London takes you into a magical winter wonderland during Christmas, with glittering lights, decorated streets, pop-up Christmas markets, and cheerful carols all around. Amidst all the glitz and festivities, here's a list of the best things to do on Christmas in London.
The city of London is brilliantly lit and decorated with fairy lights, Christmas decor, massive festive light displays, and flashy laser beams. It is quite an experience to glance at the fairy-light-lit shop windows, awe-striking light displays, and decorated monuments.
Christmas light displays in London not to be missed:
Walk around arrays of little wooden chalets and pop-up stalls lit with fairy lights, marvel at the Christmas balls and décor, enjoy the fairs, carnivals, and kids’ rides, and grab some great shopping deals and festive gifts at these markets.
Some of the must-visit Christmas markets in London include:
Ice rinks across the city are decorated, and some even turned into festive fairs during this time of the year. The numerous temporary and permanent rinks are sure to gift a fun day to visitors of all ages.
Some of the best spots for ice skating include:
Ring in the festive bells with Christmas special concerts and live musical performances happening across London. Popular singers from within and around the city come over to perform their best seasonal favorites and entertain locals and tourists alike. So make sure to book your seats before they run out!
Best concerts happening in London this festive season:
Live carol singings happen all across London throughout the Christmas season. Bring in the festive cheer by listening to traditional Christmas songs sung by professional singers, orchestras, church choirs, school groups, and more.
Here's where you can hear London's best Christmas Carols:
London is home to plenty of movie-themed parks and museums that offer you meet-and-greet sessions with some of your favorite TV characters and celebrities, hosting special events throughout the holiday season - making it the best time to visit them!
Meet TV characters and celebrities in London this Christmas at:
Christmas is one of the best times to go shopping in London. With winter sales, Christmas markets, and holiday gifts galore, you are sure to find some great deals and bargains. It’s an added delight to see fairy-lit shop windows and the grand lighting displays along these shopping streets.
Best festive shopping spots in London:
No public transport services will operate on Christmas Day. This includes the Tube, buses, trams, river buses, cable cars, and National Rail services.
Christmas is one of the best times to visit London. The festive season paints a picturesque white Christmas with massive lighting displays, festive Christmas markets, ice skating rinks, fairs, great shopping deals, and maybe some snow.
Admiring festive light displays, ice skating, shopping at Christmas markets, going on city tours, cruising the River Thames, and gorging on festive delicacies are some of the popular things to do in London during the Christmas season.
London during December is generally chilly with average temperatures ranging from 4°C to 9°C. The skies are generally overcast with around 9 days of rain and some snowfall at times.
Christmas time is the peak tourist season in London. It is advised to book your tickets well in advance to get the best deals and ensure attendance at your favorite shows.
Most of London shuts down on Christmas Day. All large shops, shopping malls, offices, services, public transport, etc. remain closed for Christmas. Apart from hotels and fancy restaurants serving Christmas lunches and dinners, most local convenience stores, some bars, restaurants, and cafes would be open.
The most popular Christmas market in London is at the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. The other equally popular ones include the Covent Garden Christmas Village, Leicester Square Christmas market, Selfridges Christmas Market, and Southbank Centre Winter Market.
Most restaurants, cafes, and bakeries in London are open on Christmas Day. Some of them even offer Christmas set menus, festive dishes, and special offers to celebrate the day.
Christmas pudding, mulled wine, hot chocolate, and Bavarian beer are some of the must-try seasonal favorites in London.
Le Pont de la Tour, Skylon at South Bank, Madera at the Treehouse Hotel, Ronnie Scotts at Soho, The Grill at the Dorchester in Mayfair, Cinnamon Kitchen, Searcys at The Gherkin, St Pancras by Searcys at King’s Cross Station, are some of the best restaurants in London for Christmas lunches, dinners, and festive delicacies.
The best of London's Christmas light displays can be seen at the Kew Gardens, Piccadilly, Seven Dials, The Shard, and the shopping streets of Covent Garden, Oxford Street, Regent Street, Carnaby Street, and Mayfair.
Christmas traditions in London include watching public Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, visiting Christmas markets and the Winter Wonderland, going ice skating, and attending Christmas special plays, musicals, ballets, carols, and movie screenings.