5 Best Christmas Things to Do in London

London is the perfect destination during the festive season, offering a variety of exciting experiences for everyone.

Whether you’re a food lover, a Christmas enthusiast, or a shopaholic, London has something to offer.

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We put together the best things to do in London during Christmas: The best food, attractions, and shopping experiences!

December in London – Overview

  • Attractions: You are never short of things to do in London, especially in December. On top of the main attractions, there are themed activities all over the city, Christmas theatre shows, and plenty of festive food and drinks to try.
  • Crowds: Be prepared for a huge increase in foot traffic across the city during December. The streets, tube stations, and popular attractions will be busier than in other months, so allow more time to hit up all of the points on your agenda.
  • Christmas: If you celebrate Christmas, London is alive with Christmas markets, ice skating rinks, and decorations. Main streets throughout Central London will be lit up to mark the occasion.

Now, let’s dive into the 5 best things to do:

1. Famous Holiday Attractions in London

London has so much to offer during the Christmas season, making it a magical time to visit. Here is a list of some famous holiday attractions in London that you shouldn’t miss:

Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is a must-visit attraction that transforms the park into a festive wonderland. With Christmas markets, fairground rides, ice-skating rinks, and live entertainment, there is something for everyone.

You can taste delicious, festive treats at the various food stalls and pick up unique gifts for loved ones. Remember to wrap up warm and embrace the joyful atmosphere that surrounds you.

Christmas Lights in Central London

London’s Christmas lights are a breathtaking sight that adds a magical touch to the city during the festive season. Wander through the streets and marvel at the stunning displays at famous locations such as Oxford Street, Bond Street, and Regent Street.

Don’t forget to take your camera and capture these sparkling moments to cherish for a lifetime.

Christmas at Kew Gardens

Experience the enchanting Christmas at Kew Gardens, an annual event offering a glittering wonderland of twinkling lights and stunning displays within the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Follow the illuminated trail through the expansive garden, and witness magical moments like singing trees and mesmerizing light shows. This family-friendly event is perfect for immersing yourself in the magical spirit of this special season.

As you plan your time in London during the Christmas season, be sure to include these famous holiday attractions in your itinerary. Your visit will be filled with unforgettable memories and festive moments that will make this holiday season truly special.

2. Unique Christmas Shopping in London

During the holiday season, London transforms into a festive wonderland with many exciting shopping opportunities. This section will highlight three must-visit spots during your Christmas shopping spree: Christmas Markets, Carnaby Street, and Selfridges.

Christmas Markets

London features a variety of Christmas markets that pop up throughout the city in November. Filled with stocking stuffers, holiday decorations, clothing, and delicious street food, these markets offer the perfect place to find unique gifts for your friends and family.

As you browse the stalls, enjoy a warm cup of mulled wine and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere.

Carnaby Street

For a distinct London shopping experience, head to Carnaby Street. Known for its heritage brands, this bustling pedestrianized street features independent boutiques and iconic British labels, making it ideal for finding one-of-a-kind fashion items.

The colorful Christmas lights and decorations on Carnaby Street add a touch of sparkle to your shopping experience.


Selfridges, a renowned department store, is a must-visit destination for luxury Christmas shopping. With its vast selection of high-end brands and designer products, you can find everything from fashion and accessories to beauty products and homeware.

Don’t forget to explore the store’s dedicated Christmas section, where you’ll find beautiful ornaments, festive decorations, and exclusive seasonal items to make your holiday celebration truly special.

Remember to take your time exploring these unique shopping venues and soak in the magical Christmas spirit that London has to offer.

3. Christmas Shows and Events

London has a wonderful variety of festive shows and events during the Christmas season. In this section, we’ll cover some of the most popular options, including the Nutcracker Ballet, Christmas Carol Singalongs, and Christmas Pantomimes.

The Nutcracker Ballet

The Nutcracker Ballet is a classic Christmas performance, and you can enjoy this beautiful show in several venues throughout London. Tchaikovsky’s enchanting music, combined with delicate movements from outstanding dancers, creates a magical atmosphere that perfectly encapsulates the holiday spirit.

Keep an eye out for performances at The Royal Opera House and The London Coliseum during the Christmas season.

Christmas Carol Singalong

For a more interactive and heartwarming experience, join one of the many Christmas Carol Singalongs in London. Raise your voice and sing along with festive classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Silent Night,” and “Deck the Halls” in venues across the city.

Popular locations for these events include St. Martin-in-the-Fields and The Royal Albert Hall. Grab your friends and family to create unforgettable memories while singing your heart out.

Christmas Pantomimes

The holiday season in London wouldn’t be complete without some Christmas Pantomimes. These hilarious and entertaining performances are a staple of British culture and can be enjoyed by the whole family.

London’s theaters offer a fantastic lineup of pantomimes, including adaptations of popular fairy tales and original stories. Don’t miss the chance to see some of the best 2023 Christmas shows and pantomimes in London during your festive celebrations.

In conclusion, enhance your holiday experience by attending these delightful Christmas shows and events in London. Soak up the festive atmosphere and make lasting memories with your loved ones during this magical season.

4. Festive Dining and Drinks

Ice Bar London

Experience Ice Bar London for a unique, frosty Christmas outing. This sub-zero venue allows you to sip your favorite cocktails while surrounded by glittering ice sculptures. Don’t worry about the icy temperatures, as you will be provided with a cozy thermal cape for your stay.

Igloos on the River Thames

Enjoy scenic views and warm food in Igloos on the River Thames for a memorable Christmas dining experience. These heated private domes offer a cozy setting for groups, with views of the iconic Tower Bridge and luxurious comfort food options.

💡 Be sure to book in advance as these unique dining spaces are in high demand during the festive season.

Winter Pop-up Restaurants and Bars

London’s winter pop-up scene features some of the city’s most captivating Christmas restaurants and bars. Visit Lily’s Café in Covent Garden for a cozy winter terrace with warming mulled wine, mouth-watering fondue, and hot cocktails.

For a delectable twist on the traditional festive menu, try Madera for Californian-Mexican cuisine in a stunning plant-filled setting. Finish off your night at The Ivy Victoria for indulgent Christmas cocktails with innovative and theatrical twists, such as the Popping Cracker Royale featuring prosecco, passion fruit, spiced mango syrup, Monkey 47 Gin, and a fairy floss and popping candy garnish.

With these festive dining and drink options in London, your Christmas season will be joyful and unforgettable.

5. Outdoor Christmas Activities

Ice Skating Rinks

During the Christmas season, London offers various picturesque ice skating rinks for visitors to enjoy. You can glide around iconic locations like the Natural History Museum and Somerset House. These rinks cater to all skill levels, making it a fantastic festive activity for you and your loved ones.

Remember to wrap up warm and bring your camera for some memorable snapshots!

Christmas Tree Display at Trafalgar Square

An annual tradition in London, the giant Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square is a marvelous sight to behold. Donated by the city of Oslo, Norway, as a token of gratitude for Britain’s support during World War II, the towering tree serves as a symbol of hope and friendship. Be sure to visit this historic display and absorb the joyous atmosphere.

Santa’s Grotto at Leicester Square

Leicester Square transforms into a magical winter wonderland during the Christmas season, complete with its very own Santa’s Grotto. Here, children can meet Father Christmas, share their wish lists, and even receive a gift.

This enchanting attraction immerses you in the festive spirit and creates lasting memories for the whole family. Don’t forget to book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment!

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