This may not make your list of sites to see on your first visit to London, but if you have some extra time, or this is a repeat visit to London, definitely check out Covent Garden.
It's a sprawling labyrinth of little shops and booths! It's easy to lose your way and lose track of time (in a good way). It's a lively spot with lots of youth, tourists, food stalls and lots things to catch your attention. It's a great spot for people watching and a fun area to walk around and take it all in.
I really like the Town Crier, just like in the olden days. He was all dressed up and heralded out the news from his soap box, complete with a horn.
If you're looking for a bargain, go deep into the sprawling maze of booths. I picked up some really inexpensive scarves that were going for 5x the price near the entrance. Also, the surrounding area outside of Convent Garden has some cool vintage shops that have some affordable items. I picked up a cute Miss Selfridge top for only 4 quid.
Covent Garden Market is always entertaining.
I honestly think I've seen the best street performers of my life here in Covent Garden Market. Magicians, clowns, tight rope walkers, a woman who literally climbed onto a giant tower and juggled knives upside down? What!
It's not as indie and fun as some of London's other markets, but there are a nice collection of chain stores and a couple kiosks and stands set up throughout, especially on the weekend. Also, there's Shake Shack, so if for no other reason, come here for the Shack.
Fun fact, the firsts scene of My Fair Lady, where she tries to sell him a flower, happened right in the plaza (since she was a Covent Garden flower-seller). Just a neat thing to walk through.
When shopping in London it's easy to spend all of your time in the big and glamorous department stores such as Harrods, Harvey Nichols, and Liberty. These stores are fabulous and definitely worth your time, but at some point I would recommend taking a break from the bigger stores and checking out Covent Garden Market.
Covent Garden has an array of interesting shops, food stands, tea shops, and people watching opportunities.The atmosphere can be a bit touristy, but it's not overbearing. They also have the best fragrance store, Penhaligons. Overall Covent Garden is a great way to spend an afternoon shopping, eating, and drinking.
There wasn't any place to sit expect for the few tables in front of certain restaurants.
It was a cold winter noon. I walked around around the Apple market, just a few things here and there that interested me.
But in the end, I just got a fruit salad with a scoop of pistachio ice cream on top for £5 lol.
Touristy, crowded and crazy busy. Avoid at all costs on the weekend. If you must go try to stick to the outer edges of the market as opposed to the main market area where it is all tourists watching street performers.
It does appear however that they are trying to class the place up with the addition of new restaurants like Balthazar and patisserie Laduree, and the addition of more international boutiques. This might help give it a bit more character then just being this tourist trap of over priced bad food places and cheap shops for teenagers.
Once a neighborhood of impovershed english, Covent Garden is now a lively hub of shopping, pubs, restaurants and shops. Very popular spot to come and hang.
If you take the tube to covent gardens, you'd need to take the elevator unless you want to walk up 15 stories of stairs so you can imagine how crowded the covent garden tube stop gets. Tip: tbetter to take another stop and walk a few blocks.
This place is fun, if extremely touristy.
Needs a functioning bathroom.
For me, Covent Garden Market is the heart and soul of Covent Garden. Whilst there is lots to see and do around the area, I feel that the market itself is almost like the central hub. There is so much to see and do here, from street entertainment to outdoor dining to shopping.
Whenever I'm in Covent Garden I always make sure that I try to watch at least one street entertainer.
The market is literally about a minutes walk from Covent Garden tube station.
Even though it's a very touristy location, it still feels very preserved and traditional.
I think it's fair to say that if you're visiting London, you must visit Covent Garden Market.
Always a great place to go winter or summer. They usually have a great selection of stalls in the market some which change from day to day so, if you see something you like best buy it there and then don't plan to come back tomorrow!
I love coming here just to look at what they have on the stalls to kill time or, when I want to buy something a little different or unique for myself or friends with antiques or hand made gifts to choose from. It can get rather busy especially during holiday breaks as families come up with kids or tourists in the area, not the place to be if you do not like crowds!
