December is here and in honor of the 12 days of Christmas we are sharing the top 12 things to do if spending Christmas in London. If you haven't already planned Christmas in London 2023, then our list will have you pulling out your passport and packing your winter's finest for the holiday season here in the British capital. But before, find out more about HomeExchange and how you can start planning your perfect Christmas in London starting with us!

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1. Roam the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

christmas lights in london

Enter a world of enchantment at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. This immersive extravaganza boasts ice skating, thrilling amusement rides, festive shows, and a charming Christmas market. From the sparkling lights of the giant Ferris wheel to the aroma of roasted chestnuts, Winter Wonderland offers a magical escape for visitors of all ages, creating unforgettable memories and igniting the holiday spirit.

2. Go Ice Skating at Somerset House

christmas in london 2023 ice skating

Glide gracefully across the ice at Somerset House, where a stunning ice rink awaits beneath the grand neoclassical facade. Surrounded by twinkling lights and the festive ambiance, this iconic London destination offers a perfect opportunity to embrace the joy of winter. Whether you're an experienced skater or a novice on the ice, the beauty of the surroundings and the exhilarating atmosphere make for an unforgettable experience.

3. Do Christmas Shopping at Covent Garden

christmas shopping in london

Immerse yourself in the festive spirit at Covent Garden, where the historic market is adorned with sparkling decorations and a giant Christmas tree takes center stage. Explore the charming boutiques, indulge in delectable treats, and discover unique gifts amidst the lively atmosphere. From handmade crafts to luxury brands, Covent Garden offers a delightful shopping experience that captures the essence of Christmas.

4. Hear Christmas Carols at St. Paul's Cathedral

Step into the grandeur of St. Paul's Cathedral and be transported by the angelic voices of the choir as they fill the magnificent space with timeless Christmas carols. The soaring architecture, the flickering candlelight, and the harmonious melodies create a moment of tranquility and reflection, allowing you to embrace the true meaning of the holiday season.

5. See Christmas Lights in London on Regent Street

Prepare to be dazzled by the radiant lights of Regent Street. This iconic London thoroughfare transforms into a shimmering spectacle, with its magnificent displays illuminating the night sky. Take a leisurely stroll along the street, marvel at the enchanting decorations, and let the sparkling lights ignite your festive spirit. It's a feast for the eyes that will leave you feeling merry and bright.

6. Watch The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House

royal opera house london christmas london 2023

Step into the enchanting world of Tchaikovsky's ballet masterpiece, The Nutcracker, at the Royal Opera House. Immerse yourself in the whimsical tale of Clara and her magical journey, accompanied by the mesmerizing performances of world-class dancers. The opulent sets, the exquisite costumes, and the unforgettable score create a truly captivating experience, making it a must-see Christmas tradition.

7. Experience Dickensian Christmas at the Charles Dickens Museum

charles dickens museum christmas in london

Transport yourself back in time to a Dickensian Christmas at the Charles Dickens Museum. Explore the author's former residence, beautifully adorned with period decorations, and immerse yourself in the festive traditions and stories of Victorian England. With special events, costumed characters, and readings of Dickens' timeless tales, this museum offers a glimpse into the past and a heartwarming celebration of Christmas.

8. Browse Christmas Markets in London

christmas markets in london

Delight in the festive charm of London's Christmas markets, scattered throughout the city. From the traditional stalls of the Southbank Centre Winter Market to the magical atmosphere of the Greenwich Market, these bustling marketplaces offer a treasure trove of handmade crafts, artisanal treats, and seasonal delights. Immerse yourself in the joyful ambiance, sip on mulled wine, and find unique gifts to make your Christmas extra special.

9. Take a Festive Afternoon Tea

christmas tea in london

Indulge in a quintessentially British tradition with a festive twist—enjoy a luxurious afternoon tea at one of London's elegant establishments. From gingerbread-flavored treats to cranberry-infused scones, these delectable creations celebrate the flavors of the season. Sip on fragrant teas and raise your pinky finger as you savor the delightful flavors, all while basking in the cozy ambiance of a festive tearoom.

10. Share a Christmas Dinner in London

christmas dinner in london

When it comes to celebrating Christmas with a remarkable dining experience in London, the city offers a plethora of extraordinary choices. "The Ritz London" reigns supreme. The renowned establishment sets the stage for an opulent dining affair, where guests are treated to a menu that elevates seasonal dishes to unparalleled heights. From the succulent roast turkey adorned with all the trimmings to the ethereal Christmas puddings, The Ritz ensures a regal feast fit for those seeking the epitome of indulgence. For those in search of a contemporary twist on the traditional Christmas feast, "Sketch" is also a great choice. Their innovative Christmas menu showcases culinary creations infused with modernity and creativity.

11. See Christmas in London off the Beaten Path

christmas in london 2023

If you want to get a more local's experience for Christmas in London, start with a Home Exchange! Then, consider exploring some less touristy neighborhoods. By venturing off the beaten path and seeking out these lesser-known activities, you can uncover the hidden gems of London's Christmas celebrations. In Hampstead or Greenwich for example, there is often their own charming Christmas events and markets. Wander through the quaint streets, discover local boutiques and independent shops, and embrace the festive spirit in a more intimate setting. These hidden pockets of London offer a more relaxed and authentic experience, allowing you to soak up the local culture and discover hidden treasures during the holiday season.

12. Stay For New Year's Eve Fireworks on the Thames

Bid farewell to the year in spectacular fashion by joining the iconic New Year's Eve fireworks display along the Thames River. As the clock strikes midnight, the night sky explodes with a kaleidoscope of colors, accompanied by an awe-inspiring soundtrack. Join the jubilant crowd, witness the dazzling spectacle, and welcome the new year with a bang in the heart of London.

Spend Christmas in London With HomeExchange

christmas in london

London is calling and it's Christmas time! The British capital envelops you in a warm embrace of cheer and merriment this time of year. So, why not setup a home exchange for Christmas in London 2023 or next year? Pack your coziest scarves and get ready to explore the festive season in this incredible city. With HomeExchange, you can find the perfect home away from home for the holidays to go back home and warm up in. You'll create lasting memories, and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year in a city that knows how to make Christmas merry and bright!