Guide to Covent Garden Market
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Covent Garden Market is a must see for any London visitor ready for some first-rate retail therapy in a traditional English setting. This bustling covered market and its neighbouring piazza are located near the very heart of London and offer a little something for everyone. A short walking distance from Covent Garden Station and Leicester Square, the market is exceptionally easy to reach from virtually any part of London, and as you'll see almost any day of the week (and especially on a Saturday afternoon), people from across London and the world keep this popular destination hopping throughout the year.
A fruit and vegetable market from the 1500's and a notorious red light district during the 18th Century, today Covent Garden Market features an impressive range of shopping opportunities from top of the line fashion outlets to souvenirs and antiques - all nestled within the arcades of its lovely Victorian-era structure. Covent Garden Market is an excellent spot to step back in time, pick up all sorts of souvenirs for the folks back home and treat yourself to something special as well.
Apple Market and Jubilee Market
Still linked closely with its past, two areas of Covent Garden Market, Apple Market and Jubilee Market give visitors an opportunity to shop as they might have in centuries past. Apple Market in the North Hall features antiques (jewellery, clothing, silverware and more) on Mondays and arts and crafts during the rest of the week. South of the piazza is Jubilee Market, with clothing, shoes and a selection of household goods for sale. Both areas are fun to visit, even if you're just browsing.
Should you require a break from the Covent Garden shopping experience, a step out to the large airy pedestrians-only piazza provides a wealth of entertainment from a number of London's best street performers and buskers, not to mention the photo opportunities accompanying such activity. From opera singers to jugglers, these performers put their hearts into making visitors feel welcome. There's also the London Transport Museum just outside the market, sharing London's fascinating transport history along with a nice little cafe and gift shop. Plenty of restaurants, pubs and cafes are located on the piazza as well as in the market itself. Of course, if you still haven't had your share of shopping, the nearby Seven Dials area presents even more chances to further explore one of London's most happening retail scenes.
If you need a pick-me-up to help stay alert or a caffeine boost before the next leg of your shopping expedition, consider popping into the tiny Monmouth Coffee Company just up the road on Monmouth Street. It's a quaint and rustic little gem serving arguably the best coffee in London. For a quick, tasty and healthy refuelling, try Just Falafs. Located on the piazza opposite the London Transport Museum, this friendly little eatery provides organic falafel wraps, salads and more at commendable prices.
Although the area around Covent Garden Market is safe, it attracts large crowds. Furthermore, with all the street performances and interesting sights to take in, it's simple enough to get distracted. Sadly, pickpockets taking advantage of the situation are not unknown (however they are extremely rare). Staying aware of your belongings and keeping an eye out for any suspicious behaviour is always a good idea.
With its assortment of shopping and entertainment and its variety food and drink options, a visit to Covent Garden is a safe bet for a fun outing. The best to day to visit is Sunday when they have street performers