I’ve lived in London my whole life and Covent Garden seems to be the place I love the most. I worked in the area for six years and have come across some really cool things to do in the area.
If you’re looking for a vibrant, diverse and busy area in London then Covent Garden is the place for you. It’s known mainly for its theatres and entertainment, but Covent Garden has something to offer for everyone. You could easily spend a whole day exploring Covent Garden and not see it all. And you’ll definitely want to head back time and time again.
by Teral Atilan;
Teral has lived in London her whole life. Most days she’s found working at the next coffee shop hotspot working away on her laptop, or online shopping.;
What to see and do in Covent Garden?
1. Visit the theatre
Covent Garden is the largest area in London for theatre. People from all over the world come and visit Covent Garden for a show.
They have an array of different theatre shows, from musicals such as The Lion King and Dream Girls to Harry Potter and many small shows, which are equally as good. There’s a show for every age and every interest, keeping it diverse and interesting.
2. Go for dinner at the many restaurants
Before heading to a theatre show you might want to pop into one of the many delicious restaurants around Covent Garden.
You might even want to make the journey into Covent Garden just for dinner (I know I do) as Covent Garden has quickly become a sought out destination for food lovers.
Stop off at the delicious Flat Iron for steak but be prepared to wait as queues are usually up to two hours. It’s worth the wait as they use great pieces of off cut meat showing that you don’t have to waste great pieces of steak.
3. Cocktails and drinks at a bar
After work I’d regularly find myself heading out for drinks in one of the many different bars scattered around Covent Garden. Here there are some of the fanciest and coolest bars in London.
Eve Bar is located in the basement of Frog offering an array of playful cocktails.
If you’re looking for something a little more casual, The Grind has some of the nicest espresso martinis.
4. Watch one of the street performers shows
Around the market square you will find a range of different street performers. From classical music to circus type acts. Whenever I’m in Covent Garden I can’t help myself but stop and watch them perform.
I highly recommend making some extra time to stop and catch one of the performers. It’s entertaining for all ages and kids especially love it.
5. Coffee and breakfast at Abuelo’s
Relatively new to Covent Garden Abuelo is a hidden gem on the corner of Southampton Street.
I regularly come here for breakfast meetings, as it’s healthy and lightweight.
Abulelo’s mix South American and Australian coffee beans to create their own unique coffee, which is divine.
You’ve also got to try the Huevos divorciados de Turco as it’s unlike anything else I’ve ever tried before and has quickly becomes my favourite breakfast dish.
— Teral Atilan
6. Visit the Apple & East Market
The Apple & East Market in the square of Covent Garden offers a range of unique jewellery prints and one off antiques throughout the week.
I like to stop off here to get some sweets and also love the handmade soaps for gifts around Christmas time. It’s also a great place to come and wonder around if you find yourself with some time to spare.
7. Shopping in Covent Garden
Covent Garden has always been my favourite place to shop. Over the last few years more and more shops have been opening.
They have a range of shops from premium to high street. Covent Garden has everything to offer from Burberry, Paul Smith and Daniel Wellington to name a few.
The Zara here is .3my favourite as it always has those sought after items in stock and is a lot quieter than the Oxford Street stores. It’s a little bit away from the rest of the shops so most people don’t know it’s there.
— Teral Atilan
8. Take pictures with the ever changing floral displays
Every season the floral displays around Covent Garden change and I’m all for it. I absolutely love looking at the pretty floral displays and taking my pictures with them.
My favourites so far have been the spring and the autumn one. During Christmas there’s a huge Christmas tree, which is also great for photos. You’ll regularly see bloggers and tourists stop to catch a photo.
9. Spend the evening at the Royal Opera House
Whether you like opera or not, it’s definitely worth visiting the Royal Opera House. Over Christmas I love coming here to watch the Nutcracker.
It’s something the entire family can enjoy together. You can also stop off here to meet friends for drinks or dinner before the show making it a great evening out.
