Visiting London During The Festive Season

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By Luciana Oliveira

When it comes to spending time in London during the Christmas period, the trick is not only to find the best places to spend your time, but also to plan ahead to make sure you make the most of your precious days.

With all the hustle and bustle of Christmas in London, it can be hard to get a clear plan for what you should be doing. We’ve compiled a guide to help you navigate the city at the holidays, from what to do and see on Christmas Eve, to the best shops, bars, restaurants, cafes and museums to visit.

If you’re planning to visit London in December, here’s our top advice on how to make the most of your time there.

It’s Christmas, and it’s the best time to visit London. Whether you’re looking to shop for presents, get a few last-minute ideas for your next family holiday, or simply enjoy a few days of relaxation and fun, here are some suggestions to help you plan the perfect trip

Christmas in London – What to do in London in the Christmas holidays?

London is one of the most iconic and beautiful cities in the world – even moreso at Christmas. 

This time of the year is one of the best times to visit London, with many activities taking place during the holiday – not to mention all of the beautiful Christmas lights and festive shop displays. 

If you want to enjoy the city during the festive period, then make sure you take advantage of all the events that are taking place this season. 

Why Choose London?

London is a great option whether you are coming from outside the UK, or coming down from up north. It has several airports that service hundreds of cities around the world each day, including those in Western Europe such as Amsterdam, Paris and Rome.

London is one of the most famous cities in the world and it is a great city to visit during Christmas. The Christmas lights and markets make it a great destination for people who want to get into the Christmas spirit. It’s a brilliant city break for all ages – there is plenty to do  in London with kids too. 

If you’re looking for an alternative to Prague or Paris, then London is a great choice – with nearly everything decorated in festive lights and with some of the best shopping in Europe!

Where to Stay?

Where to stay in London at Christmas, and which areas are the best?

The question of where to stay in London at Christmas is a pretty complicated one. A lot of factors need to be taken into account, from accommodation cost to transport and everything in between.

With that in mind, if budget is not an issue we would recommend some of London’s top hotels including The Ritz, The Savoy and The Dorchester.

But there’s also plenty of choice within the chain hotels of the capital. If you go for a Premier Inn, or Travelodge or Novotel in central areas like Covent Garden, South Kensington or Kings Cross you will be comfortable and able to easily reach some of the best festive areas of town. 

Must See Areas and Places

There are many things to do in London so it can be difficult to choose what to do first. We have compiled a list of places to visit in London in 4 days for you!

You might want to visit 

  • Covent Garden
  • Winter Wonder
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Trafalgar Square
  • St Paul’s Cathedral
  • The Tower of London
  • Buckingham Palace
  • London Eye
  • Westfield Shopping Centre
  • The Ivy Restaurant with amazing Christmas displays

Christmas Lights

London is a beautiful place to visit during Christmas. There is this magical feeling that you get while walking through the streets and looking at all the Christmas lights.

Some of the most famous and best Christmas lights in London are around Oxford Street, Regent Street and New Bond Street. 

These are all free to visit – you can take your car and drive down, or enjoy them on foot. There are also open top bus tours that you can book which will take you down all of the best streets for London Christmas lights. 

If you would like to see even more light displays, check out Lightopia in Alexandra Palace until January 2nd or Winterlight at the Southbank until 9th January 2022. 

Find Christmas Markets in the City

Visit one of London’s Christmas markets where you can buy unique gifts, cozy up in their heated area with hot drinks and mulled wine, or just enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland has a Christmas market with a German feel, and there are plenty of add on activities that you can book there. 

Covent Garden also has a thriving market which is open all year round, but at it’s most beautiful during the Christmas season. This is one of my personal favourite areas of London at Christmas. 

Leicester Square opens a special Christmas market right in the center of London, running until 9th Jan. This is free to enter and you can buy tickets for additional attractions like meeting Santa or watching a show. 

Christmas By The River at London City is open until Jan 2nd and is made up of wooden huts with all kinds of festive merchandise to buy. 


Sadly, this is the final year for the iconic ice rink at the National History Museum in South Kensingon. 

Be sure to visit and have a skate around before it’s gone for good. 

The ice skating rink at Somerset House is another of London’s most iconic Christmas skating rinks. 

You can also try Greenwich House, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland or Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink, among others. 

See a Show

The West End is magical all year round, even more during the festive season.

Currently Frozen the musical is showing in the West End, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. This is a perfect snowy show to escape from London into Arendell. 

You could also watch a Christmas ballet, how about the Nutcracker at the London Colloseum showing until 8th January.

Get some Last Minute Shopping

As we mentioned, Oxford Street and Regent Street are beauyiful at this time of year. They are also a great destination for shopping. 

You could also hit up Fortnum and Masons in Picadilly where you can find all kinds of festive foods and decorations with a touch of luxury. 

London has so much to offer all year round and it’s a fantastic city to visit at any time of year. But Christmas is the most magical.

It’s a great time to visit London for all of you that have never been there before or have been looking for an excuse to visit again. 

Have fun and merry Christmas!

Westminster Abbey

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Luciana joined our team as a mum blogger in 2020. A dedicated mum to a lively daughter and a dog, Luna, Luciana brings authenticity and passion to every post. Her expertise in parenting and lifestyle topics offers practical, relatable advice for real-life situations.

1 thought on “Visiting London During The Festive Season”

  1. I’ve been to London many times, but never during the festive season. Looks like Christmas in London really is magical as the city is transformed into wintry wonderland ❄️🎄☃️


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