Outside of the market stalls there are shops, bars, restaurants, street entertainment and a little further out 'theatre land'.
The stall holders are happy for you to just look and I've never felt any of them do a hard sell on me / try to convince me to buy. There are also food stalls offering delightful treats from all over the world. A great place to wander around.
:-)))) Great place to check out, especially if you love shopping, every kind of shopping. Lots of stores, many eating options to fit your dining style, great location, despite being a major tourist attraction. Getting lost in any of the side streets gives you a great feel for what it might be like to live in this area/neighborhood.
Full of tourists and crazy busy in the summer, but I still love this place. It's full of fun little shops and sights and smells and is a nice bit of *different* where more and more of the city is full of the *same.*
This place is amazing! So many little shops and so many street entertainment... and so many places to eat. The ADD in me came out as I looked at every alley and corner. It's so hard to choose which store to go into too. If you're in London this is a great place to check out!
One of the best local markets in Britain.
Great shops and stands with a fantastic selection as well as great food.
This is a great place in London to watch street performers, shop, grab something to eat or drink and people watch. I noticed the Yelp price indicates it's expensive, but you can come her, have a nice time and spend little to no money. Some of the shops and vendors do have some more expensive items ($$$) to buy if that is what you are interested in. Watching the street performers and vendors are worth the trip. They also have some fun little shops such as the tea shop. There is a Lush store that is quite expansive in the basement for a Lush store ( I have some friends that would be in heaven here). If you are a tourist this is a good place to buy gifts.
We spent a little time at the Convent Garden Market and had a great time. The atmosphere was wonderful with Xmas trees (one made of beer barrels no less), vendors, performers.... it was a blast. We walked around several times, trying to pick which vendor to try. We eventually tried a lamb sandwich and it was delicious.
It may be touristy, but hey, it's all good fun.
Having brought me a day of unadulterated pleasure, I can not but give you five stars.
Not only do you present me with shoes, sparkles and all manner of shiny things, but you also presented me with over 200 giant eggs!
Aside from the eggs and my eggciting day. Covent Garden is a must at least once. It can, okay, it's always packed to overflowing with tourists, but understandably it's pretty special and combines the old and the new seamlessly.
From her cobbled streets to her Royal Opera House, steeped in history, culture and food! I promise there is something for everybody.
LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!
I cannot even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this lovely space. Even with the rain sprinkling over us, my spirits could not be dampened. What a wonderful find!
While visiting London, I didn't want to do too much shopping but I had heard of Covent Garden Market, and knew I'd have to visit just to get a feel for the environment. I am SO glad I did.
They had so many little "stands" selling everything from cooked-on-the-spot plates of food, olives, cheeses, and knick-knacks. Also, in the main building, they had so many cute stores that sold everything from cupcakes to jewelry! They even had stores that sold cute paintings and beautiful clothes. It's really a great place to spend hours browsing.
At the center of the main building area (downstairs), they were selling paella!!! They were cooking them in two HUGE vats, and for a fair price, you could get three different sizes of 'em in cute bowls! I absolutely LOVED it. They also sold sangria as well. Man, one of the best meals I had in London -- hands down. It was really wonderful to be able to eat delicious food, drink outstanding sangria, and people watch on a beautiful London afternoon.
D and I finished our food and walked back upstairs. We heard a man singing while playing the guitar, so we decided to take a seat on one of the benches to enjoy the free entertainment. :) It was really romantic; the man's crooning, the warm lights, the fading sun, all mingled with one another in the chilly London air. At first, we donated a couple of pounds, but later ended up buying his CD. It's a memento for the totally romantic evening we had at Covent Garden. (We even slow danced off to the side before leaving.) ;)
There are quite a few places I wouldn't care to visit when I go back to London but I would definitely return to Covent Garden. In LA terms, it's Larchmont meets Silverlake (but prettier). I miss it already. :( If I lived in London, I'd go every weekend!
