guide to london in december 2024

Christmas is Here and Cold Weather is Among Us

Christmas is one of the most popular and celebrated holidays of the year. It is also a great time to visit London in December. In addition to being one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, London has many festive events throughout December that are family-friendly and perfect for an exciting holiday escape.

If you are looking to immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit all around December, here are some of the best things to do and events to attend this month.

Hotels in London England UK.
London in December, the Christmas spirit is here.Decorated Street in London

10 best things to do in december

  1. Celebrate Christmas at Winter Wonderland held at Hyde Park, the large annual Christmas celebration that attracts so many people from mid-November to early January.
  2. Enjoy a beautiful Christmas at Kew, a magical winter trail light with family and friends. There are light tunnels, dancing reflections, and trees that look like jewels.
  3. You can celebrate New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in London with a spectacular fireworks display near the London Eye, which is expected to draw about 100,000 people in total.
  4. It's worth taking the tourist bus if you want to see the lights that are illuminating the city during the holiday season. On a special guided tour through London's iconic landmarks, you can enjoy the lights of iconic London landmarks on the Night bus tour. If you want to check them out by yourself here is a guide to the 12 best Christmas lights.
  5. The London Eye or Millennium Wheel is the most popular tourist attraction in the United Kingdom. Book in advance as it is always booked up.
  6. If you want to see the most popular attractions at a reduced price, you can also book a block ticket. A variety of packages are available that will save you money and give you more attractions to choose from.
  7. Some of the most iconic landmarks in London are Tower Bridge, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, The London Eye, Tower of London and many more. There is no way you will miss them since they are very close to one another. Check out other free landmarks to visit.
  8. Take advantage of the prospects for bargain hunting on Boxing Day. In London, lines of customers gathered on the streets as they waited for stores to open.
  9. You can skate outside on London's ice rinks during the festive season. Enjoy an ice-skating session on one of the stunning ice rings that pop up throughout the city for a magical winter experience between November and January.
  10. Booking early at your favourite London restaurant for a festive feast is as simple as booking in advance, which will allow you to enjoy your festive meal to the fullest degree possible.

Weather in december

It may be cold and wet in London in December, but that will not stop you from visiting the well-decorated shops and twinkling lights, so you will still have plenty of opportunities to shop. Find out what is best to bring with you if you are planning a holiday during this month.

top tours in london

London is very well-known for their variety of tours, they make you feel like you’re going on a fun, exciting trip. It is impossible to do all the tours in a single holiday but we have picked up the most popular tours any tourist seeks to visit when coming to London.

Outside Harry Potter Studios Watford London.

Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour & Transfers

By taking the bus from central London, you can spend a whole day visiting the Warner Brothers studio. Feel the Harry Potter movie sets by interacting with costumes and props from the Harry Potter movies.

Book Your Harry Potter Tickets

Tower of London.

Tower Of London And Crown Jewels Exhibition Ticket

Visit the Tower of London, part of British history since the 11th century. View the Crown Jewels, learn insights from the Yeoman Warders, and spot the ravens as you explore the Tower's history.

Book Your Tickets Here

Best theatre shows in london

A trip to London's West End would be incomplete without attending a play or musical. World-class plays, musicals, comedies, dance performances, and operas have something to offer to everyone.

The Lion King Show

lion king

A young lion cub named Simba takes the reader on a journey to become king of the Pridelands. The Lion King musical showcases stunning sets and costumes.

Book Your Seat For The Lion King Show

Theatre in London

mamma mia

The setting on a Greek island paradise and the timeless songs of ABBA that make-up Mamma Mia have won the hearts of over 60 million people worldwide!

Book Your Mamma Mia Seat

Find great seats and tickets, book in advance to find the right ones for you.

best tourist tours in london

There are so many fun ways to explore the capital city, by the many great things to see and do in London. If you’re looking for something different, try one of the following tours.

A view of London River Thames.

Westminster to Greenwich river thames cruise

Get the best views of London on a river cruise from Westminster Pier to Greenwich. Cruise along the Thames while listening to live commentary in English and admiring London's iconic sights.

Book Your Cruise Tour Here

Stonehenge United Kingdom

Stonehenge Half-day tour from london

Experience the legendary site of Stonehenge and learn about its mysteries on a tour from London that includes a free, downloadable audio guide so you can explore the site and learn about the mysteries of the stone circle.

Book Your Half-Day Tour Here

bank holidays for december

  • Christmas Day: Wednesday 25th December 2024
  • Boxing Day: Thursday 26th December 2024

Additional holidays for this month

  • Christmas Holidays: The festive holidays occur around mid to late December and span for two weeks until beginning January.

current events in london december

December is one of the busiest times of the year with lots of events. Check out the highlights for this month. Apart from the following events, you can also check out the Christmas lights by walking through the streets. Our Christmas lights guide will help you visit choose and plan the best way possible.

christmas in kew

With Christmas at Kew, you can embark on a journey into a glittering wonderland that awaits you at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew.

It is a wonderful experience to explore glittering light tunnels on the route, dancing lakeside reflections, and colourful trees as you journey along the route. Featuring some of the best street food vendors around, you can enjoy hot cuisine, sweets, hot cocoa, and spiced winter warmers.

Event Dates: Wednesday 13th November 2024 to Sunday 5 January 2025

Hyde Park winter wonderland

Prepare for the world's best location for holiday fun in London's most sought-after area at Hyde Park.

There will be a range of festive entertainment and activities for the whole family during the holiday season, including anything from ice skating and circus performances to a Christmas market and live music. You'll have plenty to do to keep you occupied for the entire day or evening.

