Check back later in the year for events and activities on Christmas Eve 2018.
Getting around in London on Christmas Eve
There are changes to some public transport services on Christmas Eve, so check before you travel. On the Tube, some services are reduced during the afternoon and evening; while on buses, there is no night service available. Travel on the London Overground, DLR, MBNA Thames Clippers, National Rail, Gatwick Express, trams and coaches is also affected. For more information on Christmas Eve travel read our guide to transport over the festive season, or visit the Transport for London website.
Festive tours on 24 December
Make the most of Christmas Eve’s magical atmosphere and get some serious sightseeing done on a Christmas Eve tour: take a day trip from London or enjoy an open-top bus tour. Check back nearer the time for tours on Christmas Eve 2018.
Christmas Eve carols and concerts
Nothing gets you into the Christmas spirit like a carol concert. Expect to queue if you want to attend the 4pm carol service at St Paul’s Cathedral, or you can head over to the Royal Albert Hall or St Martin-in-the-Fields for a candlelit concert. Westminster Abbey also has services and carols on Christmas Eve.
Ice skating in London
London’s top ice skating rinks are open on Christmas Eve. Skate under the shadow of the Natural History Museum, Somerset House or Tower of London, or visit Winter Wonderland for the full festive experience.
London Christmas Eve shows
Many of London’s theatres and performance venues put on one last show the day before Christmas, most of which are morning or early afternoon matinee performances:
- See one of the West End's smash-hit musicals such as The Lion King or School of Rock.
- Watch a top play with choices including the hysterical The Comedy About a Bank Robbery and The Play That Goes Wrong.
Last-minute Christmas shopping in London
If you’re that person that still has Christmas shopping to do on Christmas Eve then don’t despair! Our Christmas shopping itinerary is a good place to start, or you can take a look at our Christmas shopping hotspots, including Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street and more top places for London Christmas shopping.
For unique hand-crafted gifts, browse one of the many picture-perfect Christmas markets in London. Tick off your list at the Nordic-inspired chalets at Southbank Centre's Winter Market, find handmade crafts in the twinkling cabins at Christmas By The River at London Bridge City and tuck into festive treats at Christmas in Leicester Square.
London winter festivals
Head to one of London's winter festivals to experience the ultimate festive atmosphere. Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park has everything from an ice kingdom to a Bavarian village to get you in the Christmas spirit.
Alternatively, venture to the Greenwich Wintertime Festival to feast on street food and be amazed by performing acrobats.
For a more traditional Christmas experience, visit Christmas at Kew and admire the famous botanical gardens as they're lit up by more than a million twinkling lights.
If you're visiting with children, make sure to make some time to meet Santa at a Christmas grotto. Winter Wonderland, Greenwich and Kew all have grottos, but there are plenty more to visit in the capital including ones at the Royal Albert Hall and ZSL London Zoo.
Eating and drinking on Christmas Eve
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.
Alternatively, snuggle up in front of an open fire in one of London's best cosy pubs and enjoy a warmed mulled wine or cider.
Remember to book in advance and always check opening times and Christmas closures with the venue.
For more things to do over the festive period in London, take a look at our guide to Christmas in London, or check out our roundup of things to do in London on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Plus, find more essential Christmas and New Year’s Eve information with our guide to transport and opening times.