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Best things to do on Christmas Eve in London

Experience some of the best Christmas Eve activities London has to offer, from festive shows and sightseeing tours to Christmas markets and ice rinks.

There's only one sleep left until Christmas! While waiting for the arrival of Santa Claus, tick off some of the best things to do in London on Christmas Eve. 

Last year, the below activities were some of the best ways to spend Christmas Eve in London – check back later in the year for confirmed details of the top things to do Christmas Eve in 2020

Christmas Eve tours of London

Experience all the festive feels during a Christmas Eve tour of London:

  • Explore the capital while it's dressed in its festive finest during a London Christmas lights tour on an open-top bus.
  • Enjoy a day trip from London to visit Windsor Castle and Stonehenge this Christmas Eve. 

Christmas shows in London

Many of London’s theatres put on one last show, musical or pantomime the day before Christmas, most of which are matinee performances:

Christmas ice skating in London

Go for a twirl on one of London’s top ice skating rinks this Christmas Eve: 

  • Whizz around the twinkling Christmas tree at the Natural History Museum.
  • Skate in the shadow of a 1,000-year-old fortress at the Tower of London's ice rink. 
  • Glide around the beautiful ice rink at Somerset House, before warming up with a mug of hot chocolate. 
  • Visit Winter Wonderland to skate on the UK's largest outdoor ice rink the night before Christmas in London.

Christmas things to do in London

Soak up the seasonal atmosphere before the big day, from twinkling lights and dazzling trees to Christmas markets in London: 

  • Stroll around the city in search of the best London Christmas lights, while waiting for Father Christmas to visit. 
  • Head to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park for fairground rides, family fun, winter food and a Bavarian village.
  • Pick up warming treats, London Christmas ornaments and last-minute presents from the twinkling riverside stalls at Winter at Southbank Centre
  • Fill your Instagram with some of the coolest Christmas trees in the capital. 
  • Catch some festive entertainment or browse the traditional market at Christmas in Leicester Square.
  • Sip on mulled wine in the ski-themed bar, take a selfie in front of Tower Bridge or browse the wooden stalls at Christmas by the River

London Christmas carols and concerts

Make the most of your London Christmas break with a carol concert or a traditional service:

Last-minute London Christmas shopping

Don't panic! Head to some of the best places for Christmas shopping in London to pick up any last-minute gifts:  

London Christmas Eve dinner and drinks 

Toast to the festive season in a lively bar or enjoy a pre-Christmas dinner out in London:

  • Get Christmas off to a cracking start with a Christmas Eve meal at one of London's top restaurants.
  • Treat yourself to sumptuous food from a Michelin-starred restaurant, a feast created by a celebrity chef or a dinner at one of London's most romantic restaurants.
  • Continue the festivities with a drink and stunning view at one of London's rooftop bars.
  • Snuggle up in front of an open fire in one of London's cosiest pubs.

Remember to book in advance and always check the Christmas opening times with the venue.

Travelling around London on Christmas Eve

There are usually changes to some public transport services on Christmas Eve, so make sure to check your route before travelling. 

On the Tube, some services are reduced during the afternoon and evening; while on buses, there is no night service.

Travel on the London Overground, DLR, MBNA Thames Clippers, National Rail, Gatwick Express, trams and coaches is also affected during Christmas in London. 

Find more information about transport over the festive season or visit the Transport for London website.

What is there to do in London on Christmas Day?

From festive cruises, wintry walks and traditional church services, to Christmas dinners and London pubs, plan your Christmas Day in London.

Check out more things to do in London during Christmas and New Year's Eve.

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