Having covered off Mayfair, Islington and the South Bank in our mini-tour of some of London’s most interesting districts, we now head for Covent Garden, a much-loved haunt for locals and tourists alike.
As a Londoner, Covent Garden evokes a certain affection and pride that nearby Leicester Square and other hubs can’t really match.
Dominated by a glass covered market and piazza, it’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon milling through the walkways, watching street performers and browsing boutique shops, before settling down with a hot drink or cocktail in one of its many cafes or bars.
Our top picks:
- The Royal Opera House, for playing dress-up in your finery;
- B@1, for the entertaining barmen and 2 for 1 cocktails;
- Mondays in the covered market, for trawling piles of antique jewellery in search of that special piece;
- Breakfast at Christopher’s, one of our favourite London brunch spots;
- London Transport Museum, showing you how Londoners managed to get around over the last two centuries. Free for kids.
What I personally love about Covent Garden is taking lazy walks without any special end in mind. There’s always something going on – in an atmosphere with considerable authenticity and charm.
Where should you stay to be within easy reach of Covent Garden?
We’ve already recommended the aptly-named Covent Garden Hotel which continues to climb up TripAdvisor (currently number 4). It’s always nice to see an already good hotel striving to raise standards further.
The Covent Garden Hotel is expensive but perfectly located with friendly staff and stylish surroundings. Beware the unfortunate lack of free hotel WiFi currently, though you can try to negotiate to include this in your rate.
Looking for somewhere even cheaper near Covent Garden? Then seriously consider The Grand at Trafalgar Square. We already recommended this hotel in our review of London’s best triple rooms.
It’s currently ranked number 75 out of more than 1000 London hotels on TripAdvisor. Guests appreciate the small fridge provided in some rooms and the comfy beds. Ask for a room at the back of the hotel to avoid street noise – you would after all be staying in the very heart of central London!
Photo credits: Soho Hotel, The Grand at Trafalgar Square Hotel, nikoretro’s photostream.