Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and London is one of the best places to spend some of it. The city is fantastic to visit any time of year, but there is just something so special about spending some of the run up to Christmas in the bright Christmas lights and an unparalleled magical atmosphere. Now that we’ve established that you’re going to be visiting because of how fantastic it is, it’s time to find out what you should be doing whilst you’re in London! We’ve got something for everyone, no matter your age or budget, so you can enjoy Christmas in London. Let’s get into the festive spirit!
First up, we have one of the most iconic Christmas activities in London which is Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park! You can get the tube into Victoria, Bond Street, Green Park, Paddington, Knightsbridge, Marble Arch or Hyde Park Corner, or you can park at London Victoria Station Parking so you know your car is nice and safe whilst you enjoy the festivities.
Before you go, you’ll need to book tickets to make the most of the activities, with standard prices starting from £5 and peak from £7.50. You can simply use this ticket to go in, pick up a few London souvenirs, enjoy the stalls, food, drinks and rides, or you can get tickets for additional attractions like the circus, ice bar, ice skating, the Ice Kingdom, The Giant Wheel and others. The cost can rack up here, so it’s best to choose a couple of priorities if you’re on more of a budget.
You can enjoy so much at Winter Wonderland, whether you get the entry tickets on their own or you can also enjoy the additional activities. This is an absolute highlight of the city at Christmas and we would always recommend visiting in the evening so you can make the most of all the beautiful, glittery Christmas lights.
Leicester Square Christmas Market
There are wonderful Christmas markets all over the city, however one of the best markets is in Leicester Square. This is such a wonderful hub where you can enjoy a wide array of different stalls, from homemade gifts, delicious foods and drinks (both to enjoy at the market or to take home with you) and also wonderful 1920’s style shows throughout the day and evening! You do need to pre-book a ticket for the shows, but the traditional markets are open no matter whether you have a ticket or not.
Open from mid-november, this is a must see whilst you are in London at Christmas!
We would always recommend visiting Harrods whenever in London, but it is even more spectacular at Christmas. The entire outside is covered in rows and rows of bright Christmas lights, then the inside is even more extravagant with endless Christmas trees, decorations, greenery, lights and so much more. This is one of the most iconic shops in all of London, so you’ve got to make it a part of your Christmas trip to London. Your experience in Harrods will make a great blogging idea if that’s what you’re into, as the photos will just be incredible.
There is also a Santa’s Grotto which is perfect for a visit with the children, which we would recommend pre-booking. If you’re looking to do some Christmas shopping, here you will find a bit of everything, from food to teddies and games to jewellery. You won’t get a much more quintessentially British experience than Christmas at Harrods, so make sure you stop by! You could spend a good few hours here, stopping for lunch at one of the many restaurants and cafes in the Food Hall.
Go On A Christmas Lights Bus Tour
The whole city is covered in the most beautiful Christmas lights that can be hard to see all by food, especially if you aren’t in the city for long, so a wonderful alternative is to take a Christmas lights bus tour! There are quite a few of these tours around the city that will take you all through the world-famous Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, then all around the London Eye, Tower of London and London Bridge. Get yourself a ticket in the evening and a top seat, then you can simply sit back and enjoy everything the beautiful city has to offer at Christmas. This is a great way to relax at Christmas whilst also seeing the stunning sights.
There will be a tour throughout the whole experience, so you will learn about some of London’s most iconic buildings and streets, along with their history. The tour is available in 11 languages too, with audio versions of the guide’s tour. This isn’t a hop-on-hop-off tour usually, but is purely designed to help you enjoy the stunning lights around the city for a couple of hours.
Head To A Festive Theatre Show
London is known for its wonderful theatre shows, so a great thing to do whilst you’re in the city at Christmas is to see a festive show! Pre-book tickets for London’s West End, to see a pantomime with some of the theatre’s biggest stars, maybe go to see The Nutcracker for some ballet, A Christmas Carol for all the family or Frozen if you want something more for the kids. Most of the shows will be in the West End vicinity (actually a much bigger area of London, but this is what the theatrical heartland is often described as). You will be just around the corner from Covent Garden, where you can head for a lovely pre-theatre menu or a few drinks. Covent Garden is also home to legendary Christmas markets, so you can get some food and drinks here to really get into the festive spirit!
Last but not least, we’ve got to talk about Christmas shopping, and Oxford Street is the place to be! With over 130 shops along the street, you will be spoilt for choice. Firstly, the Christmas lights are some of the best in the city, so you can soak in the atmosphere as you shop. You will find anything you’re looking for here, with all of your classic highstreet shops to luxury designer shops and some of the most stunning department stores you will see!
Every shop along Oxford Street makes a real effort over Christmas, so even if you just want to do a bit of window shopping you will have a beautiful day that will get you into the festive spirit. There are so many great restaurants just off Oxford Street, from Italian restaurants to tearooms and Japanese BBQ, so you can have a stop for refreshments along the way. Plus, there are so many great cafes so you can warm up with a hot chocolate or two!