A Guide to Visiting London in December | Attractions, Events & More

As winter descends upon London, the streets come alive, weaving a tapestry of lights, decorations, and joyous celebrations. From iconic landmarks like the glittering Trafalgar Square tree to the charming markets nestled along the Thames, London transforms into a magical wonderland during December. Join us on a magical journey to London in December.

Is December a good time to visit London?

December is one of the finest months to visit London because it is less crowded. The weather begins to change into winter, and the fall colors fade away completely. If you're planning a trip to London in December, keep reading to learn everything you need to know to make your trip a success.

london in december

Why You Should Visit

  • December in London sees a notable decrease in tourist numbers, especially at the beginning of the month.
  • This period is considered the city's low season for tourism, resulting in significantly lowered hotel rates and airfares, making it an ideal time for budget-conscious travelers.
  • Numerous social gatherings and Christmas-themed shows take place during December, providing ample entertainment options for visitors.
  • With the reduced tourist footfall, you have the opportunity to spend as much time as you desire exploring some of London's top attractions at a more relaxed pace.
london in december

What to Look Out for

  • While December generally witnesses a decrease in tourist numbers compared to the previous month, the last two weeks see an influx of visitors due to Christmas and New Year's Eve festivities.
  • London's December weather can be chilly, so packing appropriately is crucial.
  • Expect a higher likelihood of rainy days in London during December, potentially leading to last-minute plan adjustments.
  • The shorter days in December limit the window for commencing and concluding your travels, requiring strategic time management.
  • Some London attractions might be closed in December due to inclement weather, posing a potential disruption to your itinerary.

Overview of Weather in London in December

london in december big ben

More About Weather in London in December

How hot is London in December?

London is not hot in December. The average high temperature in London in December is 8ºC.

Does it rain in London in December?

Yes, it rains for up to 17 days in London in December.

Is London Windy in December?

London in December experiences a moderate breeze at about 26 kmph.

12 Best Things to do in London in December

london in december London Eye
london in december HMS Belfast
london in december Tower Bridge of London
london in december Windsor Castle
london in december  Hampton Court Palace
london in december St. Paul's Cathedral
london in december  Kensington Palace London
london in december Shakespeare's Globe
london in december The Shard

9. The Shard


The Shard, an unmistakable symbol of modern London, pierces the city skyline with its gleaming glass façade. Soaring at a height of over 300 meters, this architectural marvel stands as Western Europe's tallest skyscraper. Designed by architect Renzo Piano. The building's unique glass-clad design not only offers breathtaking panoramic views of London but also serves as a testament to the city's contemporary aesthetic.

December Timings: Thursdays to Saturdays 10 AM to 10 PM (access until 8:30 PM), Sundays to Wednesdays 10 AM to 7 PM (access until 5:30 PM)

london in december Buckingham Palace
london in december Kew Gardens
london in december ArcelorMittal Orbit

12. ArcelorMittal Orbit

City Landmark

The twisted steel sculpture by Anish Kapoor, which stands 115 meters tall, dominates Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park's southern end. It is primarily a work of art, but at 80 meters, it also offers a breathtaking view from a mirrored observation deck easily accessed via a lift from the sculpture's base (the tallest in the UK). The world's highest and longest tube slide winds its way down the tower, spanning 178 meters.

December Timings: Daily 11 AM to 3 PM

Top Experiences & Things to do in London in December


Festivals in London in December

london in december


Venue: Across London

Dates: 25 December

Christmas in London is worth experiencing, from the singing of Christmas carols to the splendor of midnight mass festivities. Christmas celebrations in London cater to the whims and fancies of all travelers of all ages, with plenty of surprises for everyone. Christmas is all about sharing a sense of togetherness, bringing families together, and spreading love and joy.

london in december

New Year's Eve

Venue: Across London

Date: 31 December

There's no place like London on New Year's Eve to see the city come alive. The air is thick with joy and celebration, and you can bet that multiple exciting events will begin at the same time, leaving everyone spoilt for choice. River cruises along the Thames to see some of the city's most iconic landmarks, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, buzzing Comedy Clubs, Christmas Circuses, and more are all popular attractions.

Plan Your Christmas in London

Christmas at Kew

Christmas at Kew

Christmas at Kew features stunning light displays throughout the botanical gardens. Trees, plants, and iconic structures are illuminated with colorful lights, creating a magical and enchanting atmosphere.

Kew Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland during the Christmas season

In addition to the light displays, Christmas at Kew may include live performances, entertainment, and activities for visitors of all ages. The event is designed to be family-friendly, with activities and attractions suitable for children.

Carol Concerts at St. Paul's Cathedral

Carol Concerts at St. Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral, with its iconic dome and rich history, provides a magnificent setting for Christmas carol concerts.