I loved coming here during their antique days! They have so many vendors who bring the coolest knick knacks to sell. I was able to purchase a lot of unique looking jewelry, the coolest pocket watches, and an awesome brass kaleidoscope!
Oh and did I mention that I bumped into Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter of McFly shopping here? My sister was screaming when she saw them and they were nice enough to pose for a picture with her. You know this place is cool if they shop here! 5 stars!
A great place to meet up with friends and take a light stroll through the various stands. Selling goods such as sweets, nibbles, antiques, nick-nacks, and everything in between
All those working the market and friendly and open to samples/pictures/interesting conversations. Although this place is a mecca for tourists, it is always nice to see Convent Garden Market busy as it would be a terrible shame for such a great place to dwindle away.
If you are a tourist, GO. If you area local, it is as easy as me telling you to support your fellow locals.
Yes, this place is touristy but it certainly attracts the crowds.
We stopped in here to hit up a few stores and to pop into the Apple Store to steal from free wifi.
The market itself is pretty well laid out and on a nice day, it's really fun to see all the people out and about and captivated by the street performances.
It gets crowded but so do many tourist spots. Lots of stuff all in one place and definitely worth checking out once.
Covent Garden Market seems to be the favourite haunt for tourists looking to buy some souvenir junk. It has a series of different markets selling overpriced 'art and craft' stalls which, lets face it, no one would look at twice unless they were in a different country like these trusty tourists. They also have a section selling the tourist favourites - 'Mind the Gap' t-shirts, tube map covered pants, and union jack hats.
Even though this is the case, I somehow always still manage to find something magical about Covent Garden especially during the Christmas season. I love the merry-go-round, the lights, the waffle aromas, and even the silly clowns doing their usual tricks. I love to grab a moka to go and walk around this square just taking in the bustling London life.
So I have this phone in my office at home.
It is an oooold stand up, two piece stick phone. It's made of metal and brass and weighs about 3lbs. You can bludgeon someone with it quite easily, I think.
It has this distinctive ring which I can hear throughout my entire home when the house phone rings. Even the ring has a British accent. It was made in 1917 by the London phone company.
I paid about $125 U.S. plus the VAT. Yikes.
I bought this at Covent Garden from a Hindu guy that was placed right in front of the hot mold wine stand. The wine probably facilitated the purchase, I'm sure.
I bought all manner of nick knacks that night. A phone, several beer coasters, a clock, etc. I like flea markets but this is the grand daddy of all flea markets. If you like cool-old stuff and like to haggle well this is the place for you. I know they put something in that wine, too.
My friends and I came here per suggestion of our hotel receptionist. Around 5pm, the market was very lively with people walking around all over, rows of booths selling homemade items, and tons of specialty stores and boutiques.
When I came around Christmas time, the booths were all packed and it was quite difficult to maneuver around from booth to booth. They've got the same ol' stuff, like wooden figurines, candles, jewelry, hats, etc. Nothing that was too exciting or unique. I'm pretty sure I saw the same kind of things at other street markets in London.
I did enjoy the liveliness of the market and all the nice boutiques surrounding the market. It was definitely a nice place to visit!
I love Covent Garden!!!
Nothing in Los Angeles is comparable to this area filled with shops, restaurants and walking distance to plays/operas. One of THE best places to go in London. It is worth a plane ticket from where ever you are just experience the culture, the buzz or just get caught up in people watching.
My heart belongs to CG!
Tip.. just like much of London, don't bother with a car. Just take the metro. It'll save your money and sanity.
Whenever I come home to visit, I make sure I have a full day to myself during the weekend. 2-4 hours of that day is spent in the Covent Garden area. I love weaving through the stalls, watching street performers (my favourite is the dorky guy that strips down to his skivvies and gets on a unicycle), and drinking a pint at Punch & Judy's.
GAH! I sound like such a tourist.
But, this is one of the things I would do in my early teens when I actually lived in England. It's a nice trip down memory lane.