10. Spend time at St Martins Courtyard
Within Covent Garden there is St Martins Courtyard. Here there are a variety of different restaurants, shopping destinations and lifestyle spots to visit.
The area itself is secluded from the rest of Covent Garden and as a result is a lot quieter than the rest of Covent Garden.
If you’re looking for a little peace and quiet, there are a few seating areas to sit down and relax and enjoy some me time.
— Teral Atilan
11. Get a massage at Relax
Ever been shopping and feel like you could do with a massage? I know I have.
That’s why I love Relax in Covent Garden. Every now and then after shopping I like to go and have a chair massage. They are quick, easy and really do the job.
It’s like an express on-the-go massage. If that’s not your thing and you’d rather a proper massage they also offer full body massages and couple massages.
12. Get a blow-dry at blow LTD
If you’ve ever found yourself rushing to get ready at work before a night out then blow LTD is what you need. With a menu of 8 different blow-dry hairstyles you can be in and out in 30 minutes.
They’ve saved me many times when I’m on a lunch break or running between meetings to events in the evening. I like to go for the beach blowdry or the party ponytail.
13. Try Hot Yoga
If you enjoy yoga then you must visit Yotopia Yoga studio and try their Myo-Fit yoga and Pilates class.
It’s a great class for those looking to be more flexible and uses scientific research as well as hand and leg weights.
They have two studios, one hot and one more tepid so take your pick of which session you would rather.
14. Get your makeup done at one of the many makeup counters
With an influx of makeup stores you can easily pop into any and have your makeup done for the day.
Nars, Chanel, Tom Ford, Charlotte Tilbury, Mac, Urban Decay the list goes on. Take your pick from which store you prefer the most and let the makeup artist work their magic.
I love going into the Chanel makeup store. It’s located around the square and has the cutest little boutique store. It’s so luxurious and pretty.
— Teral Atilan
15. Floral classes at The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers
From one day to four week courses, if floral arrangement takes your fancy, pop into The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers.
As my mums birthday and mother’s day usually fall on the same week I tend to get her a custom floral arrangement from there, which she absolutely loves.
In the courses you can create anything from wreaths to wedding arrangements.
16. Visit Petersham Nurseries
A relatively new addition to Covent Garden but one that has already made its mark. A restaurant, a florist, a shop and so much more, Petersham Nurseries covers everything.
I love popping into the shop and having a wander around. They have some of the most beautiful home decorations I have ever seen. It’s also a lovely spot to catch up with friends.
17. Take the kids to the London transport museum
I love the fact that children go free at the London Transport of Museum. I like to take family that visit London for the first time here as it’s always a hit with kids.
The museum covers the progression of transport in London. It’s quite an interactive museum and has an underground simulator to test your train driving skills.
If you live in London it’s great because kids go free and adult tickets last a year so it’s worth visiting over the course of the year.
— Teral Atilan
18. Try a different type of ice cream at Milk train
I first discovered Milk Train two years ago and have been hooked since. If you love ice-cream and candy floss like me, you too will love it.
They combine an ice-cream cone with candyfloss, then add soft serve ice cream (they have different flavours daily) and then top it off with your favourite toppings.
The taste is great but make sure you get a photo before it melts away.
19. Visit a burlesque show and have pizza at Bunga Bunga
Do I need to explain? Pizza and burlesque dancers make for a great evening out.
The pizza at Bunga Bunga is a light thin base that’s stretched out and long enough for the whole table to grab a slice.
And while enjoying your pizza you can even watch a show. This makes for quite a wild night so be prepared.
20. Head to the coolest Pub in town, The Porterhouse
I first visited here on a lunch break. It is hands down the coolest pub I’ve ever been to.
It’s set on twelve different floors and has such a cool vibe to it. The food is also really good. I tried the chicken burger and was floored with how nice it was.
This is also another hidden gem of Covent Garden as it looks like your regular pub on the outside. But once you’re inside it’s super cool and different.
21. Dine at the oldest restaurant in London
Rules is the oldest restaurant in London.
