Covent Garden Though high on every tourist’s visiting agenda, Covent Garden is more than an entertainment centre. The area is synonymous with the Royal Opera House, hosts daily alfresco entertainment on its central piazza, and has one of London’s most popular museums. What started out in the 17th century as London’s first luxury neighbourhood is still a highly desirable place to live, work and shop. Based around the Piazza – London’s oldest planned square – the area had been for years a market centre for fruit, flowers and vegetables. When the flower market closed in the 70s Covent Garden has since become one of the London’s major attractions and a magnet for foreign visitors. Alongside some of the trendiest clothes shops, café and restaurant in London (particularly on Long Acre, Neal Street and Floral Street), a few tiny pockets of 1970s “alternative” culture survive. Most visitors are happy enough simply to wander around watching the street life, having coffee and doing a bit of shopping.