I've left with some great Lush products, amazing photographs, and some ep's of buskers trying to get their big break...
Now, I'm getting nostalgic. I really hope I can make it over there in the next year!
Covent Gardens is one of the places you have to go to as a tourist or local. Walk through the open air markets (Jubilee Market and Apple Market).
There were so many cute stores in Covent Gardens. They had a David & Golaith one!!! Their shirts were £20 ($40)!!!! O_O In Hawaii, it was $20! My favorite store was called Octopus!! I wanted to buy everything in that store!! But I had to refrain. There also a lots of yummy places to eat here. Lots of entertainment and people watching!
This is hands down one of my favorite places to hang out in London. It's well-appointed for my quasi-boho tastes, albeit on the expensive side (what, in London, isn't?) On my first trip to London almost 10 years ago, I "discovered" LUSH at Covent Garden and have been hooked on those little bath bombs since. And what do you know? Now I can get LUSH in Chicago!
All of the best gifts I got for friends and myself as well, I got in Covent Garden Market. Would definitely be one of my first stops on return visits to London.
Cute vendor shops with varying artists and musical performances.
Reminds me of Quincy Market in Boston or Eastern Market in DC.
I must say, all this flagstone really classes up the place. America should learn a thing or two and bust up the concrete.
I really don't see what all the fuss is about Covent Garden.
It's always incredibly busy with tourists and buskers.
It has one of the deepest tube stations too which is a bit of a nightmare (if you do want to visit do yourself a favour and walk from Leicester Square - it really isn't that far way).
There is a good range of bars, restaurants and shops but for me it's simply too busy at any time.
This place can be a little trying...way too many tourists.
But there're some hidden gems around the market that should be checked out:
1) Primrose Bakery right behind the market
2) Da Polpo, Italian tapas wine bar
3) Battersea Pies, bottom level. Not the very best pies i've ever had but decent selection, good service and surprisingly Not crowded for a Sunny Sunday afternoon
Ok first off let me just get this out of the way..I bloody well HATE Covent Garden tube stop. The elevators are horrid and it's almost always super crowded and stressful. Covent Garden is not my favorite for shopping either, with exception of Lush.
The Monday antiques market might not look like much if you only go into the area with the shops and look at the 10 or so vendors lined up there. But if you go across to the next building you'll find a plethora of mostly affordable old things. There's one guy that usually has silver jewelry for 10 pounds each. There are a few other dealers that always have new things. I have even had sellers at Portobello market tell me that Covent Garden market is where they find stuff to resell. You have to get there early before all the good stuff is snatched up. Some of the dealers are really overpriced too. There's one guy that just leaves antique brooches sitting out on the table rather than locked in a case but if you pick one up he'll tell you it's 800 pounds. What? Fortunately not everyone at this market is that expensive. Most dealers are nice and friendly and will bargain with you.
Covent Garden is admittedly very touristy and the station isn't the best by any means. However, it's always a nice place to go and explore and walk around.
There are usually a number of random street performers who can wow and entertain with the best of them. Some are better than others.
Then there's all the small curio shops dotted around the market which just calls you in to feast your eyes on their wares. The time just drifts by then as you stroll from place to place losing yourself in the market...
Convent Garden, is one of the places you can't not have a good time.
I always left feeling what a jolly time I had, alone or with friends. It has that holiday atmosphere feeling, with street performers tourists, families, buskers and cute places to eat and drink.
I know many people that say it is one of their favourite places to get that London buzz. They always have live classical musicains playing, usually from The Royal College of Music, helps set a romantic scene.
As far as London districts go I find Covent Garden quite trying. Always crowded and stinking of sweets I'm not terribly sure what Covent Garden is supposed to offer Londoners. For tourists its appeal is obvious: it's prepackaged and preposterous, a collection of inauthentic "boutiques" stocked with made in China bric-a-brac and streets full of failed theatre school graduates.
