Are you visiting London at Christmas and wondering what there is to do? You are in the right place.
II’ll walk you through the best things to do in London at Christmas and tell you everything you need to know about Christmas in England.
Planning your trip to London last minute?
Make sure to book ahead! Hotels and tours often sell out the closer you get to your trip. Here are our top pics for London!
Top Experiences and Tours In London:
- The London Eye: Entry Ticket (Save time and book in advance!)
- Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour (Skip the line.)
- Tower of London & Crown Jewels Exhibit (Likely to sell out.)
- High Tea Thames River Cruise (Book ahead to save time.)
Best London Hotels:
- Sanderson London (Close to the subway!)
- The Montague On The Greens (Private and close to the subway)
- The Exhibitionist Hotel (In the heart of South Kensington)
- The Corner London City (Close to all subway connections.)
In this article, I will walk you through how to spend Christmas in London so you can get into the festive mood.
London is a magical city all year round, but there’s something extra special about it during the holiday season.
From ice-skating rinks to twinkling lights and festive markets, London is the perfect destination to get you in the Christmas spirit.
While the English are not known for huge celebrations, the festive season is somewhat of an exception and you will find most places make an effort this time of year.
While Christmas in England might not be the big spectacle you are used to, enough is happening to keep everyone happy.
So are you ready to see what a London Christmas might look like? Grab a hot chocolate pull up a chair and let me walk you through Christmas events in London.
London At Christmas: 10 Festive Things For Your Bucket List
Shop At A Christmas Market
If you are looking for Christmas things to do in London then how about a walk around some of the Christmas markets?
This Christmas Lights and Markets Tour is the perfect way to see some sights and also explore the markets.
On this tour, you will explore Covent Garden and the surrounding area while learning all about how Queen Victoria shaped modern Christmas.
Your guide will also share tales of Ebenezer Scrooge and English Christmas traditions.
You will enjoy a glass of mulled wine before ending your tour in Trafalgar Square among some of the city’s iconic buildings.
If you want to go it alone Southbank Centre Winter Market, the Leicester Square Christmas Market, Christmas By The River, and the King’s Cross Christmas Markets are all worth exploring.
Book Now Christmas Lights and Markets Tour
See The London Christmas Lights On Oxford Street
If you are spending Christmas in London you will want to make sure you see the light displays. In my opinion, the best way to do this is on a Christmas Lights Tour by Vintage Bus.
On this 75-minute ‘lightseeing’ tour you are guaranteed a seat on the open-top deck for the very best view.
You will see the lights of Oxford Street, the famous Harrods light display, and much more.
You will have so much fun, especially if this is your first time in London.
The lights in London are normally lit up from early November and as well as Oxford Street, Carnaby Street, Regent Street, Covent Garden, and Mayfair are also worth checking out.
Book Now Christmas Lights Tour by Vintage Bus Open Top
Have A Christmas Afternoon Tea
If you are looking for Christmas activities in London then how about a Christmas afternoon tea? Afternoon Tea in London is a must and most places will offer a festive option.
Some of the best Christmas Afternoon Teas are served at The Savoy, The Dorchester, Sketch, Pan Pacific London, The Lanesborough, and of course The Ritz.
Whatever your preference you can have festive afternoon teas of all descriptions around all kinds of themes.
You can even have Afternoon Tea on a Bus with Tea At Harrods and Afternoon Tea on a Thames River Cruise.
One thing is for sure if you are in London at Christmas, afternoon tea should be top of your list. Having a festive tea is one of the Christmas events in London you should participate in.
Go Ice Skating
One of the things to do in London at Christmas has to be to skate on one of the atmospheric rinks.
Some of London’s famous landmarks go all out for winter with ice rinks, twinklings lights, and hot chocolate stands.
Somerset House is transformed into a winter wonderland with an ice-skating rink during the festive season.
As does Battersea Power Station, Queens House in Greenwich, Canary Whaft, and Westfield shopping center.
There is something special about the Christmas ice rinks in London and if you can I highly suggest a trip to one. This is also one of the really fun Christmas Day activities
Go To Midnight Mass
If you are looking for Christmas Day activities then how about a Christmas Eve City Tour with Dinner & Midnight Mass?
You will get to see the sights and participate in an English tradition of attending Midnight Mass.
During this experience, you get to see the sights of London at Christmas from the seat of a bus.
You also get to enjoy a delicious 3-course Christmas dinner washed down with a glass of wine at Brown’s restaurant.
After that, you will attend Midnight Mass at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square.
