Even when the skies are grey and the temperature drops, London always looks beautiful at Christmas. Whether you’re heading down Oxford Street to see the lights or going to see a seasonal show, there’s so much to see and do that it’s almost impossible to do everything the city has to offer, but here are some of our favourite activities for all budgets, ages and interests.
Visit Winter Wonderland
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is a staple of the festive season in London, and a must-do for tourists and locals alike. There are roller coasters, fairground rides, funhouses, haunted houses and more, as well as ice skating, ice slides, a Christmas circus, and a traditional Christmas market full of gifts, decorations and food.
Browse all the Christmas markets
There are so many Christmas markets throughout London that we can’t pick just one to recommend. Wherever you are in the city, there’ll be one close by, offering all kinds of delicious food and hot drinks, and handmade crafts, decorations and gifts. Some of the ones we love include the Borough Market, Covent Garden, Southbank and Greenwich.
Take a Christmas Lights Open Top Bus Tour
Wrap up warm and hop aboard one of London's famous open-top buses for a 90-minute tour of the city's glistening Christmas lights. As the bus makes its way through the historic streets, a live-tour guide will tell you all about the history of the landmarks you pass, including the London Eye, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey. But of course, the main attraction is the stunning lights up above Oxford Street and Regent Street - make sure you book seats on the upper deck for the best photo opportunities!
See the Christmas window displays
If you're coming to London to do some Christmas shopping, don't forget to do some window shopping too! All of the big department stores and many of the designer stores around Piccadilly, Old Bond Street and Berkeley Square are decked out with lights, trees and decorations that make for the perfect photo opportunities. Some of our favourites include Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, Annabel's, Dior and Cartier.
And while you’re visiting, why not enjoy a delicious cream tea for two at Harrods Terrace or Fortnum & Mason Champagne Afternoon Tea for Two in The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, to warm up with a pot of tea after a day of Christmas shopping?
See the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree
Every year since 1947, Trafalgar Square has been lit up by a giant Christmas tree gifted to the city by Norway. This year’s tree, the 76th of its kind, has been felled and is now on its way to Trafalgar Square for the tree lighting ceremony on December 7th, where it will be adorned with traditional Nordic lights.
This one-of-a-kind Christmas tradition is a must-see in London during the festive season, and you might get to hear some carol singers while you’re there too!
Go Ice Skating at Somerset House
There are many different places to go ice skating in London, including Westfield Shopping Centre, Canary Wharf, and even Hampton Court Palace, but Somerset House is one of our favourites. The courtyard location, with its 40ft Christmas tree, is stunning both day and night, plus there’s cheese fondue, gourmet hot chocolate and glasses of Whispering Angel to indulge in once the skating is over.
Take an evening ride on The London Eye
The LastMinute.com London Eye is one of the best attractions for seeing London from above, and in December it’s the perfect place to see all of the city’s Christmas lights. Every weekend leading up to Christmas this iconic attraction has extended opening hours (from 10am to 8:30pm) so you have even more time to experience the capital's glittering skyline. And from December 15-25th, the London Eye will be part of the festivities itself with a bespoke Christmas light-up design.
Young and old alike will have a great time taking in the sights of London while enjoying a delicious afternoon tea aboard this bus themed to the famous story How The Grinch Stole Christmas. From the decorations to the food, everything has a touch of green (yes, even the scones!) and you'll even get to take home the themed cup that your drink of choice is served in. Just make sure to brush up on your Grinch trivia before you board!
@attractiontickets.com Did you know there is a Grinch Afternoon Tea Bus in London?! 💚 Tag someone you want to do this with! 💚 #thegrinch #grinchafternoontea #christmasafternoontea #afternoonteabustour #londonafternoontea #grinch #londonchristmas ♬ original sound - Speed songs <3
The festive season has well and truly begun, so make sure you book your tickets for all of our London attractions as soon as possible to get the best price and availability!