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Covent Garden, situated on the edge of London’s West End, has had a colourful history ever since its beginnings in the 17th century as a small open-air fruit and vegetable market. Today, the cobbled piazza is a hive of activity, buzzing with street performers ranging from string quartets to mime artists and comedians.
The original fruit and vegetable market moved to South London in the 1970s, but Covent Garden remains a haven for food-lovers. The numerous restaurants and cafés offer cuisine from all over the world. Why not try a lunch of Spanish paella, North African curries or Thai street food? Close by, Monmouth Street is home to many charming tea rooms and coffee bars serving a range of delicious pastries and cakes. For something a little stronger, head for the many historic and atmospheric pubs offering traditional British beer.
Each section of Covent Garden has something different to offer. Whilst the main piazza may be the focal point, there’s plenty to discover in the streets leading off this area. Seven Dials is named after the small junction where seven streets converge with a pillar at its centre bearing multiple sundials, and offers fashion-forward boutiques and trendy cafés. Don’t miss Neal’s Yard between Shorts Garden and Monmouth Street, famous for the natural health and beauty shop Neal’s Yard Remedies and the excellent Neal’s Yard Dairy. For mainstream retail therapy, head to Long Acre just north of the piazza where you’ll find many of the top British high-street shops.
One of the most prestigious attractions to be found in Covent Garden is the Royal Opera House. Home to the Royal Opera, the Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, this venue that dates back to 1732, offers some of the best artistic performances in the world. Listings and tickets are available from the Royal Opera House Website.
The nearest Underground station is Covent Garden. At peak times, Leicester Square Underground station is a good alternative.
There are heaps of ways to enjoy this place. Here's a list of things to do at Covent Garden Market:
If you'd like even more options, examine our London things to do page.
Located in London City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Covent Garden Market, Piccadilly Circus, and London Dungeon. Big Ben and Buckingham Palace are also within 1 mi (2 km). Charing Cross Underground Station is 5 minutes by foot and Covent Garden Underground Station is 5 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Tate Modern and Coca-Cola London Eye. The Shard and Big Ben are also within 1 mi (2 km). Southwark Underground Station is 8 minutes by foot and Blackfriars Underground Station is 8 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes. Waterloo Underground Station is only a 4-minute walk and Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tower Bridge, Tower of London, and HMS Belfast. Tower Gateway Station is 6 minutes by foot and Tower Hill Station is 7 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Oxford Street and The British Museum. Russell Square and Queens Theatre are also within 15 minutes. Tottenham Court Road Underground Station is only a 3-minute walk and Goodge Street Underground Station is 6 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of British Library and The British Museum. London Transport Museum and St. Paul's Cathedral are also within 2 mi (3 km). London King's Cross Station is only a 5-minute walk and King's Cross St. Pancras Underground Station is 5 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this boutique hotel is steps from Nelson's Column and The Strand. St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Trafalgar Square are also within 5 minutes. Charing Cross Underground Station and Embankment Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in London City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Imperial War Museum, Westminster Bridge, and Sea Life London Aquarium. Coca-Cola London Eye and Big Ben are also within 15 minutes. Lambeth North Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Waterloo Underground Station is 8 minutes.