You will also learn about Christmas traditions and get a Christmas present to put under the tree. If you are in London on Christmas Eve this is the perfect event for you.
This is one of the Christmas Events in London you won’t want to miss.
Book Now Christmas Eve City Tour with Dinner & Midnight Mass
Go On A London Christmas Party Cruise
If London at Christmas is all about the sights, food, and a party then you will love this. Here you see to celebrate the festive period in style while also admiring London’s iconic skyline from the water.
This Christmas Party Dinner Cruise will get you in the Christmas mood.
Your journey starts at Westminster as you begin your cruise to Canary Wharf, passing by a selection of London’s most iconic landmarks and attractions along the way.
You will see the Tower of London, the London Eye, The Shard, Tower Bridge, and more, all lit up at night.
You then enjoy a festive 3-course meal with wine before dancing the night away to the onboard D.J. If you want to get in the festive spirit this is one of the London Christmas events for you.
Book Now Christmas Party Dinner Cruise
See the Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square
If you are in London at Christmas then one of the festive things you must see is the Tree in Trafalgar Square.
Take a Magical Christmas with Celebrity Guide & Drinks and get to take photos in front of this incredible tree.
Every year, Norway donates a Christmas tree to London as a token of thanks for British support during World War II.
The tree is lit with thousands of lights and stands in Trafalgar Square, creating a stunning festive display. On this walking tour, you will get to see the tree and much more.
This tour starts in the Old Curiosity Shop where you will hear all about Christmas past and present and how Christmas was almost banned in the UK.
You then move on to Covent Garden before seeing the magnificent tree in Trafalgar Square.
You also get to visit the oldest toy shop in London, where you can meet Santa and you will see some of the festive lights around the area.
Other places visited are London’s legendary Mayfair Hotel ‘Claridge’s’, Kensington Palace, and the King’s Road in Chelsea
This is a great tour that gives you a real feel for Christmas in London.
Book Now Magical Christmas with Celebrity Guide & Drinks
Go To Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland In London is one of the biggest Christmas attractions, with a giant ice rink, a Christmas market, fairground rides, and plenty of food and drink stalls.
And what better way to see it than a Christmas Lights Tour in a Black Cab?
On this tour, your experienced black cabby will take you on a 2 1/2-hour tour to see the city illuminated in all its glory.
You can stop to get photos and you get to have a stop-off at Winter Wonderland.
This is one of the great Christmas activities in London and you get to see Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.
Book Now Christmas Lights Tour in a Black Cab
Taste Some Christmas Food
If Christmas for you is all about the food then how about a Guided Winter Markets Food Tour? I don’t know about you but that seems like the perfect Christmas activity in London.
Your food journey begins at the 1000-year-old Borough Market and then you eat your way along the South Bank taking in the Xmas sights and fare.
Some of the foods you will try on the tour are German sausages, fish and chips, sausage rolls, oysters, and festive fruit mince pies.
And there will also be cider, eggnog, mulled wine, spiced cider, and hot chocolate along the way.
Eating your way along the River Thames just seems like one of the perfect Christmas events in London.
Book Now Guided Winter Markets Food Tour
Take a Personalised Christmas Tour
Perhaps your Christmas in London is a fleeting visit and you want to make sure you can see all you can. Then A Local Christmas Private Tour will be perfect for you.
Here the Christmas itinerary is personalized for you and your local guide will make sure you see the parts of London that you want to.
Whether it’s the markets, the lights, the best shops, or the best Christmas food, your guide will be perfectly matched to show you the sights.
You will get 3 hours with your local host and this is the perfect way to see all the London Christmas things that you want to.
Book Now A Local Christmas Private Tour
Packing List When In London At Christmas
If you will be traveling, either by plane or by car to London, here are some tips on how to pack lightly.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when experiencing Christmas in London.
It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.
This unisex RFID-blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind.
You can place it under your clothes next to your body to carry your ID safely.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.
This configuration comes with enough credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your pouch or wallet.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery.
This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone as I have. And wow is it fast!
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and so easy to use.
It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for taking photos during your Covent Garden activities.
You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for hiking and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack.
Then this collapsible silicone foldable water bottle would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc… No matter the time of day or evening.
This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great.
It is very affordable and is available in many color options for you to choose from. The fact that it folds down into a zippered pouch will make it easy to pack.
As you can see when it comes to London at Christmas, there is so much to see and do. Christmas in London is beautiful and whatever you do I know you will love it.
Whether you have 3 days in London or a week in London, It is so magical this time of year!
I hope you enjoy your festive vacation and please come back and tell me all about it.