This post lists the many things to do in January in London, updated for 2024.
We include family-friendly, free, and night activities and attractions.
As local London tour guides, we have drawn upon our extensive experience to come up with this list of January activities and events.
We also incorporated tips from members of our very popular London Travel Tips Facebook group.
Outside of its first week, January is probably the cheapest time of year to visit London, certainly for both flights and accommodation.
Of course, the main reason for this is the weather, and as you can see in the image below, there's little sun and lots of precipitation.
Temperature-wise, however, London is actually milder than other northern European cities.
Daily high temperatures average 8 C - 9 C (45 F) with low temperatures averaging between 3 C - 5 C (upper 30's F to near 40 F).
However, it's a great time for indoor attractions, such as museums, as crowds should be approximately half as large as during the peak season.
You can check out our full weather report for January for more details.
- Top 10
- Nighttime Activities
- Free Things to Do
- Previous Travelers' Tips
- Tourist Discount Passes
- How's the Weather
Be sure to check out our extensive list of things to do in London.
Below is our list of the top 10 things to do and see in January.
Some of our other most popular posts include:
If you plan to visit many top attractions, you should consider a tourist discount card or a bus tour combo ticket.
1. Go to a Concert
London is full of music venues, and you can be sure that no matter which month you’re in town, there will be a big-name artist or group performing.
- Abba Voyage | January 4th-29th
- Depeche Mode | January 22nd-27th
- Ashley McBryde | January 20th
- EMF | January 20th
Click here to see even more concerts in London in January.
2. See a Sports Event
So you are in London, and you expect that you could see a football (soccer) match.
You have a great opportunity to see some great games and tournaments.
Football (American Soccer)
- World Darts Championship | Jan 1st-2rd
- Masters Snooker 2024 | January 7th-14th
You can find other professional sporting events in the city here.
NOTE: Both a Chelsea Stadium Tour and an Arsenal Stadium Tour are included for free with the London Pass.
3. Take a Pay-What-You-Wish Tour a Pie
4. Enjoy the Theatre
The West End of London is home to some of the most well-known theatres in the city, such as the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Gielgud Theatre, Apollo Theatre, Palace Theatre, and many more.
Performances have been taking place in this part of the city since 1663!
From long-term residencies to short runs, here is a list of musicals and plays you can see in December.
- Les Miserables
- Matilda - The Musical
- TINA - The Tina Turner Musical
- Six The Musical
- Moulin Rouge - The Musical
- The Lion King
- The Book of Mormon
You can find more of London's January theatre productions here.
For ways to get cheap theatre tickets, check out our handy discount ticket guide to London theatre.
5. Hogwarts in the Snow Warner Bros Studio Tour London
Until January 14th, 2024, winter descends on the Great Hall at Warner Bros Studio where the Harry Potter movies were filmed.
Snow will cover the model of Hogwarts Castle, and the Gryffindor common room will be dressed for the season.
Tickets are limited so be sure to book ahead.
After the 14th they go back to their regular tours of the soundstage.
6. Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass
A great cost-effective (and time-saving!) way to see more attractions, tours, and landmarks is by getting a London tourist pass.
These passes bundle together multiple attractions, museums, and tours into one single price and can help you save up to 55%.
Certain passes also give you skip-the-ticket-queue privileges at several locations.
Depending on which pass you get, admission to the following activities and attractions are included:
- Madame Tussauds London
- Buckingham Palace
- View from the Shard
- The London Zoo
- Kew Gardens
- Tower Bridge
- London Bike Tours
- Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tours
- London Boat Tours
- Wembley Stadium Tour
Make sure to read the full post covering London discount passes.
7. Go Ice Skating
There are several places to ice skate in London - even in the Tower of London!
Click here for a list of all the best places to go ice skating in the city as well as the dates, opening and closing times, and other helpful information.
For more great attractions you can visit with the family, read our section below on things to do with kids in London.
8. Celebrate Burns Night
Every January 25th, Brits around the Kingdom, honor Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns, born on January 25 in 1759.
Many London restaurants will be having "Burns suppers", part of the annual tradition.
Be warned: it is not a true Burns Supper unless haggis is served (see Wikipedia's relatively mild explanation as to what haggis is).
To get a rundown of the many events taking place in London that day and night, see this helpful list from Visit London.
9. Visit a Special Exhibit at V&A South Kensington
From now until April 7th, 2024, the V&A South Kensington Museum will celebrate "the power and creativity of iconic performers" with their exhibit Diva.
On display are such items as the screenprint of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol, a Christian Dior costume worn by Vivian Leigh, portraits and photos of the divas from today and the past, and so much more.
Tickets are free and you can learn more here.
10. London New Year’s Day Parade
Start the New Year by watching the unbelievable London New Year's Day Parade.
With more than 10,000 participants and 500,000 spectators, the LNYDP is one of the greatest New Year's Day celebrations in the world.