The concerts at St. Paul's often feature world-class choirs, including the renowned St. Paul's Cathedral Choir. The concerts typically include a selection of traditional Christmas carols, creating a nostalgic and heartwarming atmosphere.

Some concerts may involve community participation, encouraging the audience to join in singing well-loved carols. Christmas carol concerts at St. Paul's often have a charitable aspect. Proceeds from ticket sales or collections during the event may go towards supporting charitable causes.

DIY Christmas Art Market

DIY Christmas Art Market

The event serves as an inclusive platform for both emerging and established artists. Artists not only exhibit their work but also actively engage with visitors. This creates a dynamic and interactive experience.

With over 100 artists participating, the event celebrates a rich tapestry of artistic diversity. Visitors can expect to encounter a wide array of art forms, including art prints, ceramics, zines, originals, independent publications, risograph prints, sculptures, jewellery, sewn items, and more.

This event is dog friendly, so you can bring your furry friends with you!

Southbank Centre's Winter Light Exhibition

Southbank Centre's Winter Light Exhibition

Southbank Centre, located along the Thames River, provides a stunning backdrop for a winter light exhibition. Some installations might be interactive, allowing visitors to engage with the artwork. This could include sound-activated lights, interactive projections, or elements that respond to movement.

To enhance the overall experience, there might be stalls or areas offering seasonal food and drinks. Attendees can enjoy hot beverages and festive treats while exploring the light installations.

The exhibition is designed to be family-friendly, with installations and activities suitable for all ages. This makes it an excellent opportunity for families to enjoy the festive atmosphere together.

Plan Your New Years in London

New Year's Eve Celebration at Decimo

New Year's Eve Celebration at Decimo

The celebration takes place at Decimo, the 10th-floor restaurant of The Standard, London, providing an exclusive and elevated setting for welcoming the New Year. Guests can expect a festive atmosphere with roaring fires, adding warmth and coziness to the stylish and upscale ambiance.

The celebration features a decadent menu offering Decimo's classic dishes alongside specially crafted festive specials. Enjoy agave cocktails and champagnes, providing a sophisticated and celebratory beverage selection to toast to the arrival of the New Year.
The highlight of the night is the live music performance by the legendary double Grammy Award-winning and five-time Brit Award-nominated Soul II Soul.

Premier Light Festival

Premier Light Festival

The festival showcases a plethora of illuminated displays, light sculptures, and installations. These displays may vary in size and complexity, offering a captivating visual feast for visitors.

Expect cutting-edge and innovative artistic creations that use light as a medium. Artists and designers may employ advanced technologies, such as LED lights, projections, and interactive elements, to push the boundaries of artistic expression. Premier Light Festivals often provide a multisensory experience, incorporating sound, music, and sometimes even scents to complement the visual elements.

The enchanting atmosphere appeals to both children and adults.

The Nutcracker’ at Southbank Centre

The Nutcracker’ at Southbank Centre

The Nutcracker' offers a fun and alternative experience by transforming Tchaikovsky's classic Christmas ballet into a lively performance at the Tuff Nutt Jazz Club, a brand-new performance space at the Southbank Centre.

The choreography is crafted by Olivier Award-winner Drew McOnie, known for his innovative and dynamic approach to dance. The performance features six dancers from the McOnie Company.

A live jazz band, brilliantly adapted by Mercury Prize-nominated musician Cassie Kinoshi, performs the iconic score of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. The music for 'The Nutcracker' is composed by Cassie Kinoshi, with additional music by Rio Kai.

Classical music at  St Mary Le Strand

Classical music at St Mary Le Strand

Experience an outstanding musical evening, featuring some of the UK's leading singers accompanied by the exceptional talent of the Piccadilly Sinfonietta. The beautiful setting of St Mary Le Strand provides a unique and charming backdrop for the musical event.

The group performs under the artistic direction of its founder, concert pianist Warren Mailley-Smith. His artistic direction ensures a cohesive and captivating performance that resonates with audiences.

The Piccadilly Sinfonietta is known for performing in some of the country’s most beautiful and prestigious venues. St Mary Le Strand continues this tradition, offering a unique space for classical music enthusiasts

Know Before You Visit London in December

Travel Essentials
What to Wear
What to Pack
london in december

Time Zone: GMT

Currency: Great British Pound Sterling GBP - £

Country code: +44

Emergency numbers: 111 or 999

london in december

What to Wear in London in December

  • Put on a pair of comfortable shoes before going on a walking tour on a clear day.
  • Because the winter has arrived, the weather in London in December may be quite chilly. Dress in layers of warm clothing before going outside.
  • Even if the chances of snow are slim, bring extra warm clothing in case it snows in London in December.
  • In December, rain is expected in London, so bring umbrellas and weatherproof clothing.
london in december

What to Pack in London in December

  • A Type G plug is needed when visiting London.
  • London can be cold in December, so dress warmly and protect all body parts.
  • You'll need some good walking shoes if you plan on walking around London.
  • An umbrella is also necessary for London because the weather is nearly always rainy.
  • Bring a daypack with plenty of compartments to hold all of your necessities for the day.
  • Bring extra cardigans and jackets if you plan to go out late in December.
london in december

Getting Around London in December

By Metro: London's Underground subway system is the quickest method to get about. On the Tube, there are 11 lines divided into nine zones. The London Tube is open from 5 AM to midnight.

