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20 ways to have a budget Christmas in London

Enjoy the festivities in London for less with these budget activities to get you into the Christmas spirit without breaking the bank.

Find affordable ways to feel festive in London this Christmas and enjoy Christmas carols, festive lights and colourful markets cheaply, or for free!

The locations below usually host some of London's top budget Christmas activities – check back later in the year for confirmed details about the best ways to enjoy a budget Christmas in London for 2024.

Free Christmas things to do in London

Christmas decorations around a shopfront in Chelsea, London.

  1. Take in Christmas lights and decorations across famous London areas, from the sparkling spirits of Regent Street to the quirky decorations above Carnaby.
  2. Walk through shopping streets to enjoy festive shopfronts and department store windows colourfully decked out for the season. 
  3. Drop by Covent Garden to spot Insta-worthy installations, including giant bells, baubles and mirror balls inside the 19th-century piazza.
  4. Explore Christmas trees dotted around the city, from the annually themed tree at St Pancras International station to the unique installation at the V&A
  5. Take a trip to the Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival, where colourful installations by renowned artists pop up for Winter Light. Nov-Jan TBC
  6. Look up to admire the must-see Christmas tree at Coal Drops Yard that illuminates the area's fantastic shops and eateries. Nov-Dec TBC
  7. Feel the festive spirit at Leadenhall Market, where you can find the magnificent Christmas tree and lights adorning the famous Victorian arcade. Nov-Jan TBC
  8. Wrap up warm to watch the annual Peter Pan Cup, where members of the Serpentine Swimming Club race through Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park. 25 Dec

Budget-friendly festive activities 

Two girls enjoying evening drinks at a London Christmas market with a Christmas tree, Ferris wheel, market stalls and lights behind

  1. Hunt for festive goodies from around the globe at London's top Christmas markets, from delicious foods and warming drinks to beautiful trinkets and crafts.
  2. Listen and sing along to traditional Christmas carols at stunning venues, including some of London's most iconic palaces and cathedrals. 
  3. Hit the winter sales this year and get ahead of your Christmas shopping list or bag yourself some bargains.
  4. Skate around Glide at Battersea Power Station, offering scenic views of the river from the ice and plenty of festive decorations. Nov-Jan TBC
  5. Head over to Winter Wonderland, where Hyde Park is transformed into a festive extravaganza filled with rides and games, food and market stalls. Nov-Jan TBC
  6. Bag cheap standing tickets to watch the annual festive play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Dec TBC

Cheap winter activities 

Bond Street Christmas tree and lights inspired by the Crown Jewels

  1. See the city’s streets glisten with twinkling Christmas lights and colourful decorations on a Christmas lights bus tour.
  2. Journey along the iconic river Thames on an Uber Boat by Thames Clippers to see a different side to the capital this winter.
  3. Take a walk around the streets of London on a walking tour and learn about the city’s history and famous areas, as the capital is lit up in festive colours.
  4. Fly over the city in an IFS Cloud Cable Car to see the capital illuminated in twinkling lights, including The O2.
  5. Head high above the city at The Garden at 120 or Sky Garden to admire London transformed into a wintry Christmas card.
  6. Escape from the cold and warm up at one of London’s free museums and galleries
Find more Christmas inspiration and things to do this winter, as well as 101 free things to do in London and cheap London activities
 

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