Things to Do for Christmas in London
This post is a guide to things to do London during Christmas, including markets, ice skating rinks, beautiful lights, and winter festivals and more, updated for 2019.
- Christmas Lights & Decorations
- Christmas Themed Tours
- Christmas and Holiday Shows
- Christmas Markets
- Ice Skating
- Christmas at Kew Gardens
- London Eye Festive Flight
- Charles Dickens Museum
A great way to really get into the Christmas spirit without spending a lot of money is simply by walking down the many colorful streets.
During the holiday season, nearly every street and building in London is covered in lights and decoration. You can see a long list of where to see Christmas Lights & Decorations in London from our post.
However, below we list a few streets that stand out above the rest.
- Oxford Street is probably the most famous of them all… and for good reason!
- Regent’s Street is a spectacular array of lights and color that is guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit!
- Trafalgar Square boasts one of the most impressive Christmas trees you will find in the city.
There are many holiday and Christmas inspired tours available to you in London, including bus tours, walking tours and even bike tours.
See our post on the top 7 Christmas tours of London to see the many options.
We, of course, invite you to join our pay-what-you-wish London Holiday Lights Tour as seen in this video. More information is listed just below the vide0.
Join us as we walk through Bavarian Christmas markets, tread the cobbled streets of the beautifully decorated Covent Garden. Travel centuries back in time to uncover all of London’s Christmas season secrets.
Take in all that London has to offer this Christmas with Free Tours By Foot!
- Oxford Street
- Regent’s Street
- Carnaby Street
- Piccadilly Circus
- Leicester Square
- Covent Garden
- Trafalgar Square
- Somerset House
Reservations: Click here to reserve.
Where: Tour begins at Oxford Circus. The exact location will be provided upon booking.
Duration: 2 hours.
When: View our full tour calendar.
Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it’s done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for any budget.
If you’re more interested in learning about the history of street art of this city, make sure to check our list of pay-what-you-wish London Walking Tours.
Every year you can find many Christmas and Holiday shows in London, including musicals, ballet performances, plays, and traditional pantomimes. Truly the options are endless!
There are several different versions of The Nutcracker and Handel’s Messiah. There is always a production – if not more – of the Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol.
There are ice spectaculars for the kiddies and for the adults, traditional Christmas ‘pantos’ (risqué versions of holiday tales).
Royal Albert Hall dedicates the entire month of December to a full schedule of Christmas-themed performances!
See our post on Christmas and Holiday Shows with over 30 performances, carol singalongs, ballets and more that you can take in during the holiday season.
If you’re visiting the UK during the holiday season, you absolutely must visit a Christmas market!
London boasts a huge variety of Christmas markets, including some that are more quaint and traditional, as well as others that are very big and modernized.
You can see a long list of the best Christmas markets in London here, but below the video, we list our favorites.
- Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is the biggest Christmas market in London. Though it can get overcrowded on the weekends, it’s absolutely worth seeing for the production value alone.
- Southbank Centre Christmas Market is conveniently located along the River Thames and features traditional chalets selling holiday trinkets, traditional German food, and mulled wine.
- The Greenwich Christmas Market isn’t quite as well known as some of the others but features an amazing array of over 100 chalets.
There is no shortage of incredible ice rinks to go skating on in London during the holiday season. With so many incredible places to choose from, the hardest part is figuring out where to go ice skating first!
As with the Christmas markets, you really can’t go wrong with any of these options. Below are some of our favorites.
- Somerset House – Think of this as the Times Square of London in terms of ice rinks. Beautiful location set in the courtyard of a 17th-century building.
- Tower of London – Did you know that you can go ice skating in the shadow of London’s oldest fortress! Mulled wine and baileys are served nearby to keep you warm in between skates.
- Natural History Museum – This is another fantastic location set in front of the beautiful Natural History Museum.
- For a full list, check out our post: The Best Ice Skating Rinks in London
This year Kew Gardens is putting on a fabulous show of seasonal illuminations. Visitors walk a “one-mile sparkling path” lit up especially for Christmas.
There will also be food, music and vintage fairground rides so there is something for everyone!
- When: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 – Sunday, January 5, 2020. From 5pm – 10pm
Fee: £18 for adults / £11 for children 4-16 / FREE for under 4’s / Family of 4 for £52
- Nearest Underground Station: Kew
- More information here.
For Christmas 2019, the Coca-Cola London Eye is offering a special VIP Christmas package – their “Festive Flight” package.
The Festive Flight package includes:
- Festive Flight
- A chocolate tasting of renowned Hotel Chocolats with a guide
- One glass of prosecco (18+ only)
- Hotel Chocolat Festive goodie bag for little ones
- One 30-minute rotation
- Fast Track entry
- £35 Adults (16+)
- £28 Children
- Purchase tickets here. This is likely to sell out so book now!
To find out about booking a regular ticket to ride this incredible attraction, read our post on how to get discount tickets to the London Eye.
No visit to London during the month of December is complete without a visit to the Charles Dickens Museum!
As stated on their website, this museum holds the “world’s most important collection of paintings, rare editions, manuscripts, original furniture, and other items relating to the life and work of Dickens.”
This impressive collection is carefully arranged and displayed over the three floors of the house.
Learn more about visiting in our post on the Charles Dickens Museum.