Christmas markets are beginning to open in London as shoppers rush to some of the capital’s most famous sights for the season.
As well as the chance to bag a stocking filler, some of the capital’s premier attractions boast expansive lights, gourmet food, mulled wine and fairground rides.
And while the season is now in full swing, most of these on offer will be trading into the New Year, giving shoppers several weeks to enjoy the festivities.
Many markets are free to enter if you are just want a look and hope not to spend too much. Meanwhile, to really get you in the mood, check out our list of the best vegan options for Christmas – and don't forget Christmas Jumper Day 2023.
If you fancy a film, many cinemas in London are offering some festive favourites from Elf to Die Hard, and from Love Actually to The Godfather.
Leicester Square - Open now
It’s far from London’s largest square but the quality of what’s on offer more than makes up for the size. And entry is completely free. Alongside the familiar mix of market stalls will be Spiegeltent, which will play host to the variety show La Clique – although performances are ticketed.
Runs until January 7.
Covent Garden - Open now
Another of London’s famous centres boasts a whopping tree and lights hung around the shopping and culture district. There is the Winter Warmers mulled-wine festival and Wonder Wood display returning from previous years. Plus there is late shopping every Thursday.
Runs until January 7.
For the first time in over a decade, @coventgardenldn has introduced a brand-new Christmas installation inspired by traditional golden bells. This year, you’ll find 40 gigantic bells with bows, 12 giant baubles and 9 spinning mirror balls🔔✨#LetsDoLondon #VisitLondon pic.twitter.com/dOd9IPUI80
— Visit London (@visitlondon) November 3, 2023
Southbank Centre Winter Market - Open now
As well as the market, there is alpine-themed curling, luminous art, and the annual Five Go Jiving social on Christmas Eve. Also, check out the theatre, where children’s productions are in order, as well as free productions being put on by a local choir.
Runs until December 26.
★★★★ #Nutcracker "@DrewMcOnie's new classic is naughty but nice... clever – cute and compact as a Terry’s chocolate orange... Christmas is coming – don’t fight it..." @McOnieCompany https://t.co/V8ZWqZHUzw
— Southbank Centre (@southbankcentre) November 6, 2023
Trafalgar Square - Open now
In the very heart of London, this market promises 34 wooden chalets decorated with twinkling lights and ornaments. Look out too for the authentic traditional German Christmas Market feel.
Runs until January 2.
Christmas Design Collective at Connaught Village - Open now
A pop-up gift shop featuring the best of London’s independent brands.
Runs until December 19.
Winter By The River – Opens November 14
London Bridge’s finest (outside of Borough Market!) is offering karaoke stalls and pop-up bars as part of its market.
Runs until January 1.
Greenwich Christmas Market – Opens November 15
Promoters say visitors can enjoy local craft, gift and food stalls, as well as children’s arts and crafts.
No closing date, yet.
Spitalfields Christmas Market - Opens November 15
Independent stallholders are lining up an array of fashion, accessories, kidswear, toys, jewellery, art, prints and homeware.
Runs until December 24.
Christmas at Leadenhall Market - Opens November 16
A great collection in the classic market at the heart of London’s business district.
Runs until January 6.
Kingston Christmas Market - Opens November 16
The southwest town is going very European in how it lays out its stalls, lights and attractions. Held in Kingston’s traditional market square.
Runs until December 31.
Winter Wonderland - Opens November 17
Hyde Park’s annual festival of lights, rides, and all kinds of festive fun is back in mid-November. There is also an ice rink, express train, circus, food stalls and the chance to meet Father Christmas in his grotto.
Runs until January 1.
Tickets are now on sale for Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2023 🎉 Year after year, we make magical memories together and we can't wait to be making more this season. pic.twitter.com/ha2ZB6R06G
— Winter Wonderland (@WinterWonderLDN) August 2, 2023
Kings Cross Christmas Market - Opens November 23
One of London’s new hip spots is offering curling, DJ sets, and a a 50-foot traditional Christmas tree in Coal Drops Yard.
Runs until December 23.
Borough Market at Christmas – Opens November 28
Borough Market is open all year around anyway, of course, but expect its famous decorations and a festive selection of food and drink on the menu this season.
Runs until January 9.
Christmas at Portobello – Opens December 3
Another world-famous Christmas market to see in its festive glory.
Runs until December 17.