By Black Cab: These taxis are readily available throughout central London, as well as at major train stations, bus stops, and Heathrow Airport.

By Train: Both suburban rail and fast trains connect downtown London to the suburbs, and fast trains connect London to the rest of the nation. There are also regular rail connections to Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stanstead, London's three major airports.

By Bus: The London bus network is huge. It can get you from any part of the city to anywhere else and is the most preferred way of traveling in London.

london in december

Where to Stay in London in December

London has something for everyone, whether you enjoy the tranquil suburbs of the capital or the bustling of the metropolis. Choose a location close to the attractions if your itinerary is packed with sightseeing. This would be especially useful in December when the festivities begin.

Budget: Premier Inn London Putney Bridge Hotel, Premier Inn London Woolwich (Royal Arsenal) hotel, The Walrus Bar & Hostel

Mid-Range: Premier Inn London Holborn Hotel, The Z Hotel Victoria, The Belgrave

Luxury: Marlin Waterloo, Kimpton Fitzroy London Hotel, The Ned

london in december

What to eat in London in December

In London in December, try the following British specialties:

Christmas Pudding: For weeks before Christmas, the English Christmas pudding is a work in progress! It's served with brandy butter, hard sauce, and poured custard as garnish. You can try this Christmas favorite at Angler.

Cream Tea: You won't be able to leave London without trying a cup of cream tea. The cream tea stands out because it goes so well with English scones. If you're heading out, try the Aqua Shard's cream tea on a cold December afternoon.

Hacks & Tips to Visit London in December

  • London tends to get a bit crowded towards the end of the month due to the approaching holidays, so plan accordingly.
  • Bring waterproof clothing and footwear if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing.
  • Visit your local markets in December and purchase some of the fresh vegetables on display.
  • Purchase an Oyster card when you arrive in London, which can be used to commute as well as enter some of the city's most popular attractions.
  • Take in the sights of London while enjoying a picnic on Primrose Hill.
  • During the shoulder season, buy your tickets early to take advantage of lower hotel rates.
  • Remember to bring enough winter clothing for your trip to London in December, as the city can get quite cold.
  • The London shopping sales begin on Boxing Day, December 26th, and continue through January. Plan early and go for some bargain shopping once Christmas is over.

Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting London in December

Is December a good time to visit London?

Yes, December can be a good time to visit London. The weather gets cold in the city with an average temperature of 7ºC and the city is dazzling with Christmas decorations, making it a unique experience.

Is London cold in December?

Yes, London is quite cold in December. The average low temperature is 3ºC.

How hot is London in December?

London in December isn’t hot. The average high temperature can be only as high as 8ºC.

Is it sunny in London in December?

No, London in December is not very sunny. You can expect about 4 hours of sunshine on average.

What clothes to wear in London in December?

In December in London, you should dress in warm clothing. On sunny days, you may be able to get away with wearing a couple of layers of warm clothing.

Is London expensive to visit?

Yes, London is a bit expensive to visit. The average daily cost for a person in London is £145. The weekly budget for a couple in London is about £2050. But if you book your London attractions tickets online, in advance, you will have the chance to save a lot with great deals and discounts.

How safe is London?

London is quite safe in general. But even so, do not venture alone into dark alleys with valuable personal belongings and a considerable amount of cash on you.

What can I see in London in December?

You can see the Christmas decorations at Trafalgar Square, Madame Tussauds Museum, Natural History Museum, The Shard, and many others in London in December.

What are the major events in London in December?

The major events in London in December include the Hogwarts in the Snow, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, Southbank Centre's Winter Festival, and The Great Christmas Pudding Race.

What is the average temperature in London in December?

The average temperature in London in December is 7ºC.

What are the best things to do with Kids in London in December?

Kids will enjoy visiting the HMS Belfast, and Alton Towers, going for a fun-filled day out to Thorpe Park and going for a special visit to the Warner Bros Studios.

What are the main festivals in London in December?

The festivals in London in December are the Christmas and New Year's Eve.

What are the best things to do in London in December?

The best things to do in London in December include visiting top attractions such as Tower of London, London Eye, Kew Gardens among many others. You can also go on a Thames river cruise, visit museums or go on a day trip while visiting London in December.