
It’s almost like stepping into an Italian town- which is the desired effect of course.
This stunning area is packed with cafes, gorgeous architecture and wonderful shops, but it’s important you don’t miss the crucial element.
The world’s best street performers flock to the Piazza to try and amazing their audiences with magic, escapology, daring stunts, beautiful music or live performance.
Some of the performers are truly wonderful.
The London Transport Museum
Covent Garden is home to the London Transport Museum where you can geek out on some of the most amazing machines that helped make London what it is today.
You’ll find one of the very first underground carriages from the 1850s, some stunning old buses, beautiful horse-drawn carriages, old maps and much more.
It offers one of the very best insights into London’s past, and is a fascinating way to spend an afternoon.
Seven Dials Market
Seven Dials Market is one of the coolest and newest markets in town.
There is an incredible amount of stunning food on offer, an amazing seating area that is unbelievably pink, some fantastic pop-up restaurants and even the occasional DJ.
It is one of the trendiest and most delicious places you could possibly hope for in the city.
Covent Garden is pretty famous for its pubs and bars- despite the decline in classic pubs after the pandemic.
Covent Garden is the perfect place for a pub crawl as you’ll be able to visit cosy and quiet traditional pubs, modern bars, gastro pubs and even a few of the very pubs in the city.
If you’re looking for a quieter place to enjoy a locally brewed pint you are never too far away from your ideal watering hole in Covent Garden.
Covent Garden makes up part of the famous West End theatre district, where you’ll find some of the best plays and stage performers in the world.
Check out the Royal Opera House for some of the very best orchestral and operatic performances on the planet, or try the Adelphi for comedy and music; if you fancy watching an all time classic then head to the Lyceum where you can catch the game-changing Lion King being performed now in its 21st year!
So there you have it; all the things you can possibly miss Covent Garden on your next trip to the city.
You’ll likely need to spend a lot of time here to see and do everything on offer, so take advantage of the best London hotel packages and book a room in the Montcalm London City Hotel; The Montcalm Royal London House.
Base yourself nearby and enjoy one of the best areas in London; Covent Garden.