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Things to Do in London on Christmas Day

It's the one day of the year when London feels quiet, but there's still plenty to do and enjoy on Christmas Day.

Explore London as everyone gathers to celebrate Christmas Day and experience a different side of the city. Wander the peaceful streets adorned with shimmering Christmas lights, enjoy a festive meal or a pint at one of London’s restaurants and pubs, or take a festive tour of London on this very magical day.

Take a look below for ideas on what to do in London on Christmas Day.

Transport on Christmas Day

There's no public transport on Christmas Day, but there are several alternative ways to explore the city:

  • Hire a Santander Cycle and take a ride beneath the festive decorations of Central London with much less traffic around.
  • With thousands of Christmas calories consumedwalking might be your best bet and you’ll have London’s beautiful architecturestreet art and Christmas lights largely to yourself.
  • Travel to London's most popular sights on a Christmas Day hop on hop off bus tour.
  • There are also a few taxis and mini-cabs available for hire.

Christmas Day tours of London

Go on a sightseeing tour of London's famous attractions and unusually empty streets, or take a day trip outside of the city on a Christmas Day tour. Check back nearer the time for tours on Christmas Day 2017.

Attractions open on Christmas Day

Almost all of London’s attractions are closed on Christmas Day.

However, you can head to the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park to cheer on the tough members of the Serpentine Swimming Club who take part in the Peter Pan Cup race every 25 December.

Christmas Day church services

Attend one of the many Christmas Day services in London’s wonderful cathedrals and churches, including the magnificent St Paul’s Cathedral, beautiful St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, and historic All Hallows by the Tower and Southwark Cathedral. Remember to check timings with the individual church in advance, and arrive early, as Christmas services can be very busy and there is limited space.

Christmas Eucharist at St. Paul's 🙏🏼

A photo posted by Tiana Marie (@tianamarie) on

Eating and drinking on Christmas Day

  • Check if your favourite London restaurant is open on Christmas Day. Make sure to book in advance for Christmas Day lunch or dinner in London.
  • The majority of restaurants in Chinatown are open as usual on 25 December, offering a delicious alternative to the traditional Christmas lunch.
  • Some pubs open for a few hours around lunchtime, but most will be closed or ticketed in the evening, so make sure you check for opening hours.
  • Hotel bars are a good bet for a drink on Christmas Day, though it's still best to check with the venue in advance.

Things to do on Boxing Day in London

The day after Christmas Day (26 December) is known as Boxing Day in the UK and is also a public holiday. Many attractions are still closed and there is a reduced public transport available on this day, but there are still plenty of things to do on Boxing Day:

Find out more about transport and opening times over the festive season with our essential guide to Christmas and New Year in London, or discover more things to do over the festive period with our guide to Christmas in London.