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Leicester Square Christmas Market

Updated: November 7, 2023
 By Margaret

This post covers everything you need to know about visiting the Leicester Square Christmas Market in central London.

Leicester Square can sometimes be looked down on by Londoners as "too touristy."

But come Christmas, all that changes and you'll find visitors and locals alight descending to the area to enjoy the festive Christmas market.

The market runs from 8 November 2023 - 7 January 2024.

And, in the video just below, Sinead, a tour guide with us, Free Tours by Foot, takes you on a walk through the market last year.

The square gets decked out in sparkling lights and filled with little wooden chalets, all waiting to be explored.

Think delicious street food, hot mulled drinks, hand-crafted gifts, and holiday music playing through it all.

But the big draw to the Leicester Square Christmas Market is the Spiegeltent.

Spiegeltent is a huge circus tent that plays host to a variety of shows put on by the Underbelly team, who spend their summers entertaining the crowds on the Southbank.

Cabaret, magic, comedy...you never know what to expect from these top-quality entertaining performances.

We include details about festive activities, decorations, winter markets, and other fun things to see and do.


Things to Do

Oh, and of course our London Christmas Lights Tour will bring you right here!

Eat

Make sure you come with your appetite!

The Leicester Square Christmas Market has a plethora of delicious things to eat - at any time of the day or night.

There will be hundreds of deliciously sizzling sausages, traditional bratwurst, hot chips, and other warm delights.

The Leicester Square Christmas Market has a plethora of delicious things to eat - at any time of the day or night.

For dessert, there are barrels of sweets just waiting for you to grab, as well as handmade fudge, miniature pancakes, chocolate fountains, and also hand-crafted chocolates and brownies to enjoy while you're here, or to take home for later.


Drink

And come thirsty, too! It's impossible to visit a London Christmas market without getting a glass of gluwein or mulled wine.

There will also be mulled cider - both alcoholic and non, as well as all kinds of delicious hot chocolates, topped with marshmallows and sweets of your choosing.

And if you'd like to add a bit of brandy to your hot chocolate, simply ask!


See a Show

Leicester Square is the heart of the West End entertainment district all year long so it's no surprise that the same is true of their Christmas Market.

The Leicester Square Christmas Market is home to the Spiegeltent - a tented venue where a variety of shows will play out throughout the Christmas season, including La Clique.

The Spiegeltent is run by the Underbelly team who put on award-winning shows throughout the year and throughout the United Kingdom.

Photo Courtesy of Christmasinleicestersquare.com

There's something for everyone here with cabaret performances, drag shows, comedy nights, magic tricks...etc etc.

Shows run throughout the day and into the evening hours and the schedule varies day by day which means you may want to come back again and again.

Take note that Leicester Square is also home to the TKTS booth, delivering discount theatre tickets for the West End's hottest shows.

Find out more on our blog post on how to get cheap West End tickets.


Do Some Christmas Shopping

The Market is absolutely packed with treasures, gifts, and treats for you to buy.

You'll find handmade jewellery, beautiful glass lamps, charming wooden Christmas decor, and unique Christmas ornaments.

There's also a plethora of beautiful hats, scarves, and gloves as well as bottles of festive bottles of delightful tipples that make the perfect gifts!


Bring the Kids

All this talk of mulled wine and cabaret shows may make you think that the Market is aimed at adults but this is definitely a family-friendly affair!

Not only are there special sweets and snacks for the little ones, there are hand-crafted toys and even a visit from Father Christmas.

The Spiegeltent will also play host to children's performances. Think classic Christmas pantomimes, children's magic shows, and interactive events.


Walk the West End

When you're in Leicester Square, you're right in the middle of the West End, London's world-famous theatre district.

Known not only for the beautiful theatres lining every street but this neighbourhood is also known for going all out when it comes to Christmas decorations!

Grab your mulled wine and wander over to the stunning Covent Garden to marvel at their holiday markets.

You can even walk down the iconic Oxford and Regent Streets to see the most famous Christmas Lights in the capital.

Or, make your way to Trafalgar Square to see London's official Christmas Tree: a yearly gift from the people of Norway as a thank-you to the UK for their assistance in the Second World War.


Take a Tour

Want to take in all the Christmas lights that London has to offer?

Make sure to sign up for London's first pay-what-you-like Christmas Lights Tour!

This tour includes a visit to the Leicester Square Christmas Market and finishes within walking distance so you can come back for more whenever you're ready.

If daytime touring is more your thing, then jump onto the Soho, Piccadilly Circus, and Chinatown or Rock and Roll Tours to explore the neighbourhood nearby!


Dates and Times

2023 Dates are yet to be released. Typically the Market begins in mid-November and closes the first week of January.

Leicester Square Christmas Market

How to Get Here

Leicester Square is right in the centre of town so it's super easy to access.

Nearest Underground Stations: Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus

Nearest Rail Station: Charing Cross Station

Bus Routes: 24, 29 176

About The Author

Margaret

An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home and she's been guiding here now for nearly a decade. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries. Read More...
Updated: November 7th, 2023
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