There's only one sleep left until Christmas! While waiting for the arrival of Santa Claus, tick off some of the best things to do in London on Christmas Eve.
Before heading out, make sure to check direct with the venue for information about special safety measures in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, including advanced booking and tickets, limited capacity and reduced opening hours.
Many Christmas Eve in London activities are yet to be confirmed – check back later in the year for confirmed details of the top things to do Christmas Eve in 2020.
Christmas Eve tours of London
Experience all the festive feels during a Christmas Eve tour of London:
- Explore the capital while it's dressed in its festive finest during a London Christmas lights tour on an open-top bus.
- Go on a London Christmas lights tour and tuck into a three-course dinner, before attending Midnight Mass at St Martin-in-the-Fields.
- Experience some of the capital's top attractions with the Total London Experience on Christmas Eve, including the Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral, the London Eye and a river cruise.
- See famous landmarks sparkle as night falls across the city with the Illuminations of London on Christmas Eve tour.
- Soak up the Spirit of London on Christmas Eve with a fun-packed river cruise and bus tour stopping at the Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral and Buckingham Palace.
- Enjoy a day trip from London to visit Windsor Castle and Stonehenge this Christmas Eve.
- Venture beyond London for the day with a trip to Leeds Castle, Canterbury and the White Cliffs of Dover.
Christmas shows in London
Some of London’s theatres are treating audiences to a show, musical or pantomime the day before Christmas, most of which are matinee performances:
- Laugh your way into Christmas with The Play That Goes Wrong.
- Grab a seat and find out why Everybody's Talking about Jamie during this smash-hit West End show on Christmas Eve.
- Be part of the socially distanced audience as Henry VIII's wives take to the stage and tell their side of the story with Six.
- Watch an enchanting performance of The Nutcracker at the London Coliseum.
Christmas ice skating in London
Go for a twirl on one of London’s top ice skating rinks this Christmas Eve:
Christmas things to do in London
Soak up the seasonal atmosphere before the big day, from twinkling lights and dazzling trees to Christmas markets in London:
- Head to Hogwarts in the Snow to follow in the footsteps of your favourite wizard this Christmas Eve at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
- Tick off some of the top London attractions from your Christmas wishlist – make sure to check individual opening times and book tickets in advance.
- Stroll around the city in search of the best London Christmas lights, while waiting for Father Christmas to visit.
- Fill your Instagram with some of the coolest Christmas trees in the capital.
- Pick up warming treats, London Christmas ornaments and last-minute presents from the twinkling riverside stalls at Winter at Southbank Centre.
- Catch some festive entertainment or browse the traditional market at Christmas in Leicester Square.
- Sip on mulled wine in the ski-themed bar, take a selfie in front of Tower Bridge or browse the wooden stalls at Christmas by the River.
London Christmas carols and concerts
Make the most of your London Christmas break with a carol concert or a traditional service – check back later for confirmed concerts and carols on Christmas Eve.
Last-minute London Christmas shopping
Don't panic! Head to some of the best places for Christmas shopping in London to pick up any last-minute gifts:
- Admire seasonal window displays and hunt for presents at London department stores.
- Shop 'til you drop in the ultimate Christmas shopping hotspots, including Oxford Street, Regent Street, Carnaby and Bond Street.
- Find handmade gifts, foodie treats and one-of-a-kind items at one of the London Christmas markets.
London Christmas Eve dinner and drinks
Toast to the festive season in a lively bar or enjoy a pre-Christmas dinner out in London:
- 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.
- Continue the festivities with a drink and stunning view at one of London's rooftop bars.
- Snuggle up in front of an open fire in one of London's cosiest pubs.
Find the latest coronavirus guidance and regulations for restaurants, bars and pubs in London.
Christmas Eve at home activities
If you're not able to get out and about in London on Christmas Eve, check out our guide to enjoying the capital from your couch, from online shows and events, to virtual tours and festive activities for kids.
Check back nearer the time for confirmed online Christmas Eve events and activities.
Travelling around London on Christmas Eve
There are usually changes to some public transport services on Christmas Eve, so make sure to check your route before travelling. Alternatively, get around the city on two wheels by hiring a Santander Cycles bike or opt to walk between places you're visiting, where possible.
Travel on the London Overground, DLR, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers, National Rail, Gatwick Express, trams and coaches is also affected during Christmas in London.
Make sure to follow the latest coronavirus guidelines when exploring London on Christmas Eve, including wearing a face covering when using public transport, taxis and private-hire vehicles.
What is there to do in London on Christmas Day?
From festive cruises, wintry walks and traditional church services, to Christmas dinners and London pubs, plan your Christmas Day in London.