Covent Garden might have a bit of reputation for being a crowded tourist trap. And it is, but there\u2019s much more to see beyond the ropey street performers and people trying to shove flyers into your hand. The area is full of excellent places to eat, drink, shop and has plenty of culture. So, join us in avoiding anyone painted head-to-toe in silver or pretending to be a statue: here\u2019s our guide to things to do in Covent Garden. Wander around Covent Garden Market Kick things off with the most obvious destination, the famous Covent Garden Market. It\u2019s actually an arcade of connected, covered market halls with caf\u00e9s and shops inside as well. It\u2019s a beautiful old building that houses three main halls. The Apple Market used to be a bustling fruit and veg market, but these days you\u2019ll find crafts, art and handmade jewellery. The East Colonnade market is open every day from 10 am, where you\u2019ll find stalls selling homewares, artwork, and jewellery. And the Jubilee market specialises in antiques and collectibles on Mondays, with a general market Tuesdays-Fridays and an arts and crafts market at weekends. Discover secret gardens (St Paul\u2019s Church & The Phoenix) If you\u2019re wandering around thinking everything looks a bit concrete and un-garden like, you\u2019re right. But, not if you know where to look. Covent Garden is home to two hidden gems where you can retreat to for a bit of respite from the crowds. One is tucked behind St Paul\u2019s Church, right opposite Covent Garden Markets. Crowds often gather around its steps to watch street performers, but what they might not realise is that there is a lovely garden at the back of the church. Known as \u2018The Actors Church\u2019 because of a long association with the theatre community, St Pauls\u2019 Church garden is a small oasis of calm in a busy part of London. Visit during spring or summer and unwind with a sandwich and a book. Another secret(ish) garden with a theatrical connection is The Phoenix Garden. Tucked off Charing Cross Road, it's the only remaining Covent Garden Community Garden (of an original seven) and you\u2019ll find it behind the Phoenix Theatre. It\u2019s easy to wander past it and have no idea it\u2019s there at all, but it\u2019s well worth a visit, especially when the spring flowers are in bloom. The garden is also home to an abundance of wildlife including dragonflies and the only frogs in the West End. Grab food at Seven Dials Market Londoners and visitors love a street food market, especially one that\u2019s open all year round. Seven Dials Market is run by seasoned food market veterans KERB, and is a large food hall where diners eat at large communal tables. With a mix of London favourites like Monty\u2019s Deli, Nanban and Club Mexicana among the foodie line-up \u2013 it\u2019s a great option for hanging out with friends, as there should be something for all dietary needs. And if you're hankering for a burger note well: also at Seven Dials is Hawksmoor Steakhouse one of our picks for Best Burger in Soho and Covent Garden. Explore the pretty courtyard at Neal\u2019s Yard Neal\u2019s Yard is one of Covent Garden\u2019s prettiest, and most insta-worthy streets. It\u2019s tucked down a tiny side street, and once there you\u2019ll be greeted by a colour courtyard with colourful fa\u00e7ades. Before the mid 1970s, Neal\u2019s Yard was dank and derelict, home to bins and rodents. But, thanks to a chap called Nicholas Saunders, the small courtyard is now a vibrant enclave, home to independent businesses and specialist shops like Neal\u2019s Yard Remedies and Neal\u2019s Yard Cheese. Apart from stocking up on skincare items and quality cheeses, it\u2019s a nice place to stop off for an afternoon cuppa, a glass of wine or bread and cheese at cosy spots like Casanova & Daughter or Compagnie Des Vins Surnaturels. Peruse vintage shops Covent Garden isn\u2019t just home to chain stores and fast fashion, it's also a pretty decent place to go secondhand clothes shopping. The area is home to several vintage clothes shops, and is an area great for thrifting. One of the biggest is Pick N Weight, the vintage kilo store. As the name suggests, you can buy pre-loved clothes by the kilo, and items are colour tagged to indicate price points from around per kilo, or even as little at around during sales. Other vintage shops in the area include Pop Boutique, Rokit, Goldsmith Vintage and Past Trash. Eat like a literary legend at Rules Covent Garden could fill up a food guide of its own, and no we\u2019re not talking about the myriad chain restaurants. It\u2019s an excellent area to find a decent fixed price\/pre-theatre dinner menu. But if you want to indulge in a decadent meal and be transported back in time, book a table at Rules. It\u2019s the oldest restaurant in London, established by Thomas Rule in 1798 and has been serving up hearty fayre ever since. By which we mean, it\u2019s a meat (especially game) heavy menu, so not one for veggies and vegans. But prices are comparable to nearby J-Sheekey (around -35 for a main) which despite its seafood focus does have vegan options. Visit Rules for a taste of old London, sit in a velvet booth and imagine the stories contained within its decadently-decorated walls. The likes of Charles Dickens, H G Wells, and John Le Carr\u00e9 are among the famous diners at Rules, as well as a whole host of actors \u2014 it even pops up in the James Bond film Spectre. See a play at the Donmar Warehouse Covent Garden is nestled in the heart of theatreland, so there\u2019s no shortage of places to see great shows and plays. But, with just 251 seats \u2013 the Donmar Warehouse is one of smaller venues and a great place to see new writing, as well as classic productions such as The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, One Night in Miami and Saint Joan . Tickets usually range between -, and you can grab standing tickets once all seats have been sold. The theatre also releases tickets for productions for productions every day at 10am across different price bands, which are available online or in person from the box office.