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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 30 April, 2023
Expert travel writer: Sarah Barrell

Covent Garden piazza is one of London’s best-loved tourist draws; a quaint old apple market, built in 1830, and converted in 1980 into a hubbub of street performers, cafes, bars and restaurants. The central covered quarter is home to the daily market; on Mondays it’s an antique-hunters heaven, while Tuesday to Sunday sees stalls selling everything from hand-made jewellery to bespoke waistcoats, one-off clocks and hand-dyed scarves.

The two sub-ground terraces are home to two of London’s favourite watering holes, the Crusting Pipe, where buskers play classical music for the gathered drinkers, and the Punch & Judy, which also has a terrace overlooking the main piazza.

In culture and literature, this cobbled square is inextricably linked with the story Pygmalion and its musical adaptation My Fair Lady. Many come to Covent Garden piazza purely for its atmosphere, created by buskers, jugglers and other street performers – if you want London at its most vibrant, this is the place to come.

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: +
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The nearest tube stations are Covent Garden (Piccadilly Line) and Charing Cross (Bakerloo, Northern), with Leicester Square (Northern, Piccadilly) also nearby. Covent Garden itself gets very crowded, so exiting the tube at Charing Cross or Leicester Square is less stressful.

Leave half an hour or so to wander the piazza, and consider having lunch around here – the atmosphere is lovely and there are a lot of historic or unique London restaurants in the surrounding streets.

When to do it

Covent Garden is busy at any time of year, so expect a few crowds – but sunny days at best when the famous street performers turn up. It’s hugely atmospheric in December, when the festive lights and garlands are strung around the Apple Market, and an enormous, beautifully-decorated Christmas tree is erected.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Covent Garden’s Hidden Gems: A Self-Guided Walking Tour

London

Covent Garden’s Hidden Gems: A Self-Guided Walking Tour
Discover the mesmerizing district of Covent Garden in London, renowned for its bustling market and luxury shopping as well as award-winning restaurants and theatres!  On this immersive tour narrated by a London historian, you will walk through the colourful street of Neal’s Yard, explore St. Paul's Church, stroll along the Strand and ultimately finish in front of the magnificent Royal Opera House.  Venture off the tourist trail, and discover a mix of crazy stories, famous residents, hidden neighbourhoods, and great food, as you get a more intimate and local feel for the area.  Experience the beautiful architecture, secret gems and unforgettable iconic sights as you transport yourselves in an ​​engaging, quirky and captivating adventure. Note: This is a self-guided audio walking tour and does not include entrance tickets

Price: £7

Min age: 15

Rating 4.06 / 5 [16 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

London

Greater London, United Kingdom (UK)

view of houses of parliament at night

World-class culture, fashion, music, food and history – and a mind-boggling array of bucket list experiences – packed into one extraordinary, incomparable destination.