Covent Garden is arguably London's centre, both geographically and culturally. The square itself is the home of the Royal Opera House, as well as a vast number of interesting restaurants and shops, though it's certainly less edgy than somewhere like Shoreditch or Camden Town. It's generally a bustling, safe and lively area with many tourists being enthralled by London's largest collection of buskers and street entertainers. Geographically, it's close to just about everywhere, being within minutes walking distance of (among others) Trafalgar Square, the Thames and the South Bank, Soho, Westminster, Leicester Square, Charing Cross, Piccadilly, Buckingham Palace, Oxford Street, Chinatown and the theatre-filled West End. Accordingly, Covent Garden hotels can be quite expensive, but there are still deals to be found.
One of the better options for budget travellers looking to stay central is the 3-star Strand Palace. Just south of the square, the Palace is a comfortable, modernised 'Art Deco showpiece' with prices that are unusually relaxed for the area, and quick access to a large number of theatres, including the National. Cheaper still is Piccadilly's Regent Palace, which has less impressive standards of upkeep but can usually offer a great set of last-minute deals.
For the less budget-conscious, St Martins Lane Hotel is one of the few 5-star Covent Garden hotels, with an extraordinary minimalist design by Philippe Starck that makes the lobby look like the lair of a futuristic supervillain. Which, let's be clear, is high praise indeed. SACO London is an excellent choice for independently-minded visitors, offering spacious self-catering Covent Garden apartments that most of us could never afford to keep in real life.
Covent Garden station is on the Piccadilly Line between Leicester Square and Holborn, both of which are very close and provide good alternatives when Covent Garden itself becomes somewhat congested in the evenings and on weekends. While the square is pedestrianised, nearby buses go to all over London. However, the huge majority of attractions are within 15 minutes walking distance, so a complete holiday is possible without ever getting on public transport.
Covent Garden tube station is situated in Covent Garden, which is located in both the eastern extreme of Westminster and the south-west corner of Camden. Covent Garden is bounded by High Holborn to the north, the Strand to the south, Kingsway to the east and Charing Cross road on the western side. The station is situated on the Piccadilly Line between the Leicester Square and Holborn stations, and is within Travelcard Zone 1. Of note here is the rumoured haunting of the station by murdered Shakespearean actor William Terriss, though you shouldn't let that put you off!
There are many attractions around the area of the Covent Garden hotels. There is one of the most famous markets in England, and the piazza is worth seeing. The Royal Opera House is located in Covent Garden. For more culture, the Courtauld Art Gallery is here and houses the largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist works in Britain. Also, and talking of Covent Garden hotels, the famous Savoy hotel is located close by on the Strand. Finally, there is always the option of catching the latest shows in one of the many theatres in the area.
As you would expect from such a popular location, there is a wealth of eating and drinking options around Covent Garden. There are the normal chain bars, such as All Bar One and pubs such as the Prince of Wales close by, as well as a scattering of unique places such as cocktail bar Jewel and the art deco themed piano-bar Knight's Bar.
There are numerous eateries around the area too. The Covent Garden hotels often have excellent restaurants, and Le Café du Jardin is an elegant place for those who desire a high-quality meal. There are Thai, Moroccan, Mexican, Italian, French and Indian cuisine outlets of varying price-ranges in the area. For the more budget visitor, there are first-rate quality chain outlets available, including Zizzi's and Wagamamas.
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|4||SACO London - Covent Garden||0.1km|
|5||Covent Garden Hotel||0.3km|
|5||St Martins Lane||0.3km|
|3||Strand Palace Hotel||0.3km|
|Seven Dials Hotel||0.3km|
|4||Radisson Edwardian Mountbatten Hotel||0.3km|
|3||Travelodge Covent Garden||0.4km|
|4||Thistle Charing Cross||0.5km|
|4||Radisson Edwardian Marlborough Hotel||0.5km|
|5||W London Leicester Square||0.5km|
|4||Best Western Premier Shaftesbury Hotel||0.5km|
|5||Radisson Edwardian Hampshire||0.5km|
|4||Club Quarters, The Grand at Trafalgar Square||0.6km|