Unlike a lot of people who avoid travelling to London in the winter because of the cold, I LOVE the city in December. It’s dressed up beautifully for Christmas and is nothing short of being magical. I was lucky to be in London in December 2016 and 2017 and I think I’ll go back this year. I’ve also celebrated Christmas in Sydney, Vegas and Thailand earlier but nothing comes close to the lit up London, it’s festive spirit and it’s pretty Christmas decorations.
It definitely is cold in London in December but all you need is to bundle up and grab a hot chocolate! The bustling Christmas markets, incredible food and the people make it totally worth it. You can smell Christmas in the air and you need to be in London to experience that. There is so much to do in London and I have a list of things to do in the city in December besides the regular touristy stuff.
My favorite part about the Christmas ready London is Winter Wonderland! It is a different world all together. It is lined with small stalls and shops and got some very exciting rides. There are also a lot of food options. Don’t miss the incredible churros. Entertainment options include game shows, circus, santa land, Cirque Berserk, live music and rides. Entry to Winter Wonderland is free but each ride has a separate charge. It starts in November and goes on till 1st January.
Probably the best part about London in December is that it is lined up with the most adorable Christmas markets. They’re so many of them and you just can’t get enough. Most of these Christmas markets sell handicrafts, the most incredible chocolates and candies, festive decorations, delicious street style food and what not. One of the markets I loved this year was Christmas in Leicester Square. You must also go to Borough Market for it’s mulled wine, cheeses and an overwhelming variety of desserts. You can read about other Christmas markets in London HERE.
Oxford street is the most happening area in London during the evenings. The street is adorned with lights and decorations. The stores are also all decked up for Christmas and some of them have huge festive displays in their show windows. It is bustling with people and trust me when I say it- it does not get any more Christmassy. It is so much fun to just walk around the area and explore the little lanes, cafes and shops or simply just admire the Christmas decorations.
CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER-
A lot of places in London organize massive sit down dinners on Christmas eve with some great food. The best way to celebrate Christmas eve is to reserve a table with a group of friends at one of these restaurants and enjoy the company with some good food and wine. However, keep in mind that most of these places close by 10pm and the underground tube stops working at 11pm on Christmas eve.
CHRISTMAS AT ST. PAUL’S-
For two years now, I’ve been spending a major part of my Christmas day at St. Paul’s Cathedral. It is the most stunning cathedral and feels even more special on Christmas day. If you’re in London for Christmas, you must keep an eye on their website to see what they’re doing on the day. Try and attend the morning prayer, which is very traditional and gives you an insight into the culture there. Also interesting is the Festal Evensong, which is all about carols and music.
CHRISTMAS BY THE RIVER-
Although Christmas by the river is technically another Christmas market by the river at London Bridge City, I look at it as a complete experience on it’s own. It has got little wood cabins overlooking London icons including Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the City of London. These cabins have shops. Most of these shops sell food from different corners of the world. You’ll find everything here from burritos to gyozas to ostrich burgers. They also have all the desserts you’ll ever need. Why I especially love this experience is because you can grab some hot food and wine and just sit by Thames, look at the beautiful Tower Bridge and enjoy!
BOXING DAY SHOPPING-
Boxing day or the day after Christmas is when all stores in London offer massive sales. The streets are flooded with shoppers who’re excited to avail the offers. Even if you’re not much of a shopper, it’s fun to be on the streets and witness all the excitement.
If you have something to add to this list, leave it in the comments below!