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Christmas and New Year London transport and opening times

Over Christmas and New Year, there are changes to transport and opening times in London. Make sure you know what's happening with our practical guide.
  • 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 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.

Christmas transport and travel

Christmas public transport

Public transport is limited over the Christmas period, so make sure you plan your journey in advance. There is no public transport on Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, public transport starts to wind down from early evening, including no night buses.

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

Check the Transport for London website before travelling.

Train services to London over Christmas

Engineering work will affect train journeys in London and the UK over the Christmas and New Year period. Check the National Rail website for the latest updates.

There are line closures and changes to rail services across London and the south east from 23 December 2017 until 1 January 2018 inclusive as part of the Thameslink Programme. Southeastern, Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Southern services are all affected. You may need to allow more time for your journey or take a different route. Find more information on the Thameslink website.

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 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, attend a traditional church service, enjoy a Christmas Day walk in a Royal Park, book a restaurant lunch with the family, 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. Take a look at our where to stay section for hotel listings and booking information.

Some restaurants, bars and pubs serve Christmas Day meals, but most require advance reservation.

Boxing Day and January sales in London

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.

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

Central London will be very busy on New Year's Eve mainly due to London’s New Year's Eve fireworks. There is only 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.

Take a look at our roundup of 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, take a look at our calendar of events or guide to what’s on in London.

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