Visit the best London attractions during Christmas 2023

by Ren Nair
Last Update: 17 July 2023

When it comes to London attractions at Christmas, you are spoilt for choice. The capital comes alive with festive cheer and the merriment can be felt across the city. Whilst London is brimming with attractions that you can experience year-round, there is something magical about the way they transform for the festive season. Christmas in London 2023, promises to be a joyful spectacle, with light shows, Christmas markets, festive Westend shows and places to eat and drink.

In this list, we are going to explore the best attractions during Christmas 2023. Whether that’s the mesmerising lights on Oxford Street or the infamous Winter Wonderland, that draws a huge crowd every year. There is something for everyone.

1. Ice skating

One of the most iconic things to do in the city is pop on your skates and take to the ice rink. Whether you’re a seasoned pro on the ice or you need a little help from a penguin glider, you can take your pick of ice rinks. Here are some of the most popular ones:

Somerset House ice rink

One of the best Christmas attractions in London is ice-skating at the stunning Somerset House. This iconic rink is available each year in the grand neoclassical courtyard. The massive rink is 900 square metres big. You can glide and twist or perhaps just hold onto the edge and scoot around the 40-foot Christmas tree in the centre.

Queen’s House ice-rink

Located on the grounds of the Royal Museums Greenwich which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can whizz around whilst taking in the sights of the architecture and the twinkling festive lights.

Canary Wharf ice-rink

The roof of this magical rink is scattered with over 1,000 sparkling fairy lights, so you can skate come rain or shine.

2. Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park

Winter Wonderland is infamous for family fun. As one of the most exciting London attractions at Christmas, people flock to the city for this attraction alone. It is jam-packed with festive fun, from Christmas markets, live music, and entertainment to rollercoaster rides, an ice sculpture Magical Kingdom, fairgrounds and circus shows. With plenty of street food options and bars to explore, there’s so much fun for everyone.

Choose your attraction combination and save

A great day out without compromise.


3. Christmas at Kew Gardens

Walk under the stars and take in the magical lights at Kew Gardens this Christmas. Once the sun has disappeared, wrap up warm and make your way around the sparkling tunnels, the dancing lights that flicker in the lake reflections and the trees that are covered in multicolour. The highlight is the fire garden that provides a peaceful flickering of flames before you say hello to Father Christmas on the way.

4. Enjoy the Christmas Markets

Nothing is more charming than wandering around wooden huts looking for stocking fillers and trinkets. The smell of festive treats filling the air and the sounds of Christmas songs to make you feel warm and fuzzy. Here are some of the best Christmas markets to explore on your trip to London.

Christmas by the River

Grab a mulled wine to warm your hands as you pursue the stalls in one of London’s most iconic locations. Tuck into seasonal treats as you gaze over the London skyline and Tower Bridge.

Southbank Christmas Market

Stroll alongside the River Thames as you take in the twinkling lights that line the Southbank. From fondue in cosy igloos to Alpine chalets with arts and crafts.

Leicester Square Christmas Market

In the heart of the theatre district, this Christmas market is bursting with festive cheer. From the carol singers and performances to the stalls packed with treats, delicious bites and warming drinks.

5. Catch a festive show

Going to the theatre in London during Christmas is one of the most spectacular experiences. There are so many festive shows that will leave you feeling jubilant. Families will love Frozen or the more holiday-themed shows like ELF, The Musical and Stick Man. Those looking for a more traditional show can catch a viewing of the Nutcracker.

6. London light displays

London comes alive with lights during the holiday period, and people flock to some of the most famous streets in the city just to see them. Whilst Oxford Street is the most popular, especially if you want to get in some present shopping at the same time, there are many glittering streets to explore. For example, Carnaby Street and Regent Street are just as spectacular but less busy than Oxford Street. You can also head to the likes of Covent Garden and the Shard to see your favourite London spots illuminated with lights and displays.

7. Hogwarts in the Snow: Warner Bros. Studio Tour

The Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour is an incredible experience for all muggles at any time of the year. However, at Christmas, it is simply magical. The Great Hall is dressed for the Yule Ball with shimmering silver decorations, snow that glitters and icicles throughout. For 2023, there will be a wintery orchestra arrangement which is new for this year. All the set favourites like the Forbidden Forest and Diagon Alley are all set for Christmas. But the most majestic set of all is the full-scale Hogwarts Castle covered in snow which will take your breath away.

8. Book a winter igloo

You’ll notice as soon as the temperature drops, your favourite London attractions start popping up cosy igloos to escape the cold. You can warm up with snug throws as you sit under a twinkling dome gazing out over the iconic London sights. The best pods in London are Coppa Club on the Southbank for fondue and views over the Thames and Tower Bridge. Aviary in Finsbury Square has rooftop igloos overlooking the city and The Secret Garden for a private dome in Kensington.

9. Go shopping in the iconic London store

The majority of the stores in London are dressed for Christmas, but some stores are iconic all year round. Head to the beautiful Liberty for the most spectacular tree and dedicated Christmas shop. Harrods is the most famous store in the city which shines even brighter during the festive season. Other stores that are worth the visit are Fortnum & Mason, John Lewis on Oxford Street and Selfridges.

10. Visit the most impressive Christmas trees

Christmas trees are big deal in London. With designers competing to get the opportunity to decorate them in the top spots. The best ones are in Covent Garden, Coal Drops yard at Kings Cross, St Pancras Station, Trafalgar Square and Leaden Market.

11. Enjoy a festive film

Nothing gets you in the holiday mood like a nostalgic film. But what about your favourite holiday classics in an explosion of festive decorations and fun? Backyard Cinema shows feel-good favourites as part of an immersive experience. Or head to a sing-along or quote a-long at the Prince Charles Cinema.

12. Eat, drink and be merry

Treat yourself to one of the most fantastic dining experiences in London, at one of these iconic restaurants that have had a full winter grotto makeover. The Sky Garden is treated to an Alpine overhaul, whilst Duck & Waffle receives a Polar Express theme. Famous The Ivy Chelsea always goes above and beyond with its themes, so it’s worth putting on the itinerary.

Christmas is one of the most magical times to visit London, and no matter what you choose to do, you’ll be swept away it. But make sure you use the Keetoo app to book your tickets for the perfect Christmas day out and manage them all in one place.

Welcome to our Blog!

Hi, I’m Ren, a travel lover a mum of 2 and founder of Keetoo, a  leading website and app for tickets for days out.
On this blog, I share our family travel experiences with practical information, pictures and useful tips!

Join us for more tips on London and UK travel

Explore London like a local

with our insider’s mini guide

Download for FREE now

    Explore London like a local

    with our insider’s mini guide.
    Download for FREE now