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Christmas and New Year London transport, opening times and essential information

Over Christmas and New Year, there are changes to transport and opening times in London.
A London Underground sign lit up at night, with Christmas lights shining in the background.
Transport in London at Christmas. Copyright: visitlondon.com.

Plan ahead and discover some of the top things to do after lockdown in London from 2 December, including attractions, tours, theatre and Christmas activities.

Take a look at the latest official coronavirus guidelines for London. 

  • There is no public transport on Christmas Day and almost all London attractions are closed.
  • Public transport to and around London is reduced over the Christmas and New Year period, so plan your journey in advance.
  • Central London is usually extremely busy on New Year's Eve and public transport is limited on New Year's Day.

Christmas Day (25 December), Boxing Day (26 December) and New Year’s Day (1 January) are all public holidays (bank holidays) in the UK. As Boxing Day falls on a Saturday in 2020, there is a substitute bank holiday on Monday 28 December.

Christmas transport and travel

Christmas public transport

Public transport is limited over the Christmas period, so make sure you plan your journey in advance. Alternatively, hop on a Santander Cycles bike to explore the capital on two wheels or walk where possible. 

There is no public transport on Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, public transport starts to wind down from early evening and there are usually no night buses.

Some taxis are available, although these may charge more on Christmas and Boxing Day. You should check details before travelling and book in advance to avoid extended waits.

Ensure you follow the latest coronavirus guidelines, including the mandatory use of face coverings when using public transport, taxis and private-hire vehicles.

Make sure to check the Transport for London website before travelling for the latest Christmas travel information.

Train services to London over Christmas

Engineering work often affects train journeys into and out of London and around the UK over the Christmas and New Year period.

Take a look at the National Rail website before travelling to check the latest Christmas travel information. 

London on Christmas Day

Most businesses and attractions close on Christmas Day in London, and many close from 24 to 26 December, as well as on 1 January. Always check before travelling.

There are still plenty of things to do on Christmas Day in London: see top London landmarks on a Christmas Day tour, enjoy a Christmas Day walk in a Royal Park, see London’s beautiful Christmas lights or cheer on the swimmers racing for the Peter Pan Cup in Hyde Park.

Hotels and restaurants on Christmas Day

Most London hotels are open at Christmas and some hotel restaurants offer Christmas dining on 25 December. Check the where to stay section for hotel listings and booking information.

Some restaurants, bars and pubs serve Christmas Day meals, but most require advance reservation. Due to the latest government regulations, hospitality venues are currently required to close by 10pm and are table-service only. Face coverings must be worn unless your are seated at your table.

Boxing Day and January sales in London

Shoppers and cars pass Selfridges, covered in twinkling lights for the festive season.

Activity returns to London on Boxing Day (26 December). The January sales start in many London shops and public transport also resumes but with a limited service.

London's shops have various measures in place to ensure your safety during the coronavirus pandemic. These include regulated entry, one-way systems and the requirement for staff and customers to wear face coverings. Make sure to check the latest regulations in advance.

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in London

Central London is usually very busy on New Year's Eve, mainly due to London’s New Year's Eve fireworks. However, the fireworks display is not taking place in 2020.

There is usually free travel on the TfL network, including the Tube, from 11.45pm on New Year's Eve until 4.30am on New Year's Day. Check back later for confirmation of this year's New Year's Eve travel times and fares.

There is limited public transport on New Year’s Day, so check Transport for London’s website for details and make sure you plan your journey in advance over the New Year period.

Visit the National Rail website for information about train services. 

Take a look at the top things to do on New Year’s Eve for ideas on how to celebrate the New Year in London.

Christmas and New Year events in London

For more things to do around Christmas and New Year’s Eve in London, see our calendar of events or guide to what’s on in London.

Don't forget to also check the London weather for a potential white Christmas! 

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