Are you celebrating Christmas in London? You made a perfect choice! London is a great choice for a city trip all year round, but December and London fit together like a match made in heaven. The Christmas vibe gives London extra color, as the streets come alive with sparkling Christmas lights, huge Christmas trees, ice rinks and beautifully decorated shops.
Take advantage of the many Christmas festivities that last the whole month, until early January. Below you find my personal tips to take in the Christmas spirit to the max this season!
1) Admire London’s biggest Christmas Tree at Trafalgar Square.
2) Check out the Christmas lights at Oxford Street, with spectacular Christmas decorations & window displays.
3) Step into a fairytale adventure at Alice In Winterland with more than 160 giant lanterns telling the story of Alice in Wonderland.
4) Browse at Christmas by the River the Christmas market with the best view of the illuminated Tower bridge and the Tower of London.
5) Visit Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Here’s a video for you to get in the Christmas mood at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland:
And some tips on what you can do:
- Shop at the festive Christmas market.
- Skate to live music on the ice rink.
- Discover Magical Ice Kingdom’s secret forest and create your own sculpture at the Ice sculpting workshops.
- Watch Christmas Circuses and “Peter Pan on Ice” featuring world class skaters.
- Take a ride on the roller coasters or the Giant Observation wheel and enjoy the Christmas lights below.
6) Go window shopping at Covent Garden and at Europe’s busiest shopping area Oxford Street; center of large department stores like Selfridges and large branches of brands such as Zara and H&M. While at Covent Garden, check out the historic market hall for the beautiful architecture at Jubilee Market. On Weekends, you can shop for a cool artsy souvenir at the Arts & Craft market. On Mondays, you can browse for amazing collectibles at the Antiques market and Tuesday to Fridays are perfect to take in the vibrant atmosphere at the General Market.
7) Join a Christmas church service at the magnificent Westminster Abbey for a very special Christmas experience. All church services are free of charge, but some services need a prior reservation.
8) Get blown away by a Christmas Theatre Show; from “A Christmas Carol” to the “Nutcracker” performed by the English National Ballet; there is something for every taste.
9) Join the Christmas magic at the historic Royal Albert Hall. During the Christmas Festival, a series of classical concerts will take place as well as magical events for children.
10)Really want to spoil yourself this season? Then dress up and get festive with the Christmas afternoon tea at at The Ritz. Have a seat in the iconic Palm Court. Be pampered with champagne, delicious pastries, finger sandwiches and 18 varieties of tea.
Practical information for your visit this season
- Reserve tickets for events and attractions now, due to high demand.
- During the Christmas holidays, opening hours of attractions, markets, tours and transportation are sometimes altered.
- On December 25, there is no public transport, some taxi’s will be available, at higher rates than usual.
- On December 25, the most popular attractions are closed, such as London Eye, Madame Tussauds, guided walking tours and the Thames River sightseeing river cruise.
- Planning a visit to London early January? London Eye is closed from January 7-January 22. Alternatively, plan a visit to the View from the Shard, London’s highest viewing Gallery.
What to do on Christmas Day?
On December 25, London seems to be in a deep winter sleep. While many consider this a disadvantage, I think it’s awesome to experience peaceful London on foot.
- Take a stroll along the River Thames and enjoy the Christmas decorations and architecture.
- Have a beer at a London pub.
- Enjoy a Christmas lunch at a restaurant.
- Take a walk in one of London’s many parks.
- Feeling sportive? The most quiet day of the year, is the perfect day to rent one of the 11.000 (cheap) bikes from Santander Cycles. Check this link for details: How to Hire a Bike in London
And of course, when in London, you can’t miss the must-see attractions. You can visit the London Eye, Tower of London and Madame Tussauds, for a close encounter with celebrities like Ed Sheeran and Adele.
Enjoy the season!
Elisabeth J. ♥