18 things to do in London in January 2023

Pick up some bargains, enjoy winter activities and make the most of London's free attractions in January.
Welcome to Carnaby Street sign.
Enjoy shopping in central London. Image courtesy of Carnaby Street. Credit Shaftesbury PLC.

January is one of the best months to visit on a budget. The January sales are on, so you can shop at some of London's top shopping destinations for less. Plus, many hotels offer reductions at this time of year.

London's attractions are quieter than usual this month, so it's a great time to enjoy a stroll around a museum and avoid queues at popular attractions. And, don't forget, many of London's attractions are free!

Make sure to wrap up warm when out exploring London in winter. Then, take refuge from the cold in one of London's cosy pubs, or enjoy a hot drink with a view on a heated rooftop terrace transformed for winter. 

Unmissable January events in London

A marching band dressed in yellow and blue walk through confetti at London's New Year's Day Parade.

  1. Watch the spectacular New Year's Day ParadeCheer on the marching brass bands, colourful performers and elaborate floats.
  2. Continue the festive frolics with New Year's Day activities in London: Make the most of the first day of 2023 in London.
  3. Explore Hogwarts in the Snow: See the Harry Potter film studios transformed for winter. Until 15 Jan
  4. Enjoy fairground fun at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park: Ride the carousel or brave the loops of the rollercoasters. 
  5. Go ice skating: Skate at one of London's temporary outdoor ice rinks, many of which are still open at the start of the month.
  6. Watch the latest works in film at the London Short Film Festival: Be moved by short stories captured on screen. 13-22 Jan
  7. Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit in 2023: Join the Chinese New Year celebrations in London, in previous years you could enjoy an annual parade, live performances and festival. Around 22 Jan TBC
  8. Buy contemporary British art at London Art Fair: Browse works on display from more than 100 galleries. 20-24 Jan
  9. Toast to Burns Night in London: Mark the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns with haggis and tatties, bagpipes and plenty of whisky. 25 Jan

Theatre shows in London

Cast members seated and standing around a man lying on a sofa with shocked expressions on their faces

  1. Catch one last Christmas show or pantomime: Book your seats before theatres wrap up for the festive season.
  2. Laugh out loud at The Play That Goes Wrong at Duchess Theatre: Expect slapstick comedy and hilarious antics from the accident-prone actors.
  3. Experience the mystery and suspense of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap: Can you solve the murder?

Exhibitions in London

A watercolour and pencil drawing on paper of Benjamin Bunny

  1. Don't miss Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature at the Victoria and Albert Museum: Get a glimpse of the author's original drawings of her beloved characters. Until 8 Jan
  2. Be inspired by Lucian Freud New Perspectives at the National Gallery: Explore a lifetime of work by the famous artist in his first major exhibition for more than 10 years. Until 22 Jan
  3. Discover the works of British artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at Tate Britain: Admire portraits of people painted from the artist's imagination. Until 26 Feb
  4. Explore The EY Exhibition: Cézanne at Tate Modern: See the iconic works of a leading figure in modern art, some never seen before in the UK. Until 12 Mar

What else is on in January?

A dimly lit, disused Tube tunnel, track and platform that's lit only by two lights.

  1. Uncover Hidden London with the London Transport Museum: Explore an immersive exhibition while discovering the London Underground's secrets. 
  2. Discover Croydon: The Mayor's London Borough of Culture 2023: Enjoy cultural events and activities in the south London neighbourhood. 

For more things to do in January in London, take a look at the events calendar and guide to what's on in London, or catch the best of the London stage with this theatre guide.

WEATHER: For average seasonal temperatures and rainfall, see the London weather page.