Every once in a while I give Covent Garden another go and always end up fleeing through some back alley. I want to like this historic market centre, ringed as it is by similarly historic theatres, these cobbled streets where the great actors of the ages have plied their trade. But alas. This one is almost entirely surrendered to the outlanders.
Fun and touristy - street performers and the like. Like London's answer to Fisherman's Wharf, but better. Just avoid the hoards and the schlock and you'll be golden.
Covent Garden Market is the London tourist's market. It's pretty, looks almost just like it did in the film of 'My Fair Lady' and sells all sorts of stuff.
Mostly the stalls sell arts and crafts and gift type things - so handmade jewellry, accessories, clocks, odd things like that.
The real, proper, made-with-bricks shops are mostly chain stores in an old fashioned, poor accessibilty buildings. Monsoon, Lush (although I think this was the first one), Phase Eight - you know, middle class shops. The Banana Bookshop is really cheap for gifts though.
I wouldn't recommend Covent Garden if you have mobility problems, as it's twisty stairs and cobbled floors are difficult enough for me to get around when it's busy.
It is lovely though, old fashioned, with street performers trying to pry some coins from your purse and cafes keeping the shoppers going with coffees and sandwiches.
Oh, and one of my favourite named stalls is here - Dinner Jackets - they serve jacket potatoes.
If you're a tourist, this market is pretty great. But otherwise, it's not really that fun. You kinda get that feeling walking around that you're going to pay over the odds for something. So generally, i don't buy anything.
But that doesn't mean it's not fun to look around. It is! People watching, and wondering around with friends is fun, just don't buy anything you don't really really want.
Yes, Covent Garden Market screams tourist, but sometimes that's what you are.
I always enjoy wandering around the market---checking out the stalls, the random shops that line the area, grabbing a quick bite. It's a fun stop before a night at the theater---several are nearby.
One of my main reasons for coming here is the London Transit Museum Gift Shop. I've never been through the museum, but the gift shop is great. Lots of fun transit presents--something from London that's not cheap and tacky! I love the Tube magnets and posters of old Underground adverts. I bought magnets for cousins and a couple posters (one for me, one for my mom). It's definitely worth checking out!
Beyond that, I simply enjoying browsing the area. I found a cute gift shop that had some fun cards, a sweet shop with some tasty cupcakes. Some stores are recognizable chains, others are independent. The stalls can be hit or miss---tacky tourist junk you can get anywhere mixed with some cute crafts. Great people watching! Hope and Greenwood (reviewed on its own) is just off the main square and is worth a stop for some old-fashioned candy.
Browsing in Covent Garden Market is always on my short list. Sometimes it's just a quick stop, but my trip to London isn't complete without it.
Yeah, sure - it's touristy, it's busy, the crowds around the street performers are almost as annoying as the performers themselves, the market doesn't really provide anything you couldn't get at a number of other London markets, the shops nearby are crazy expensive and the food places are over-priced and under-flavoured.
it's covent garden innit? my Mum loves it - and if you're coming to visit London then i'd probably recommend you check it out - I mean compared to Leicester Square or Piccadilly circus it's like some sort of utopian fantasy land - there are actually things here..
would i come here other than in passing? no
would i avoid walking through the area? no - and in fact i normally enjoy it - something will be going on and if you're lucky maybe one of those fire jugglers will actually burn their arm off and provide some real entertainment
Anyone who loves crowds will love it. no joking aside it does get busy. so pick a less busier time and get down there. Fabulous things. Great entertainment ie, the street performers.
I last went last year and Richard Branston was there doing an interview with Dita Von Teese, who yes boys and girls looked amazing.
You just never know who's lurking around in london but this market is sure to find you the items you want to take home.
girlies out there, theres a great handbag shop down there, seriously beautiful handmade bagsloads of them (heaven!)
Not far from there, there's a lovely chocolate shop...
just yummy (non fattening, ahem) chocolateok so the non-fattening bits a lie but trust me you won't care once you've tried it! Have Fun if you Go!
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