Although I’ve never dined here myself I’ve heard great things about it.
The menu is great and has such a welcoming feeling.
22. Go visit a Comedy show at Top Secret Comedy Club
If you’re looking for a laugh then look no further. Top Secret Comedy Club has some of the funniest comedians around.
Pick a night that suits you and your humour. But I like to go to the work in progress shows. These are free and you get to see comedians practice their shows before big comedy festivals.
Make sure you book in advance though as these tend to sell out quickly.
23. Visit a roof top terrace
In the summer I love heading to the small roof terraces of the restaurants of the square. My favourite is Laduree.
Although the roof terraces are all quite small, they have a great view of Covent Garden from above and feel so cosy.
24. Stay at the Henrietta hotel
One of my favourite hotels in Covent Garden has to be Henrietta Hotel. I absolutely love the style, interior and location of this hotel.
It’s so chic and has some of the loveliest views of Covent Garden overlooking the London Eye. With only 18 rooms, this boutique hotel has a key focus on food, and who doesn’t love food!
My favourite thing about this hotel is just how cosy it feels. The Henrietta room has one of the nicest bathrooms I’ve ever seen and the location of the Hotel means you are right in the middle of Covent Garden.
25. Have bottomless brunch at Mabel’s
Brunch during the mid-morning is just the best thing ever invented.
At Mabel’s, you have it all, food, drinks and entertainment. It’s the perfect way to get your weekend started.
They have bottomless brunches every Saturday 11am – 3:30pm and the venue itself is vibrant and quirky with a relaxed feel to it.
26. Head to sway for Limitless Thursday
Pizza, prosecco, 90 minutes. That’s what you get at Sway’s limitless Thursday. From 5pm until 3am every Thursday head to Sway to eat as much pizza and prosecco as you can.
As a pizza lover this is one of my favourite places to go. It’s great for work parties, a girl’s night out or even a regular Thursday night to be honest. If you spot me in the back on my own do come say hi.
27. Try afternoon tea in Covent Garden
Now I am a big fan of afternoon tea. It’s quintessentially British and you must have at least one afternoon tea experience in your life.
Recently I went to Balthazar to try their current Afternoon tea. It’s collaboration with FLOWERBX and each desert is hand crafted to resemble a flower.
However, if you are after something a little different, there are so many afternoon teas to choose from. Another two favourites of mine are the Charlie and The Chocolate factory inspired afternoon tea at oneAldwych.
It’s fun and very experimental. Also, B’s bakery have a fantastic afternoon tea in which you ride a classic red bus around town sipping your tea (in portable tea flasks) and enjoy your afternoon tea while looking at the London sites.
28. Get a free hand massage at Jo Malone London
If you’ve never tried any of the Jo Malone fragrances before then booking an appointment to discover the scent for you is the perfect way to introduce yourself to the variety of fragrances Jo Malone have on offer.
You can also book to have a free hand massage in where they help you combine different fragrances. You can also book in to fragrance your home or wedding.
I think this is a great way to become familiar with the brand, as there are so many different scents it’s quite overwhelming the first time you enter. There are so many fragrances you’re bound to get confused with where to start.
I booked in to get a hand massage and learnt which my favourite scents from the brand are.
29. Tacos and Margarita’s at Cafe Pacifico
One of my favourite Mexican restaurants in the city has to be Cafe Pacifico. The menu offers some of the best tacos around town and the margaritas are divine.
I love coming here for a girl’s night out as it covers two of my favourite things; food and cocktails. It has a very chilled vibe and you can book for groups or if it’s just two of you, you can usually just show up, there’s hardly any waiting time.
30. Gelato at Venchi
Like ice cream? Me too!
After dinner sometimes I like to always head to Venchi to have some authentic Italian gelato. I first visited Venchi in Milan and fell in love with the gelato and friendly staff.
When I found out they had a branch in Covent Garden it quickly became my go to spot. Each of the flavours are more delicious than the next and you can also pick up some fancy Italian chocolate to take home for later.