It is held on January 1, starting at 12 pm near Piccadilly Circus.
The route passes through Lower Regent Street, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, Trafalgar Square, and Whitehall.
It concludes at Parliament Street.
Check their official website for more details and a picture of the route.
TIP: Expect many road closures so be sure to research the best route to get to the parade ahead of time and read our tips on using an Oyster card.
Other January Events
London Art Fair | January 17th-21st
One of London's biggest art events, the London Art Fair brings together Modern and Contemporary British and international galleries at the Business Design Centre in Islington.
London Short Film Festival | January 19th-28th
This 10-day festival has between 250-500 short films, live events, Q&A's, and so more.
The Big South London Flea Market | January 7th
Visit Peckham Salvage Yard for all sorts of treasure hunting.
The Big London Flea | January 14th
Held in Stoke Newington, you'll find your love of vintage everything here.
Walthamstow Flea Markets | January 21st
Over 60 hand-chosen traders bring their clothes, home goods, and more to Truman Social Club
Here are just a few of the many free things that you can do in London.
Join the Twelfth Night Celebrations
If all goes according to tradition, on Thursday 7th January, folks can partake in this free, somewhat surreal event ending the Christmas season.
You'll see Holly Man emerging from the River, cakes handed out, toasts made, and the crowning of a King and Queen followed by a street procession, dancing, and storytelling!
This all takes place on Bankside, not far from the Globe Theatre.
Visit a Free Museum
There are several fantastic free museums in London including the National Gallery, the Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and many others.
Each of these is great to visit during the month of January as they offer a warm oasis away from the cold.
For a comprehensive list, check out our guide to free museums in London.
Window Shopping at Harrod's
Though the products sold in Harrod's are far from free, simply strolling through this luxury department store won't cost you a thing.
Opened in 1834, Harrod's is a London institution worth visiting if only to witness its incredible grandeur.
If you're in London during the first few days of the month, then you might even be able to catch a glimpse of the impressive Christmas window displays and lights.
Though the month of January is quieter than many others in London, there is still plenty to do at night!
Below are a few of our favorite evening activities.
For a full list, check out our post Things to Do at Night in London.
Jack the Ripper Tour
Join us on one of our most popular tours as we follow in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper!
Though it might seem impractical to take a night tour in January, we find that the chilly temperature often adds to the ambiance of this particular tour.
Like all of our other tours, it is name-your-own-price. Reservations are required, so be sure to book ahead of time to reserve your spot!
Click here for a full list and comparison of all the best night tours in London.
Enjoy the View from the Sky Garden
There are many great places to see the London city skyline, but one of our absolute favorites is the Sky Garden!
Though it features a restaurant, bistro, and a bar, the atrium also includes a free public garden that stays open until late.
It is completely free to visit, but you must make a reservation beforehand. Learn more about how to reserve your free spot at the Sky Garden.
There are several different family-friendly activities available in London throughout the month of January.
Read our master post on visiting London with kids.
Hamley’s Toy Store
One of the most famous toy stores in the world, Hamley’s is a two-centuries-old shop with several locations in London, including one on Regent’s Street and one at St. Pancras International.
Even if you're just doing a bit of window shopping, there are a lot of fun things to see and do in the 'world's finest toy shop!'
The Ghost Bus
Go for a ride on the Ghost Bus! This entertaining tour brings you around London to some of the greatest haunts in the city.
But don't expect to be frightened!
This tour is mostly comedic and works well with families with children of all ages. Learn more here.
Also, check out our review and comparison post on London ghost tours, which includes our own pay-what-you-like ghost tour.
TIP: This tour is included for free with the iVENTURE Card tourist discount pass.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea doesn't have to be just for the grown-ups!
The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea at the One Aldwych was the 2017 winner of the Best Afternoon Tea in London.
You will be served chocolate eggs, cotton candy, and many other tasty treats all created to reflect Roald Dahl's classic tale.
Visit their website for more details.
We have a list of even more family-friendly afternoon teas.
Locals' and Previous Travellers' Tips
As local London tour guides, we have drawn upon our extensive experience to come up with this list of December activities and events.
We also run the very popular London Travel Tips Facebook group, with roughly 125k members.
We've incorporated some of the suggestions for December events and things to do in this post.
The group consists of locals, like our tour guides, expats, regular visitors, and newbies to London.
Here are a few examples of excellent tips provided by members of our Facebook Group.
As Betsy and Christine note, if you're visiting during the first week of January, you can still catch a lot of the better Christmas lighting displays from the last few months.
Other members note that early January is typically a popular time to do shopping in London, as there are usually still a lot of sales related to Boxing Day.
Here are a few stores they recommend visiting:
You'll even find unique suggestions like this one from Anita.
She points out that the free Outernet Mixed Reality Experience allows visitors to experience a Butterfly Trail and hold a digital butterfly in their hands!
No matter what your question might be, chances are that someone on the London Travel Tips group can help out.