Event Dates: Returning November 2024 (To be announced later)

New Year's Eve Fireworks

Every New Year's Eve, Londoners gather for a midnight fireworks display to usher in the new year. The fireworks are released from boats along the Thames River and from the London Eye.

Without a doubt, the South Bank serves as the focal point for this internationally renowned event, with Big Ben's chimes at midnight serving as a signal that the new year has arrived.

To watch the New Year's Eve fireworks display, you must reserve your tickets here.

Event Date: Tuesday 31st December 2025

fun Adventure experiences in London

Whenever you travel to London, UK, take a once-in-a-lifetime tour to discover exciting adventures and explore new possibilities. You won't want to miss a minute of your time there. There are two that we think you will enjoy.

The O2 Arena London

Climb The O2

Experience the thrill of climbing over the iconic roof of the world's most popular entertainment venue for an experience like no other during this 90-minute adventure. You will gain a unique perspective of the city when you see it from such a height.

Book Your Entry Ticket

The Shard in central London.

The Shard london

You can take in a stunning 360-degree view of London while standing 800 feet above the ground. While going up to the 72nd floor, you will see buildings disappearing. An experience you will never forget.

Get Your Tickets Now

tourist attractions in london

Take advantage of this great opportunity to make your trip to London as memorable as possible. If you are like many others, you may have longed to experience several memorable landmarks over a long time.

Westminster Abbey

westminster abbey

17 royal weddings have taken place at Westminster Abbey, including that of Prince William to Catherine Middleton in 2011. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of London's most historic landmarks with a legacy dating back more than 1,000 years.

Piccadilly Circus

piccadilly circus

A popular tourist location in London is Piccadilly Circus. A popular meeting point is the famous fountain with the statue of Eros. China Town, the West End and several popular theatres are all nearby. There are souvenir shops, high-end establishments and restaurants as well.

experience the christmas spirit in london

Decorations at a Christmas Market.Christmas Markets

It is that time of year again when you see Christmas lights and decorations everywhere. Christmas tours typically begin around this time and even in November. Living in the city, this is a good opportunity to take advantage of all the opportunities to do something fun and festive.

Oxford Street lights are a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. It is great to know that this street is one of the most visited parts of London. A straight street lined with shops, restaurants and cafes. You can experience them from the first days of November.

This is a great area to be in during the holiday season, so if you do not have time to travel far, you can still enjoy the sights and sounds of this historical part of London. And with Christmas music playing in the background, you cannot ask for much more than that.

Apart from Oxford Street, here are some other streets that light up during the Christmas season.

  • Leicester Square is adorned with a Christmas market and decorated lights.
  • Regent’s Street's entire length and its surrounding streets.
  • St. James and Piccadilly to discover the magic of Christmas.
  • Bond Street's magical lights and renowned store fronts decorations.
  • Covent Garden market and piazza are decorated with mistletoe, festooned and chandeliers.
  • The Strand is lined with illuminated colourful lights.
  • Trafalgar Square is home to London’s yearly Christmas tree, donated by the people of Norway every year since WWII.
  • Harrods and Selfridges showcase their Christmas lighting, decorations and festive inspiration.
  • Carnaby Street glows with themed displays every year.

Every December, London draws over 1.5 million visitors who come to see Christmas displays, shop and enjoy traditional foods such as mulled wine and mince pies. 

You can visit a mall, shop or even a Christmas market, to buy some Christmas ornaments, or you can take a walk around your neighbourhood and enjoy the decorations.

The following are some of the best London Christmas markets:

  • Tate Modern
  • Southbank
  • Greenwich
  • Wich
  • Spitalfields
  • Borough Market
  • The river at London Bridge

where to stay

The Christmas season is here and it's time to search for the best London hotels. Before choosing where to stay in London in December, you must consider a few things such as the location of where you would like to accommodate, your budget, as well as the amenities you would like at a hotel. Apart from that, read the reviews as those will give you an indication of how comfortable and worthy the hotel is.

By keeping these considerations in mind when looking for hotels in London, you will be able to find a place that suits your needs and budget while still enjoying an awesome trip!

Find out what offers in terms of rates and also check out the best places to stay in London.

That's all for this page, We hope that this page has given you a great insight into December in London and we hope you all enjoy the Christmas season here in the great city. While here why not check out November in London or January in London?

frequently asked questions about december in london

Is December in London a good time to visit?

December out of all months is most probably one of the best months to visit due to the Christmas festivities. With all that goes on during this month and despite the weather, many travellers choose London as their go-to destination.

How expensive is London in December?

Travel plans for London have probably shown you that it is one of the most expensive cities in the world, for both residents and visitors. Planning your itinerary is important, starting with accommodation and sights you can afford. Also, consider what you can afford with your available funds. Keep in mind that rates during this month are higher.

How busy is London during the Christmas season?

Although it is the off-season in the UK, December is known for being one of the busiest months. People go from all over the nation and the world to celebrate Christmas and enjoy the incredible atmosphere created by the packed streets, crowded stores, and entertainment. Therefore, December could seem livelier than other winter months.

Is London closed on Christmas Day?

London is a city that never sleeps starting from the early hours of the morning to late evening. Most stores are closed on Christmas Day but some will be back open the following day, 26th December.

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Decorations of Christmas

Photo sources

  • The Outside Of Westminster Abbey - Photo by Ian Branch on Unsplash
  • O2 Arena - Image by Chris Lightfoot from Pixabay
  • Christmas Street in London - Photo by Jamie Davies on Unsplash
  • Stonehenge - Image by Walkerssk from Pixabay
  • The Lion King Performance - Image by Ovi C from Pixabay
  • Theatre - Photo by Paolo Chiabrando on Unsplash
  • Christmas Market - Image by Gerhard from Pixabay

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